Delicious No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake is an easy make-ahead dessert that requires very little effort. A thick cinnamon graham cracker crust surrounds a light pumpkin cheesecake filling that’s topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
Pumpkin Cheesecake without all the fuss!
Throughout the craziness of the holiday season, I am always looking for short cuts or ways to prepare dishes ahead of time. And No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake is both — a short-cut dessert and it can be prepared in advance.
This cheesecake is so much easier to make than a regular cheesecake. In fact, there isn’t even any baking required! Because it’s a frozen dessert, that means it can be made and stored in the freezer for days before serving.
There’s no stove-top, no oven, no 20 dirty dishes to bother with– just one bowl, blender (or food processor) and a hand mixer are needed!
Cinnamon graham cracker crust
The base for No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake is a graham cracker crust. But we add a little flavor twist — we’re using cinnamon graham crackers!
A few quick tips
- Make sure the graham crackers are completely broken down. Large chunks will make the crust difficult to cut and serve properly.
- Let the melted butter cool a bit first. Don’t add hot melted butter to the graham crackers and sugar; it will melt the sugar and make for a greasier crust.
- Press the crust down firmly. I like to use the bottom of a metal 1-cup measuring cup to evenly press the crust down and barely up the sides of the pan.
- Line the pan for easy removal. This helps the cheesecake slices come up easier and look better.
How to make No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
The descriptions below correlate with the photos above
- Add room-temperature cream cheese. Add to a large bowl.
- Beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy — this shouldn’t take long with room temperature cream cheese.
- Mix in the canned pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and fine sea salt. (The salt balances the sweetness and intensifies the flavors.) Here’s where the spices can be increased if desired. I’d say this is a fairly mild pumpkin cheesecake so feel free to add in some additional pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon if you like.
- Beat the ingredients until combined and smooth.
- Pour in the sweetened condensed milk. I recommend Eagle Brand® for my No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake (not sponsored).
- Beat well, until evenly combined with the other ingredients.
- Here’s how the cheesecake will look with everything but the whipped cream in it.
- Gently fold in whipped cream: I use Cool Whip® to keep things fast and easy, but feel free to use 2 cups whipped heavy cream in place of the Cool Whip (how to make whipped cream tutorial). Make sure to thoroughly fold–not stir— the cool whip into the mixture — this takes a little bit of patience.
- Transfer to the prepared crust: pour everything into the prepared crust and smooth it.
- And now it’s all just about the waiting game: at least 8 hours in the freezer and this cheesecake will be ready to eat!
No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake tips
- Allow the cream cheese time to come to room temperature: if you use cold cream cheese or try and microwave it, you will end up with unpleasant chunks in your no bake pumpkin cheesecake. Give it at least an hour sitting at room temperature (or in a warm environment).
- Allow plenty of time for the filling to set up. The filling takes a good 8 hours to be completely firm and frozen; don’t try to rush this. Also, make sure you return any leftover No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake promptly to the freezer. This cheesecake begins softening very quickly at room temperature.
- Cover cheesecake tightly in the freezer with plastic wrap and then foil to avoid freezer burn.
- Use a sharp knife for cutting slices. I like to run the knife under hot water, quickly dry it off, and then make a cut. Repeat for each cut; this cheesecake is sticky and firm! Everyone should have some good knives for times like this. (Here are my favorite knives.)
- Go with full-fat products. Reduced-fat cream cheese and low-fat/sugar-free/fat-free Cool Whip will cause a wet and melty cheesecake that might not set up properly; I don’t recommend any of these ingredients.
More delicious pumpkin recipes
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars reader favorite!
- Pumpkin Bread perfectly spiced and moist!
- The BEST Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Pumpkin Cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting!
- Streusel topped and glazed Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Delicious No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake is an easy make-ahead dessert that requires very little effort. A thick cinnamon graham cracker crust surrounds a light pumpkin cheesecake filling that's topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
- 1 and 1/4 cups (116g) crushed cinnamon graham crackers (about 9 full crackers)
- 1/4 cup (49g) light brown sugar, packed
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 package (8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling and only one cup-not the entire can.)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 can (14 ounces) full-fat sweetened condensed milk
- 1 container (8 ounces) full-fat frozen whipped topping, thawed (like Cool Whip)
CRUST: In a blender or food processor, add the graham crackers and process/blend until the crackers are all crumbs. Empty the crumbs into a medium-sized bowl and stir in the brown sugar and melted butter. Spray a 9-inch spring-form pan or pie dish with non-stick spray. Press crust mixture firmly into the prepared pie plate and partially up the sides. Use the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup to press down the crust firmly. Cover and place in the freezer while preparing the filling.
FILLING: Add the room-temperature cream cheese in the bowl and beat for about 45 seconds or until creamy. Add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Beat until combined and smooth.
FILLING CONT.: Add in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until the mixture is completely combined and smooth. Make sure to scrape the edges of your bowl with a spatula. Fold in the whipped topping until just combined. Be careful to not over mix the whipped topping, but ensure it's well combined with the other filling ingredients.
FREEZE: Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared crust and cover the pie with plastic wrap and then tightly with foil (to avoid freezer burn). Freeze overnight or for 6-8 hours, until solid and firm.
SERVE: When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from the freezer and cut into slices with a sharp knife. See Note 1. If desired, garnish individual slices with whipped cream and crushed graham crackers or a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
LEFTOVERS: Cover any leftovers tightly and return promptly to the freezer.
Note 1: Run a sharp knife under hot water, quickly dry it off, and then make a cut. Repeat for each cut; this cheesecake is sticky and firm!