A buttery, gingersnap crust is filled with a smooth and creamy, fall spiced filling in this sweet potato cheesecake. It’s the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu and fall baking.
Sweet potatoes are a delicious addition to cheesecake. The naturally sweet flavor of the potatoes mixed with fall spices creates a delicious twist on the classic cheesecake. Baked into a buttery, gingersnap crust, this sweet potato cheesecake is a delicious dessert to serve all fall long and especially at Thanksgiving. It’s simple to make and can be made the day before.
What you need to make sweet potato cheesecake
9-inch springform pan
Medium mixing bowl
Large mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl
Handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
Large, deep baking pan
Gingersnap cookies. These cookies are a delicious flavor combination with the sweet potato filling. You can substitute graham cracker crumbs for the gingersnap cookie crumbs if you prefer.
Sugar. A little bit of granulated sugar is added to the crust for some sweetness. It can be omitted, or for increased sweetness, you can add another two tablespoons of sugar. Granulated sugar is also added to the filling as the sweetener.
Butter. Use unsalted butter. It should be melted in the microwave or a saucepan and added to the cookie crumbs as the binding ingredient for the crust.
Salt. Just a bit of salt adds a balance of flavor to the crust and filling.
Cream cheese. Use full-fat blocks of cream cheese for the filling. Do not use the tubs of cream cheese as these are processed to be spreadable (they are whipped and have more air in them). The blocks of cream cheese will give you the best results. Bring your cream cheese to room temperature to achieve a filling that is creamy and has a smooth consistency.
Eggs. Use large eggs and bring them to room temperature.
Sweet Potatoes. To cook and mash the sweet potatoes, I recommend peeling and dicing the potatoes. Boil in water for about 15-20 minutes or until they are fork-tender and then strain. Place in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Make sure potatoes are completely at room temperature when added to the filling mixture.
Ground cinnamon. Adds a warm, fall flavor to the filling. Because we love cinnamon, I add a heaping 1 1/2 teaspoons to the mixture.
Ground nutmeg. Pairs nicely with ground cinnamon, especially in fall desserts.
Ground ginger. The peppery flavor of ginger adds a lovely balance to the sweetness and warm flavor of cinnamon.
Ground cloves. This particular spice is potent, so a little bit goes a long way. If you are not a fan of the flavor, feel free to omit from the recipe.
Heavy Cream. Just a little bit of heavy cream is added to the filling to soften the texture and to add moisture.
How to make sweet potato cheesecake
- Make the crust. Combine all the crust ingredients in a mixing bowl until evenly combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of your baking pan (use the back of a measuring cup to do this). Bake the crust in a preheated oven for 8 minutes and set aside to cool while preparing your filling.
- Prepare the filling. Beat together the softened cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and creamy. Beat in each egg, one at a time allowing each egg to incorporate into the cream cheese mixture fully. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. Add the sweet potatoes and mix until smooth. Mix in all the spices and then add in the heavy cream and mix until combined. Pour filling into prepared crust.
- Bake the cheesecake. Bake in preheated oven for 55-70 minutes. The edges should be set, and the center almost set. The center will slightly jiggle when you gently shake the pan. Once ready, turn off the oven and leave the oven door propped slightly open for 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from the oven and water bath and allow to completely cool. Refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours) before serving.
Tips and takeaways
- Use heavy-duty aluminum foil to wrap the outside of your springform pan tightly. You want to avoid the water from entering your pan and making your crust soggy.
- A water bath will help your cheesecake cook evenly and help prevent the top from cracking. The steam created from the water bath produces a moist and humid environment which helps your cheesecake to rise, set, and not dry out. To prepare a water bath, place your springform pan (filled with your uncooked cheesecake) into a larger deep pan. Pour enough boiling water so that it is halfway up the sides of your cheesecake pan.
- Do not overmix your filling as over mixing can cause your cheesecake to crack. Only mix until all the ingredients are just combined. Use the paddle attachment to mix your ingredients on medium-low speed to avoid beating too much air into your filling.
- If your filling has clumps after being mixed, run your mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any clumps so that you will have a creamy, smooth mixture.
For more fall-inspired recipes, try these…
- Pumpkin cinnamon rolls
- Baked apple cider donuts
- Pumpkin Nutella muffins
- Apple pie bars
- Pumpkin spice sugar cookies
A butter, gingersnap crust is filled with a smooth and creamy, fall spiced filling in this sweet potato cheesecake. It’s the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu and fall baking.
For the crust
- 2 1/4 cups (315 g) gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 2 tablespoons (24 g ) granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g ) salt
For the filling
- 24 oz (680 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs (150 g), at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6.3 g ) pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (400 g ) mashed cooked sweet potatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (2 g) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g) ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
- 1/4 cup (57 g) heavy cream
- Boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Tightly wrap the outside of the pan (both sides and bottom) with aluminum foil. Set aside
For the crust
- In a medium mixing bowl combine gingersnap cookies crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter until evenly mixed. Press crumb mixture evenly into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the prepared springform pan. Bake crust for 8 minutes. Allow to cool while preparing filling.
For the filling
- In a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. On medium-low speed beat in eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to fully incorporate before adding the next. Scrape down the mixing bowl between each addition. Mix in vanilla, add the sweet potatoes and mix until smooth. Add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt to the mixture and beat until evenly combined. Add in heavy cream and mix until just combined.
- Place prepared baking pan into a larger deep baking pan. Pour filling into prepared crust. Pour boiling water into larger baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake 55-70 minutes or until the edges are set and the center is almost set. The center of the cheesecake will still slightly jiggle when you gently shake the pan. Turn off the oven and prop open the oven door slightly. Allow the cheesecake to sit in the cooling oven for 1 hour while the water bath cools down.
- Carefully remove from the oven and from the water bath and allow cheesecake to cool to room temperate. Once completely cooled, place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the sides of the pan and remove the rim of the springform pan. Slice cheesecake into desired servings. Wipe the knife clean between each slicing to get clean cuts.
- Storage Information: Cover and store cheesecake in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keywords: sweet potato cheesecake, custard, cake, cheesecake