A creamy and silky low carb pumpkin cheesecake featuring delicious autumn flavours. The perfect dessert for your Thanksgiving feast – and just as irresistible the rest of the year! Sugar free, gluten free and diabetic-friendly recipe.
Cheesecake is one of those desserts liked by around 99.9% of the population. I think it’s that exceptional combination of rich creaminess and cooling, light freshness. Whether it’s fruity, chocolatey or, in this case, featuring the mellow flavours of pumpkin and warming spices, cheesecake is just SO SATISFYING!
Even better, it’s one of those desserts that are PERFECT for a sugar free and low carb makeover. All you need to do is replace the traditional cookie crumb crust with a nut flour crust and use powdered sweetener instead of the sugar!
This low carb pumpkin cheesecake has a baked crust made with nuts and plenty of ground ginger. It tastes as if it’s made from gingerbread cookies!
The filling is a luscious mix of pumpkin puree, double / heavy cream, cream cheese and a generous amount of warming spices. Check out my tips below – I know a super easy hack to prevent cheesecake filling from splitting!
Pumpkin is a favourite staple for low carb and keto diets.
It contains 6.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. This makes it less sugary and starchy than any other starchy vegetable. Pumpkin is a good choice for diabetics and for anyone wanting to keep their blood sugar levels stable.
How to make low carb pumpkin cheesecake – step by step
1.) Blend almond flour with pecans, walnuts, melted butter, sweetener, ground ginger and a pinch of nutmeg. I did this in a food processor, but you can use a stick blender plus attachment as well.
Tip: You can vary the type of nuts you use, as long as the amount stays the same. Both pecans and walnuts work well with pumpkin.
I used 2 tablespoons of granulated erythritol to sweeten the crust. If you like yours sweeter, feel free to add more!
2.) Fill the crust mix into a 9 inch springform which you have greased with butter (or cooking spray). If you’re worried about the crust sticking, you can also line the base with parchment paper.
3.) Press the walnut pecan crust firmly into the cake pan. You can do this with your fingers or with a glass. The firmer you press, the less crumbly your crust will be.
Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until it is browned at the edges. This will prevent it from getting soggy!
4.) Now it’s time to get the cheesecake filling started. First, you simmer the pumpkin puree with spices and powdered sweetener until it’s silky and thickened – I got this idea over at the (not sugar free) blog Once upon a chef.
Baker’s Tip: Don’t skip this step – it reduces the amount of liquid in the pumpkin and intensifies the pumpkin taste!
I used Libby’s pumpkin puree in this recipe – it’s widely available in the US and you can get it at Waitrose over here in the UK during autumn and winter. I always stock up while I can!! If you can’t get hold of canned pumpkin, find out how to make your own here.
5.) Blend the cooled pumpkin puree with the double / heavy cream.
6.) Add the cream cheese….
7.) … and the eggs. You should mix only until combined – you want as little air in the filling as possible.
8.) Pour the cheesecake filling onto the cooled crust and bake for around 1 1/2 hours.
Tips and tricks to make a perfectly formed low carb pumpkin cheesecake
Whether it’s Thanksgiving or any other day of the year, you don’t want your pumpkin cheesecake to split. Well, I’ve got an kitchen hack for that: ALWAYS place a pan with boiled water inside the oven, right below the baking cheesecake.
This is SO MUCH EASIER than the traditional way, where you have to envelop the springform with aluminium foil and place it in a water bath. Make a mistake and end up with a soggy cheesecake. Believe me, I’ve been there.
By placing a baking tray or other ovenproof container with boiling water underneath the cheesecake, you have the same effect without all the work (and the risk).
You can decorate your low carb pumpkin cheesecake with a sugar free caramel sauce or simply with a dollop of sweetened cream – or with both!
Optional Maple Caramel Sauce:
I used the Lakanto maple flavoured syrup to make the sauce (it’s available in the US only, but Lakanto sent me their products to try).
Lakanto makes erythritol-based sweeteners with Monkfruit which taste good and are reasonably priced. I’ve negotiated a special discount for my readers: If you add the code SUGARFREE at the checkout you get 20% off all non-sale items!!
- Melt 1/3 cup Lakanto maple flavoured syrup, 3 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp heavy / double cream in a small saucepan.
- Cook on a medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Let cool and spoon over the cheesecake. The sauce thickens as it cools.
If you are in the UK, the Sukrin Fibre Syrup would be a good alternative.
I find that granulated sweetener works well in the crust and powdered sweetener is better for the filling. Eythritol mixed with stevia is my personal go-to sweetener, but you can use xylitol as well (this will increase the carb count though), monkfruit, or Swerve.
Don’t have powdered sweetener? You can make your own by blending granular sweetener in a food processor.
Take a look at my other pumpkin recipes:
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Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake Crust
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
Sugar Free Maple Caramel Sauce (optional)
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml Lakanto maple flavoured syrup
- 3 tbsp / 50g butter
- 2 tbsp heavy / double cream
Pumpkin Cheesecake Crust
- Preheat the oven to 160 Celsius / 320 Fahrenheit.
- Blend all ingredients for the crust in a food processor or with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Grease a 9 inch springform with butter or cooking spray (bottom and sides) and press the nut mixture into the bottom. You can do this with your fingers or use the bottom of a glass.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are browned. Then remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- While the crust is baking, heat the pumpkin puree, all spices and half the sweetener (1/2 cup / 60g) in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for ca 5 minutes, stirring frequently. This way the pumpkin becomes less watery. Once the pumpkin mix is brown and silky, remove from the stove and cool.
- Blend the cooled pumpkin mix with the double/heavy cream and the remaining 1/2 cup / 60g powdered sweetener.
- Now add the cream cheese and blend until smooth.
- Last, add the eggs - 3 eggs plus 2 egg whites (you can use the remaining 2 egg yolks for homemade mayonnaise!). Blend only briefly to combine and avoid getting air bubbles into the mix.
- Fill a baking tray ca 2 fingers high with just boiled water and place in the bottom of the oven. Place the springform with your pumpkin cheesecake on a rack above the tray. Bake for ca 90 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. When it does NOT jiggle any more it's done.
- Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature (this takes ca 3 hours). Then chill in the fridge for at least another 4 hours or overnight until serving.
Sugar Free Maple Caramel Sauce
- Melt all ingredients for the caramel sauce in a small saucepan and cook on a medium heat for 3 minutes. Let cool and spoon over the cheesecake. The sauce thickens as it cools.
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