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Sweet and creamy but still light, this Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart has all your favorite flavors of autumn. Especially since that rich cheesecake filling is on top of a nutty maple pecan crust. You’ll agree this is one of the best gluten-free pumpkin recipes for Thanksgiving.
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart
Call me crazy, but I’m not a fan of heavy, dense cheesecake. I do love the flavor of cheesecake though, so I’m always turning it into something lighter, whether it’s Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles in the summer or this pumpkin tart in the fall.
The secret to a rich and creamy cheesecake dessert that is actually lighter – Greek yogurt! It makes it smooth, enhances that tangy flavor, and still tastes decadent.
Plus this pumpkin cheesecake is naturally gluten free because the crust is made with pecans that are ground into crumbs. Mixed with some butter and maple syrup, the nutty flavor pairs so nicely with the earthy, warm spices.
And, you know, it’s pumpkin, Greek yogurt, and pecans. It’s practically like eating a yogurt parfait. Have a slice for breakfast!
OK, maybe that’s taking things a little too far. But it really is a perfect gluten free dessert that evokes all the flavors of fall – pumpkin, pecans, maple, cinnamon, and nutmeg. None of the flavors are over the top, so that nice cheesecake-y tang comes through without being overpowered by the pumpkin spice. Try it in place of the usual pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving!
You’ll be amazed that this pumpkin cheesecake tart is practically a gourmet dessert but is made with just a few simple ingredients.
For the maple pecan crust:
- Pecans: You can use pecan halves or chopped nuts because you’ll be pulsing them in a food processor or blender to form crumbs.
- Maple syrup: Use real maple syrup, not pancake syrup.
- Unsalted butter: This will be melted to form the crust.
- Salt: Just a bit enhances that nutty flavor.
For the pumpkin cheesecake filling:
- Vanilla Greek yogurt: This make sit creamy and the vanilla flavor goes well with the pumpkin spices and adds to the sweetness of the tart.
- Pumpkin puree: Not pumpkin pie filling.
- Eggs: A couple of large ones.
- Light brown sugar: Adds a nice, caramelized sweetness.
- Cornstarch: To help bind and thicken the filling.
- Pumpkin pie spice: Gotta have it.
- Salt: To make the sweet flavors pop.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart
Make the crust
Get ready to make the maple pecan crust by first preheating the oven to 350°F and coating a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
In a food processor or blender, pulse the pecans to grind them into small crumbs. Then add them to a bowl with the maple syrup, melted butter, and salt. Use a fork to toss everything together until it is crumbly, then press it into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until it is lightly browned. You can set it aside until you are ready to fill it, and even make it a day in advance. But you can also fill it right away without letting it cool.
Make the pumpkin cheesecake filling
If your oven isn’t still on from making the crust, then preheat the oven to 350°F. You’ll be using a water bath in the oven so the moisture keeps the cheesecake from cracking. So fill a baking dish with water and place it on one of the lower racks of the oven while it preheats.
Combine the Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, eggs, light brown sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a blender and puree until fully combined and smooth. Pour it over the baked crust.
Bake the pumpkin tart
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the center is set, and the edges begin to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan. Leave the tart in the oven, turn the oven off, and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before removing it from the oven. Place the pan on a rack to let it cool to room temperature.
Cooling and serving
Once it has fully cooled to room temperature, place it in the refrigerator uncovered for 2-3 hours to chill completely. You can then open the latch on the springform pan and gently loosen and remove the ring. Then slice and serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Storing the Tart
The Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart must be stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to enjoy it. Once fully chilled, it can be light covered with plastic wrap either before or after removing it from the pan.
If kept cold, it will be good to eat for up to 3 or 4 days.
Make it in Advance
As long as it is refrigerated, you can make it a day or two before you plan to eat it. You can also choose to prepare the crust a day or two before you make the filling and bake it.
Shop the Recipe
SPRINGFORM PAN: You’ll need a 10-inch springform pan to make this recipe.
BLENDER: Use your blender to pulse the pecans into crumbs and blend the filling mixture. Your basic blender will work just fine. No need for anything fancy.
BAKING DISH: A glass baking dish filled with water in the lower half of the oven will keep the cheesecake from cracking.
MAPLE SYRUP: For the best flavor in that crust, you want real maple syrup. I think the best comes from Vermont.
Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart
For the crust:
- 6 ounces pecans
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the cheesecake:
- 1 3/4 cups vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F, and coat a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. In a food processor or blender, pulse the pecans to grind them into small crumbs.
- Combine pecan crumbs, maple syrup, melted butter, and salt in a medium bowl and toss with a fork until crumbly.
- Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside until ready to fill, but there is no need to cool it before filling.
For the cheesecake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a baking dish filled with water on one of the lower racks of the oven to prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
- Combine the Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, eggs, light brown sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a blender and puree until fully combined and smooth.
- Pour into the pan over the prepared crust.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the center is set, and the edges begin to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Leave the tart in the oven, turn off, and let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the oven.
- Allow to fully cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator to cool for 2-3 hours before removing from the pan and serving.