This Pear Cheesecake recipe marries poached pears and cinnamon together in one creamy cheesecake with a salty sweet gingersnap crust and is topped with drippy salted caramel. This fall cheesecake is a showstopper, and would be perfect as a friendsgiving dessert.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Policy.
The design for this baked pear cheesecake with salted caramel was inspired by Zoëbakes Cardamom Pear Cake, which boasts a gorgeous crown of stemmed pears. I took a gamble trying this method with cheesecake and I was so pleased that it turned out!
I went for underrated fall flavors with this, including pear, maple, cinnamon and ginger. I love warm flavor pairings like this, as evidenced by my Ginger Pear Scones from last year. If you are looking for a more traditional fall flavor like pumpkin, I suggest my Ube Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This cheesecake is a showstopper, perfect for a party or family gathering.
- This recipe is easily customizable to suit spices you like. See the substitutions and variations section for ideas.
- This pear cheesecake is glazed with a salted caramel.
- When you’re tired of pumpkin, this is a non-pumpkin fall dessert.
- Gingersnaps are the base for the buttery crust.
- The cheesecake is sweetened by granulated sugar, brown sugar and maple syrup.
- Eggs and sour cream bring structure and richness to the cheesecake.
- Fresh pears are poached in cinnamon and star anise (optional, not pictured).
- The base uses plenty of full-fat cream cheese.
- Vanilla extract and kosher salt balance the overall flavor profile.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions and variations
Here’s how to customize this cheesecake to your liking:
- No brown sugar — The brown sugar in the crust can be swapped with granulated sugar.
- No granulated sugar — Use brown sugar (light or dark) instead.
- No maple syrup — leave out the maple syrup and increase the granulated sugar to 1 cup
- Spice variations — swap cinnamon for a mixture of other spices like ground ginger, star anise, cloves, cardamom or nutmeg.
- Graham cracker crust — swap for equal measurements of graham cracker crumbs instead of gingersnaps.
- No pear inside — omit the pear puree in the cheesecake with no issue if you don’t have a blender or just don’t want it.
This recipe has not been tested with any substitutions or variations. If you try any, please let me know how it turned out by commenting below!
How to assemble pear cheesecake
Step 1: Make the crust according to recipe directions. Pat it into the pan and bake. Let cool completely.
Step 2: Poach the pears with the rest of the poaching ingredients listed in the recipe. Make a parchment paper lid as shown here to keep the pears submerged.
Step 3: Make the cheesecake batter according to recipe directions.
Step 4: Pour the cheesecake batter into the cooled crust. Place the poached pears evenly spaced into the batter. Bake and cool according to recipe instructions. Garnish with salted caramel.
- Do not skip the water bath and gradual cooling if you want to prevent cracks in the cheesecake.
- I used a 9-inch springform pan with a removable bottom. If you don’t care about removing the cheesecake from the pan for serving you could also bake this in a 9×9 baking dish without a removable bottom.
- If you would like to remove the bottom of the springform pan easier, line it with a 12-inch circle of parchment paper before locking it into the collar.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Yes, if you do not care about removing the cheesecake from the pan you can use a 9×9 baking dish.
Yes, cut down the granulated sugar in the batter to ½ cup, if desired. Omit the maple syrup completely, if desired. Cut down the brown sugar in the crust to 2 tablespoons.
More recipes you’ll love
Lastly, if you make this Pear Cheesecake recipe be sure to leave a comment or give it a rating. I love to see when people make my recipes, so please tag me @youthsweets on Instagram if you post!
- 6 pears small-medium, peeled and bottoms cut to sit flat
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 4 cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 whole star anise optional
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or sub half of the water for apple cider
- ¼ cup brown sugar* (54g)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter melted (85g)
- 2 cups gingersnap crumbs (256g, 9 oz)
Pear cinnamon cheesecake
- 24 oz cream cheese softened (3-8oz packages)
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup sour cream room temperature (171g, 6 oz)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
- ¼ cup maple syrup (75g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup pear puree from the extra poached pear (175g)
- ⅓ cup salted caramel I used this recipe
Make the poached pears
- In a large pot combine the pears, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, star anise, water and apple cider vinegar (or apple cider, if using). If the water is not covering the pears, add more until they are covered.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer on the stove. Place a circle of parchment or wax paper on top to keep the pears submerged. Cook 20-25 minutes or until the pears are easily pierced with a paring knife.
- Remove pears and set aside to cool. Discard the cooking liquid and spices.
Make the gingersnap crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar and salt. Add the gingersnap crumbs and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Firmly pat the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and up the sides. I like to use a wood tamper or greased hands.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully pat back into shape while it is still warm if it loses any shape during baking. Let cool completely while you make the filling.
Make the cheesecake
- Whip the cream cheese in a medium bowl with beaters or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 1-2 minutes, just until smooth and no lumps remain.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated.
- Add the sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Beat just until fully incorporated. Remove the stem from one of the poached pears and puree it with an immersion blender or food processor. Add the pear puree to the cheesecake batter and mix just until incorporated.
Fill and bake
- Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Add the cheesecake batter to the cooled gingersnap crust. Press the remaining five poached pears bottom (heavier) side first into the batter with the tops sticking up, evenly spaced.
- Create a bain-marie, or water bath, to prevent cracks in the cheesecake. There are two ways to do this. The easiest is by placing the cheesecake inside of a larger pan and placing that into an even larger pan. Fill the largest pan with boiling water at least half way up, but not so much that you risk water getting into the springform pan. I placed my cheesecake into a 10-inch round cake pan and placed that into a 12-inch round cake pan and then filled the 12-inch pan with boiling water.
- If you do not have pans that will work for this you can simply cut large pieces of foil to cover the bottom of the springform pan to ensure no water will get inside of the springform pan when placed into a larger dish filled with boiling water.
- Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour. The cheesecake is ready when it barely jiggles when gently shaken.
- To further prevent cracks, let the cheesecake gradually cool. Leave the cheesecake in the oven and turn the oven off. I like to leave it there for about 30 minutes. Then, crack the oven door and let it sit for another 30-45 minutes.
- Then remove the cheesecake and let cool on the counter until almost completely cool. Finally, transfer to the refrigerator to let cool completely for at least 8 hours or overnight. Garnish with salted caramel before serving, if desired.