Filed Under: Cheesecake | Dessert | Fall | Thanksgiving

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
October 17th, 2016
4.89 from 9 votes
4.89 from 9 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

4.89 from 9 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 325°F. 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 325°F.

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. #
    Mariana — October 17, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Oh I’ve never had pumpkin cheesecake before, it looks yummy! please consider making an international giveaway

    • #
      Tessa — October 17, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Thanks, Mariana!! I’m sorry you can’t participate in this giveaway, I wish it was easier to offer an international one! We’ll look into offering at least one international giveaway in this series 🙂

  2. #
    Lynette C — October 17, 2016 at 8:04 am

    This looks so so yummy. Oh how I love pumpkin everything and salted caramel. mmm mmm mmm!

    • #
      Tessa — October 17, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Such a great flavor combo, right?! <3

  3. #
    Karen — October 17, 2016 at 8:59 am

    This cheesecake looks great! I think I will make it soon, maybe for Thanksgiving!

    • #
      Tessa — October 17, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Thank you!! It would be perfect for Thanksgiving 🙂

  4. #
    Hope C. — October 17, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Wow, this salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake looks AMAZING! And I’m sure it is, too! Though I disappointed the KitchenAid giveaway is only limited to U.S. residents, which means I cannot participate. Oh, well. Either way, the recipe looks fantastic. 🙂

  5. #
    Ann VanWagner — October 17, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Entry into Kitchenaid Sweepstakes. Thank you!

  6. #
    Valerie Konow — October 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Looks yummy!

  7. #
    Valerie — October 17, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I can’t find where to enter for the giveaway, did I miss it?

  8. #
    Debbie Mc — October 17, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Salted Caramel AND cheesecake! Yum!

  9. #
    Jan R — October 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Love the giveaway…cheesecake looks yummy!

  10. #
    Linda @ 2 Cookin Mamas — October 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I love to bake cheesecake and actually leave mine in the oven for an hour so that the top doesn’t crack. I never thought to put salted caramel on top but can’t wait to try it – those pics are just making me drool. I can’t find where to enter the giveaway either???

  11. #
    Dorothea — October 17, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Awesome giveaway for the Kitchenaid Food Processor – but how do you enter? I couldn’t find any information beyond the instructions to “Enter Below”?

  12. #
    Dawn — October 17, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    My daughter says, “Make it now!”

  13. #
    Reesa — October 17, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    This looks delicious! I may be missing something but I see that salted caramel is listen in the ingredients for the filling but not in the instructions part. Is it used in the filling as well as the topping? Thanks!

  14. #
    June — October 17, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I would love to have a Kitchenaid Food Processor; I sure could use one. What a great giveaway. I mince up raisins for cookies, cakes.

  15. #
    Jill — October 17, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    This sure looks yummy. Perfect for Thanksgiving.

    How do I enter the giveaway for the Kitchen Aid Food Processor? I didn’t see anything in the post about how to enter.

  16. #
    Heather king — October 17, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Yum! Yum!

  17. #
    Norma Lyons — October 17, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Looking forward to baking and learning from your recipes and tips. Love cheesecake.

  18. #
    Loraine — October 17, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I can’t find the link for the KitchenAid give away 🙁 This recipe looks soooo good!! I know my granddaughter will love it!! Thank you for sharing it!!

  19. #
    Matthew — October 17, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Great recipe!!!

  20. #
    Margaret — October 17, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I love salted caramel and am excited to give this pumpkin recipe a try for the holidays.

  21. #
    Kelli — October 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Not sure if leaving a comment is what qualifies as an entry for the giveaway…but I LOVE my food processor!

  22. #
    Julia Swarner — October 17, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    great recipe!

  23. #
    Janice King — October 17, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Yummy! Just the name “salted caramel…” makes my mouth water!!!! Would love to win the Kitchen Aid food processor!

  24. #
    Terry — October 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Can’t wait to make the salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake. YUM!

  25. #
    Mimi — October 17, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I love pumpkin anything and can’t wait to try this!

  26. #
    Steph Prince — October 17, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    This is sure to be a crowd pleaser at Thanksgiving!

  27. #
    Gina Florencia — October 17, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    It looks amazing! Sure I’m going to try soon! Cheers..Gina F

  28. #
    dianna — October 17, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    how do i get in on the giveaway ? i looked for link. oh oh i love cheesecakes and pumpkin so this is a great combo ! going to make !! thank you for sharing your amazing talents

  29. #
    Jeannie Nathan — October 17, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I will be making this for Thanksgiving!

  30. #
    Ginger Lilly — October 17, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Will definitely have to try this recipe – please consider me entered for the food processor giveaway!!!!

  31. #
    Starla — October 17, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Goodness, that looks so delicious. I can’t believe that you made this homemade- I have never tried anything like this! LOL. Fingers crossed x0

  32. #
    Rupal R. — October 18, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I am excited to make this cheesecake as my baking season just had begun… 🙂

  33. #
    Caitlin — October 18, 2016 at 8:31 am

    I made your NY style cheesecake the other week and it was amazing! I’m looking forward to trying this recipe next. Any reason this cheesecake doesn’t keep for more than 3 days? I thought most cheesecakes were good in the fridge for much longer!

  34. #
    Marlene — October 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I wish my family liked pumpkin and cheesecake more, as this looks divine! I may have to make it anyway to convert them….I’d definitely use ginger snaps in the crust; I’ve done that with other recipes and it added a wonderful “zing.” My old Cuisinart food processor is on its last legs, so it would be great to replace it with this new one.

  35. #
    Kerry — October 18, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    I’m trying this. I always make something new with pumpkin every year for him. My daughter does not like pumpkin

  36. #
    Tara Gamble — October 21, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Yummy! I LOVE pumpkin AND cheesecake so putting them together will be amazing!

  37. #
    Diane @ Vintage Zest — October 23, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I had a homemade Pumpkin Cheesecake several years ago and have been wondering how to find/make one… Thanks for the recipe and the giveaway!

  38. #
    Patricia A Klatt — October 24, 2016 at 10:09 am

    This looks delicious ! Must give it a try soon!!

  39. #
    Crystal — October 24, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    I relish pumpkin cheesecake. Adding a salted caramel sauce sounds divine. A must try!

  40. #
    Sue — October 25, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Can’t wait to give this a whirl! (Using a Kitchen Aid food processor, of course!)

  41. #
    Lexi61 — November 1, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    This cheesecake looks wonderful. Think I’ll make it this Thanksgiving using a gingersnap cookie crust and topping it off with some whipped cream. Yummy 🙂

  42. #
    Sydney E — November 4, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve made cheesecake a couple of times before. Last year the one I made was a peppermint cheesecake. On top it wanted you to melt peppermint kisses and drizzle ontop. The only issue is the whole drizzle wanted to come off when you first cut into it. I hope to try this soon

  43. #
    Melissa — November 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    You list sour cream as part of the filling but not how much sour cream. I’m planning to make this for Thanksgiving sounds amazing!

  44. #
    Amand — November 20, 2016 at 10:54 am

    How much sour cream? Making for thanksgiving.

  45. #
    Casey — November 21, 2016 at 8:10 am

    I’m a bit confused on how much sour cream this recipe calls for. Is it 1/4 cup? Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — November 21, 2016 at 9:31 am

      Yes, 1/4 cup!

  46. #
    Michelle — November 21, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    I am beyond excited looking at this recipe for our Thanksgiving Holiday in a few days! I will be making the crust with Speculoos cookies, LOVE TRADER JOES!!! so beyond excited to see my family and to bring this desert will be one of the many joys. Thank you! I’ll let you know how it goes over.

  47. #
    Michelle — November 21, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    I am beyond excited looking at this recipe for our Thanksgiving Holiday in a few days! I will be making the crust with Speculoos cookies, LOVE TRADER JOES!!! so beyond excited to see my family and to bring this desert will be one of the many joys. Thank you! I’ll let you know how it goes over.

    • #
      Tessa — November 22, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Hope your family loves it!

  48. #
    Alissa — November 23, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Getting ready to make this for tomorrow. Can I use store bought Graham cracker crust that is already in a foil pan?

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2016 at 10:44 am

      Hi Alissa, that won’t quite work for cheesecake. It needs to be baked in a springform pan, which has more capacity and a removable bottom.

  49. #
    Sabira — November 24, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Just made this. So far so good, although I think I didn’t wait long enough for the cream cheese to get to room temperature, so there are a few flecks of cream cheese that didn’t mix in so well, even after baking. I used half graham crackers and half ginger snaps for the crust, so we’ll see this evening how delicious this is!

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and thanks for the recipe!

  50. #
    Jennie — November 24, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Well, its out of the oven and looking good. The homemade caramel sauce is amazing. Im hoping it will look as pretty as yours tonight! Thanks for the recipe.

  51. #
    Elizabeth — November 25, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was perfect- great job on the detailed instructions, photos and video! Sooo much better than traditional pumpkin pie. Loved the caramel sauce too. I originally mixed the cheesecake filling with a mixer (my food processor was too small) and also got the tiny lumps. However, I then mixed it in batches in the food processor and it smoothed it out. Loved it- thank you!

  52. #
    Jessica — November 22, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    If I use 2 cake pans instead of this pan you recommend how would that affect baking time?
    Mine still doesn’t seem done and it has already cracked from being in at 325 for an hour. 🙁 sad

  53. #
    Pam — November 24, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    So good! But, there is an error in the directions. It tells you to put the caramel in the cheesecake. Then it tells you to drizzle. Do Not put the caramel in the cheesecake!!

  54. #
    Larissa — November 27, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I made this for family and friends in the Netherlands where using pumpkin in desserts is not so common. They all loved it and were very surprised with the delicate taste! It’s really worth it to make your own Caramel, the tutorial makes it easy. The cheesecake is really big so small slices are perfect. Thank you for this awesome recopen.

  55. #
    Rosemary — October 14, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Baked this cheesecake this week. I saw someone’s note about not putting the salted caramel into the cheesecake; I think that might be incorrect. I added it and the cake was delicious. Should the cream cheese be room temperature? It might be helpful to add that to the recipe itself in the ingredients. Mine was cold and a chunk was left behind when I poured the batter. Otherwise, super easy to follow and delicious.

  56. #
    Rosemary — October 14, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Baked this cheesecake this week. I saw someone’s note about not putting the salted caramel into the cheesecake; I think that might be incorrect. I added it and the cake was delicious. Super easy to follow and delicious.

  57. #
    Taylor — December 19, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    How would the cooking time differ if I made this in a cupcake pan instead???

  58. #
    Cindy — September 22, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    My family loved this cheesecake. I had to promise to make it for Thanksgiving.

  59. #
    Jessica Fitzgibbons — November 19, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    I had way too much batter for the crust. I also threw away crust bc there was more then 1 & 3/4 Cup made.

  60. #
    Rachel Bruce — November 26, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Delicious! Been making this for about 3 years now every Thanksgiving!!

  61. #
    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 it’s been months since I made it, but I just remembered I never gave you the review you deserve! I can’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 “This is GOOD. I can’t believe how light and fluffy this is!”. 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 wouldn’t even let me bring the leftovers home, saying “we are eating that tomorrow! It was too good to give it back!”. Thanks for letting me be the star of the show with this amazing recipe!

  62. #
    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!!

  63. #
    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.

  64. #
    Amber — November 24, 2020 at 8:35 am

    I have light sour cream in my fridge. I’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!

  65. #
    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!

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