Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake

There’s nothing cooler than going directly from a midlife crisis into a cheesecake baking bender. Little else lifts the spirits like the smell of pumpkin baking in the oven–especially in a cheesecake.

And now, thanks to Ideal Sweetener, options for baking are sexier than Fabio dipped in ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter’. Ideal Sweetener comes in regular granular baking blend (in the cheesecake) and–are you ready for this– brown sugar (in the caramel layer), both of which lend to the extreme gorgeousness of this 10″ cheesecake. The pecans add a bit of ‘hey baby’ to the crust, the perfect mix of sweet and sultry to warm the soul on these cool days.

Don’t let the steps below deter you. This isn’t as rough as it looks, and the different elements really add to the overall effect. If you don’t have access to Ideal Brown Sugar blend to make the caramel sauce, you can score some Walden Farms low carb caramel dip for a similar effect.

Better yet, for a simple pumpkin cheesecake, simply eliminate the whipped topping and the caramel. It’s wonderful enough without the added dadoos, too. You can definitely freeze this cheesecake, make into smaller portions, and appreciate the bounty of this gorgeous gourd in so many ways!


Adding the caramel and whipped topping also hides  surface imperfections

Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake

1/3 cup processed macadamias
1/3 cup processed pecans
1/3 cup processed almonds
4-6 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp xylitol

4-8 ounce pkgs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup Ideal baking blend sweetener**
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
1-15 ounce can packed pumpkin
5 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Ideal brown sugar substitute***
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp ThickenThin/Not Sugar (or 1 tsp xanthan gum)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Sweet Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp Ideal sweetener**
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the Crust:
Combine processed nuts, sweetener and butter in a bowl, and mix well. Press mixture firmly into prepared 10″ spring form pan.

For the Filling:
In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sweetener, spices and pumpkin; mix until just blended. Stir in cream. Add eggs, beating until just blended. Pour batter into crust. Bake in center of oven until cheesecake is firm to touch and slightly puffy, about 50 minutes. Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack for about 45 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours..

For the Caramel Sauce:
Place all ingredients except vanilla in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Boil 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Let cool 5 minutes; stir in vanilla extract.

For the Whipped Cream Topping:
Whip cream with an electric mixer at highest speed until soft peaks form. Add sweetener and vanilla. Mix until firm peaks form. Spread on top of cheesecake. Edge with piped whipped cream to serving. Top with cinnamon.

To assemble:
After cheesecake has had ample time to chill, make and cool caramel sauce (stir the sauce occasionally to keep the liquids from separating.) Pour sauce over the cheesecake, keeping to the center if possible. Refrigerate cheesecake for 30 minutes or until the caramel is set. Add whipped topping after cheesecake has cooled a second time.

Store for 4-5 days in refrigerator or 2 weeks in the freezer.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional Information forthcoming

**Ideal sweetener can be subbed out for Splenda at a 1:1 ratio
*** If you don’t have brown sugar blend, you can skip the caramel

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  1. where are the carb counts for this wonderful.. cheesecake..
    I have a bunch of butternut squash I will use in place of the pumpkin.. thank you but how much will this cost me in…. carbs…. please advise

  2. Where do you find the Ideal sweeteners? I must I simply MUST have this cake soon! <3
    Grizzy from lcf/facebook


    Where do you get Ideal sweetener? I'm not familiar with this one but am researching now…

    Thank you!!


  4. Give us the pros and cons of Ideal sweetener, would you please? I have used Splenda for a long time, haven't really gotten the hang of making it come out quite right in baking, probably because I don't bake often enough :-), and I recently tried Dibetisweet with grossly disastrous results.

  5. WOW! awesome recipe! Your oopsies have changed my life. You should do a low carb cooking class with all of your cool tips, I would be there! I just live a few hops over in Larkspur 😛

  6. This looks so yummy!! I can't wait to try it. Do you think I could skip the crust if someone in my family has a nut allergy? I hope it doesn't fall apart without the nuts. Thanks!

  7. Jamie aka Carbarella says

    Good morning!

    sjwnana–I need to hire my husband to run the numbers. I am going to be revamping all recipes in terms of nutritional information, and this one is definitely on the list.

    Grizelda and Catherine– I just posted reviews and links for both sweeteners and tried to go in depth regarding both, including where to find (there's a store location link there as well). I have to say I'm incredibly impressed with the duo and I'll be searching out the products locally.

    Pamela– Becsuse I'm a supertaster, I think Splenda is sickeningly sweet with a chemical aftertaste. I didn't note any weird aftertastes whatsoever with the Ideal sweetener. Xylitol is wonderful stuff! It tastes like 'real' sugar. I am a fan.

    April– thank you so much! I'd love to give cooking help to friends eventually! First I want to get to goal. Chef's duds aren't slimming. :^o

  8. Jamie aka Carbarella says

    k, I think you can ditch the nut crust. The cheesecake has a dense consistency and is wonderfully easy to slice.If you have any difficulty, superheat your sharp knife in hot water, wipe dry and slice. It's like a hot knife through buttah.

  9. I just made this but didn't have any ideal sweetener so I used Stevia. I will also need to use the Splenda Brown Sugar blend for the caramel and hoping that it turns out. I cannot wait to taste this.

  10. Can you use Splenda brown sugar for the caramel sauce?

  11. Can you use Splenda brown sugar for the caramel sauce?

  12. Dawn,

    Please let me know how it came out with the BST and stevia!

    Jamie this looks awesome and I'm going to try to make it for Thanksgiving for hubby and I! I don't have the sweetener you used but have brown sugar twin, splenda, stevia, xylitol and erythritol…..think any of those combo's would work? I will eventually try to get my hands on that sweetener too but right now can't afford the $$….girl I want to come be your taste tester for awhile!

  13. gwynethreinard says

    Okay. I'm usually not one of those gals who needs direction clarification but I'm having a wee bit of a difficult time grasping your "number" to "number" bit. I feel like a tard for asking, but I've just gotta ~

    "4-6 tbsp of butter" would translate into: Four to six tbsp of butter. Where as "4-8" ounce pkgs cream cheese would translate into: Four eight ounce packages of cream cheese? The same with "1-15 ounce can" would be one fifteen ounce can?

    • Hi Gwyneth,

      i’m sure your use of the slang term “tard” was not meant as hurtful, but please avoid it. I’s demeaning and insulting to developmentally delayed people. There’s a great website called “spread the word to end the word” http://www.r-word.org.

  14. Angela @ Off the Hook says

    This is an amazingly delicious recipe! I tried it last night and I LOVE it. The Ideal Sweetener is totally awesome. I was pleasantly surprised that it has no after-taste like Splenda. I think I am going to freeze a few slices for those times I want to really treat myself.

  15. i've tried so many low carb cheesecakes that I've grown suspicious of them…..is this cheesecake "cheese-cakey" or "cream-cheesy"?

    Both are good, but i prefer the cakey one to the cheesy one.

    Also what is the carb count on this and is it induction friendly.

  16. Your Lighter Side says

    To me, this is more cakey. It's not cheesy. The pumpkin and the spices really take over the flavor.Carb count, I'm not sure, but I'd say it's probably induction friendly, so long as pumpkin is fine in induction (I'm having brain freeze, so I can't remember)…

  17. I LOVE Ideal but couldn’t find it at Food Lion any more. I looked online and you can only buy the name brand of it on Amazon BUT they now sell it at Kroger/Ralph’s as the store brand sweetener but it is made by Ideal! So happy!

    • Isn’t that terrific? I buy mine at King Soopers/Kroger, but I had been purchasing mine online, too. I am so glad to be able to find it locally! Their brown sugar blend is there, too. I had hoped they would carry the confectionery, but I just powder the white and call it good enough. 😀

  18. netrition.com has ideal sweetner both plain and brownsugar.I want to make this but will wait for the carb counts.sounds yummy

    • Zandi– The carb counts are the same, and you’ll save money making your own; not to mention you won’t have to rely on companies to provide the sweetening options many of us need.

  19. Jamie,
    Do you know if there are any good substitutes for dairy in cheesecake? I know it’s a silly question but wondering if that is something I’ll have to live without from now on…

  20. Hi Jamie
    Just wondering if you think that your Reduced Sugar Brown Sugar recipe would work in the
    caramel sauce?? I won’t use the Ideal brown sugar sub because of the Xylitol. The sauce sounds so good and I would love to try it.
    Thanks, Nancy

  21. Terri Quinn says

    I made this with stevia. I did not want to use any splenda so I used coconut sugar for the caramel sauce which is low glycemic but definitely higher in carbs than stevia. The cheesecake was delish! Loved it!

  22. I have made this cheesecake several times now but I have yet to have the caramel sauce come out. I use the Ideal Brown Sugar, as suggested. I don’t know what I am doing wrong but as soon as it starts to cool, it separates into an oily mess. I’ve tried stirring occasionally, continually, not at all…. Same result. I hate throwing that away each time. (expensive) Any ideas?


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