Whether you’re making Pumpkin Cheesecake for Thanksgiving or another fall gathering, try baking it in the slow cooker for a reliable, fail-proof method. The slow cooker's low temps minimize cracks and help to create a super smooth, creamy filling.This recipe can be made in any size slow cooker but it needs to be able to hold a loaf pan.
Important: Set the cream cheese, sour cream, and pumpkin puree out at room temperature for 1 hour before preparing the recipe. Starting with these ingredients at room temperature is the key to a smooth (not lumpy) cheesecake.
To prepare the slow cooker, place a loaf pan inside the center of the slow cooker and pour water around the pan until it comes up to about 2 inches from the top of the pan. Leave the water in the slow cooker while you make the cake.
Line the loaf pan with parchment paper (this will make it easy to lift the cheesecake out when it’s done cooking).
Spray the inside of the loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, making sure to get the ends that are not lined with parchment.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine graham crackers and melted butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand, scraping down the sides if needed.
Press the crust mixture into the loaf pan to form the crust.
Wipe out the bowl of the food processor and return it to the base.
Combine cream cheese, sour cream, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar in the food processor.
Blend until everything is evenly combined.
Scrape down the sides and add eggs.
Blend just until the eggs are fully incorporated.
Pour cheesecake filling over crust.
Transfer cake to slow cooker.
Place 2 layers of paper towels over the top of the slow cooker and then place the lid snuggly on top of the paper towels. (Note: The paper towels will absorb moisture and prevent condensation from dripping down onto the top of the cake.)
Cook on low for 3 hours (or high for 2 hours), until the sides of the cheesecake are light golden brown and the center still looks a tiny bit wobbly.
Use oven mitts to remove the cheesecake from the slow cooker. Let it cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.
Once it has cooled, gently lift the cheesecake out of the loaf pan (using the parchment) and transfer it to the refrigerator.
Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Slice and serve.
The cheesecake should be served chilled. Be sure to make it a couple hours ahead of time or up to 2 days ahead.