Up level your dessert with this Lightened Up Pumpkin Cheesecake. The perfect recipe for the family or a fancy dinner, made with cream cheese, coconut sugar, and more.
The most delicious pumpkin pie cheesecake
What is cozier and more delicious than a post-dinner slice of cheesecake? Bonus points if enjoyed on the couch under a warm blanket!
This lightened up pumpkin cheesecake absolutely screams autumn coziness. It’s made with cream cheese, graham crackers, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice for a magic flavor combination perfect for any occasion!
Whether you have a dinner coming up and you’ve been trying to find that special dessert, or you simply have a sweet tooth and want to try something new, this is the recipe. It makes 10 delicious servings, and it’s made with healthier ingredients so you can totally enjoy an extra slice.
Let’s dive in!
Ingredients in lightened up pumpkin cheesecake
There are two “mini recipes” inside this cheesecake – the crust and the filling. For the crust we will be using a mix of four tasty ingredients. For the filling we will use nine total, complete with cream cheese and pumpkin purée.
- Graham crackers: Start with 12 graham crackers. These are used as the main ingredient in the crust, and they create a really yummy result.
- Butter: 6 tbsp of melted butter is mixed with the crumbs to help form a dough-like consistency. Plus, it adds a delicious flavor!
- Coconut sugar: We’ll use 3 tbsp of coconut sugar to sweeten things up a bit.
- Pumpkin pie spice: Lastly, add a dash of pumpkin pie spice (1 tsp) for taste.
- Cream cheese: For the filling, start with 2 blocks of softened cream cheese.
- Pumpkin puree: Next, add 1 cup of pumpkin puree. This adds thickness while also contributing to the yummy pumpkin flavor that we’re going for.
- Greek yogurt: Add some texture with 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt.
- Coconut sugar: Sweeten things up with 1/2 cup of coconut sugar.
- Eggs: To bind the ingredients together, use 3 eggs.
- Vanilla: Add extra flavor with 2 tsp of vanilla.
- Pumpkin pie spice: 1 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice finishes off that tasty pumpkin flavor.
- Cinnamon: Include 1 tbsp of cinnamon.
- Salt: Last but not least, a small bit (1/4 tsp) of salt completes the dish!
Tools needed to make this recipe
To create your homemade pumpkin cheese cake, you’ll need a food processor (or blender), a spatula, and a pie dish. A hand mixer is helpful for creating the filling, though it’s not a must.
For measuring, you will need 1/4 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup.
How to make this light pumpkin cheesecake recipe
We’ll kick off this recipe by creating and baking the crust. From there, we’ll mix the filling, fill the crust, and let the cheesecake cool!
To begin, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Press the blended mix into the bottom and sides of a pie dish. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until fragrant and more golden. Let cool to room temperature.
Pour the mix into the slightly cooled pie crust and bake for 60 minutes.
Turn off the oven and slightly open the door. Leave the cheesecake inside for another 40 minutes.
Place the pie in the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Cut and serve with whipped topping!
How this recipe is healthier
I know what you’re thinking. It’s cheesecake! How can it be healthier? Well, the answer is in two simple ingredients swaps!
The second ingredient swap uses Greek yogurt. Rather than loading up the cheesecake filling with extra cream cheese or sour cream like usual, we use Greek yogurt to pack in extra protein and nutrients.
You can optionally extend the healthier ingredient choices into the cream cheese by using a brand with less fat. I often use the 1/3 less fat version from Neufchatel. Note that with less fat, the cheesecake won’t be as creamy as usual.
There are a few key ways to nail your cheesecake every time.
Don’t over mix
Don’t go crazy on the mixing as it will add air to the filling and create an uneven or cracked cheesecake. Aim to blend the filling until smooth, and that’s it! Don’t overdo it.
Room temperature cream cheese
For a smoother, easy to mix filling, let your cream cheese reach room temperature.
Avoid opening the oven too frequently
It can be tempting to check your cheesecake throughout baking, but it’s important to leave the door closed so the hot air doesn’t escape from the oven. Instead, use the light. Your cheesecake is done when the outside of the filling looks firm but the center isn’t. It will come together once it cools!
What to pair with pumpkin cheesecake
The perfect food pairings can make a recipe that much more enjoyable. If you’re hosting a dinner and need ideas for main courses, certain options pair extra well with this cheesecake! Ideas include grilled honey mustard chicken, chicken cobb salad, grilled steak and peach salad, or salmon and veggies!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Keep the pumpkin trend going with four more delicious recipes! The pumpkin pasta is one of my all-time favorites.
- Healthy Pumpkin Banana Muffins
- Healthy Pumpkin Spice Granola
- Easy Pumpkin Pie Dip
- Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Recipe
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 2 blocks cream cheese, softened (I used Nuefchatel for 1/3 less fat)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a food processor, blend together graham crackers, butter, coconut sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until finely ground, scraping the sides down as needed.
- Press firmly into the bottom and sides of a pie dish. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until fragrant and more golden. Let cool to room temperature.
- Using a clean food process or hand mixer, blend together cream cheese, pumpkin, and greek yogurt. Add in coconut sugar, eggs, vanilla, and spices.
- Pour into slightly cooled pie crust and bake for 60 minutes.
- Turn off oven and leave pie inside, with door slightly open for another 40 minutes.
- Place in fridge to cool for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Cut and serve with whipped topping!
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