Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Combine pumpkin and ricotta cheese, plus the warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, and you have a delicious holiday dessert. This cheesecake has a fairly soft consistency and with the reduced amount of cream cheese also a lighter texture and taste. The sour cream topping adds just a touch of tanginess to offset the sweetness in the filling.

This recipe is modified from a recipe that was shared with me by San Francisco-based pastry chef and Top Chef alum Marisa Churchill. Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake is just one recipe from Marisa’s first and new book Sweet & Skinny: 100 Recipes for Enjoying Life’s Sweeter Side without tipping the Scales. Marisa’s version is indulgent on taste, not calories and fat. I have included the original version ingredients below.
Recipe type: Dessert | Cheesecake | Pumpkin
Serves: 10 to 12
Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 1 cup Graham Cracker crumbs (about 8 full graham cracker sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pumpkin-Ricotta Filling:
  • 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
Sour Cream Topping:
  • 1½ cups sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Garnish (optional):
  • Few pomegranate seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 9 inch round cheesecake pan or springform pan; use a pastry brush to lightly butter the pan with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
Graham Cracker Crust:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine Graham Cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Stir until thoroughly mixed and mixture is crumbly.
  2. Bake: Pour the graham cracker crumb mixture into the springform pan. Using the back of a large spoon or the flat bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass, press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly across the bottom of the pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet; bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool.
  3. When cooled, wrap bottom and sides of pan in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil to prepare for the bain marie water bath. The foil is to prevent any water from seeping into the cheesecake through the pan seams.
  4. Reduce oven to 325 degrees F.
Pumpkin-Ricotta Filling:
  1. In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar; mix on medium low speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly and there are no lumps.
  2. Add the ricotta cheese, sour cream, and vanilla; continue beating on medium low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt; stir to mix. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition; Tip: crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the cheese mixture. Stir in the pumpkin. Tip: Do not overbeat the cheesecake batter. Blend the ingredients quickly to add as few air bubbles as possible. The ingredients must be well blended, but excessive beating creates too many air pockets which can cause the cheesecake to puff up too much during baking, and then crack during the cooling process.
  4. Let the filling rest about 5 minutes to allow air bubbles to rise to the surface.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil to use for the bain marie water bath.
  6. Pour the cheesecake filling into the graham cracker crust.
  7. Bake: Set the foil wrapped springform pan in a larger pan or roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan, and close the oven door. Bake 60 to 70 minutes. Tip: The Cheesecake is done when the edges are set but the center 2 to 3 inches are still a pool of liquid batter. The cake should look as though it has puffed a little and just barely beginning to brown. The center will still be soft and jiggly when the pan is lightly jarred or tapped with a spoon.
  8. Remove from oven, place springform pan on a wire cooling rack to cool. Immediately run a thin knife around the edge of the pan, gently pressing into the side of the pan to avoid gouging the cake. This allows the cake to contract away from the sides of the pan as it cools, helping to prevent cracks.
Sour Cream Topping:
  1. Add the sour cream topping after the cheesecake has been removed from the oven and cooled for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Carefully spread it evenly over the surface of the cheesecake.
  4. Bake: Return cheesecake to the oven, Bake for 5 minutes to set the topping. Remove from oven, and place on a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
  5. When cheesecake is completely cooled, cover the pan and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours before serving. Try to avoid having the covering touch the top of the cheesecake as this may mar the surface.
Garnish (optional):
  1. When ready to serve, garnish the top of the cheesecake, and individual slices, with a few pomegranate seeds.
Inspired from: Churchill, Marisa, Sweet & Skinny: 100 Recipes for Enjoying Life’s Sweeter Side without tipping the Scales, Clarkson Potter, New York, 2011Original Version: Graham Cracker Crust: 6 ounces honey graham crackers (about 10), 2 tablespoons 1% or 2% milk. Filling: 8 ounces (1 cup) reduced fat cream cheese, 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Truvia natural sweetener spoonable (or 20 packets), ⅓ cup nonfat sour cream, 2 large eggs, 2 large egg whites, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ⅔ cup canned pumpkin puree, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced-fat ricotta cheese.
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 9" Round Springform Pan Prep: Buttered Starting Oven Temp: 350° Method: bain marie Storage: Cover and Refrigerate

Help: Cheesecake Hints and Tips

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Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/cheesecake/pumpkin-ricotta-cheesecake/