The perfect final touch: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 5:45pm

Cool nights, falling leaves, early sunsets, and... everything ‘pumpkin.’ As Thanksgiving approaches, I start to plan my menu and, especially, some of the desserts that can be made a day or two (or three) in advance. My pumpkin cheesecake is creamy, dreamy, and delicious. Perfect if you are hosting or if you are a visitor slated with bringing an amazing after-dinner sweet treat.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

5 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs

2 cups sugar

4, 8 oz. bars cream cheese, very soft

3 Tbsp. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. salt

1, 15.5 oz. can pumpkin puree

1 Tbsp. vanilla

4 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a large saucepan until well combined. Press this crumb mixture into the base of a 9-inch spring-form pan pushing the crumbs about 1/4-inch up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Combine the cream cheese and remaining 1 3/4 cups sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a small bowl and then add to the cream cheese mixture along with pumpkin and vanilla. Mix on low until just combined. Turn the mixer to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each. Scrape the edges of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure everything is incorporated and beat for another 15 seconds until well mixed.

Pour the filling on top of the crust and let settle.

Optional: Put the sour cream in a squeeze bottle or pastry bag with a thin tip. Beginning in the center, pipe concentric circles. Using a toothpick or the tip of a steak knife, gently pull lines from the center to the edge of the pan about the distance of pie slices, creating a web-like design.

Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the 350 degree oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 300 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. Do not open the door. After 45 minutes, turn off the heat and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 2 hours. (Again, do not open door.)

Let come to room temperature and then refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours (or, preferably, overnight).

Serve in wedges drizzled with caramel, topped with whipped cream, and dusted with nutmeg.

Caramel sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp. butter

2 tsp. vanilla                                          

Combine brown sugar, cream, and butter in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil whisking constantly. Cook for 7 minutes and add the vanilla. Cook for another 2 minutes, still whisking frequently, until a thick, rich sauce forms. Transfer to a jar and cool completely in the refrigerator or on ice. The sauce will thicken more as it cools.

For more amazing recipes, visit Pam’s blog at!