Here is the perfect holiday dessert. Your easy, make-ahead, creamy, crunchy, spice-filled lifesaver! Double the recipe and spoon it into a pretty bowl if you are feeding a crowd.
Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) four small jars of cheesecake all garnished differently: with candied pumpkin seeds, whipped cream and whole ginger cookies

Your Entertaining Lifesaver

Pumpkin cheesecake (No-bake) is the perfect holiday dessert. There are a lot of “no’s” but I’ll start with Yes! It is creamy, crunchy, spice-filled, make-ahead, and absolutely beguiling. There is no baking, no cooking, no egg, and if you are gluten-free, use gluten-free cookies for the crumbles. And I love that it isn’t overly sweet.

Cardamom & Allspice, Oh My

Heady with two of my favorite spices, cardamom and allspice, their warm and floral notes makes this sweet a lifesaver if you are on dessert duty for the holidays. And, did I say it is dead easy? We’ve photographed 4 different ways to garnish this cheesecake. The easiest way is to whip up a little cream, spoon on top, then sprinkle with a shower of the leftover cookie crumbs that you spooned into the bottom of the jar. 

By the way, I have photographed two different type of cookies, pretty scalloped ones from Trader Joes called triple ginger cookies. Also, a more commonly found brand from the local grocery store. If you would like to make your own cookies, you might want to try my cardamom spice cookies. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake)

You will find that this recipe yields about two cups of cheesecake, which makes four individual desserts. If you are feeding more people, make sure to double, or even triple, the amounts. You can spoon the finished pumpkin cheesecake filling into a serving bowl over the cookies crumbs for a crowd, and garnish as your heart desires.

Happy cooking!

~ Alonna

 

See the Notes below before you cook.

 

Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) four small jars of cheesecake all garnished differently: with candied pumpkin seeds, whipped cream and whole ginger cookies

Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake)

Here is the perfect holiday dessert. Your easy, make-ahead, creamy, crunchy, spice-filled lifesaver! Double the recipe and spoon it into a pretty bowl if you are feeding a crowd.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian-ish
Keyword: allspice, Cookie, Egg-free, Entertaining, Gluten-free, Low Carb, make ahead, no cook, Quick, stovetop, Sweet
30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream ~ Or thick yogurt; Optional
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar ~ More to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice  ~ Increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons if you are not using sour cream or yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg ~ Ideally freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea or table salt ~ Or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Cookie Crumbs

  • 1 cup ginger cookies ~ Or cookies of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons butter ~ Melted
  • 1 large pinch coarse salt ~ Optional

Optional Garnished

  • whipped cream ~ Recipe below
  • candied pumpkin seeds ~ Recipe below
  • cookie crumbs ~ Recipe above
  • whole cookies

Whipped Cream

  • 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream ~ Or thick yogurt; swap out for more whipping cream if you prefer
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons confectioners sugar ~ Make your own

Candied Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds ~ Or seeds or nuts of your choice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar ~ White sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt ~ Or 1/8 teaspoon sea or table salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sugar ~ Or 1 1/2 teaspoons of white sugar

Instructions

Cardamom Cheesecake Filling

  • Leave the cream cheese at room temperature for 2 or more hours.
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
  • Gather your filling ingredients.
    Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) garnishes collected
  • Using a stand or handheld blender, whip the cream cheese to a smooth texture.
    Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) whipped cream cheese
  • Add all the other filling ingredients and mix well.
    Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) pumpkin batter with all the spicing in mixing bowl
  • Taste for sweetness and enough acid to balance the richness of the batter.

Cookie Crumbs

  • Crush the cookie crumbs in a resealable bag with a rolling pan, heavy pan, or as I did with a bacon or grill press. You are wanting a loose cookie rubble, not a fine, hard-packed bottom crust.
    Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) crushing cookie crumbs in a resealable bag
  • Melt the butter, mix into the crumbs.
    Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) cookie crumbs moistened with melted butter
  • Add a generous 2 tablespoons of crumbs in the bottom of each serving cup.
    Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake)with cookie crumbs in an individual serving cup
  • Carefully spoon the filling over the crumbs.

Optional Garnishes

  • Garnish as you wish. Please see the following whipped cream and candied pumpkin seeds in this recipe.
    Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) ingredients collected

Whipped Cream

  • In a stand mixer, or using a handheld blender, whip the heavy cream to a very soft peak stage. Add in the sugar and sour cream or thick yogurt and mix a minute longer, or until you have soft pillowy whipped cream. Be very careful not to overwhip. If need be, manually whip using a whisk to ensure you don't go too far.
    Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) whipped cream for garnishing.

Candied Pumpkin Seeds

  • Turn your oven to 350°F (180°C) to preheat. In a small pan over medium-high heat add the nuts, sugar, salt, and water. Bring to a low boil and reduce your heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then drain and place on a lined baking tray.
    Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) pumpkin seeds sweetened and roasted on a lined tray
  • Bake for 7 minutes. Remove the tray and sprinkle on the salt and sugar. Return the oven and after 4 minutes check and look for some light browning. I often need another minute or so.

Notes

  • important: Cardamom Pumpkin Cheesecake (No-Bake) can be made ahead up to two days before you want to serve it.
  • Shortcut: Buy nuts that have been roasted and salted.
  • Double or triple the candied seed recipe if you want to use them on another dish or just want to snack on them.