Pumpkin Basque Cheesecake

This pumpkin Basque cheesecake is a stunning addition for your holiday desserts! Burnt and golden on top and rich and creamy inside!

To recipe
pumpkin basque cheesecake
Recipe insights & TIPS

Forget all the rules of baking cheesecake when you make this pumpkin Basque cheesecake! Traditionally baked at a high heat for a burnt exterior and creamy, rich interior!

a Basque cheesecake just out of the oven.

What is Basque cheesecake?

Basque cheesecake is a cheesecake from the Basque region of Spain. Who would have thought that La Vina.  a small restaurant in San Sebastian, would create such a stir when they made this charred cheesecake over thirty years ago! Making Basque cheesecake goes against all of the usual rules that come into play when making cheesecake, and that's what makes it fun.

"Burning" this cheesecake is encouraged and creates a deep golden caramelized color but baking at a high heat, 400 degrees, keeps the inside rich and creamy!

If you tend to always have a regular pumpkin cheesecake for the holidays, try it this way and  I bet family and friends will love the presentation and difference in textures.

showing the inside slice of a Basque cheesecake


Do I need to use a springform pan? No, just make sure to layer your parchment paper so it's strong enough to pull up the cheesecake once it has cooled. I recommend giving the pan a light spray with oil .

How do I know if my cheesecake is done? After 1 hour the cheesecake should have developed a nice golden color, but keep an eye on it from the 50 minute mark as it can over-burn quickly. The cheesecake should not seem wet in the center but the whole thing should "jiggle" when gently shaken.  

How do I serve my Basque cheesecake? The cheesecake should be served at room temperature and I highly recommend making a day ahead and letting it set in the fridge overnight. If you do this, keep it in the pan and parchment paper until you're ready to slice it. Use a clean wet knife to cut a perfect slice and you can add a dollop of whipped cream on top or a drizzle of maple syrup.

Do I need to use a water bath to bake this cheesecake? Usually I would always say yes for a slow cooking cheesecake, but because Basque cheesecake gets baked at a high heat, I didn't use a water bath and I didn't have any issues.

Does this cheesecake have a strong pumpkin flavor? No it does not. You actually taste more of the spices and cinnamon with just a slight pumpkin flavor. It's not as strong as. regular pumpkin pie.

pumpkin Basque cheesecake with a slice cut from it

Tips for making this cheesecake

  • Make a day ahead and let its et overnight in the fridge
  • Spray the pan lightly to help the parchment paper stick
  • Use two pieces of parchment paper overlapping one another to create a secure layer and to prevent any leaks
  • Make sure the parchment paper reaches about 1-2 inches over the height of the pan as the cheesecake will rise up like a soufflé'
  • Use a wet knife and clean it between each slice for a neater presentation
  • Store leftovers in the fridge but bring to room temperature before serving
  • Serve with a dollop of whipped vanilla cream on top
A white, fluffy chef's hat with an orange band, logo of Foodness Gracious.


Rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake with a golden "burnt" exterior

60 minutes
Total TIME:
75 minutes
15 minutes


  • 2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 5 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredient Swaps


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°
  2. Spray a 9 inch springform pan lightly with oil and line with two 12 x 16 pieces of parchment paper making sure they overlap and stick up over the top of the pan.
  3. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the sugar and continue beating on high speed until the sugar is dissolved and making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
  5. On low speed, add the eggs, including the yolk, one at a time making sure to mix well.
  6. Add the cream and mix.
  7. Sift the flour into the cheesecake and mix on low until no lumps are visible.
  8. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla and mix well.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place on a large baking sheet pan.
  10. Place into the oven and bake for 60 minutes.
  11. The cheesecake should be dark and golden but still be able to wobble when nudged.
  12. Let cool and then store in the refrigerator overnight.
  13. Lift the cheesecake our of the pan and carefully pull the parchment paper away from the edges of the cheesecake.
  14. Slice with a wet knife and serve at room temperature.
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