Lightened Up Pumpkin Cheesecake

Lightened Pumpkin Cheesecake

My low fat cheesecake uses all reduced fat ingredients but nobody would guess it’s low fat. It’s delicious and so rich tasting! I brought it to a party once and they are STILL talking about it. It’s best to have all your ingredients at room temperature. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Makes: One 9-inch cheesecake

Lightened Pumpkin Cheesecake


  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • a little butter for greasing

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 15 ounces part skim ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream (I prefer Daisy brand)
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Generously coat a 9-inch springform pan with butter.
  3. Roll the crumbs around the bottom and sides, leaving the remainder covering the bottom.
  4. Beat egg whites, gradually adding sugar, until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  5. Pour off any liquid from cheeses.
  6. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat ricotta and cream cheese for one minute until smooth, scraping down once. On low speed, add sour cream and pumpkin.
  7. Slowly add sugar on low speed followed by egg yolks one at a time, then spices. The mixing process takes about 5 minutes.
  8. Using a spatula by hand, gently fold in egg whites.
  9. Pour batter into pan, smoothing top, and bake for 1 hour.
  10. Turn oven off and leave cake inside for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove to a cooling rack for 2 hours. Refrigerate before serving.

18 Comments on "Lightened Up Pumpkin Cheesecake"

  1. Hilde

    H Jenny
    Can the Cheesecake be frozen…want to take this to my kids for Thanksgiving.
    Hilde Robbins

    • Beth

      I’m wondering if you did freeze this cheesecake. I want to do the same..make ahead.

  2. Carolyn M,

    Love your bread recipe I am trying Organic whole wheat bread flour today Hope it comes out.

  3. Halina

    Jenny – over the years I have seen my grandmother and mother make Ukrainian holopsie. I have never tried it cause it looked too hard or time consuming to make. Well I ran across your video for Polish Golupsie and tried it making changes where I knew my mother would. They were really easy watching your video and my husband said they were better than his Ukrainian grandmothers. Well done and thank you!!! You are awesome!

  4. Kathryn

    I would love to make this for my son’s birthday as he loves pumpkin. But I would need a gluten free crust. I am hoping you have one or suggestions on what I can use.

    • Vera

      Hi Kathryn. I am gluten-sensitive and discovered this flour company when the pandemic hit. I can make pie crusts and bread with no reaction! Have a look at the site: Might be worth trying.
      As for an easy pie crust, here’s my infallible recipe (not low-cal but fabulous):
      Butter Flaky Pie Crust (from
      Prep: 5-10 minutes
      Ready in: 4 hours 15 minutes
      • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
      • 1/4 cup ice water
      1. In a food processor, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Sometimes I’m impatient and don’t wait that long but the pie crust still works.
      2. Roll dough out to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

    • Lori

      This is a late response but they sell gluten free graham crackers at my local grocery store as well as gluten free ginger snaps. Either of these should work when substituted for regular graham crackers.

  5. Cindy

    I used crushed low fat ginger snap cookies instead of graham cracker crumbs for the crust. Took this cheesecake to a whole new level of deliciousness.

  6. Catie

    Hi Jenny
    I’m wondering if it’s ok to use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in your pumpkin cheesecake recipe. Have you ever tried that?
    PS I stumbled upon your faster no knead bread video and loved it. That’s what led me to your website. I have tried most of your no knead bread recipes with excellent results every time. I just love your sense of humor. Thank you so much.

  7. Maria

    Hello Jenny,
    We stumbled across a video of yours in you tube, I’ve been obsessed with the videos and recipes since then. I’ve watched all of them….shhhh….
    We’ve tried a few of your recipes, the whole wheat bread, the cinnamon rolls your strawberry cake just to name a few….. Oh my gosh!! AMAZING!!!!! Thank you for sharing them with all of us! I looked for the video on this amazing cheesecake and the regular one, didn’t find one….will you be making a how to video with the cheesecakes?? Thanks again! Keep on cooking and creating amazing healthier recipes for us to try!! Loving it!

  8. piaaaro

    Hello Jenny,
    can I also add 1/2 a teaspoon of ground ginger?

    • Jenny

      Of course you can adjust the spices for your own taste.

  9. JB

    I am considering making this, but wondering if I could use less sugar lets say 1/2 cup instead. What do you think? Would it change the out come or only the amount of sweetness?

    • Jenny

      The sugar contributes to the body of this cheesecake so I hesitate to advise since I have never done it differently. Usually, if you reduce a dry ingredient, you would reduce some of the liquid but I’m not sure which one you would reduce… I wish I could help but in this case I’m just not sure. I realize it’s more sugar than I usually bake with but I only make this cake during the holidays.

      • JB

        Thanks Jenny for the advise… will make as stated in recipe and see how it turns out. My goal is to make desserts at home so my family members do not buy the other stuff sold elsewhere.


  10. Richie

    I made this and it was a hit, I substituted nonfat greek yogurt for the sour cream for a bit more protein. Thanks Jenny!

  11. Kari Spencer

    What can be used instead of the spring\form pan? I have a Bundt cake pan…?

    • Jenny

      Most cheesecakes use a springform pan because cheesecakes are soft and not easy to lift out of a pan, so a bundt pan would not work. I have never done it but you could try a pie pan with a sloped edge so you can get under the cake to lift out a slice. But then my recipe would make too much filling for a pie pan so you might need to halve the recipe or make two pies.

      A pie pan would be easier if you had a traditional crust of graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter which bakes into a more firm base. But mine doesn’t have much of a crust so it’s soft all the way to the bottom. I’m afraid that if you slide a cake cutter or large knife under the cheesecake it could turn into mush.

      Remember that cheesecake is a bit like a firm pudding, especially this one. I doubt if a cake pan would work at all because the tall sides would not let you get under it to lift out a slice. So a pie pan would be the best bet but if you try it, please tell us how it turned out. I wish I could be more help…

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