Pumpkin-Ricotta Cheesecake with Caramel Corn Topping

Asked to bring a dessert to a Thanksgiving gathering? Topped with homemade caramel corn and caramel sauce, this whole milk ricotta and mascarpone cheesecake is beautiful to display – and it tastes even better than it looks!

Wisconsin Cheese Pumpkin-Ricotta Cheesecake with Caramel Corn Topping Recipe
Active Time
1.25 Hours


Graham Cracker Crust:

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

Caramel Corn Topping:

Caramel Sauce:


Look for the Proudly Wisconsin Badge when shopping for cheese. Any brand of Wisconsin Mascarpone or Ricotta can be used in this recipe.


Graham Cracker Crust:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and ginger in a bowl; stir in butter. Press onto bottom of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Place pan on double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil, about 18-inch square. Tightly wrap foil around pan.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

  1. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
  2. Place the ricotta, sugar, egg yolks, 1 egg and salt into a food processor; cover and process until mixture is smooth. Add mascarpone; pulse until combined. Scrape filling into a bowl.
  3. Return 1/2 cup filling into bowl of food processor. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and remaining egg; cover and puree until mixture is smooth. Spread pumpkin mixture over crust. Top with remaining ricotta mixture; spread to edges of pan.
  4. Place springform pan into a rimmed baking pan, about 2-inches deep. Add hot water halfway up sides of pan. Bake for 75-85 minutes or until cheesecake is set around edges and jiggles slightly in center. Turn off the heat. Crack oven door, about 1 inch. Let cheesecake stand in oven for 1 hour.
  5. Carefully run a knife around edges of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Caramel Corn Topping:

  1. Place popcorn into a large bowl. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup until combined. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes (do not stir).
  2. Remove from the heat. Stir in baking soda and salt (mixture will bubble and foam) until combined. Gradually pour over popcorn, folding each addition until combined. Fold in pecans. Spread out caramel corn on parchment paper. Cool completely.

Caramel Sauce:

  1. Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until smooth. Add evaporated milk and vanilla; cook and stir constantly for about 5 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat. Cool completely.
  2. Remove sides of pan. Top with caramel corn and caramel sauce just before serving.

Recipe Tip

Store-bought caramel corn and caramel sauce can be substituted.

Cheesemonger Tip

Select for cheesemonger info

Do you have questions when shopping for cheese? Ask the cheesemonger! A cheesemonger specializes in the buying and selling of high-quality cheese, usually available in the specialty section of a grocery store or cheese shop. Knowledgeable and passionate, a cheesemonger is a go-to resource for cheese varieties and pairings, proper cheese storage and handling, its cooking applications and cheese brand information.

Mascarpone originated in Lombardy, Italy, and was made in the fall and winter months. It’s often used as a dessert cheese.

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