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The simplest Burnt Basque Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake. Inspired by the Basque region of Spain, this untraditional, no crust, super easy cheesecake, has only incredibly creamy pumpkin spice filling. Its deep brown top has cracks all around for an old-world look. Top each slice with a dollop of cream, and homemade ginger cinnamon cookies for that extra special holiday touch. This creamy, rich, pumpkin spice flavored dessert is really not like any other cheesecake you’ve had before. Bonus? This is the easiest cheesecake to make and (almost) impossible to mess up.

This post is sponsored by Nestlé Carnation Milk. 

overhead photo of Burnt Basque Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with multiple sliced of cheesecake cut

It’s that time of year to talk all things Thanksgiving and all things pie. When it comes to the Thanksgiving meal I really love to keep things mostly traditional. I don’t want anyone missing out on the classic, turkey, stuffing, mashed potato, and gravy experience. But, when it comes to desserts…I love creating a twist on the classics, and really playing with recipes. I also love having multiple desserts on the table…because it’s Thanksgiving and the more food the merrier, right?

Enter this rather unique cheesecake that I am way too excited to share with you guys today! I’ve had this one ready for weeks now, and have simply been waiting for November to arrive to share. This cheesecake is one of the best.

side angled photo of almond milk siting next to stand mixer

Some background on the Basque-style cheesecake.

It originated in French Basque Country. Traditionally this a crustless cheesecake made with a large amount cream cheese and eggs. The biggest difference is that with a Basque-style, you will bake the cheesecake at a very high temperature in an effort to create a deep dark brown “burnt” exterior. This method of baking creates a crackly crust on the outside, while still maintaining a super creamy, almost custard-like interior.

What I love most about this style of cheesecake is that it’s truly one of the easiest desserts to bake, and almost impossible to mess up. Meaning, it’s OK for this to look burnt, and it’s OK that the top has cracks throughout. The more imperfect looking the better.

It’s always so nice to have stress free, easy recipes during the holidays. No need to spend hours baking one dessert.

overhead photo of pie crust cookies before baking

overhead photo of pie crust cookies after baking

The details.

Classic Basque cheesecake is not heavily flavored. But with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I wanted to be sure to incorporate a little bit of the classic pumpkin pie element into this recipe. So today’s Basque Cheesecake is the pumpkin spice version. And yes, it’s my personal favorite.

A classic style Basque cheesecake calls for a few main ingredients, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and heavy cream. I’m adding in plenty of canned pumpkin pureè, warming autumn spices, and using a new go-to cooking and baking milk of mine, Carnation Almond Cooking Milk. If you’re unfamiliar with Carnation Almond Cooking Milk, it’s a non-dairy milk that has a super-rich taste and creamy texture due to lower amounts of water used in their milk. It’s gluten-free and USDA organic. I really love using this milk when hosting guests, as many have sensitives to dairy-based milk, (or simply prefer recipes with less dairy products).

overhead photo of Burnt Basque Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

What’s especially great about their almond milk is that it’s shelf-stable and very versatile. Perfect for everything from savory entrees (or sides) to sweet desserts. Their new re-closable tetra packs provide added convenience, as you can refrigerate them for up to 10 days.

This was the perfect milk to help make my Basque pumpkin spice cheesecake rich and creamy, but with very little dairy.

side angled close up photo of Burnt Basque Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

The directions are quite easy. Simply cream everything together, bake for an hour, smell the deliciousness coming from your oven, and patiently wait to reveal the pretty, crackly exterior.

I also decided to bake homemade ginger-cinnamon sugar cookies to serve atop this cheesecake. Oh, and of course, a dollop of whipped cream too. The cookies provide that buttery, sweet, and flaky crust that everyone loves about pumpkin pie, but without lots of work.

Plus, these little cookies are way cuter than a traditional pie crust. They’re also so much more delicious with their sugar and spice coating.

side angled close up photo of Burnt Basque Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with whipped cream on slice

overhead photo of Burnt Basque Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with multiple slices cut and 1 slice turned outward to show the center of cake

I know we’re only very early into November, but I’m excited to already have this dessert on my Thanksgiving menu. It’s such an easy, make-ahead treat, that’s also super impressive…


The outside is crackly, with slightly crisp edges. While the inside is the creamiest and so perfectly flavored with real pumpkin and spices. And then there are those cookies! They’re the perfect sweet and buttery finish. Can’t beat this cheesecake!

side angled photo of Burnt Basque Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake slice with bite taken out of cake

If you make this burnt Basque pumpkin spice cheesecake please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Easiest Burnt Basque Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
cooling time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings: 10
Calories Per Serving: 324 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Ginger Cinnamon Cookie Cutouts


  • 1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and grease with butter.
    2. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl until very smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then reduce the mixer speed to medium-low. Add the pumpkin, Carnation® Almond Cooking Milk, and vanilla. Beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
    3. Combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt. Sift the flour mix into the batter, then beat again to combine, about 30 seconds. Pour the batter into the prepared parchment-lined pan.
    4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 60-65 minutes, until deeply golden brown on top and still a little jiggly in the center. Let the cake cool 10 minutes, then unmold. Let cool completely.
    5. Meanwhile, make the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly flour a clean counter. Unroll the pie crust and cut out your desired shapes using your favorite fall cookie cutter. Carefully transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
    6. Transfer to the oven and bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes, until just lightly golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for five minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
    7. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Brush the melted butter over the cookies and then sprinkle the cookies with ginger-cinnamon sugar.
    8. To serve, slice into wedges, dollop with cream and top with cookies. Serve at room temperature or chilled. I like room temp best.


To Make Gluten Free: Use an equal amount of your favorite gluten free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour. I recommend Cup4Cup gluten free flour
Storing: this cake keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Store cookies separately in an airtight container. 
Almond Cooking Milk: can be found in the baking isle of most grocery stores around the evaporated milk. Find a location close to you here.
*Cheesecake base adapted from Bon Appétit.
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horizontal photo of Burnt Basque Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with almond milk in photo next to cheesecake

{This post is sponsored by Nestlé Carnation Milk. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!}

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  1. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make and extremely delicious. I made two for the thanksgiving party, it was perfect. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Just finished baking this tonight, and I’m so pleased with it!! The top of mine got considerably darker than these pictures, but the texture and flavor were on point, and the cookies add a nice touch. I wanted a show-stopping cheesecake that was fairly easy for me to handle since I have a two-month-old, and this was perfect!

    1. Hi Jewell,
      I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for making it and your review! Happy Sunday! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Super amazing! Made some mods by adding a biscoff brown butter crust and did two blocks of cream cheese with one block of neufchatel cheese, and it was PERFECT!

    1. Hey Ashley,
      Happy Saturday!! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe and your comment! So glad to hear it was enjoyed:)

  4. The ingredients list nutmeg but instructions do not include nutmeg in the flour mix. I didn’t realize I was missing the nutmeg until the cake was in the oven. Good news is, I don’t think it made much difference and the cheesecake tasted great!

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for making this recipe and your comment, so glad it was enjoyed! So sorry about the nutmeg! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xx

  5. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! It’s been a holiday staple for 2 years now. How do you flip the cake out of the mold. I always have trouble and feel it looses shape

    1. Hi Britta,
      Thanks for making this recipe and your comment, so glad it was enjoyed! I use a springform pan, so you do not have to flip it:) I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xx

    1. Hi Daniel,
      So sorry, I am not sure as I did not use that. Maybe 1 tablespoon? Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

    1. Hey Lily,
      Are you planning to double the recipe? You will want to bake in 2 pans for best results:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT

  6. 5 stars
    I grabbed the last 2 8oz cream cheese, so had to cut down the rest of the recipe accordingly with my shaky math. I don’t own a spring pan either, so I used a 9 round which wasn’t a problem because of the resulting 2/3 volume and it lifted out just fine when cool. Also discovered the cream I just bought was in date but still gone bad, so I had to sub a can of coconut milk which I already had on hand. For the rest, I followed the directions as given. I got a bit anxious about the top going brown but trusted the process. Despite my many hiccups, it came out perfectly! Luscious, smooth, and creamy with no pronounced coconut flavor to intrude on the pumpkin and spice. It tasted even better the next day after being cut and sitting the whole night in the fridge. Will make this again for Thanksgiving sticking exactly to the recipe next time, hopefully, but I’m making 2 instead! Just letting folks know that coconut milk works in place of almond milk/cream and also produces a delicious result.

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe! I made a couple of tweaks tho. I added maybe about 2tbsp of brown sugar and about 2 spoon fulls of sour cream. Made it creamier and just a tad sweeter making it perfect!

    1. Hi Danielle,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:)

    1. Hey Rebekah,
      You may have to increase your bake time just slightly, keep an eye on it towards the end of baking. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx