If you are looking to serve something other than pie on your table this holiday season, look no further. This Smoked Pumpkin Cheesecake on the Big Green Egg has all the comforts of a classic Thanksgiving dessert with the elevated twist of smoking it.
Smoking is not just the method of cooking; it is also a seasoning. Smoke contributes layers of flavors by adding acidity and complex flavor compounds that vary by type of wood chosen. This gives us grillers a world of flavor to play with. By the way, if you have the Big Green Egg’s turkey roasting pan, it’s the perfect size for smoking the Smoked Pumpkin Cheesecake in a water bath and will fit in an XL Big Green Egg.
By smoking our pumpkin cheesecake, we add acidity that balances out sweetness and leaves you with a dessert you keep going back for more of. For an added layer of smoke, you can roast the pumpkin on your grill beforehand.
This recipe calls for graham cracker or ginger snap crust but we prefer the ginger snap for that extra kick. Either one works- choose what makes you happy!
Note: Even if you don’t plan to smoke your cheese cake, this recipe can be made in the oven. However, the smoke flavor really takes this recipe to the next level!
- 3 cups crushed graham crackers, gingersnaps, or a combo!
- 8 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar *
- 1 ½ lbs. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup plus 3 tbsp. granulated sugar*
- 8 oz. sour cream OR plain Greek yogurt
- 8 oz. pumpkin puree (check out our smoked pumpkin recipe!)**
- 3 large eggs
- ½ tbsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour***
Smoking wood chunk options: Maple, cherry, oak, pecan, or a combo of them is best for a subtle some flavor.
*You may use monk fruit sweetener instead for a sugar-free version! Did you know monk fruit is a 1:1 replacement? Meaning when you use it in sugar’s place, the same amount goes in the recipe, so no need to break out the calculator for tricky conversions!
** Is pumpkin not your thing, not in stock, or something you’re allergic to? No problem, you can roast sweet potatoes, blend them smooth with 2 tbsp. to ¼ cup of your favorite dairy (or non) product OR oil and use 8 oz. of the sweet potato puree instead.
***Have no fear gluten-free friends, you can sub the all-purpose flour for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free flour, oat flour or fine almond flour.
- Add the graham crackers/ginger snaps and sugar into a food processor and pulse until it is a crumb consistency. If you do not have a food processor, place the graham crackers/ginger snaps into a baggie and crush them with a rolling pin or meat mallet.
- Pour in the melted butter, pulsing until combined. It should be a wet sand consistency.
- Take the bottom out of the springform pan and place it onto a piece of parchment paper. Next, use a knife and cut out a piece just large enough to line the pan.
- Reassemble the springform pan, spray it with non-stick oil, and place the parchment on the bottom. This will make it easy to remove the cheesecake from the pan without ruining the crust.
- Press the crust mixture into the pan evenly.
- Bake at 325 F for 10 minutes
- Allow crust to cool prior to filling
- Place the cream cheese, sugar, salt and extract in a large bowl or in a food processor. Mix until it is smooth and creamy.
- Use a rubber spatula and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then stir in the pumpkin.
- Combine the eggs to the mixture one at a time. This is important to get the perfect fluffy texture.
- Fold in the flour.
- Pour the batter into the springform/crust.
- Using heavy duty foil, cover the bottom of the pan, being sure to have no cracks so water cannot break through.
- Place the pan for your water bath on the Big Green Egg, put your cheesecake in the center, and then slowly pour the water in, being sure to not get any into the cheesecake or it will not set properly. The key to a perfectly smooth cheesecake is cooking in a water bath, without one the top browns and cracks.
- If you happen to have the Big Green Egg’s turkey roasting pan, it fits both a 9-inch springform and on an XL Big Green Egg.
- Bake at 300 F for 60 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake and water bath from the grill and allow it to sit on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour to slowly drop in temperature
- Cool for at least three hours, but ideally overnight.
- Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!
Thank you, Taylor, for sharing this incredible Smoked Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe for the Big Green Egg! Want more Big Green Egg recipes? Check out the posts below: