Put the best sweet potato pie cheesecake with creamy roasted sweet potato cheesecake filling and warmly spiced graham cracker crust on your holiday table. It's a simple cheesecake inspired by my soul food sweet potato pie recipe!
Thanksgiving desserts are where I love to flex, experiment, and play each year. The world of Turkey Day dessert ideas is vast and so much fun, which is where my sweet potato cheesecake with real bits of roasted sweet potato mixed right in and surrounded by a perfectly crisp ginger graham cracker crust, comes in.
And if you enjoy this recipe, you'll love my New York style pumpkin cheesecake!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Easy - Making a flavored cheesecake from scratch is much easier than you might think. Prep the crust. Make the sweet potato cheesecake batter. Combine, bake, and chill!
Make-Ahead Magic - Because cheesecake needs to chill to fully set, this is a great dessert to make in advance for holiday dinner.
Fall Flavors - The crispness of the sweet spiced graham crust balances out the dense and creamy roasted sweet potato pie cheesecake interior. Beyond this fall-flavored cheesecake, we LOVE sweet potato desserts around here from my sweet potato bread pudding to praline sauce to these salted caramel sweet potato dessert bars or layered sweet potato pecan pie. And my bourbon sweet potato pie is the champ every single year.
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What You'll Need for this Recipe
Traditional sweet potato pie dessert meets cheesecake for an easy sweet potato and cheesecake pie hybrid.
Roasted Sweet Potato Puree provides the best flavor and natural sweetness compared to boiled.
Cinnamon, Ginger, and Nutmeg add those cozy warming flavor notes you'd look for in a holiday pie to the sweet potato cream cheese filling and the crust!
Brown Sugar adds deep caramelized sweetness and it's what I use in sweet potato pie so a must for sweet potato pie flavored cheesecake. Use dark or light brown sugar.
Check out the recipe card below for full ingredients list, measurements, nutrition facts, and step-by-step instructions!
Substitutions & Variations
Bourbon - Add a splash in place of or in addition to the vanilla extract for hints of vanilla, oaky, and caramel flavor.
Cookie Crust - You can add more spiced sweetness by replacing the graham crackers in the crust with gingersnap cookies or make your sweet potato cheesecake with vanilla wafers crust.
Homemade or Store-bought - Save time with a pre-made graham cracker crust if you need to.
Vegan - Make this sweet potato cheesecake vegan by using plant-based cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and egg substitutes.
How to Make Sweet Potato Cheesecake Pie
Spiced Graham Cracker Crust for Cheesecake
Step One: Crush the graham crackers into crumbs. A few larger pieces are ok.
Step Two: Mix crushed graham cracker with melted butter, sugar, and spices.
Pro Tip #1: Make quick work of crushing graham crackers by running them through a food processor. All it takes is a few pulses! Alternatively, you can add the graham crackers to a large zipper-sealed bag and work our your stress on them with a rolling pin or a heavy kitchen spoon.
Step Three: Press the graham cracker crust mixture into a springform pan.
Pro Tip #2: Wrap the pan with a few layers of aluminum foil before creating the crust. This will help keep water out of the cheesecake while baking with the water bath technique.
Making Sweet Potato Cheesecake Filling
Step Four: Beat the cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer until smooth.
Step Five: Mix in remaining cheesecake filling ingredients, including sweet potato puree, until uniform.
Pro Tip #3: Pause the batter mixing process, as needed, to scrape down the sides of the bowl for an even mix. I like to use a silicone spatula for this step!
Baking Spiced Cheesecake
Step Six: Pour and spread sweet potato cheesecake filling into prepared crust.
Step Seven: Place the pan into a larger pan and fill with about one inch of water.
Pro Tip #4: Raise then tap the pan of cheesecake a few times against the counter top to settle the filling and remove any air bubbles.
Pro Tip #5: Baking cheesecake in a water bath helps it to heat evenly and makes over-baking less likely.
Step Eight: Bake until cheesecake is slightly golden on top and just set, cool to room temperature then chill to fully set.
Pro Tip #6: Cheesecake is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees farenheit but I'm not a fan of sticking a thermometer into the perfectly smooth top of cheesecake so I stick to a consistent bake time and use Better Homes & Gardens jiggle test.
Frequently Asked Questions
Baking the crust is optional and I typically skip it because it's easy to burn. When making graham cracker crust, you want it to turn out uniform, fine, and buttery. It should not crumble away from your cheesecake when you slice and eat it and, ideally, the light crispness of the crust complements the dense creamy cheesecake filling.
Cheesecake is finished baking when the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. The top will be just a little bit jiggly but it should not ripple or appear to still be liquified beneath the top layer. After chilling for a few hours, the cheesecake should be fully set, where the top is firm to the touch and a bit glossy.
Firstly, do not over-bake the cheesecake. Cracking and splitting can occur when the cheesecake contracts inward from the pan (which a normal part of the cooling process) and the edges stick to the pan. This is also why you want your crust to be buttery and should use a nonstick springform pan. Baking cheesecake in a water bath also helps it to heat evenly and makes over-baking less likely.
You can make cheesecake up to three days in advance for the best results. Since cheesecake is served cold, it's a great Thanksgiving make-ahead dessert. Just let it chill in the fridge until dinnertime.
Store leftover cheesecake in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in aluminum foil. It will keep for up to seven days.
To freeze cheesecake, first make sure that it is chilled then wrap it in plastic cling wrap then again in aluminum foil. It will keep for up two two months this way. If freezing leftovers, I recommend cutting into slices first and wrapping separately for easier thawing later. Thaw the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator overnight or within about two hours at room temperature.
How to Serve Southern Sweet Potato Cheesecake Pie
I really enjoy a slice of sweet potato cheesecake with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg but the options are virtually endless. Of course, the cake is perfect all by itself but you can even serve this sweet potato pie cheesecake with praline sauce or a scoop of ice cream for an ultra decadent holiday dessert combination.
This fall cheesecake from scratch is a great addition to your Soul Food Thanksgiving menu!
More Holiday Dessert Recipes
I'm wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season full of connecting over good food and making cheesecake for Thanksgiving dessert. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this New York style sweet potato cheesecake recipe over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Sweet Potato Pie Cheesecake with Spiced Crust
- 1 stand mixer or hand mixer or food processor
- 1 9-inch springform pan
- 3 aluminum foil sheets
- 1 silicon spatula
- 1 large baking or roasting pan for water bath
For the Sweet Potato Cheesecake Filling
- 24 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 ¾ cup sweet potato puree about 1 large sweet potato roasted, peeled, and mashed
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the Spiced Graham Cracker Crust
- 13.5 sheets graham crackers
- ¾ cup butter melted
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap bottom of springform pan with three sheet of aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Crush graham cracker sheets into crumbs by hand or in a food processor or blender.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and sea salt then press mixture into bottom of prepared springform pan.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth (about 4 minutes).
- Add in sweet potato puree, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, sour cream, flour, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt. Mix until uniform and smooth and uniform, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl, as necessary. There may be some small pieces of sweet potato in the batter but no dry pockets of flour should remain.
- Gently pour batter into prepared crust. Gently tap the pan on countertop to settle the batter and use a spatula to spread it evenly. Place pan in oven and bake for about one hour. See recipe notes for tips on doneness.
- Place the springform pan flat into the middle of a larger pan. Pour one inch of boiling water into the large pan. Place pan onto center rack of oven and bake for about one hour. (See recipe notes for gauging doneness).
- Remove cheesecake from oven and allow it to come to room temperature on countertop then cover and transfer to fridge to chill and set for at least four hours.