Pumpkin Cheesecake with Walnuts and Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Plain pumpkin pie not your thing? Try this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Walnuts and Bourbon Caramel Sauce and I promise pumpkin will take on new meaning!

Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? NO? Me either. How does it always come down to this hectic frenzy right before holidays when I think I’m a planner?

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Well, for me, it has not helped one tiny bit that a local web host has decided to go out of business and he hosts several of my web clients. Especially when I had this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Walnuts and Bourbon Caramel Sauce planned!

We have another 7 days before he’s gone and I’ve still got 4 sites to finishing transferring to WordPress, a totally new environment.

I would love to drink to drown my sorrows but I think the best I can do right now is indulge in some sweets to deal with the stress. And how prophetic that this months Progressive Eats event is aptly titled ‘Great Holiday Desserts?’

Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

My choice for this sweets extravaganza was to go pumpkin with this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Walnuts and Bourbon Caramel Sauce. Weirdly late huh? Me, of the ‘oh stop with the pumpkin’ attitude is now, finally ready to get onboard. With some REAL pumpkin.

I discovered the most amazing pumpkins last year, a variety called Cinderella and they are a double whammy winner. Gorgeous in appearance but also the best tasting pumpkin I’ve ever had; I think even better than the more renown Sugar Pumpkin.

Baking Cinderella pumpkins for Puree

Have you ever harvested a fresh pumpkin for your fall pumpkin needs? For most of my life I just bought a pumpkin, carved it with my kids and then pitched it.

Since our carving pumpkin years are over, I now buy baking pumpkins to sit outside through Halloween and then bring them in and make them into pumpkin puree to freeze for later. In this case, much later…this puree was from last year! Still, it’s so easy and the results are so superior to canned product.

Simply clean your pumpkin of all seeds and strings, rub with some vegetable oil and bake at 350 degrees until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork. Scrape the pumpkin flesh from the outer shell and puree it using a blender or food processor.

I like to simmer mine for a bit on the stove to cook out some of the water but that can also be done after they’re thawed too. My FoodSaver is my champion once they’re cooked; I put 15 oz into each one; the same as the amount that comes in the cans. So easy and so good; try it!

Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

This was really a pretty easy dessert. I had some gingersnaps in the pantry and pumpkin in the fridge so that combination sort of spoke to me. I put walnuts into the crust as well on on top of the pie; I called it ‘with’ walnuts so thought I had better deliver.

Substitute pecans too if you want but when toasted, walnuts take on such a different taste and I love them more. I also made a bourbon caramel sauce using this recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce.

I simply substituted some of the cream with bourbon; to taste. I did a quarter cup and we loved it but use from 2-4 Tablespoons to get a nice flavor without overpowering it with booze.

I hope you will take the time to visit my friends who are participating in this months Progressive Eats; I know you will find some amazing recipes that we hope you can use during your holiday festivities.


Welcome to another edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

Great Holiday Desserts




Pies and Tarts

PIN IT! ‘Pumpkin Cheesecake with Walnuts and Bourbon Caramel Sauce’

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Walnuts and Bourbon Caramel Sauce

A rich and delicious dessert that makes regular pumpkin pie seem boring…this is extravagant and worth of a celebration!
5 average from less than 50 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 550 kcal


For the Gingersnap Crust

  • 1 ½ cups gingersnap cookies
  • 6 Tbsp melted butter
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 6 Tbsp sugar

For the Filling

  • 24 oz 3 packages cream cheese; room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 15 oz pumpkin fresh or canned
  • 2 Tbsp. bourbon
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

For Garnish:

  • 1 cup toasted walnut or pecan pieces
  • Whipping cream


  • To Make the Crust
  • Mix together all ingredients in a bowl or in a processor. Pat into a 9 inch springform pan; covering both the bottom and about 1 inch on the sides.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes Remove from oven and cool completely.
  • To Make the Cheesecake
  • reheat oven to 325 degrees (or turn it down if baking crust and cheesecake in succession).
  • Put the cream cheese and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated; add the pumpkin and the bourbon and beat to combine.
  • Combine the flour and pumpkin pie spice and whisk together. Add to the filling and beat gently until smooth.
  • Pour the filling into the cooled crust.Do not overfill; leave about 1/2 to 3/4 top space. I had a bit of extra filling so just baked it in a ramekin for ‘testing.’
  • Put the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until it looks set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out wet but clean.
  • Turn the heat off, crack the oven door about 4 or 5 inches. Leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door cracked open for an additional 30 minutes. This should help prevent any cracks but with this dessert it’s not really an issue since the top is being covered with toasted walnuts, whipped cream and caramel. What cracks?
  • Remove from the oven to cool completely. Once cooled, put into the refrigerator until time to serve.
  • Fill the top with toasted walnuts and top with whipped cream.
  • Drizzle the whipped cream with caramel sauce – salted, bourbon or otherwise!


Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Walnuts and Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Serving Size
1 Slice
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword cheesecake, holiday, pumpkin
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    1. It was absolutely perfect Laura…so I have to give some credit to the fresh pumpkin. I loved that it was light on the pumpkin flavor; we enjoyed this WAY more than pumpkin pie!

  1. I’m one to carve and toss a pumpkin too. This cheesecake may just change that! I’m sorry you are having to deal with such a hectic business schedule at this time of year. Hoping you get all your clients transferred over in time and in the meantime, wishing you a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

    1. Try a fresh one Paula and you’ll never go back. They’re easy too. And yes, it’s crazy; why someone decided this is the time of year to stop offering his services is beyond me. Isn’t everyone overly busy already?

    1. You know what Maureen if I hadn’t told these clients for the past 2-3 years that they needed to make a change that might have happened. But they refused to listen and now we’re down to the wire and I’ll either make it or not…but I’m not giving up my holiday for them. I’ve done that for 20 years. Add that to the list of why I’m tired of web development. 🙂

  2. I love pumpkin but I also get tired of the non-stop display of pumpkin recipes on blogs. Which is why I love something out of the ordinary and this cheesecake is spectacular, perfect for any of the upcoming holidays. I love the gingersnap walnut crust and of course the bourbon in the cheesecake – but really love that you paired it with a magnificent caramel sauce. Happy Happy Holidays!

  3. Fun recipe! I’ve not had pumpkin cheesecake anything, but like the sounds of this dish. Maybe it’s the bourbon? Or that lovely gingersnap crust? 🙂 Anyway, this sounds wonderful — thanks.

  4. I wish I hadn’t looked at this – I haven’t had breakfast yet and now I’m starving. I have a big pumpkin in the pantry and a packet of gingernut biscuits (probably similar to gingersnaps, but harder) as well. This all looks too easy and too delicious – I guess I can pretend it’s healthy as it has pumpkin, right?

  5. It’s official… this blog will be the death of me… but oh… what a way to go!!! Brilliant idea for buying the right kind of pumpkin and then cooking it afterward!!! Wish I could do that here but it’s been so warm, the pumpkins rot 🙁 Hmmm… I think I need to get a foodsaver… maybe Santa will bring me one!!

  6. A perfect celebratory dessert! Here’s to hoping you’ll be celebrating the last of the site transfers very, very soon and that they all go smoothly.

    I love Cinderella pumpkins too. So gorgeous! I still have some puree in the freezer from last year too. Very smart of you to package them in 15 oz bags. I never think of stuff like that. :/

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