Pumpkin cheesecake is a classic dessert for the holidays and for good reason. It’s delicious, creamy, and festive and a perfect alternative to traditional pumpkin pie. While it may appear to be complicated, this amazing cheesecake is also relatively easy to make. What really sets this pumpkin cheesecake apart, however, is its gingersnap crust and cream cheese topping.
The gingersnap crust is a perfect complement to the pumpkin cheesecake because it adds a warm, spicy flavor to the cheesecake. In addition, the ginger in the gingersnap crust helps to balance the sweetness of the cheesecake.
The cream cheese topping adds decadence to the rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake while enhancing its appearance. The topping also hides any unfortunate cracks that may develop in the cheesecake. As a tip, add a small amount of flour to the cheesecake filling, and bake the cheesecake in a water bath to prevent cracking.
Pumpkin cheesecake is a delicious and festive dessert that is perfect for any holiday occasion. It is a dessert that is sure to please everyone at the table.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust and Cream Cheese Topping
For the Crust
8 ounces of store-bought gingersnap cookies
¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup pecan pieces, toasted
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1½ cups granulated white sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
15-ounce can of pure pumpkin (do not use pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup all-purpose flour (Helps to keep the cheesecake from cracking)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
For the Topping
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup pecan pieces, toasted (optional)
For the Crust
Preheat oven to 350°F. Position the rack in the center of the oven.
Wrap a double layer of extra-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil around the outside of a 10-inch springform pan all the way to the top.
Process the gingersnaps, pecans, and brown sugar in a food processor until fine. Drizzle melted butter into the feed shoot with the food processor still running. Blend until crumbs begin to stick together.
Press crumbs onto the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
For the Filling
Maintain 350°F oven temperature and place a large roasting or baking pan (large enough for the springform pan to fit in) into the oven for the water bath. Fill with one kettle full of boiling water. (Note you will add more water later.)
Using an electric mixer, beat 2 pounds of cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar; beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. Add pumpkin, cream, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
Combine flour and the five spices in a small bowl; beat into pumpkin cheesecake mixture just until blended.
Pour the filling into the springform pan on top of the crust.
Place the springform pan into the prepared water bath pan inside the oven and add another kettle full of boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake the cheesecake until slightly puffed, softly set, and the top is golden; about 1½ hours. Turn the oven off. Do not open the door; leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional ½ hour.
Carefully remove the springform pan from the water bath and place it on a wire rack covered with a dish towel. Remove the foil and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight, uncovered, to prevent condensation from forming. If desired, the cheesecake can be left in the refrigerator for an additional two days, covered. Leave in pan until ready to add topping and serve.
For the Topping
In a medium bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
Beat in the confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time until smooth and creamy (I use five cups).
Run a hot knife around the inside of the springform pan; remove the side. You can leave the cheesecake on the bottom of the springform pan or transfer it to a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
Place the topping in a piping bag fitted with a 1M large star tip. Pipe a circle of small swirls around the edge of the pumpkin cheesecake. Continue piping small swirls in consecutive circles until the entire surface is covered.
Sprinkle toasted pecan pieces on top.
Yield: 16 servings.
Chula King is the blogger behind PudgeFactor.com