Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon-Sour Cream Topping

I hope you are all having a great time with your friends and families. I hope you have much to be thankful for. I know I do. I have amazing friends and family all across the country. I have a great job that I love. I’m healthy and I have my entire future ahead of me. Anything I want, I can go for it. It’s all up to me. What a liberating feeling…

I’ve also got this cheesecake. Oh yum! This is definitely one to be thankful for. It’s rich, delicious, pumpkiny, bourbony, and beautiful. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as the pumpkin lovers in my family will. (Can you believe there are even people who don’t like pumpkin?!?)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon-Sour Cream Topping
adapted from epicurious.com, originally in “Gourmet” magazine, November 1990
printer-friendly recipe


For the crust:
3/4 c. crushed gingersnaps (about 20 cookies)
1/4 c. pecans, chopped as finely as possible
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 TBSP bourbon (may be omitted…but it won’t taste as good!)

For the filling:
1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly-grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, cut into bits and softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 TBSP heavy cream
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 TBSP bourbon (can be omitted…see warning above)

For the topping:
2 c. sour cream
2 TBSP granulated sugar
1 TBSP bourbon liqueur or bourbon, or to taste
16 pecan halves, for garnish


Make the crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Process gingersnaps and pecans in food processor or chop as finely as possible with a sharp knife.

3. In a bowl combine the gingersnaps, pecans, brown sugar, butter, and bourbon.

4. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a buttered 9-inch springform pan. Chill the crust for 1 hour. Bake for five minutes.

Make the filling:
1. In a bowl whisk together the pumpkin, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and brown sugar.

2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and granulated sugar.

3. Beat in the cream, cornstarch, vanilla, bourbon, and pumpkin mixture. Beat the filling until smooth.

4. Pour the filling into the crust.

5. Wrap the springform pan with two layers of aluminum foil. Place in the center of a raosting pan and fill roasting pan with hot water until about 1 in. deep.

6. Bake the cheesecake in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven for 55 minutes, or until the center is just set, and let it cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes.

Make the topping:

1. In a bowl whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and bourbon.

2. Spread the sour cream mixture over the top of the cheesecake and bake the cheesecake for 5 more minutes. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for two hours, if possible. If not, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and let cool, covered, overnight.

3. Remove the side of the pan and garnish the top of the cheesecake with the pecans halves. Sprinkle each plate with chopped pecans, if desired.

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  1. Anonymous
    December 1, 2008 / 2:35 pm

    I’m drooling and dying all at the same time. I MUST have this NOW!

  2. Joelen
    December 1, 2008 / 3:36 pm

    That’s got to be the most beautiful pumpkin cheesecake I’ve ever seen! I love the whole pecans on top… and it looks ridiculously delicious!

  3. Caution:Lil' Sis in the Kitchen
    December 1, 2008 / 7:03 pm


  4. Tiffany and Ganesh
    December 2, 2008 / 5:40 am

    oh wow, this looks amazing!! you totally put my cheesecake to shame. lol!

  5. ~Amber~
    December 3, 2008 / 3:10 pm

    Wow, this looks amazingly decadent!

  6. Snooky doodle
    December 7, 2008 / 1:49 pm

    this cheesecake looks so so good !!!

  7. bridget {bake at 350}
    February 4, 2010 / 11:35 pm

    Oh gosh…that is GORGEOUS! I saw your comment, and yes, you did exactly right! Just link away…no need to sign up or anything. You can also grab the logo and/or just link back in your post so everyone can see all of the recipes! Thank you!

  8. Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny
    September 30, 2011 / 7:49 pm

    This cake is gorgeous and looks so delicious! 🙂

  9. Rachel
    November 23, 2020 / 1:39 am

    How far in advance can I make this for thanksgiving? 1 day? 2 days? And how should I store it. Thank you!

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