Autumn means pumpkin-flavored everything and cheesecake is no exception! Sure, the pumpkin adds a bit of nutrition, but traditional recipes typically include a combination of full-fat cream cheese, heavy cream and/or sour cream -- plus sugar, eggs, and a buttery graham cracker crust. Try our rescued Upside Down Pumpkin Cheesecake for a fall treat that creamy, fluffy, and nutritious! (Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe!)
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick melted butter
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 15-ounce can pureed pumpkin
- 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Crust: Substituted crushed gingersnap cookies for graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon and reduced to 1/2 cup crumbs. Reduced butter to 1 tablespoon. Used as a crumbly topping rather than a crust - you still get the flavor, plus topping adds texture and visual appeal. Reducing the overall amount of "crust" helps cut down on fat, sugar, and calories.
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened: Used 2 packages instead of 3; substituted 8 ounces of reduced-fat cream cheese (neufchatel) and 8 ounces of fat-free cream cheese.
- 15-ounce can pureed pumpkin
- 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk: Cut out extra yolk
- 1/4 cup sour cream: Eliminated
- 1 1/2 cups sugar: Reduced to 3/4 cup. In most recipes, you can cut the sugar in half without affecting the texture.
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice: Increased to 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) to bring out sweet flavor.
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour: Eliminated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract: Increased to 2 teaspoons to bring out sweet flavor.
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice: Add to bring out sweet flavor
Nutrition Facts Face-Off!
1 slice of pumpkin cheesecake (1/8 recipe)
Upside-Down Pumpkin Cheesecake (Printable PDF Version)
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- 8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 15 ounce can pureed 100% pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- ½ cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 8-9 cookies, crushed)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9" pie plate or prepare with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar using an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add pumpkin, vanilla, lemon juice, and pumpkin pie spice to bowl and mix until just combined.
- Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until each one is incorporated before adding the next egg.
- Pour cheesecake mixture into the prepared pie plate.
- To make topping, combine melted butter and gingersnap cookie crumbs in a small bowl. Mix with a fork until well-combined. Sprinkle evenly over top of cheesecake.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until almost set.* Allow to cool, then cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.
- The cheesecake is almost set when the center jiggles very slightly and the edges are slightly browned.
- To prevent the top of the cake from cracking, avoid overmixing the batter and avoid opening the oven during baking time.
- If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, substitute 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger, and ¼ teaspoon of ground allspice or cloves.
- If you prefer, substitute graham cracker crumbs for gingersnap cookie crumbs.
- Cut cheesecake into smaller slices if desired.
Nutrition Facts (1/8 cheesecake): Calories 270, Total Fat 10g (Saturated 6g), Cholesterol 100mg, Sodium 400mg, Total Carbohydrate 32g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 11g, Vitamin A 150% DV, Vitamin C 2% DV, Calcium 20% DV, Iron 6% DV
Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.