Nothing quite embodies the flavor of fall like pumpkin and pecan. This gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake has been a hit in my house and with my gluten-eating friends.
Our gluten-free cheesecake recipe will be the star of any office potluck, Halloween party, or Thanksgiving get-together. Why? The bright orange color, the creamy mouth feel, and the most delicious gluten-free graham cracker crust!
Keep reading to learn how to make our delicious, share-worthy, celiac-safe, gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake.
The Best Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust
We are tired of seeing gluten-free “crustless” cheesecakes and pies. Those with gluten-free needs deserve a delicious crust too!
So we made a quick, easy-to-recreate graham cracker crust with a box of Schar gluten-free graham crackers, pecans, and a little bit of oil. This nutty crust completely transforms the dessert!
Our crust recipe could also be used on its own to create a crust for other cheesecake or pie recipes so save this for later.
What You Need
For the crust:
- Schar Honeygrams
- Whole pecans
- Oil (we used vegetable oil
For the cheesecake:
- Cream cheese
- Canned Pumpkin
- Brown sugar
- Pumpkin spice
Pecans: If you do not have pecans on hand the crust recipe is also delicious with walnuts. If you are allergic to nuts you can leave them out! This will get rid of the nutty taste in the crust and make it slightly thinner. But it will not change the consistency of the crust.
Cream Cheese: If you follow a dairy-free diet, we would recommend using dairy-free cream cheese. We have not tried the recipe with non-dairy cream cheese or fat-free cream cheese so we are unsure how this may impact the consistency of the recipe.
Graham Crackers: If you cannot locate Schar gluten-free graham crackers you could also try blending gluten-free cookies or ginger snaps such as Tate’s Gluten-Free Ginger Zinger cookies. A stiff textured gluten-free sugar cookie could also work!
What You Need
For this recipe, you need access to an oven, an 8×8 baking dish, and an additional large glass measuring cup or another large oven-safe dish to place in the oven below the cheesecake.
Having a large dish filled with water sitting on the rack below the cheesecake while it bakes prevents the gluten-free cheesecake from cracking. It also ensures you end up with a moist, creamy textured dessert!
You also need a blender or hand mixer.
How To Make
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter or oil your 8×8 baking pan. Make sure your cream cheese is sitting on the counter. We want it soft when you need to use it!
- Start working on the crust. Blend the graham crackers, pecans, and oil in the food processor.
3. Press the crust mixture into a flat layer in the 8×8 baking pan.
4. Combine the pumpkin, cream cheese, vanilla, brown sugar, and spices in a large bowl and use a hand mixer to blend. If you do not have a hand mixer you can use a counter blender (we did)!
5. Blend on low until ingredients are combined and the mixture is pudding thick.
6. Pour the cheesecake filling over top of the graham cracker crust.
7. Add your water dish to the oven on the baking tray below your cheesecake. Bake for 30 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely on the counter. We recommend letting them sit in the fridge covered in the 8×8 baking dish with a cloth or foil for 4-6 hours before serving. For firmer bars, store in the freezer for 4 hours and let thaw for about 20 minutes before serving.
9. Top with whipped cream before serving and enjoy!
Softening Cream Cheese
Our recipe requires softened room-temperature cream cheese. It can take 20-30 minutes to soften on the counter. If you are in a hurry and haven’t started the process of softening your cream cheese to room temperature try the following:
- Keep cream cheese in foil and place in a ziplock bag
- Remove air from the bag and seal it completely
- Place the bag in a bowl of warm water
- Submerge the cream cheese in the warm water for 10 minutes or until soft
- Wait until the cheesecake is cooled before placing it in the fridge
- For the next 4-6 hours place the cheesecake in the fridge covered with a cloth (prevents cracking)
- Move bars to a sealed container and store for 3-4 days in the fridge
- If storing in the freezer we recommend consuming within 2 months
Perfect for Sharing
We recommend waiting until your gluten-free cheesecake has hardened in the freezer or fridge before cutting.
For larger gluten-free cheesecake bars cut your 8×8 pan of pumpkin goodness into 9 bars. For smaller, shareable cheesecake bars, slice them into 12 bars.
We recommend serving with a dollop of cool whip or whipped cream. Check out our post “Is Cool Whip Gluten-Free?” to see if cool whip is safe for your gluten-free diet.
Check out the Recipe!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Blender or Hand Mixer
- Food Processor or Blender
- 8 x 8 glass baking dish
For the crust:
- 1 5.6 oz box Schar Honeygrams
- ⅔ cup whole pecans
- 2 tsbp vegetable oil
For the cheesecake:
- 8 oz softened, full fat cream cheese
- 15 oz can of pumpkin
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp pumpkin spice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter or oil your 8×8 baking pan.
- Blend the graham crackers, pecans, and 3 tablespoons of oil in the food processor to form the crust. Blend until sand like.
- Press the crust mixture in a flat layer in the 8×8 baking pan.
- Combine the pumpkin, cream cheese, vanilla, brown sugar, and spices into a large bowl and use a hand mixer to blend. If you do not have a hand mixer you can toss the ingredients into a blender.
- Blend on low until ingredients are completely combined and the consistency of pudding.
- Pour the cheesecake filling over top of the graham cracker crust.
- Add your water dish to the oven on the baking tray below your cheesecake. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool completely on the counter.
- We recommend letting them sit in the fridge covered in the 8×8 baking dish with a cloth or foil for 4-6 hours before serving. For firmer bars, store in the freezer for 4 hours and let thaw for about 20 minutes before serving.
- Top with whipped cream or cool whip before serving and enjoy!