I am a huge pumpkin pie fan and they make regular appearances in my kitchen from at least October through December. I am always looking for ways to put a spin on my Perfect Pumpkin Pie to keep things interesting – because when you try to serve people the same pie over and over again, sometimes they get a little bit bored no matter how good it is. This Two Layer Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake is one of my new favorite ways to enjoy pumpkin pie. It has a layer of vanilla cheesecake and is topped with a layer of pumpkin pie, so it delivers two desserts in one and it tastes every bit as delicious as it looks.
The cheesecake is actually very easy to assemble. The graham cracker crust is pressed firmly into the bottom of a springform pan and that is topped with the cream cheese mixture. The cheesecake is actually quite thick and firm. This helps it to stay on the bottom of the pan during baking, but you will need to spread it very carefully into an even layer on top of the graham cracker crust before pouring on the pumpkin pie mixture. The pumpkin pie layer is much thinner than the cheesecake layer, so you can pour it into place fairly easily (although you should pour slowly, just in case) without swirling the two layers together. It first bakes at a high temperature to set the fillings, than at a much lower temperature until the whole thing is set.
You can clearly see both layers when you slice into this with a sharp knife to serve it. The cheesecake is dense and creamy. The pumpkin pie filling is lighter and velvety. The two taste good on their own and blend together beautifully as you take each bite. The crust adds a little bit of crispness and texture, too.
You will need to cool this completely and chill it before serving, so it is best prepared a day or so before you intend to eat it. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days, but the cheesecake is so tasty that you probably won’t have to worry about leftovers hanging around any longer than that.
Two Layer Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
8 whole graham crackers
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp brown sugar
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pumpkin Pie Layer
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree)
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk (whole or low fat)
Preheat oven to 425F.
Make the crust: Whizz all ingredients together in a food processor until graham crackers are reduced to fine crumbs and the mixture resembles coarse sand. Should make approximately 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups of crumbs.
Transfer crumb mixture to 9-inch springform pan and press firmly into an even layer on the base of the pan. Set aside.
Make the cheesecake layer: In the bowl of a food processor or in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until all ingredients are well-combined and smooth. Spoon into prepared crust and spread carefully into an even layer. Set aside.
Make the pumpkin layer: In the bowl of a food processor or in a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt until smooth. Whisk in milk.
Pour slowly and carefully over the cheesecake layer.
Place pan in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes at 425F. Lower oven temperature to 350F and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the filling is set and jiggles only slightly when pan is gently tapped.
Allow to cool completely before serving or refrigerating. Refrigerate before serving.