It’s fall again — my favorite season! Autumn should not go by without indulging in a little pumpkin, even when you’re trying to follow a keto diet. If you ask me, keto pumpkin cheesecake is the best way to get your pumpkin fix!
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Pumpkin isn’t exactly low-carb, I know, but at least the carbs are highly nutritious and full of good fiber! This amazing cheesecake is just as rich as its sugar and gluten-filled counterparts! But this dessert is definitely something you want to save for special occasions.
My oldest daughter wanted to serve cheesecake at her wedding a couple of months ago. I started shopping around and learned that JUST the cheesecake would cost over a thousand dollars. Costco had inexpensive plain cheesecakes, but we wanted ALL the fancy varieties, like the dessert menu at the Cheesecake Factory.
I’d made a few cheesecakes over the years, and they were pretty easy. So I decided to undertake the cheesecake-making myself. I figured I could make 2 per day for a couple of weeks and freeze them all. Cheesecake freezes like a dream — it’s seriously SO easy!
I started looking at recipes for different cheesecake varieties and noticed that all of the recipes were essentially the same, just with different combinations of flavorings and add-ins.
From there it was easy to create a huge cheesecake buffet. What’s more, it was easy to create a couple of keto cheesecakes that I could eat!
I’ve eaten mostly keto for the last five years, since I was diagnosed with Hashimotos, an autoimmune thyroid disease.
The method I use for making keto pumpkin cheesecake is exactly the same as when I make a regular cheesecake, so the result tastes authentic. The sweetener and crust are the only differences. I omit the crust from any cheesecake I make myself. And I use an almond flour (gluten-free) crust when I make a cheesecake for a special gluten-free occasion.
You can use any natural sweetener you like. Steer clear of artificial sweeteners, though. They are really bad for you!
I used stevia in this recipe. Keep in mind that stevia is sweeter than sugar, so if you use a different sweetener, you will use more. (EDITED TO ADD: I no longer use Stevia in the Raw. It has some nasty ingredients. I now use Pyure, which is also a 2:1 sweetener and much better for you.)
This keto pumpkin cheesecake has two layers — the bottom of plain cheesecake and the top of pumpkin cheesecake. I do it that way because I really love cheesecake, and frequently pumpkin cheesecakes that I purchase are lacking in the cheesecake and overwhelmed by the pumpkin and spices. This way, I get my cheesecake fix and I get my pumpkin cheesecake, too!
Oh, and I have to tell you that when I make the non-keto version of this, I make the crust with gingersnaps. Yum! I’m not ambitious enough to make keto gingersnaps AND keto pumpkin cheesecake, so I usually just omit the crust, or I make an almond crust.
Enough talking, let’s get down to business and make this cheesecake!
Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake
1. Prepare your springform pan by lining it with parchment paper. The recipe below will fill a 10″ springform pan right to the top. I like my cheesecake tall because tall cheesecakes look prettier and you get more filling!
2. Gluten-free cheesecake crust (I usually omit the crust altogether)
Pulse together in your food processor:
- 2 c. Blanched almond flour
- 1/2 c. melted butter
- 2 T. powdered stevia
Press mixture into the bottom of your prepared springform pan.
3. Sugar-free cheesecake filling
Blend together using the medium setting on your food processor (don’t overmix for the best texture):
- 40 oz. room-temperature cream cheese (if it’s cold, it won’t blend will and your cheesecake will be lumpy)
- 1 c. Pyure (I used Stevia in the Raw because it was all I had, but it’s full of maltodextrin — blech! Pyure is a combination of organic stevia and erythritol. It’s a 2:1 sweetener and it’s my favorite. Swerve is a combination of erythritol and oligosaccharides and is a 1:1 sweetener. So if you use Swerve, you will use 2 cups instead of 1. I prefer Pyure because the non-digestible fibers bother my stomach, but some people claim that the stevia in Pyure leaves an aftertaste. If it does, it doesn’t bother me. I use Pyure in everything because it tastes the best to me and because it’s cheaper since you only use half as much.)
- 5 eggs
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 2 T. vanilla extract
- dash salt
Pour half of this mixture into the crust, or directly into your prepared springform pan if you’re omitting the crust. Then add the following ingredients to the remaining filling and blend again:
- 15 oz pumpkin. Use canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, just plain pumpkin) or cook and puree your own.
- 1 T. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. cloves
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling into your springform pan, on top of the plain cheesecake filling. You can use a butter knife to swirl the two fillings together, or leave them in layers, like I did.
4. Bake at 320 F for 55-60 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is almost set but still jiggly. I place a glass baking dish full of water in the oven with my cheesecakes, to keep the humidity in the oven high. But I never place the springform pan inside the water dish, like some recipes say to. Do not overcook? Overcooking the cheesecake will cause it to crack, and to have a more dry and crumbly texture.
5. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool on the countertop. As it cools the top will sink a little and the edges will pull back from the springform pan. Wait to remove the springform edge until the cheesecake has completely cooled. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
6. Serve with whipped heavy cream, sweetened with a dash of powdered Swerve. Garnish with a single shake of nutmeg or drizzle with a sugar-free caramel sauce.
Try serving it to some friends that don’t eat keto or particularly care about nutrition. I’ll bet they won’t be able to tell the difference!
Cheesecake freezes really well! Just make sure it is completely cooled, then place in the freezer (ungarnished) for about 1/2 hour to firm it up. Wrap in two layers of plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil.
When you’re ready to use the frozen cheesecake, move it from the freezer to the fridge at least 4 hours before serving time. Let it thaw in the fridge for 3.5 hours, then move the cheesecake to the countertop for a half hour. The flavors are best only slightly chilled.
If you, like me, are the only keto member of your family, you can make these into individual cheesecakes using a muffin tin. That way it’s easier to freeze and thaw single portions.
Or you can slice the cheesecake into individual portions before you freeze it. Just cut parchment papers into squares and wrap the squares around your knife-blade as you cut, leaving the parchment paper behind when you remove the knife, so you can easily remove individual slices, one at a time, from your frozen cheesecake.
I love that with this keto pumpkin cheesecake, I can have a decadent treat on hand anytime.
And here’s a photo of another keto pumpkin cheesecake I made at the same time, but with a keto crust.