Pumpkin Cheesecake (Cheesecake Factory Knockoff)

For years, I made traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Everyone loves a good staple, but I'm not a huge pumpkin pie lover. I really wanted a recipe that catered to the more traditional crowd while still giving it a fun twist for non-pie folks like myself. About a decade ago, I received just that. A friend passed along a knockoff recipe for Cheesecake Factory. It is so unbelievably easy and delicious, while still paying homage to its Thanksgiving roots. Since then, I've passed it along to several friends and I'm here to bring it to you too! Try it! You may never want to go back!

pumpkin cheesecake

What you'll need:

Crust:

1- 1/2 cups graham crackers

5 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 Tbsp. sugar

Filling:

3- 8 oz pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 Cup sugar

1 Tsp. vanilla

1 Cup canned pumpkin*

3 eggs

1/2 Tsp. cinnamon

1/4 Tsp. nutmeg

1/4 Tsp. cloves

Whipped Cream for dolloping

Directions:

1. Mix crust ingredients together, just until coated and crumbly. Press into the bottom and 2/3's up the sides of an 8" tin pan or baking dish. 

2. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. Set aside.

3. Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl; mix until smooth with an electric mixer. Add pumpkin, eggs and spices and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour into the crust. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the top turns a bit darker.

. Remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature, then refrigerate.

6. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.