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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: 255 kcal

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

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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. Hi, huge fan of your blueberry basque cheesecake. I’ve made it several times!! Id like to make this recipe with the puff pastry crust. Would the cook time be affected? Any guidance on this? Thank you!!!

    1. Hey Kristen,
      I haven’t tested it with this recipe, but I would keep everything the same. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Mar,
      I haven’t tested this, but sure! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Sharon,
      I think that could be delicious! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    This was sooooo good! I had something else in the oven before I put this in and I forgot to change the temp so it spent the first 5-10 mins at 350. Luckily I realized my mistake and was able to correct it — I don’t think it had too much of an impact because it was still delicious. I made 1/2 of the recipe and it yielded two mini cheesecakes. Perfect for my small household! I skipped the pie crust and made a cinnamon whipped cream for the top instead. Loved it!

    1. I am so glad this still turned out amazing for you, Tay!! Thank you for trying it! And cinnamon whipped cream.. YES! xTieghan

  3. Hi Tieghan,
    Would this cheesecake freeze well? If so, what do you suggest is the best way to freeze it? Thank you for all of your incredible recipes!

    1. Hey Caitlin,
      I have not tried freezing this cheesecake, but I would recommend pre slicing it and then freezing in an airtight container. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. 1 star
    Please update the description. San Sebastian (where Basque cheesecake originated) is in Spain, not France. Continuing to say that this recipe is inspired by “the Basque region of France” suggests lazy research skills and an inability to respond to feedback from comments, especially given how easy it is to make an update to a blog page and how many people have commented that this part of the description is factually inaccurate.

  5. Heyyyy!!! This looks amazing omg!!!
    I’m just wondering if I could use evaporated milk as a substitute for the almond cooking milk???
    Thanks xxx

    1. Hey Ella,
      Yes that would be okay to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan,
    I’ve made this twice so far once for Thanksgiving and another for a Christmas party at my fitness boot camp. Everyone I’ve shared with was in love with it said it was amazing!! I gave a piece to one of my friends and she shared it with her 10 yr old daughter. She is a very picky eater and absolutely loved it!! She called me a very good chef so that was great. It’s going to be go to dessert all year long. Do you find yourself using pumpkin all year round in recipes or just during the holidays?? I just shared your blog with a friend’s teenage daughter as she loves to cook as well. Thank you again for all the amazing recipes I love making them and sharing with others. Everyone is impressed with the food I make. Happy New year to you as well.

    1. Hi Mike! That is so amazing to hear! I am so glad you all loved this recipe! I find myself using pumpkin more in the holiday season, but if you would love to use it other times, I say go for it! It is amazing haha! Thank you so much! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe is glorious! I made this for Thanksgiving dinner (yesterday) and my friends were very impressed about how light it came out – unlike other cheesecake recipes that tend to be heavy.

    I lowered the temperature to 350 after baking for 40 mins. I was afraid that it would get extremely burnt. Note that all ovens are different.

  8. 5 stars
    Just made this for Thanksgiving tomorrow and had to leave a review because it’s AMAZING. It may just become a staple dessert on my family’s Thanksgiving table in the future. Followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect. A fabulous alternative to a plain pumpkin pie!

    1. Awh that is so amazing to hear Lily! I am so glad you have been loving this recipe and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    I made this a few weeks ago and am making it again for Thanksgiving tomorrow!! I love this recipe and I love that visually it is not supposed to be perfect. I have a question though, how do I get the cheesecake off of the bottom of the spring-form pan and onto a serving plate??

    1. Hi! If you line the pan with parchment paper, you can easily slide the cheesecake right off the bottom of the pan. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am so glad you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  10. Hi! Excited to making several of your holiday recipes this week. I have made your turkey recipe for the last two years and I am really looking forward to trying some of your other recipes as well considering how amazing our turkey has turned out. I am having some trouble managing when to do all of my cooking based on how long things will be good for. I see you say it stores well for two days. Does that mean to shoot to make it Tuesday for Thursday then? Have you had any leftovers go past two days?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey Courtney, yes you can make 2 days ahead and the leftovers will still keep another 2 days after Thursday. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xTieghan

  11. Hi! This looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it. Do you think it would work to add a crust too? I know that changes the style but I just can’t resist a crust :). Thanks!

    1. Hey Kristin! I am sure adding a crust will make this even more delicious. Love the idea! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xTieghan

    1. HI! No need to measure, use your 15oz can of pumpkin. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xTieghan