Filed Under: Cheesecake | Dessert | Fall | Thanksgiving

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
October 17th, 2016
4.91 from 10 votes
4.91 from 10 votes

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake is the ultimate crowd-pleasing and fun Thanksgiving dessert! SO much more flavorful than pumpkin pie!

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Everyone's FAVORITE Thanksgiving dessert, HANDS DOWN! Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake is SO MUCH better than boring pumpkin pie!!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like fall perfection! Much more flavorful than pumpkin pie.
Texture: The crust crunchy buttery crust is the perfect contrast to the ultra thick, rich, and luscious cheesecake filling.
Ease: Totally doable, just requires some patience while you wait for the cheesecake to chill.
Pros: Crowd-pleasing fall dessert.
Cons: None really!
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

I’m bursting with excitement to finally share this post with you! Why?

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake is SO MUCH better than boring pumpkin pie!! Such a crowd pleaser!!

Well because this recipe for Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake kicks off our 1st annual Holiday Baking Bonanza!! I’m co-hosting this series with Ashley from Baker by Nature and we’ll be sharing our best holiday recipes, tips, tricks, resources, giveaways, and more (fo’ free)! We have SO much in store for you.

I hope you’ll follow along in this series with us, and I also hope you’ll make this recipe for Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake asap because it’s so darn good. In my family we’ll take this cheesecake over pumpkin pie ANY day. It’s always a hit!

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake is SO MUCH better than boring pumpkin pie!!

For this recipe, feel free to follow my tutorial here for how to make homemade caramel sauce. If you want to make things quicker and easier, you can totally use store-bought salted caramel sauce. My favorite is the one from Trader Joe’s!

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake is SO MUCH better than boring pumpkin pie!!

Prepping the cheesecake takes no time at all since the food processor does all the hard work. It does need an hour in the oven to bake, and 6 hours to chill after that so be sure to give yourself plenty of time. The best part about serving cheesecake during the holiday season is that it basically has to be made ahead of time, and will stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Make cheesecake crust AND filling with your food processor

A trick to avoiding cheesecake cracks is to allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven with the heat turned off for 10 minutes before removing it. Then, let it cool completely to room temperature before refrigerating it. You basically want to be really gentle with temperature changes when it comes to cheesecake. The good news, however, is that even if you do get some cracks we’re just going to pour caramel over the cheesecake so no one will really notice.

Salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake filling

4.91 from 10 votes

How to make
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake is the ultimate crowd-pleasing and fun Thanksgiving dessert! SO much more flavorful than pumpkin pie!


For the crust:

  • 15 whole graham crackers (230 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 24 ounces (680 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 15 ounces (425 grams) pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup (77 grams) salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) sour cream
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • Whipped cream
  • Salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought


  1. Preheat the oven to 325ยฐF. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the crust:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham crackers and cinnamon. Pulse until finely ground. You should have 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) graham cracker crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Maintain oven at 325ยฐF.

Make the cheesecake:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin puree, caramel, and sour cream until smooth. Add the eggs and yolk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, flour, and vanilla and puree until just combined. Pour over crust and spread evenly. Bake for 1 hour, or until set and dry at the edges but slightly jiggly in the center. Turn off the oven and allow to cool inside for 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature (this helps prevent cracks). Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Top with whipped cream and caramel sauce before serving.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

For a fun twist, feel free to use Speculoos or Gingersnap cookies in place of the graham crackers! You'll need 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) of crumbs.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Vicky — November 24, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    Delicious cheesecake that never fails to impress. I was actually introduced to this recipe by a family member who made 3 of these for Thanksgiving last year. I had one bite and I was hooked. Iโ€™ve made it multiple times since and always receive rave reviews. My mother-in-law requested the recipe as well and now itโ€™s become a family fave. I also use the homemade caramel sauce recipe – super easy and super delicious. Love it!!

    • #
      Emily — November 29, 2021 at 4:23 pm

      Amazing! Please thank your family member for sharing our recipe, and thanks so much for the rave review! I’ll be sure to pass this along to Tessa, it’ll make her day! So glad to hear how much you love this recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. #
    Lucy — October 4, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    Which pumpkin puree brand do you recommend?? Or how do you prepare it? I am truly sad because I really want to buy your book but there are not shipments to Mexico, why is that? Where else can I buy it?

    • #
      Emily — October 5, 2021 at 11:08 am

      Hi Lucy! We typically use the brand Libby’s if we’re using canned; however, check out this article here detailing the differences between fresh and canned pumpkin. There’s a recipe included for homemade pumpkin puree as well ๐Ÿ™‚ As for our cookbook, we’ve unfortunately had issues in the past with shipments to Mexico and had to remove it as an option to ship to. We self published everything, so we’re currently only selling on our site; however, if you’re interested in a digital copy, please email me at, and I’d be happy to send you more details ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. #
    Trish — November 30, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Amazing. Not too much pumpkin and not too much like cheesecake!

    • #
      Tessa — December 1, 2020 at 4:04 pm

      So glad you love this cheesecake recipe!

  4. #
    Amber — November 24, 2020 at 8:35 am

    I have light sour cream in my fridge. Iโ€™d it okay to use that for the recipe?

    • #
      Tessa — November 24, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      I would recommend regular sour cream if you can get it, but that should work!

  5. #
    Barbara — November 21, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Super light and totally delicious! I made it exactly as written with the minor change to ginger snaps for the crust and I poured salted caramel into the well in the middle where is sank slightly and then chilled. Oh, and I garnsished with sugared pecans. But all that was incidental to the basic recipe which is just perfect. Beat cream cheese well and add ingredients slowly and there are no lumps. I think the vigorous beating is one reason why it is so light. Perfect. Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2020 at 4:40 pm

      A gingersnap crust sounds delicious! I’m so glad you tried this recipe out.

  6. #
    Rainy — October 5, 2020 at 9:04 am

    Excellent creamy texture, pumpkinny but not excessively so for those who are moderate on pumpkin spice. A huge hit at my 14-person thankgiving dinner last night. I couldn’t find speculoos cookies, so I crushed up some maple sandwich cookies in the crust, and decorated the top with Stroopwaffels (a dutch wafer cookie) I definitely recommend using the linked recipe for homemade caramel – You’ll hve some left over to drizzle over your cappuccino or dip appples in!!

  7. #
    Molly — March 12, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    This was insanely delicious, fluffy, light but also rich, perfectly sweet, and just perfect for Thanksgiving. I guess itโ€™s been months since I made it, but I just remembered I never gave you the review you deserve! I canโ€™t say enough good things about this dessert. My dad is normally a vegan and makes an exception for my holiday desserts. He devoured this and said โ€œThis is GOOD. I canโ€™t believe how light and fluffy this is!โ€. It was the favorite dessert of the party (and one of the other desserts was made by a professional chef!). The hosts of the party wouldnโ€™t even let me bring the leftovers home, saying โ€œwe are eating that tomorrow! It was too good to give it back!โ€. Thanks for letting me be the star of the show with this amazing recipe!

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