Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake – 2 ways! Part 1 – The Traditional.


double layer pumpkin cheesecake spice with shortbread pecan crust pin

If my S.O. had to pick one food to eat for the rest of his life, it would be this pumpkin cheesecake–>Btw, I’d already written that, and he later said, word for word, that I should write that. By his own admission, my pumpkin cheesecake is half the reason he keeps me around. Or in my view, more like 30-40% of the reason. Either way, if I produce it for him on the reg, then we enjoy co-habitation bliss!

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I asked him if he had any remarks he’d like to add about this dessert, and he said: “If you like cheesecake, and you like pumpkin, you’ll love this.” He’s usually much more profound than that statement would suggest. I responded, “That’s what you’re gonna go with?” Then he added, “It’s only as good as the last time you made it, which was the best it ever was. Therefore, it’s always the best dessert of all time.” Really?

His contribution felt convoluted, but I promised I’d include it. Maybe next time I’ll take a few creative liberties when I’m relaying this all to you, because I don’t know that this exchange really captures how intelligent and likable S.O. can be! Haha.

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken this cheesecake to a holiday party where it’s been raved about. I also make this even if it’s May, and we’re just in the mood for it. Yes, it’s pumpkin, but it knows no boundaries in my house. If you’re in the mood for pumpkin cheesecake, who cares if it’s 94 degrees outside and it’s July?

I really knew this was a hit when I brought it to Thanksgiving a few years ago and my uncle told me that it was the best cheesecake he’d ever had. He’s a legit foodie who LOVES to cook, and he’s excellent at it. I love him to pieces, but he’s also (cough) a touch stubborn and arrogant (cough), so for him to admit that something is delicious… that means A LOT. To me, that is a compliment of the highest order.

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Incidentally, I have 2 recipes for double layer pumpkin cheesecakes. I’ve used them both a ton, and while they sound similar, they’re totally different. They each have a separate time and place, so I thought it would be fun to do a 2-part post! Check back for Part 2 – the no bake version!

This is the ‘fancier’ version, but it’s simple and easy, as far as cheesecakes go. Graham cracker crusts just don’t do anything for me, so I give this an upgrade with a shortbread and pecan crust. It’s soooo much better. It has a layer of traditional rich and creamy cheesecake, with a layer of pumpkin spice cheesecake on top. It is nothing short of phenomenal. The perfect amount of spice and pumpkin flavor.

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4.7 from 7 reviews
Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A double layer pumpkin cheesecake with pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and clove, and a shortbread pecan crust!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10-12 slices
  • 1 - 11 oz. package pecan sandies or shortbread cookies, crushed
  • ¼ c. finely chopped pecan pieces
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 3 - 8oz. packages ⅓ reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 pinch clove
For crust:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs, pecan pieces, sugar, and melted butter.
  2. Mix until crumbly, and press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, pressing the crumbs slightly up the edges.
For filling:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add in sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth and well-combined.
  3. Mix in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Remove about 1.5 cups of cream cheese batter and gently spread onto crust in an even layer.
  5. Add pumpkin and spices to remaining batter and stir gently until well-combined.
  6. Carefully spread the pumpkin batter over the first layer of batter in an even layer.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-65 minutes. The edges will be golden brown, and the center will still jiggle slightly, but will set as it cools.
  8. Allow to cool completely. Serve and enjoy!
The easiest way I've found to crush the cookies into crumbs is by placing them in a gallon-size ziplock bag, and smashing them with a rolling pin!

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You just died and went to cheesecake heaven!


  1. says

    This pumpkin cheesecake looks amazing, Sarah! I can see why everyone raves about it! I’m such a big pumpkin lover, but I don’t think I’ve ever had it in a cheesecake before. That’s definitely got to change! And I love that you used shortbread cookies instead of graham crackers for the crust. Sounds delicious! Pinned!

    • says

      Oooooh, you *must* try pumpkin cheesecake! It’s the best food on earth, I swear! Seriously, even if it’s not this recipe, get yourself some pumpkin cheesecake asap! You’ll love it since you are such a pumpkin fan! I feel like shortbread trumps graham cracker any day, right? Thanks for pinning, Gayle! Have a wonderful day!! :)

    • says

      Lol! I think relationship happiness must have a direct correlation with food and meals. :) Thank you for your kind comment. Have a wonderful day!

  2. says

    Omg YUM. I am not a huge cheesecake fan but I do love pumpkin pie. I think you just provided me with what I’ll be taking to Thanksgiving dinner this year. :)

    • says

      Thanks, Tami! You’re too funny! Not a fan of fall OR cheesecake?! How is that possible? Hehe. :) Everybody agrees on pumpkin though! I know I can’t get enough! You should definitely try it – it’s one of our all-time fave desserts. Thanks for stopping by!! Have a good one!

  3. says

    WOW! That looks amazing. And what a cute blog you have!!
    If I could eat dairy, I would SOOO dive into this cheesecake!!
    Have a great day!
    Stopping by via Southern Girl Blogging!

    • says

      Hi Mikki! Do you eat soy? I wonder if silk tofu would make for a decent substitute! I’ll have to look into that. It would be nice to pump this up with protein anyway! :) Thanks so much for your comment and for stopping by!

    • says

      Haha, right?! Is there a better food on the planet? I can’t get enough of pumpkin stuff right now and this cheesecake is one of our favorite desserts of all-time, if not THE favorite! :) Thanks so much for your kind comment, Amy!

  4. says

    Wow, that looks awesome! I love pumpkin pie and cheesecake so combining them sounds like a match made in heaven! I agree with you on the graham cracker crust too, it does nothing for me either. Shortbread pecan crust sounds way better!

    • says

      I know, right? Graham cracker crusts don’t excite me at all! The shortbread makes a HUGE difference! :) Pumpkin cheesecake is definitely a top favorite dessert. It’s amazing! Hope all is well with you!!

    • says

      Oh great! I’m so glad you like it, Trisha! Thank you for pinning! Definitely make it – you will LOVE it! Let me know how you do! Have a lovely weekend! :)

    • says

      Yes!! Doesn’t it surpass all other Thanksgiving desserts?! Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin pie, but nothing will top combining pumpkin with cheesecake. This is a top fave dessert of ours, for sure! Thanks so much for stopping over here, Julie! :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    • says

      I have not tried that, but I did consider it! When I made this most recently, we were carameled out from other recipes. Haha! If you give it a go, let me know! Thanks so much for swinging by! :)

  5. says

    Looks creamy! I’ll have to give this a try, it sounds yummy. Thanks for linking up for Scraptastic Saturdays. This post will be shared via FB/Twitter/Pinterest. Have a wonderful day. Hope to see you next Saturday.

    • says

      You should definitely try it! It’s easy! But even better if you do find someone to make it for you!!! :) Thanks, Bree! Have a great Sunday!

  6. Maddy Sung says

    Hi Sarah,
    Can I make this with a frozen pastry crust? I am somewhat new to pie baking, (my sister makes the best pies, but I won’t be home for Thanksgiving this year :( ) And I love love love pumpkin pie with an actual pie crust. Can that substitute? And if so, I cook the crust first then put it in the oven? Thanks so much! I might do two pies, one with the shortbread and one with the pie crust, it looks so good!!

    • says

      Hi Maddy! I’m not sure – I have not made a cheesecake in a traditional pastry crust before. In a quick search, there are other cheesecake recipes in pie crusts, and the crusts were not pre-baked. In my experience with frozen pre-made crusts, they’re very handy and much easier than making your own, that’s for sure! I cannot say positively that this idea of yours will work, but it probably would. Let me know how it goes! Good luck!

  7. Alexandra says

    I wanted to take a moment and thank you for sharing this great recipe! I made it for Thanksgiving and it was an absolute hit, especially with my husband who does not care for sweets at all. While I bought a pre-made graham crust because I was in a pinch for time and sharing a kitchen with a very busy chef, I do advise everyone who makes this recipe to make a homemade crust, it will bring this pie just one notch up to superb! Again, thanks so much.

    • says

      Hi Alexandra! Thanks so much for your kind comment! I’m sooooo glad you liked it and that it turned out well for you! It’s one of our top favorite desserts ever! We love it. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it too! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! :)

  8. JoyousMN says

    I googled layered pumpkin cheesecake because I wanted to make a pumpkin pie today and felt like changing things up a bit–and ended up here. I didn’t have shortbread, so it’s plain old graham cracker crust for mine, but I just put it in the oven so I’ll post back after I pull it out and serve it.

    Right now I’ll rate it 5 stars for EASY to make! and sounds really delish. I can’t wait to try it. Oh, hurry up oven! :-)

    • says

      Oh great!! I’m so glad you ended up here! :) Thanks for letting me know that you tried it – I love hearing that from people! Please stop back and let me know how you liked it. I’m not kidding when I tell you that it is our FAVORITE dessert of all time!!

  9. LIM Jaris says

    Hi SArah,

    Thank you for the recipe..

    I would like to ask how do we make sure the first cheese layer is set already before we pour in the pumpkin cheese layer? Do we need to wait for a certain amount of time or put the poured-in pan into the fridge first while preparing the pumpkin layer?

    I follow the steps but they got mixed up… How do i distinctively have 2 separate layers?

    Thank you very much.

    • says

      Hi there! You do not have to let the first layer set! You’ll just carefully pour the second layer over the first layer, and then bake it. The cheesecake is pretty thick, so it doesn’t all run together, the layers stay separate. Hope that helps!

  10. Alicia says

    I’m going to be making almost everything for our Thanksgiving dinner this year, and this is definitely part of the menu, but I’m wondering how far in advance I could make it? It’s going to be chaos so the more I can get done ahead of time the better. Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Alicia! I just made it last weekend, and it was still holding strong 5 or 6 days later, believe it or not. You could make it 1-2 days ahead of time, but I wouldn’t push it further than that. It’ll stay good for longer, but to present it at the holiday, I wouldn’t make it more ahead than 1-2 days. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!

  11. Marie says

    This looks fantastic! I’ve made the non bake version you posted for years and bake a bazillion other desserts but cheesecake in general has never been one I have mastered but this definitely is one I want to try. I think the spring form pan and I are not friends LOL! Hopefully it doesn’t stick on me. Did you find yours sticks at all? Does it need to be wrapped in foil and put in water bath at all? Seriously those pans are like foreign objects to me! I’m super stoked to try this tho my SO loves LOVE cheesecake! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • says

      I do not find that things stick in my springform pans, but I do grease them pretty well. And I don’t do the water bath with my cheesecakes. I probably should, but I don’t! Sometimes my cheesecakes crack, but I’ve decided I don’t care. Lol! I’m just happy with how it tastes, and this one is my favorite! :)

    • says

      That will be fine! The cheesecake won’t be quite as tall, and it might bake for a bit less time, so watch the timer more closely, but that shouldn’t be a big deal!


  1. […] I presented these to S.O. when he came home from work on Friday and asked him for his feedback. True to form, he gave me this gem: “They’re sweet and tasty.” If you’ll recall, I often rely on him for profound and thorough food reviews. […]

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