Cheesecake on the Traeger? That was my mother-in-law’s question when we were discussing recipes for my cookbook. She was skeptical, despite being a Traeger owner herself.
Why yes, a cheesecake on the Traeger comes out delicious—because the convection cooking of the Traeger provides, even, consistent heat. Your cake will come out tender and delicious and the pumpkin addition is perfect for the holidays.
The way a Traeger is built is one of the reasons why something like a cheesecake comes out so great. The barrel construction causes built-in convection, so the heat from the pellets is distributed evenly and rotates throughout the grill. You won’t have a hot-spot in your grill because of this, and you don’t need a water bath in which to cook the cheesecake.
We served this cheesecake simply with some crumbled candied pecans and extra gingersnap cookie crumbles. If you omit the pumpkin, you could serve it with fresh fruit like strawberries in the summertime.
The crust for this cheesecake is pretty simple, and delicious. Rather than baking it before filling, we simply refrigerate it which gives it the firmness needed to hold the filling.
For this, we did an even mix of graham cracker crumbs (seems like there are always broken graham crackers in the packages, which we put in a bag and save for a purpose like this) and crumbled gingersnap cookies. These add a little zing to the crust, which goes really well with the pumpkin.
A bit of sugar and some melted butter and you’re done with the crust. Press it pretty firmly into the springform pan and up the sides!
You can’t get an easier cheesecake recipe than this. Cream cheese, a bit of sugar, eggs and some flavoring.
If you omit the pumpkin, obviously omit the cinnamon too. I like to use lemon instead if it’s a plain cheesecake, which makes it nice and tart and is a good surprising taste to something so rich and creamy. Obviously, use a little bit of lemon juice– not an equal replacement for pumpkin! Whip it up in the stand mixer and drop the filling into the prepared crust.
Baking the cheesecake is super simple. No water bath, no aluminum foil around the seams, etc. Simply place it in the center of your preheated grill, on the grate, and let it cook for about 50 minutes.
When the cake is no longer jiggly in the center (you can tell when you tap the pan), the cake is done. You may get a slight crack on the top, which is ok. That’s what the topping is for!
We like this creamy topping on our cheesecake, because it adds a great element to the dish, but also covers up any cracks that the cake might have! Combine sour cream with brown sugar and vanilla, and blend until well mixed. The brown sugar will be a bit grainy still, but will melt eventually.
Top the cheesecake with this mixture and cook for a few more minutes to set.
Waiting is the Worst Part
With this dish, you have to let it cool and then refrigerate it for at least an hour (and ideally 2) before serving. You want it cold throughout. You’ll get better results because of that. So be patient. It’ll be worth it
Give it a try… because there’s nothing quite like surprising your friends with a Traeger-baked delight like a cheesecake!
- 9-inch springform pan
- stand mixer
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 packages cream cheese at room temperature 8 ounces each
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 can pumpkin 14 oz
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cups sour cream
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat Traeger to 350° F (176° C). In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press into a springform pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Make the filling by beating cream cheese and sugar until well-blended, and then stirring in eggs, pumpkin, salt and cinnamon. Beat until smooth.
- Pour filling into chilled crust and place in the center of your preheated grill. Bake for 50 minutes until filling is set and no longer jiggles. While it bakes, combine the sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla and blend well.
- Carefully remove pan from Traeger and pour sour cream topping over cooked filling. Smooth with a spoon and return to the grill for 5 more minutes. Remove from grill, cool slightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.