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28 Thanksgiving Cheesecake Recipes that Will End Your Holiday Dinner on a Sweet Note

Whatever pie you were thinking of baking for Thanksgiving—be it apple, pumpkin or pecan—your guests will see it coming from a mile away. Why not serve something that’s just as crowd-pleasing and celebratory, but less expected? Our top choice is cheesecake, since there are endless variations of the creamy, decadent, impressive dessert, and it’s basically impossible not to like—even for picky kids. Read on for 28 Thanksgiving cheesecake ideas that we swear by. (And if you can’t imagine Turkey Day without pie, check out numbers 11, 13 and 14, ASAP.)

The 65 Best Cheesecake Recipes of All Time


1. Chocolate Glazed Espresso Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, make ahead

It doesn’t get classier than this caffeinated confection, folks. Instant espresso powder in the filling complements the chocolate cookie crust and gooey glaze just right.

2. No-Bake Mini Mason Jar Spiced Cheesecakes

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no bake, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

These teeny-tiny winter delights are complete with gingersnap cookie crumble and red currant jelly. Once they’re assembled, they only need to chill for about 30 minutes.

3. Gluten-Free Ricotta Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, gluten free, <10 ingredients

Potato starch and eggs hold this cheesecake together without the help of all-purpose flour, so your wheat-sensitive relatives can dig in to their hearts’ content.

4. Vegan Golden Mylk Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegan, dairy free, gluten free

Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon make this plant-based treat just right for fall. (The almond-flax crust doesn’t hurt, either.)

5. Slow Cooker Oreo Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

When in doubt, lean on this picky kid-proof dessert that comes together in your handy Crockpot (since your oven is already reserved for turkey and stuffing)—no water bath required.

6. No-Bake Cheesecake with Raspberry Compote

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, no bake, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients

This assemble-and-chill cheesecake just might be the easiest of all time. Feel free to substitute cranberries for raspberries in the topping for a seasonal spin.

7. Mini Yogurt Cheesecakes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Graham crackers, cream cheese and Greek yogurt prove that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to pull off dessert for a crowd. (Oh, and that pretty pomegranate topper? *Chef’s kiss*.)

8. Cheesecake Bars with Melted Chocolate

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Take your pick between Greek yogurt and sour cream for the filling—both will impart the optimal dose of tanginess to every bite.

9. 3-Ingredient Japanese Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Just as rich and flavorful as New York-style cheesecake, but way airier and fluffier in texture. Believe it or not, you’ll only need white chocolate, cream cheese and eggs to prepare it.

10. Caramel Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 45 minutes (plus chilling)
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, kid-friendly

Dulce de leche and toasted coconut chips are always invited to Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll need a water bath for this one, but the results will be well worth it, promise.

11. Brown Sugar Pecan Pie Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours (includes chilling)
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, kid-friendly

Two Thanksgiving faves, one drool-worthy dessert. The two-ingredient brown sugar whipped cream on top really seals the ooey-gooey deal.

12. No-Bake Vegan Chai Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 7 hours (includes chilling)
  • Why We Love It: no bake, vegan, gluten free, dairy free

You have soaked cashews to thank for the plant-based filling, but chai tea bags and spices are the key to the cheesecake’s soul-warming flavor, along with grated ginger and maple syrup.

13. Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

It starts with a Biscoff cookie-brown sugar crust—need we say more? (In case you need more convincing, the Insta-worthy marbling will totally win over your guests.)

14. Easy Warm Swedish Caramel Apple Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Cottage cheese takes over for cream cheese in Swedish-style cheesecake. Double the caramel apple topping so you have extra to serve over vanilla ice cream.

15. Caramel Nut Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Salted caramel and dry roasted peanuts on top and sour cream in the filling balance the cheesecake’s sweetness. You can easily substitute pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts if you’d like.

16. Death by Chocolate Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, make ahead

Oreo cookie crust? Check. Bittersweet chocolate filling? Check. Chocolate ganache on top? You bet. At least there’s *one* dish the kids’ table will definitely wolf down.

17. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours
  • Why We Love It: vegan, gluten free, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

If you’re thinking a few macadamia nuts in the filling aren’t enough, don’t fret: They’re crushed and used in the gluten-free crust to boot.

18. Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Kick off citrus season with this mouth-puckering beauty that will blow your relatives away. Just look at that dreamy torched meringue.

19. Amaretto Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 9 hours and 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, make ahead

Booze-infused desserts really make it a party. Might we suggest washing it down with slow cooker spiked cinnamon lattes?

20. Churro Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients

Store-bought dinner roll dough makes this dessert a cinch to put together, plus offers the bars some crunch. The cinnamon sugar topping is just a bonus.

21. Spiced Sweet Potato Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

There’s no better time to serve this treat than on Thanksgiving. It’s crowned with caramel. Nuts and whipped cream, but we wouldn’t blame you for going the toasted marshmallow route instead.

22. Classic Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Figs, Pistachios and Honey

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Don’t let its magazine-caliber appearance intimidate you: You can totally pull this stunner off at home. Be generous with the honey drizzle on top.

23. Matcha Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, special occasion-worthy

Finished pavlova-style with fresh whipped cream and mixed berry compote. You can also top it with chopped nuts, chocolate curls or a dusting of matcha powder instead.

24. Instant Pot Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Instant Pot recipe, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

File this decadent pick under Reasons to Buy a Pressure Cooker. With the help of the handy Instant Pot, this cheesecake is ready to chill in just 50 minutes.

25. Walnut Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours and 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Tangy crème fraîche makes the filling distinctly complex. It’s the ultimate match for sweet-tart cranberry puree and walnut-graham crust.

26. Vegan Dark Chocolate Tofu Cheesecake with Peanut Butter Pretzel Crust

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegan, dairy free

This one goes out to all the plant-based eaters with a serious sweet tooth (or anyone who likes sweet-and-salty confections). It turns out silken tofu is a solid replacement for cream cheese.

27. Butter Pecan Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 15 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

We love you, salted brown sugar cheesecake…but we’re really here for the buttery pecan pie topping, which we’d totally snack on solo.

28. Chocolate-Crusted Chèvre Cheesecake with Earl Grey Poached Pears and Pomegranate

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Don’t knock it ’til you try it: We’re alllll for goat cheese desserts. The vanilla-spiked poached pear topping is also revelatory, if you ask us.

80 Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes That Will Sweeten Your Holiday Table


Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.