Want to be an overachiever this Thanksgiving? Cook up a Smoked Pumpkin Cheesecake on the grill! Not only will you bring a pie to the table that adds complex flavors to the dessert, but isn’t it so much better to tell people you made it yourself? This smoked cheesecake recipe will beat any store-bought pie.
All nostalgic recipes have personal touches to it. For me, I make my Smoked Pumpkin Cheesecake crust with half graham crackers and half gingersnap cookies. If you want to take this already incredible Smoked Pumpkin Cheesecake to the next level, you can roast your pumpkins on the grill beforehand to make your very own pumpkin puree.
One of the best parts of any cheesecake, Smoked Pumpkin Cheesecake included, is that crust. If you want your crust to come all the way up to the top of the pan, I recommend you double this recipe. If you’re good with the crust coming up 1.5 inches in the pan, use the recipe below. If you’re planning on gifting this cheesecake, cut a piece of parchment paper to place at the bottom of the pan so that it will come up nicely for presentation.
About this smoked pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust:
Smoking desserts adds such great smoke flavor that really enhances your recipe, and if you love to grill, why not bake on the grill? In order to make this amazing cheesecake on a traditional gas or charcoal grill, the main thing to know is that you need to create direct and indirect zones. If you don’t know how to do this, I recommend you watch my Grill School Videos (please don’t forget to subscribe!) on how to do this. Essentially, you need to create a baking environment for your grill, which means you are baking this cheesecake using ambient heat, ie, not directly over the coals or flame. By creating direct and indirect zones, you essentially create a “broil” zone- ie, over the coals/gas and the “baking” or the smoking/indirect zone- where there is no gas/charcoal.
Baking on a Pellet Smoker:
Pellet Smokers throw the whole need for using zones out the window because they pretty much eliminate any fire management from the equation. Using a pellet smoker is very much like having an outdoor oven that infuses everything you cook with smoke flavor. There are no zones in pellet smokers because all you need to do is set the grill to your desired temperature. That’s it. So, the easiest way to make a smoked cheesecake is of course going to be on a Pellet Smoker. To make this smoked cheesecake on your pellet smoker, all you have to do is turn it to the correct temperature!
For instructions on how to make this smoked pumpkin cheesecake recipe on the Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe or other style Kamado grills or smokers, check out my Smoked Pumpkin Cheesecake on the Big Green Egg Recipe.Print
- 3 cups crushed graham crackers, ginger snaps, 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 can 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 sugars 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.
- The key to a perfectly smooth cheesecake is cooking in a water bath, without one the top browns and cracks. Place the pan for your water bath on the grill, 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.
- Bake at 300 F for 60 minutes on your smoker on the indirect side (see instructions below on how to set up direct and indirect zones on the grill for baking).
- 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!
This recipe can be made in the oven but it will not have the smoky flavor!
- Category: desserts, cheesecake, baked goods, pumpkin cheesecake
- Method: baked, smoked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: smoked cheesecake, pumkin cheesecake recipe, smoked pumpkin cheesecake recipe, pumpkin cheesecake gingersnap crust, pumpkin cheesecake recipe, recipe for pumpkin cheesecake
Thank you so much Taylor for sharing your recipe for delicious Smoked Pumpkin Cheesecake! If you’ve got a hankering for more pumpkin recipes, check out the posts below: