Pumpkin cheesecake is a revelation for dessert lovers who enjoy cheesecake and pumpkin pie. The rich flavor paired with the decadent texture makes for a tasty seasonal dessert. If you make your own crust with graham crackers, it enhances the flavor even more. When you make cheesecake, keep all your ingredients at room temperature so they blend together properly.
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Butter an 8-inch spring-form pan.
Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, ground ginger snap cookies, sugar and melted butter in a large bowl for the cheesecake crust. Use your fingers to press the mixture into the bottom of the spring-form pan to create a fine, even crust. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a separate bowl.
Add the cream cheese to a separate bowl. Use the hand mixer on low speed to make it smooth and creamy. Slowly add the sugar mixture to the cream cheese bowl, and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree, and continue to blend until smooth.
Pour the filling into the cheesecake crust in the pan, carefully spreading it out evenly.
Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325º F, and bake for an additional 20 minutes. The edges of the cheesecake should be puffed out and the center a little less firm.
Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack. Loosen the edges from the pan with a sharp knife, carefully running it around the inside edge. Lay a piece of aluminum foil on top of the pan to slow the cooling and help the cheesecake continue to bake evenly.
Cover and refrigerate the pumpkin cheesecake for at least eight hours after cooling before you serve it.