This Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake is made with a pumpkin pie swirl and classic cheesecake, and a must have Fall dessert. This is a small batch cheesecake recipe made in a loaf pan – perfect for two! Top the cheesecake with your favorite whipped topping and caramel drizzle.
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
I’ve always been intimidated by making cheesecake. The springform pan, the water bath, the no opening the oven door or it will crack, etc. etc. Then I happened upon recipes for mini cheesecake that made these fears go away. And, once I made one myself, I had a hard time figuring out what all the fuss was about.
To start, this is a mini cheesecake. It will make enough for two people, and possibly more, depending on how big you cut your cake slices. Second, this small batch Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake is made in a loaf pan, and we’ll talk about that more below.
What Makes This An Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
- No spring form pan needed.
- No need to the cook the cheesecake in a water bath.
- Everything gets mixed in two small bowls, and one food processor.
- Mixing up all of the ingredients should take you less than 15 minutes.
- The majority of the ingredients are pumpkin pie spices. Translation – there are only 6 cheesecake ingredients.
Looking for more Pumpkin and Fall Dessert recipes and ideas? I have collected all of the cozy baking and dessert recipes on the blog in one place! Check out this page for all of my Fall inspired recipes.
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Made In A Loaf Pan
As promised, we are going to talk about making a cheesecake in a loaf pan. One of the many great things about a small batch cheesecake is you have a few options on how you can bake it.
- 9 inch x 5 inch Loaf Pan – This is the method we are using for this recipe. What I like about small batch baking in a loaf pan is you probably already have a loaf pan in your pantry. And, I have made a few desserts on the blog using a loaf pan – like the Frosted Brownie Blondies and Peach Caramel Cake.
- 6-Inch Springform Pan – The springform pan is one of the traditional methods you may think of to bake cheesecake. For instance, I have made a couple cheesecakes in a small springform pan – such as the Neapolitan No-Bake Mini Cheesecake and the No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake. But in all fairness, these are no-bake cheesecakes and I have yet to try actually baking a cheesecake in this pan!
- 6-Inch Round Cake Pan – This method is a little more tricky for a more elaborate, layered cheesecake. However, it will work for this recipe if needed. For example, I have tested the No-Bake Cranberry Mousse Cheesecake in a cake pan, and it works great. It just takes some attention and patience to get the no-bake cake out of the pan!
How To Bake A Cheesecake In A Loaf Pan
I have a couple of tips, but aside from these, it really is easy to bake a cheesecake in a loaf pan. Or any small batch dessert for that matter!
- Line the loaf pan with parchment paper – For this, all you have to do is cut a piece of parchment to fit the long sides of the pan, and long enough so it hangs over the sides of the pan. This is called a ‘sling’ which acts as handles to lift the cheesecake out of the pan.
- Cool and chill the cheesecake completely in the loaf pan – I’ve seen recipes where the cheesecake is left in the oven to cool to avoid cracks on the top. But I get nervous this will dry it out. So, just cool the cheesecake in the loaf pan at room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator.
What You Need To Make Small Batch Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
- Graham Crackers – For the crust. Or any cookie crumbs would be delicious!
- Unsalted Butter – For the crust.
- Granulated Sugar – For the crust.
- Ground Cinnamon – For the crust.
- Cream Cheese – I recommend full fat cream cheese because it makes the cheesecake rich and creamy.
- Egg – The egg acts as a binder for the cheesecake filling.
- Maple Syrup – Or any sweetener of choice.
- Lemon Juice – The lemon juice adds a hint of extra tang to the cheesecake.
- Vanilla Extract
- Pure Pumpkin Puree – Canned pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling. The filling has added ingredients – like sugar and spices – that we are adding ourselves.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – A must for Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake!
- Food Processor – The food processor is extremely handy for making the crust.
- Mixing Bowls
- Loaf Pan – A 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan is what you need for this recipe.
- Parchment Paper – We line the loaf pan with a strip of parchment paper that hangs over the sides of the pan. This makes it easy to lift the cheesecake out of the pan.
Tips For Making Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
Cheesecake Crust Tips
- Make the crust first – This seems obvious, but before you start the cheesecake filling, make and bake the crust first.
- The crust doesn’t need to chill after baking – The cheesecake is going right back into the oven after the crust is baked. Therefore, you don’t have to spare time to allow the baked crust to cool before pouring the filling in.
Cheesecake Filling Tips
- Bring the cream cheese to room temperature – Cream cheese mixes easier and smoother when it is at room temperature.
- Use any sweetener you prefer – I love using maple syrup as my sweetener – especially in the Fall. It adds a beautiful warm and buttery flavor to desserts.
- Don’t overmix the cream cheese filling – Mixing the filling too long allows more air into the filling and the egg. The extra air in the egg may cause the cheesecake to crack and dry out when baked.
- Use pumpkin puree – Not a can of pumpkin pie filling. Because pumpkin pie filling has added sweeteners and spices and we add our own for this recipe.
- Don’t over swirl the batter – If you swirl the pumpkin filling into the plain filling too much, you will just end up mixing the two. While this is not a bad thing and the cheesecake will bake fine, the cheesecake will not have the pretty swirl.
Cheesecake Cooling Tips
- Cool the cheesecake at room temperature as opposed to the oven – Traditionally, cheesecake is cooled in the oven after it is turned off because it alleviates the top from cracking. However, for this recipe we cool the cheesecake at room temperature and still have a beautiful result.
- Keep the cheesecake in the loaf pan while cooling – We want the cheesecake to retain its shape while cooling.
- Chill the cheesecake – The cheesecake needs time in the refrigerator to set up and chill.
Common Questions For Making Small Batch Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
While I have not tested it, I think that will work. Let me know if you try it!
I recommend using full fat cream cheese for cheesecake. Otherwise, I am concerned lower fat cream cheese may not be as rich and creamy.
You can! Any sweetener you prefer will work and I would recommend taste testing as you go to achieve your desired sweetness.
A 6-Inch round cake pan can work. Line the cake pan with two crossed strips of parchment paper. Otherwise, a 6-Inch springform pan will also work.
Cover it with some whipped cream and caramel! There is really nothing you can do about a cracked cheesecake once it is baked.
More Easy Cheesecake Recipes
- Neapolitan No-Bake Mini Cheesecake
- No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
- Apple Chai Cheesecake Bars
- No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits
- Mini Orange Creamsicle No-Bake Cheesecake
- No-Bake Cranberry Mousse Cheesecake
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
- 1 and 1/4 cups graham crackers (about 6 full graham crackers)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or any sweetener of choice)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces pure canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Whipped Coconut Cream (or any whipped topping)
- Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce (or any caramel sauce)
- Preheat oven to 325F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the lower third position. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper long enough to overhang the long sides of the pan.
- In a food processor, combine the graham crackers, melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Pulse until the mix resembles small crumbs.
- Pour the crust mix into the prepared loaf pan and using the bottom of a small measuring cup, press the crust firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
- While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the cream cheese. Using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add the beaten egg, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat until the filling is fully mixed and smooth. Do not overmix.
- Transfer half of the filling into another small mixing bowl. Add the pumpkin puree and spices, and use a spatula to fold the mix together until no light filling streaks remain.
- Pour half of the plain cheesecake filling on top of the warm crust and smooth out to the edges. Next, drop dollops of the pumpkin filling on top, then the remaining plain filling. Finishing with dollops of the pumpkin filling. Using a knife or skewer, gently swirl the fillings together. Only a few swirls as you don't want the two fillings to just mix together.
- Bake the cheesecake for 50-60 minutes, or until the top looks set, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean (it should have a few crumbs).
- Cool the cheesecake completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator to cool for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Pumpkin – Depending on the brand, canned pumpkin can have different names, but is the same thing: Pumpkin Puree, Pure Pumpkin, 100% Pumpkin, Organic Pure Pumpkin. Just be sure it is not Pumpkin Pie Filling.
about the author ...
I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!
I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!