Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Rich creamy pumpkin spiced cheesecake is swirled with mini chocolate chips on top of a chocolate sandwich cookie crust making this pumpkin and chocolate chip cheesecake a perfect fall dessert.

One of the things I love best about this cheesecake is it is a great make-ahead dessert. Cheesecake stores really well in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. You can easily make this cheesecake a day or two before a big party and leave just the decorating steps for the big day.

My cheesecake happened to be destined for a Halloween party so I decorated it with festive candy pumpkins.

Making a cheesecake at home may sound intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. Cheesecakes are made with simple everyday ingredients and just a little technique and attention to detail. I’ve created step-by-step instructions to help you create a delicious perfect cheesecake every time.

Looking for more pumpkin recipes? Check out my Skillet Pumpkin Cobbler, Pumpkin Spice Syrup, Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, or Sourdough Pumpkin Bread.

slice of pumpkin cheesecake on a white plate

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Ingredients

All ingredients should be at room temperature to create a smooth creamy batter. Cold ingredients will result in a lumpy overbeaten cheesecake that may crack as it cools.

pumpkin chocolate chip cheesecake ingredients

Crust

Oreo Cookies: I recommend crushing whole graham crackers rather than buying graham cracker crumbs which I think can taste a bit stale.

Melted Butter: Melted butter helps to hold the crust together and adds a rich buttery flavor.

Cheesecake Filling

Cream Cheese: You will need four 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese. I prefer the full-fat variety. Baking a cheesecake isn’t the time to start counting calories. Make sure you are buying block cream cheese not the whipped cream cheese that is sold in a tub.

Sugar: This cheesecake isn’t too sweet allowing the tanginess of the cream cheese to shine through.

Salt: I add at least a pinch of salt to all of my dessert recipes. Salt complements and intensifies the other flavors. For all of my recipes, I use Morton Kosher Salt which is saltier than Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. If you are using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt you will want to double the amount of salt you add.

Pumpkin Puree: Make sure you are using pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie mix. The pumpkin pie mix has additional spices added in. If you only have pumpkin pie mix then I would suggest not adding any additional spices.

Sour Cream: Once again use the full-fat variety. The sour cream creates a smooth texture and boosts the cream cheese tang.

Vanilla Extract: Most desserts call for at least a little vanilla. It complements so many flavors. I prefer pure vanilla extract over imitation vanilla extract.

Spices: Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves are all mixed together to create the familiar pumpkin spice flavor. You could also substitute tow teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.

Eggs: The eggs are the last ingredient to be added to the cheesecake. Be careful to not overmix the batter once the eggs have been added. Overmixing will incorporate too much air into the batter causing the cheesecake to crack as it cools.

Mini Chocolate Chips: Mini chocolate chips are light enough that they won’t sink to the bottom of the cheesecake and will remain evenly distributed throughout.

chocolate whipped cream ingredients

Stabilized Chocolate Whipped Cream

If you will be serving the cheesecake immediately you can skip adding the apricot jelly. The apricot jelly is used to stabilize the whipped cream to keep it from weeping and melting.

Apricot Jelly: This is a tip that I picked up from a Cook’s Illustrated magazine. I use apricot jelly because it has a neutral sweet flavor you could also use strawberry or raspberry jelly. The key is to choose a jelly made from low-pectin fruits that are processed with a lot of added pectin to help them gel properly.

Heavy Whipping Cream: Make sure your whipped cream is really cold. Cold whipped cream whips up easier and faster than warm cream. It is also helpful to chill your whisk and mixing bowl for 10 to 15 minutes in the freezer before making whipped cream.

Dutch Process Cocoa Powder: Using dutch processed cocoa powder will give you a dark richly colored whipped cream.

Powdered Sugar: I use powdered sugar in my whipped cream because it incorporates easily and won’t leave a grainy texture. Powdered sugar also contains a little cornstarch to keep it from clumping which adds some structure to the whipped cream as well.

Equipment

Kitchen scale: Kitchen scales make baking faster and neater. Accuracy matters in baking. Scales are more precise than measuring cups. Too much flour or not enough sugar can dramatically change a recipe. The most accurate way to bake is to measure your ingredients by weight rather than volume.

A kitchen scale also reduces the number of dishes you will need to wash because you are measuring each ingredient directly from the container into the mixing bowl without the use of measuring cups.

This scale from OXO is the one I use after it was recommended by Alton Brown. What makes this scale great is the display pulls out to make viewing measurements easier when using a large bowl.

Stand Mixer: I have a stand mixer from KitchenAid. My mom and brother bought it for me for my birthday almost 15 years ago. I use it weekly and it still works just like it did when it was brand new. It makes so many kitchen tasks easier and comes with a variety of attachments.

Rubber spatula: For folding batters together, I prefer a stiffer spatula like this one from OXO. It fits comfortably in my hand, is dishwasher safe, and is heat-resistant up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Both the handle and head are silicone coated which makes it easy to clean and safe to use with my non-stick cookware and bakeware.

9-Inch Springform Pan: A springform pan is a type of cake pan that is made of two parts, a round base and a removable ring that clamps around the base creating the sides of the pan. This feature makes removing a cheesecake easy without having to flip the pan over or struggle to cut the cheesecake inside the pan.

This is a very large cheesecake! When using my 9-inch springform pan the cheesecake is filling goes all the way to the top.

Springform pans can sometimes leak if you’re baking the cheesecake in a water bath. This is why I recommend wrapping the bottom of your pan with foil before placing it in the water bath. All of my springform pans are made by Wilton. So far I have had pretty good luck with them not leaking.

Large Roasting Pan: You will need a large pan that is big enough for your springform pan to fit inside. I typically use this large roasting pan from Circulon. I like that it has large handles that have been bolted in an upright position. These handles make it easy to transfer the roasting pan in and out of the oven. Even if you are wearing thick oven mitts.

Directions

How to make an Oreo cookie crust

Move your oven rack to the middle of your oven with no racks above it and preheat your oven to 325 degrees Farenheight.

Crush the Oreos into crumbs using either a food processor or by placing them into a zip-top bag and smashing them with a rolling pin (you can leave the filling in the Oreo). This is my toddler’s favorite way to help.

Stir in the melted butter until it resembles wet sand. Pour the Oreo mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Press the Oreo mixture into an even layer using a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup. Cover the bottom of the pan and about 2 inches up the sides.

Bake the Oreo crust for 10-12 minutes until fragrant and dry looking.

Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool while you make the filling.

How to make the cheesecake filling

Using a handheld or stand mixer and the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy, about 1 1/2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl after about 1 minute.

Add the sugar and mix on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy about 1 minute.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, vanilla extract, spices, and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy about 1 minute.

Scrape down the bowl if there are lumps continue mixing until smooth.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating at low speed after each addition until just blended. When the final egg has been mixed in turn the mixer off.

Fold the chocolate chips into the cheesecake filling.

How to make a bain-marie or water bath

A bain-marie is simply a fancy term for a hot water bath. Hot water baths are used to cook delicate custards like cheesecake or creme brulee. The insulation and steam from the water provide a gentle heat that cooks the cheesecake slowly and gently. This slow gentle cooking helps to prevent cracking and sinking as the cheesecake cools.

To create a hot water bath, boil at least 4 cups of water. You can either boil the water in the microwave, on the stove-top, or my favorite way in an electric kettle. You will need 1 inch of water in your roasting pan for the water bath. I typically use an entire kettle full of hot water.

Wrap the bottom of your springform pan with several layers of heavy-duty foil. Wrapping your springform pan in foil will help prevent water from seeping into your cheesecake.

Pour the cheesecake filling over the cooled crust. Use a rubber spatula to smooth it into an even layer. 

Place the filled springform pan in the larger cake or roasting pan.

Set the pans on the middle rack of the oven. Carefully pour the boiling water into the larger pan until it is about 1 inch deep. Close the oven door.

How to bake and cool a cheesecake

Bake the cheesecake for 80 to 90 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. The top of the cheesecake should look set but not browned. When you wiggle the pan the cheesecake should wobble not jiggle. To me wobbling means the whole cheesecake moves together when wiggled. Jiggling is when individual ripples move across the top of the cheesecake.

To prevent cracking, we want to cool the cheesecake slowly. Turn the oven OFF and allow the cheesecake to continue baking for 15 minutes.

Crack open the oven door about an inch (holding it open with a wooden spoon if needed) and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly for 45 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and set it on a cooling rack. Remove the foil and run a thin knife around the edge to release the cheesecake from the pan.

Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for an hour. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.

How to make stabalized chocolate whipped cream

Microwave the apricot jelly for 10 seconds until just melted.

Add the heavy whipping cream, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to the bowl of your stand mixer. Whip using the whisk attachment on medium-low speed until foamy, about one minute. Increase the mixer speed to high, pour in the melted jelly, and whip until stiff peaks form about two to three minutes.

Unlatch the springform pan and remove the sides. Pipe the whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake and top with mini chocolate chips.

Cut the cheesecake into twelve slices. For neater slices wipe the knife clean and dip into warm water between each slice.

whole pumpkin cheesecake topped with chocolate whipped cream and candy pumpkins

How to store

Cheesecake needs to be stored in the refrigerator. To refrigerate reattach the springform ring to the base and cover the top with aluminum foil. Cheesecake can be refrigerated for 5-7 days.

How to freeze

Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before freezing.

To freeze a whole cheesecake:

  1. Remove the outer rim of the cheesecake. You can either leave the cheesecake on the bottom pan or carefully transfer it to a cardboard cake round or large plate.
  2. Do not freeze cheesecake with any toppings. Add the toppings later when serving cheesecake.
  3. Wrap the cheesecake and base with several layers of plastic wrap. Wrap in a final layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  4. Cheesecake can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.

To freeze individual cheesecake slices:

  1. Slice the cheesecake and transfer each slice to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the cheesecake slices have frozen solid, about one to two hours.
  2. Do not freeze cheesecake with any toppings. Add the toppings later when serving cheesecake.
  3. Wrap each slice of cheesecake with several layers of plastic wrap. Place the cheesecake slices in a zip-top bag labeled with the date and contents.
  4. Cheesecake can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
whole pumpkin cheesecake topped with chocolate whipped cream and candy pumpkins

Frequently asked questions

What makes cheesecake creamy?

Creamy ingredients like cream cheese and sour cream create a creamy cheesecake. It is also important for all of the ingredients to be at room temperature. Room temperature ingredients will be easier to incorporate creating a smooth batter without overmixing.

What happens if you overmix cheesecake?

Overmixing a cheesecake incorporates too much air into the batter causing it to expand and puff as it bakes. As the cheesecake cools, all of those air bubbles will burst causing the cheesecake to fall and crack

How do I know when a cheesecake is done baking?

The top of the cheesecake should look set but not browned. When you wiggle the pan the cheesecake should wobble not jiggle. To me wobbling means the whole cheesecake moves together when wiggled. Jiggling is when individual ripples move across the top of the cheesecake.

What do I do if my cheesecake does crack?

The good news is even a cracked cheesecake still tastes amazing. If your cheesecake does crack simply cover the cracks with a delicious fruit topping like this blueberry jam or top with some freshly made whipped cream.

What is stabilized whipped cream?

Whipped cream tends to start weeping and deflating pretty much from the moment you finish whipping it. To make your whipped cream last longer it needs to be stabilized. Stabilized whipped cream has added ingredients that make it slightly thicker and last longer. There are several ingredients I have heard of that work to stabilize whipped cream: pudding mix, cornstarch, gelatin, cream cheese, and jelly. I picked up the tip of using jelly to stabilize whipped cream from a Cook’s Illustrated magazine.

Tips

  • Use room temperature ingredients. They will blend together more easily and create a smoother cheesecake.
  • Once the eggs have been added, do not overmix the cheesecake filling. Overmixing will incorporate too much air causing the cheesecake to deflate and crack as it cools.
  • Wrap your springform pan with foil. I’d like to believe my springform pans will never leak but I am not willing to risk a soggy cheesecake crust to find out. You can also try this foil free method for protecting your cheesecake from Cook’s Illustrated.
  • Bake the cheesecake in a water bath. A water bath creates gentle heat which bakes the cheesecake slowly and evenly.
  • Baking times for all recipes are only suggestions. The actual baking time will vary depending upon your oven. It is helpful to know your oven and worth purchasing an inexpensive oven thermometer. Oven temperatures can vary as much as 50 degrees plus or minus.
  • Allow the cheesecake to cool slowly. Going from a hot oven to a cool kitched could cause the cheesecake to crack.
  • Before making the whipped cream freeze your mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes.

More dessert recipes

slice of pumpkin cheesecake on a white plate

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 20 minutes

Rich creamy pumpkin spiced cheesecake is swirled with mini chocolate chips on top of a chocolate sandwich cookie crust.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 3 cups crushed Oreos (35 Oreos)
  • 5 tablespoons (70g) butter - melted

Cheesecake

  • 32 oz of cream cheese - room temperature
  • 1 cup (198g) granulated white sugar
  • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/3 cup (303g) sour cream - room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs - room temperature
  • 1 cup (160g) mini chocolate chips plus extra for garnish

Stabilized Chocolate Whipped Cream

  • 2 tablespoons apricot jelly
  • 1 cup (227g) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup (21g) dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (28g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt

Instructions

Crust

  1. Move your oven rack to the middle of your oven with no racks above it and preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Crush the Oreos into crumbs using either a food processor or by placing them into a zip-top bag and smashing them with a rolling pin (you can leave the filling in the Oreo).
  3. Stir in the melted butter until it resembles wet sand. Pour the Oreo mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  4. Press the Oreo mixture into an even layer using a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup. Cover the bottom of the pan and about 2 inches up the sides.
  5. Bake the Oreo crust for 10-12 minutes until fragrant and dry looking.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool while you make the filling.

Cheesecake Filling

  1. Using a handheld or stand mixer and the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy, about 1 1/2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl after about 1 minute.
  2. Add the sugar and mix on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy about 1 minute.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, vanilla extract, spices, and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy about 1 minute.
  4. Scrape down the bowl if there are lumps continue mixing until smooth.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating at low speed after each addition until just blended. When the final egg has been mixed in turn the mixer off.
  6. Fold the chocolate chips into the cheesecake filling.

Baking

  1. Boil at least 4 cups of water. You will need 1 inch of water in your roasting pan for the water bath. I typically use an entire kettle full of hot water.
  2. Wrap the bottom of your springform pan with several layers of heavy-duty foil.
  3. Pour the cheesecake filling over the cooled crust. Use a rubber spatula to smooth it into an even layer. 
  4. Place the filled springform pan in the larger cake or roasting pan.
  5. Set the pans on the middle rack in the oven. Carefully pour the boiling water into the larger pan until it is about 1 inch deep. Close the oven door.
  6. Bake the cheesecake for 80-90 minutes until the top of the cheesecake looks set but not browned. The cheesecake should wobble slightly when jiggled.
  7. Turn the oven OFF and allow the cheesecake to continue baking for 15 minutes.
  8. Crack open the oven door about an inch (holding it open with a wooden spoon if needed) and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly for 45 minutes.
  9. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and set it on a cooling rack. Remove the foil and run a thin knife around the edge to release the cheesecake from the pan.
  10. Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for an hour. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.

Topping

  1. Microwave the apricot jelly for 10 seconds until just melted.
  2. Add the heavy whipping cream, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to the bowl of your stand mixer. Whip using the whisk attachment on medium-low speed until foamy, about one minute. Increase the mixer speed to high, pour in the melted jelly, and whip until stiff peaks form about two to three minutes.
  3. Unlatch the springform pan and remove the sides. Pipe the whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake and top with mini chocolate chips.
  4. Cut the cheesecake into twelve slices. For neater slices wipe the knife clean and dip into warm water between each slice.

Notes

How to store

Cheesecake needs to be stored in the refrigerator. To refrigerate reattach the springform ring to the base and cover the top with aluminum foil. Cheesecake can be refrigerated for 5-7 days.

How to freeze

Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before freezing.

To freeze a whole cheesecake:

  1. Remove the outer rim of the cheesecake. You can either leave the cheesecake on the bottom pan or carefully transfer it to a cardboard cake round or large plate.
  2. Do not freeze cheesecake with any toppings. Add the toppings later when serving cheesecake.
  3. Wrap the cheesecake and base with several layers of plastic wrap. Wrap in a final layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  4. Cheesecake can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.

To freeze individual cheesecake slices:

  1. Slice the cheesecake and transfer each slice to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the cheesecake slices have frozen solid, about one to two hours.
  2. Do not freeze cheesecake with any toppings. Add the toppings later when serving cheesecake.
  3. Wrap each slice of cheesecake with several layers of plastic wrap. Place the cheesecake slices in a zip-top bag labeled with the date and contents.
  4. Cheesecake can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 336Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 276mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 6g

This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from an online calculator. Although raspberriesandkohlrabi.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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pumpkin chocolate chip cheesecake topped with candy pumpkins

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