Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe ~ this mile high, super creamy cheesecake is a spectacular way to end a holiday meal!

Paula Deen’s epic pumpkin cheesecake is legendary in the South!

What better recipe to make in honor of the diva of all things buttery, gooey and cheesy than cheesecake? Paula Deen the personality inspires strong feelings; you’re either charmed by her southern twang and her butter-lovin’ shtick or can’t stand it. I’m ok with it. I find her genuine and easy to watch. Her life story is inspiring. She dealt with the death of both parents and an early divorce while she was still quite young. She suffered panic attacks that kept her housebound, and found solace in cooking for her family. After a second divorce she was forced to find a way to bring in income and she started a catering company called The Bag Lady. She cooked meals in her home and her sons delivered them. She eventually opened a restaurant, The Lady and Sons, which is now a Savannah Georgia institution. This led to cookbooks and successful  tv shows, all based on her down home personality and classic approach to southern cooking.

That said, her heavy Southern cooking style is not mine, and I’ve never been tempted to try her recipes. This will be my first. Although I’ve made cheesecakes in the past, I’ve always kind of  thought of them as involved projects. They aren’t part of my usual repertoire. But this experience has changed my mind. If you have the pan and you think to pick up the cream cheese and sour cream, cheesecake is easier than most desserts.

But I’ll tell you the real reason I chose to make Paula’s Pumpkin Cheesecake…

Not because I love pumpkin, not because it’s perfect for the holidays, and not even because I can pop the whole thing in the freezer and pull it out when I need it. No, here’s the real reason I chose to make cheesecake this week…

my new KitchenAid mixer! Aint she a beaut? I don’t want to brag, but while she was whirling away at the cream cheese I was pouring myself a cup of coffee. While she incorporated the eggs, I checked my email. And as she folded in the pumpkin and sour cream I spread some cherry jam on my toast.

Of course I did have to mix up the graham cracker crumbs, pour the batter into the pan, and pop it into the oven. Sheeesh, cheesecake is a lot of work,

I garnished the top of the cake with sugared cranberries. Mine are just decorative, and I’ll show you how to make them in tomorrow’s post.

Apart from the cosmetic issue, this cheesecake was delicious and creamy. I’m glad I made it and realized that cheesecake isn’t all that complicated. I recommend this for your holiday table.

3.77 from 34 votes

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe ~ this mile high, super creamy cheesecake is a spectacular way to end a holiday meal!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Yield 12 servings
Author Sue Moran



  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted salted butter


  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 15-ounce can pureed pumpkin
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Set oven to 350F
  • To make the crust, in medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside.
  • For the filling, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
  • Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Cook's notes

  • The recipe is unclear about where to spread the crumbs.  In the video, here, Paula just dumps the crumbs in the bottom of the pan and presses them in.  But when she is cutting the finished cake, there are crumbs up the side. (I hate when they tell you to do one thing, and then show you a finished product that is clearly done a different way)  If you want crumbs up the sides as well, you will need more crumbs. I used almost double the recipe, but as you can see my crust was a little heavy.
  • This cake, like many cheesecakes, cracks after it's baked.  Mine developed a cavernous crack.  Paula's recipe never mentions the possibility of cracking, even though many of the online reviewers reported the problem.  I think that's a major flaw since most people would be most likely making this cheesecake as an occasion dessert.  You'd want to know if it was  going to have a huge unsightly gash in the middle of it.  So, my point is, if you want to make this cheesecake, be prepared to glaze the top with something to hide the crack.  I used sweetened sour cream, ( 1 cup sour cream whisked with 1/4 cup powdered sugar) but I also think a chocolate ganache would be delicious.
  • To prevent the cracking, try baking your cheesecake in a water bath.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Don’t forget to pin this gorgeous Pumpkin Cheesecake!

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Cheesecake ~ this mile high, super creamy cheesecake is a spectacular way to end a holiday meal! #cheesecake #pumpkincheesecake #bestcheesecake #recipe #PaulaDeen #cake #Thanksgivingdessert #Christmasdessert #holidaydessert



You Might Also Like


    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    This is the prettiest cheesecake…your photos are gorgeous! I can’t believe you didn’t have a KichenAide mixer?! I held out too for the longest time and now I can’t believe I didn’t have one for the exact reasons you mentioned! That last shot is so festive!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    November 19, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Don’t think we can buy pureed pumpkin in a can over here but it looks sesational, and don’t you just love that kitchenaid they are great!

  • Reply
    veronica from My Catholic Kitchen
    November 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

    My cheesecakes always crack. Sometimes it just does. That is why god invented toppings. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Reply
    Taryn (Have Kitchen, Will Feed)
    November 19, 2011 at 2:35 am

    This is so gorgeous – you did a wonderful job.

  • Reply
    Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen
    November 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I’ve got to look up Paula Deen… Who doesn’t love a good butter diva, eh?! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 19, 2011 at 1:07 am

    I make a pumpkin cheesecake every Thanksgiving! It has become a tradition in our family, but I think I’ll try Paula’s recipe this year…love the addition of the sour cream. Your cake looks fabulous!

  • Reply
    Jen @ Savory Simple
    November 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    This is such a beautiful cake! I really love the decorations on top.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    What a fabulous post. It’s hard to say if I like your words or pictures best 🙂 The cheesecake looks delicious and I agree with your assessment of the ease with which they can be made. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    November 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Though I don’t like to make Paula’s recipes too often (calories!), this looks like a winner!

  • Reply
    November 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Oh, my! That cake looks like perfection! (and probably tastes like it too!) Another must-make recipe. Thank you!

    Congrats on your new KitchenAid mixer. It’s on my list of things to get when I move. Just have to decide on the right colour.

1 2 3 4

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!


Get my tips, tricks & recipes for easy

foolproof baking


logo png