I’m Thankful for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake!

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holiday dinner table Christmas or thanksgiving

Thankful for cheesecake?! Ok, I know that sounds ridiculously trite. Sure, I’m thankful for a copious amount of people/places/things more significant than cheesecake.  However, I do get a little “lunatic” when it comes to cheesecake.  So I truly am thankful to discover that I can bake my own never-ending supply of cheesecakey goodness!

Lunacy Exhibit A: I never, ever slice cheesecake!  Cheesecake is eaten directly from the plate it was plopped on with just a fork and a smile.

Lunacy Exhibit B: I eat in this barbaric fashion whilst hidden in my pantry to avoid sharing my delicious cheesecake.

Lunacy Exhibit C: I wholeheartedly consider cheesecake an acceptable breakfast meal.

Lunacy Exhibit D: I have threatened to inflict bodily harm or the dreaded stink eye on anyone who even contemplates eating my cheesecake.

Let’s keep this Gluten Free Thanksgiving menu going with yet another pumpkin-themed dessert!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Be sure to have cream cheese & eggs at room temperature.

Gluten Free Crust:

1/2 cup pecans
18 Health Valley Rice Bran crackers
8 Mi-Del GF Ginger Snap cookies
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup butter (melted)

In a food processor grind pecans, cookies, & rice crackers until crushed & crumbly in texture (resembling ground almond meal). Add brown & white sugar and butter. Mix thoroughly. Press crumbs against the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.

Cheesecake Filling:

3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/8 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine pumpkin, 3/4 cup of white sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, mace, and 3 egg yolks. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Set pumpkin mixture aside.

Using a mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly incorporate 3/8 cup (=1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) of white sugar, 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, whipping cream, cornstarch, orange and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add pumpkin mixture and combine thoroughly. Add batter to springform pan. Bake in center of oven for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. I placed a pan filled with water on the rack beneath the cheesecake to eliminate cracking and maintain moistness. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool for at least 1/2 hour.

Sour Cream Topping:

2 cups of sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons white sugar

Combine sour cream, vanilla extract, and white sugar. After cooling cheesecake (still in springform pan) for at least 1/2 hour, pour sour cream topping over cake and return to a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Cool cheesecake for at least an hour before removing from pan. Refrigerate prior to serving.

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Maureen Stanley was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. Way back before gluten-free was “mainstream“. Maureen created Hold The Gluten blog and podcast in 2008 as a way to connect members of the gluten-free community across the world.


  1. Trust me people, I have witnessed this event! I have seen my sister crazy eyed and double fork fisted. You wouldn’t dare attempt asking for a bite! This thanksgiving I am truly thankful for the gift of gluten free foods so my sister can have a happy belly (and colon!)

  2. I wish I could find AFFORDABLE cream cheese that contains no guar gum. Is it REALLY necessary??? I found some at the health food store for $4. EEEK! For smaller amounts I substitute goat cheese, but it’s expensive, too. I miss cheese cake!

  3. Have I mentioned how much I love the idea of using those yummy mi-del cookies in a pie crust? The thought crossed my mind and I thought “nah”…but you’ve inspired me to be adventerous!

    And pumpkin cheesecake? yum yum yum. Though, I think this dessert my pose a challenge to the aforementioned badunkadunk!

  4. Hi Maureen!

    Thanks for the comment you left on my papaya coconut clusters. You asked about the orange powder. I tried to email you with the address you left, but I got the email back so I decided to comment here.

    Orange powder is ground orange peel and I purchased it from Whole Foods. However, you may use orange extract (a drop may do). They were soooo good… I am going to make them again as gifts this year. We also do some gluten free catering, and they were a huge hit last time we made them!

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