Pumpkin Cheesecake 3


Pumpkin Cheesecake With Bourbon Sour Cream Topping

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It wouldn't really be Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie... But we made this one with a twist!

Today’s recipe was inspired by a decadent pumpkin cheesecake that first appeared in the November 1990 issue of Gourmet magazine (yes… it was so good, we remember it 33 years later), and has been a favorite for some of us at WOT ever since.

But in true WOT style, we made some modifications to the old recipe make it a little more better for you and reduce the sugar and butter content — All without compromising the recipe’s rich and velvety flavor. Don’t get us wrong, this recipe is still a dessert splurge… but we think a little splurge over the holidays is justifiable. 

Tip for the cleanest slices of cheesecake: Chill your cheesecake overnight and remove the spring from the pan. Use dental floss to cut the well-chilled cheesecake. Holding the dental floss tightly in each hand, start by slicing the cheesecake in half and then work your way around the cheesecake. Place cheesecake back in the refrigerator until one hour before serving. Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator one hour before serving to help to give you the creamiest consistency.

WOT we love about this recipe: It can be made one to two days ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to serve! Making it kind of a dream dish for your Thanksgiving meal.

Did we mention the part about how this cake is topped with a bourbon sour cream topping? Trust us when we say the flavors of this cheesecake come together perfectly to create a decadent dessert.

Pumpkin Cheesecake With Bourbon Sour Cream Topping


For the crust
  • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp turbinado or granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling
  • cup solid pack pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • tsp cinnamon
  • tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut into bits and softened
  • 1/3 cup turbinado or granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp  cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp bourbon liqueur or bourbon if desired (optional
For the topping
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp bourbon liqueur or bourbon, or to taste (optional)
  • 16 or more pecan halves for garnish


Make the crust:
  • In a bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, the pecans, and the sugars, stir in the butter, and press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a buttered 9-inch springform pan. Chill the crust for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the filling:
  • In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, the egg, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the ginger, the salt, and the brown sugar, and set aside.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and the granulated sugar, beat in the cream, the cornstarch, the vanilla, the bourbon liqueur, and the pumpkin mixture, and beat the filling until it is smooth.
  • Pour the filling into the chilled crust. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet and bake the cheesecake in the middle of a preheated 350°F. Oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center is just set, and let it cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes before proceeding to the topping step.
Make the topping:
  • In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream, the sugar, and the bourbon liqueur.
  • Spread the sour cream mixture over the top of the cheesecake and bake the cheesecake for 5 minutes more.
  • Let the cheesecake cool in the pan on a rack and chill it, covered, overnight.
  • When ready to serve, remove the side of the pan and garnish the top of the cheesecake with the pecans.
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All photos by Lorianne DeVita

by Camila Alves McConaughey