Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

By November 18, 2011 June 26th, 2020 cheesecake, desserts, Thanksgiving, vegetarian

Testimony of the Day

Hi Maria! I have had troubles with constipation since I was 6 or even smaller. I was in the ER constantly for pain and constipation all throughout my childhood and even adulthood. I would have to take ExLax often! I tried adding fiber and drinking water but nothing would work!!

The pain is so severe from being constipated that I thought that I was constipated and ended up going to the ER but only to find out I had kidney stones. From that appt on they told me to use MiraLax. I used MiraLax for about 12 years and when I read your post I knew that I wanted to try the supplements and try and get off MiraLax. I tried not taking MiraLax for 3 days here and there and then would become constipated so I would always have to go back on it.

I have been taking the supplements you suggested for 3 weeks now and I am having bowel movements regularly. Just wanted to say thank you for your help!

To get your body on the right path, click HERE to get suggestions on what supplements your body needs.

Alcohol Facts

When people go on a diet, they often choose the “light” version of their favorite alcoholic beverages in order to save a few calories. However, that is only a small piece of the puzzle. Fat metabolism is reduced by as much as 73% after only two alcoholic beverages. This scary fact shows that the primary effect of alcohol on the body is not so much how many calories we consume, but how it stops the body’s ability to use your fat stores for energy.

Alcohol in the body is converted into a substance called acetate. Unlike a car that uses one supply of fuel, the body is able to draw from carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy. When your blood acetate levels increase, your body uses acetate instead of fat. To make matters worse, the more you drink the more you tend to eat; and unfortunately, drinking will make your liver work to convert the alcohol into acetate, which means that the foods you consume at this time will be converted into extra fat on your body.

If that didn’t sound bad enough; alcohol stimulates appetite and decrease your testosterone levels for up to 24 hours and increases estrogen by 300%. The infamous “beer belly” is really just an “estrogen belly.” Biochemically, the higher your level of estrogen is, the more readily you absorb alcohol, but the slower you break it down.

Muscle Tip: Drinking alcohol is the most efficient way to slash your testosterone levels; women…we don’t want this to happen either. Just a single event of serious drinking raises levels of the muscle-wasting stress hormone called cortisol and decreases the levels of testosterone for up to 24 hours. If you are working out to build strong fat-burning muscles yet consuming alcohol, this actually breaks down muscle further and you end up with a slower metabolism. This is because you break down muscle as you lift weights and you repair them as you rest if you have proper hormone levels…if not, you never repair your muscles properly!

Also, we all know that alcohol dehydrates us. In order for fat to be metabolized, it must first be released from the fat cell and then be transported by the bloodstream where it is pushed to the liver to be used as fuel. If you are dehydrated, the liver has to come to the aid of the kidneys and can’t focus on its role of releasing fat.

Alcohol also affects every organ of the body, it’s most dramatic impact is upon the liver. The liver cells normally prefer fatty acids as fuel, and package excess fatty acids as triglycerides, which they then route to other tissues of the body. However, when alcohol is present, the liver cells are forced to first metabolize the alcohol, letting the fatty acids accumulate in huge amounts. Alcohol metabolism permanently changes liver cell structure, which impairs the liver’s ability to metabolize fats, which causes fatty liver disease.



To read more, check out my book: Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism. I have a whole chapter called “Alcohol, It’s Not Just the Calories!”


Mmmmmm, Thanksgiving dessert! Since I have to travel for Thanksgiving, I decided to make this ahead of time and freeze it. I always like to give tips to making healthy eating easier, planning ahead is a HUGE part of weight loss success.

1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 cup coconut oil or butter
1 cup Swerve (or erythritol and 2 tsp stevia glycerite)
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 egg

3 8-ounce packages Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup Swerve (or erythritol and 1 tsp stevia glycerite)
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 dash ground cloves

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
CRUST: In a medium sized bowl combine all the ingredients. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

FILLING: Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the Swerve and vanilla with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Remove 1 cup plain batter; place in small bowl. Stir remaining 1/4 cup Swerve, pumpkin and spices into remaining batter. Spoon pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of reserved plain batter. Cut through batters with knife several times for marble effect.

If using a springform pan, wrap the outside of it with tin foil so any oils don’t leak out into oven.  Bake 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Cut into 12 slices. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator. Serves 12


Traditional Cheesecake = 680 calories, 45g fat, 11g protein, 63g carbs, 3g fiber
“Healthified” Cheesecake = 496 calories, 47g fat, 10g protein, 9g carbs, 4g fiber (79% fat, 9% protein, 9% carbs)

Maria Emmerich

About Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Trixie says:

    WOW! Hmm, since I’m new to baking and never made a cheesecake..should I make this instead:http://mariahealth.blogspot.com/2010/10/pumpkin-pie.html
    Which one is better for a beginner?

  • I’m not a huge pumpkin pie fan, so I really recommend this one instead!!!

  • Trixie says:

    Okay, I’ll give it a try:)

  • Jennifer says:

    The filling especially sounds really yummy. I also like to do this with pumpkin (i.e. make a cheesecake or a pumpkin cheese pie) as I’m not the biggest pumpkin fan either.

    An aside: I wish I could have Truvia without the stomach upset. I wonder what it is that causes that since erythritol or Stevia on its own never cause gastric distress for me or my family. Unfortunately, 3 of us in the family react to it. I tried Steviva Blend – same problem. I was very disappointed, but since you are obviously able to have it, I will keep recommending it as an option to Splenda for those who are afraid of it.

  • Trixie says:

    Is Splenda bad? I see you Maria recommending Walden Farms products, they have Splenda right?? Or is Splenda something some people, but not all need to watch out for??

  • Well, granulated splenda has maltodexerine in it which is higher on the glycemic index than sugar! Sucralose however doesn’t…so I would just steer clear of any splenda in the granulated form. Maltodexterine is the bulking agent for splenda.

    Hope that helps!

  • Trixie says:

    Okay, but if I see Splenda (or Sucralose) on a label such as sugar free syrup or jam it’s a good choice,or is it better to go with a product that has Stevia or Xylitol? I guess I ask because I see many more low sugar options out there with Splenda as an ingredient. For example many low sugar maple syrups I see are made with Splenda or Maltitol and much less expensive then say the brands using Xylitol. Would like your thoughts.

  • Sam says:

    I made this yesterday, but didn’t let cook it enough. I just did the 45 minutes and the middle never set. We did eat the outer edges today though and it tasted good.

  • Trixie says:

    So proud of myself Maria! made this and brought it to Thanksgiving dinner. It was soo tasty. Had a slice today after lunch:) Thank you!!

  • Susan says:

    I made this last week and it is INCREDIBLE! I went ahead and added the whole can of pumpkin, also punched up the spices a little bit. It tastes much better now than it did when I made it, and has gotten rave reviews from my friends.

  • Thank you Susan! I LOVE cheesecake:)

  • Hi Maria! I wanted to let you know I made this pumpkin cheesecake [with a different crust] for Thanksgiving last week and everyone LOVED it!
    Thanks for a great recipe! 🙂

  • Thanks Lindsay!

    You totally made my day!!!

  • Rosalee says:

    This cheesecake is in the oven as we speak! I’ll report back after dinner and let you know how it turned out. I made a few changes to the recipe. I didn’t have almonds on hand so I used a mixture of ground macademia nuts and walnuts in the crust. I also halved the coconut oil and the sugar in the crust because the nuts I used are oiler and I didn’t want a super sweet crust. The filling part I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, but used truvia instead of swerve and I used pumpkin pie spice mix instead of the individual spices because I wanted to use up that particular spice. I can’t wait to try this cake! I love pumpkin pie and I love cheesecake so I think this cake is going to be simply amazing. Thanks so much for posting this recipe, and for your blog too! I’m a huge fan and will be ordering your cookbooks as an early christmas present to myself 😉 This is only the 3rd recipe of your that I have tried, but I can’t wait to try more! Happy thanksgiving to everyone celebrating in Canada this weekend!

    • Thanks! Happy thanksgiving! 🙂

    • Rosalee says:

      I realized I forgot to report back, anyway the cheesecake came out delicious. No one in the family even realized it was a healthified cheesecake. I look forward to making this again. I also used my leftover pumpkin to make the pumpkin muffins on your blog yum!

  • Heather says:

    This was so good I could have eaten the entire thing! Thank you!! I love pumpkin pie, cheesecake, pumpkin anything, so it was exciting to try and have it taste so amazing.

  • Heather says:

    Maria, thank you! I LOVED this cheesecake. I made some for our office and they all loved it too! So I have a random question regarding attempting something and wanted your input and/or knowledge if you knew. I wanted to try making one of your cheesecakes but using mini cheesecake pans (Norpro 3919 Mini Cheesecake Pans). It’s for MY birthday for the office because I dont want sugar/grain filled cakes from the store! I’m just not sure how much I should fill each with crust and filling or how many pans or how long to bake them? I know that your crust is different in that it puffs up more than “nasty” graham cracker crusts! 🙂 Do you have any insight for me on these questions before I create a disaster of my ovens? HAHA. Thank you as always for your recipes, books and knowledge, Heather

  • Heather says:

    Good idea and thank you. 🙂

  • Liz says:

    Have you ever tried making this with Just Like Sugar or Xylitol? Any thoughts on that? I know Swerve isn’t supposed to have a cooling effect, but it does for me and my family. I LOVED it until the cooling effect overwhelmed me, though, so I want to be able to make it again!

  • Will this work well with fat free cream cheese for the filling? I know some things don’t turn out as well with the fat free kind. Thanks!

    • Hi Jacklyn. I don’t recommend the fat free versions. They just take out all the healthy fats and replace them with sugar and other junk. The fat is not what we need to worry about. My diet is about 60%+ fat, moderate protein and low carbs. Thanks! 🙂

    • Thanks I haven’t thought about that. My dad was just diagnosed with diabetes a few weeks ago and I’m making Thanksgiving for everyone, so this is all to me, lol. I have another question though, I cannot find Swerve or the glycerite around where I live. What can I use in place of both. I can find Truvia, can I use that in place of Swerve? I am going to a whole foods store tomorrow to see what I can find. Thanks!

    • It is even more important to get good fat when your are diabetic. Fat is the only macro-nutrient that can help balance blood sugar. I get my Swerve online here. Otherwise, Truvia is an ok option if you don’t have access to online (like Swerve). I just prefer Swerve because it has non-GMO ingredients. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I always thought that sucralose was the same as Splenda so I have avoided ALL products that have sucralose as an ingredient even if it is the last ingredient on the list. I am a diabetic. So are you saying that sucralose is okay?

  • Dintemanns says:

    I am going to make this but I have to share that I’m pretty anxious about adding that much Stevia. Stevia is very bitter to me-I’m afraid it’s going to “ruin” the flavor for me. I know I’m not the only person that thinks Stevia is bitter-any suggestions?

  • P.S. The carbs count is right, let me specify: where did the fiber come from? I’ve made a third of the recipe and it’s hard to believe it’s just 2.2 g net carbs for such a huge piece with lots of cream cheese in it 🙂 I’ve made the crust with pecans though, like in your book.

    • I just re-ran the this through my new recipe calculator (didn’t have back when I originally posted this recipe) and it came up with the above carb counts. So pretty close. 🙂

  • Mary B. says:

    Maria, attended your talk earlier this month and learned sooo much. I can’t get the Swerve locally (we’re in Florida right now) and can’t get it in time for Thanksgiving from your Amazon store. Can I substitute Truvia in the cheesecake? At the same amounts?


  • Thank you! It’s just too good to be truth 🙂 I’m glad it is though! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Might be a stupid question, but what are ground cloves? I’m going to try to make this for thanksgiving, so making my shopping list right now…

  • Maria, would you please give a tip on how you make cheesecakes more fluffy? I tried making both pumpkin swirl and vanilla bean, and they turned out flat 🙁 The taste taste was still awesome, but may be I just didn’t put enough batter and it just spreaded thin… Thank you!

    • Hmm, how much to you whip the filling? Maybe whip if up a bit more until it is fluffier. 🙂

    • I whipped it a lot the first time, then realized I overbeat the eggs, and the second time mixed it just until blended. Same result 🙁 May be I should whip the cream cheese more, before adding the eggs? Some recipes call for just whisking everything gently to keep it fluffy, but I’m following your instructions, so there is something I’m doing wrong. May be overcook it? I’ll try again tonight 🙂

    • In that case I would say it was overcooked then. I like mine creamier so I cook until just a touch brown on top (and still pretty creamy inside). Thanks! 🙂

  • Dintemanns says:

    Okay, I made this today. Everything was going smoothly until about 40 minutes into baking. At that point I noticed that my oven was smokey. The pan was oozing some kind of liquid, and I mean liquid(clear). (the pan was put together correctly)
    It was burning in the bottom of the oven, but I didn’t want to throw in the towel so I heated the other oven & began moving the cheesecake between ovens for about 20 minutes. The top of the cheesecake was kind of dark brown in a couple of spots but that was easy to remove. I didn’t want to take out the cheesecake at 40 minutes because it wasn’t near being set.
    I can’t be the *only person to have this problem, right? Any ideas as to what happened here? I’ve never baked with these ingredients before–I can’t imagine what happened.

    • I added a note above about springform pans. If you use one you need to wrap the outside of it with tin foil so no oils leak out. Sorry. 🙂

    • mcasey says:

      Maria, We are some of those odd people who like pumpkin all year, not just Thanksgiving. We just made it again, this time with the springform pan. Unfortunately we also ended up with the smoky oven. No worries, though, we will use foil the next time.

      I like the thick crust, but it is very hard. The crust is hard enough that it cannot be cut with a fork. It requires a knife to cut. It could be because we lost a lot of the coconut oil?

      It is an incredible recipe, and it has an honored place in our dessert rotation. Any insight on softening the crust would be appreciated.

    • Thanks! I think the tin foil would help the crust not be so hard. Happy baking! 🙂

  • bnejedlo14 says:

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! Everyone loved it. Next time I make it, I would personally use a bit less crust—but that is just my preference. Highly recommend the recipe!

    • Thank you! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! 🙂

    • Sarah P says:

      I, too, made it for Thanksgiving and agree that the crust was too thick–nearly 1/2″! If I make this again, I would halve the crust ingredients and also reduce the sweetener in the crust.

      Also, did the crust seem “soupy” to anyone else when first put into the pan? I prebaked it for around 8 min. before pouring in the filling because it seemed too runny. Perhaps it was runny because I melted the coconut oil?

  • Anonymous says:

    Is there a way to make this with NO crust?

  • Got a ? I do not have any coconut flour and can’t find it locally and I am out of time. Is there something else I can use?

  • Margarita says:

    I know this is an old post, but I was looking through recipes for a dessert with items I already have in my kitchen, but would it be possible to make this crustless? I am out of flours and waiting for delivery of them, but I have a huge block of cream cheese and cans of pumpkin and thought I would make this without the crust or do you advise against this?

  • Cheryl says:

    What a yummy cheesecake! Most surprising part of the recipe for me was how well the crust turned out. I thought for sure I’d end up with another blah soggy almond flour crust but it was really good. I have a springform pan and pressed the crust about halfway up the side and it turned out so pretty. Also, I used Erythritol with the Stevia Glycerite but not as much SG as called for. It still came out very sweet but I would like to try the Swerve sometime. I felt like I could feel little granuals of the Erythritol. Thanks for a terrific recipe!

  • SHEILA says:

    How is the whipped cream like topping made!!

  • Stephanie says:

    Maria, can I bake this in a normal pie pan?? Thanks!

  • Laura Monk says:

    Made this today for family dinner dessert….rave reviews! Another wonderful winner…also made the spice cake Kai’s birthday cake as cupcakes and they were equally as awesome….my niece and nephew who say they dread eating at our house because we are grain free and sugar free left happy once again! One of these days it’s gonna kick in to the that they always leave full and happy!!!! Thanks again!

  • A says:

    Any chance I could make this with JUST Stevia Glycerite? I really don’t like the taste of Swerve or Erythritol.

  • Lucy says:

    Maria I made this yesterday but got my measurements wrong with stevia I have which is nevella powdered form I think I have added way too much of it. I have made it for a dinner party this evening !! Really worried I am going to do some damage to my guests help !! Will it be ok ?

  • Michelle Metz says:

    How do we convert these older recipes to “keto numbers” (i.e. the fat/protein/carbs)?

    • cemmerich says:

      Good question! 1 gram fat is 9 calories. 1 gram of protein or carbs is 4 calories. From there you can get percent of total calories. 🙂

  • Michelle Metz says:

    Thanks! Do you remember the fat and protein for this recipe? Only the carbs are listed.

  • Laura says:

    I got the 22lb bag of swerve when it was on sale, so it’s fun to look at your recipes and know I will have all the ingredients. The only problem with this one is maintaining portion control and I’ve had it for breakfast the last two mornings!!! : )

    It was a hit with everyone, so I had to share… Unfortunately, lol! I got several compliments on it. I think I’ll make it for Christmas, too.

  • Linda says:

    I’m sitting in bed, watching the rain come down outside, and enjoying a piece of my Thanksgiving leftover cheesecake – fabulous. I used the Splenda since that’s all I had but plan to switch over to swerve. Thanks for an awesome and healthified recipe!

  • Michelle says:

    Wow. Exceptionally good cheesecake. Made it for our Thanksgiving dessert using half of the crust. Will be making another cheesecake with the other half. Absolutely delicious, Maria.
    Hope you and your beautiful family enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • Sara says:

    Just made this, so easy and OH MY GOODNESS, this is amazingly good! I haven’t been able to eat cheesecake for years and this is so good! Thank you!!!

  • Molly S says:

    We had this last night…. oh my goodness it’s WONDERFUL!!!!!!!

  • Melissa Secrest says:

    I had extra cheesecake batter so I used a muffin tin, put an almond cookie in ( your recipe from nutritious and delicious) and topped it with batter. Amazing little cheesecakes came out:-)

  • […] Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake – from Maria Mind Body Health […]

  • Judith says:

    Maria, Why Pumpkin? Why not Sweet Potato? I am not a fan of Pumpkin. Is Sweet Potato acceptable or not?

  • Linda says:

    Made this yesterday, delicious! And, I especially “love” the crust, tastes like graham cracker crust chilled…..great recipe Maria…

  • Cyndi Hagerty says:

    Bye! I’m off to the store. I am making this tomorrow!

  • Nicole says:

    Hi Maria! I am going to make this tonight (cannot wait!) but I am a little confused at the order of the batter you put in. Is the remaining batter what is left after you take the 1 cup out. And this is what I put the pumpkin in (not the cup I took out)? By the looks of your picture the non-pumpkin batter looks to be more dominant than the pumpkin batter. Maybe I’m just over thinking it! 🙂 And would you recommend the water bath as you posted about yesterday?


    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Yes, that is the remaining batter. Yes, a water bath is a good idea. If using a spring form pan, carefully wrap bottom in tin foil so water doesn’t get into crust.

  • Betsy Goulet says:

    So….I made this last year and didn’t write down my notes and here I am at 6:30 with everything ready to go and I couldn’t recall if I cooked the crust for a little while before putting in the batter. The recipe doesn’t mention that and I looked through all of the posts to see if anyone else asked – some of your other cheesecake recipes call for baking the crust for a few minutes….sorry to be such a pest on a busy night!!! Thanks Maria!!

  • Dana says:

    I was wondering about adding some protein powder to the crust? How much would you recommend?

  • Kayla says:

    Hey there! First, I wanted to say that, as a type 1 diabetic, I absolutely love the website and recipes! Just baked this and I’ve never made cheesecake before. It’s still awfully liquidy (none leaked thanks to your foil tip!) but I’m wondering if it’s supposed to look this way before freezing? Please let me know!

  • Jackie says:

    I don’t have a spring form pan. What kind of alternate pan would you think would work okay? Thanks, Jackie

  • Jan says:

    Oh my, my sister made this for Thanksgiving since she is new to the Keto diet. It was so delicious!

  • karen says:

    Is stevia OK to use?

  • Ciru says:

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was DIVINE! Everyone, non-low carbers included, came for seconds! Based on p4evious comments I used less sweetener (2/3 cup powdered erythritol in the crust and 1 cup in the filling). I did not use any stevia.

    Thank you for the recipe!