Make crust: Combine all crust ingredients in a bowl.
Press onto bottom of 10 inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove to cool.
Make filling: Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, spices, salt and ¾ cup of the sugar.
Cream together cream cheese and remaining sugar.
Beat in cream, cornstarch and vanilla.
Carefully beat in pumpkin mixture.
Pour into crust. Lift pan 1 inch off counter and let drop (this breaks up any air bubbles in the batter that may contribute to cracking). Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until center is set. Run a thin, sharp knife around edge of pan to release crust (this too helps inhibit cracking).
Let cool, covered loosely, overnight.
Remove sides of pan and put on your prettiest serving platter.
Garnish with cinnamon whipped cream and caramel sauce (if desired); dust top of cake lightly with more cinnamon.
For cinnamon whipped cream: Beat cream until foamy. Beat in sugar and cinnamon until the cream holds soft peaks.
Note: Although this cheesecake has never cracked for me, I know it has for others - but not to worry as the cinnamon whipped cream topping embellishes everything and the cheesecake is just gorgeous! ;-).