At the end of this post there’s a list of over 100 bloggers who participated in this years’ #virtualpumpkinparty started by food blogger extraordinaire, Sara Cornelius of Cake Over Steak. We all make pumpkin themed recipes to share all season long! Be sure to check them out, folks.
For now, let’s talk cheesecake. After getting over my fear of making cheesecake years ago, I’ve become a cheesecake making machine. One thing’s for sure, it’s not hard to make them. It’s just hard to WAIT on them. They take a long time from start to finish, but if you can stand it your reward will be worth it.
But first… don’t underestimate the power of a good crust. This is an altered version of The Pioneer Woman’s cheesecake crust that I’ve fallen utterly in love with. In a food processor, pulse 2 cups vanilla wafers until roughly chopped. Toss in ¼ cup pecans and blend together until dusty.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup (like mine). Stir ½ teaspoon vanilla extract into the melted butter and with the processor running, drizzle it into the wafer/pecan mixture. It’ll become wet like sand.
But before you go dumping that mixture into the pan, you’ll wanna add some parchment paper! I’ve only recently started adding parchment paper to my springforms pan for cheesecake. Since doing so I’ve pretty much been stress free when trying to pry the sides off after it bakes. Take it from me, you want to add parchment paper.
Tear off a sheet of parchment paper. I like the pre-cut cooking baking sheets by Reynolds for ease. Trace the bottom of an 8 inch(ish) springform pan. Then cut thick strips that are wider than the sides of the pan. Put it all together with the parchment paper lining the whole springform pan.
Throw in the crumbly crust mixture and pack it down, covering the entire bottom.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Whaaaat?? I know, I know. Read about why I do this on my raspberry cheesecake recipe post. For now, set the crust aside.
Measure out 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, stir them together and set aside. Then crack 3 room temperature eggs into a separate bowl and set that aside too.
Working with ingredients at room temperature means not having chunky cheesecake batter. We want smooth, baby. Pumpkin cheesecake isn’t the type of recipe you whip out on a whim. You have to plan ahead, set out your eggs and cream cheese to take the chill off, and know you’ll be waiting for that thing to set before you eat it. It takes strength.
Let’s break out the KitchenAid, ya’ll. My beauty is a 6 quart and it’s wicked awesome, BUT you gotta use what you have. And if all you have is a spoon and strong arms then I say go for it. But maybe get another buddy to help because you’ll be whipping cream cheese for awhile!
Mix 3 (8oz.) packages of room temperature cream cheese with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Really whip these babies up nice and smooth. Then alternate adding one egg at a time and the flour/sugar mixture. Bring them together really slow so as not to whip air into the batter. Folding is more like it.
Then pour 3 cups of the mixture into a separate bowl. Leave the remaining batter right there and open up a can of pumpkin.
Throw 1 cup of canned pumpkin into the bowl with the remaining cheesecake batter. Add ¼ cup of brown sugar. You can use light or dark according to your tastes but I prefer dark brown sugar. Then add the spices! Nothing says fall like 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix it up, sloooooooooooow. You don’t want to whip air into the batter.
Finally, it’s time to pour the batter starting with the plain cheesecake mix. Then spoon drop the pumpkin cheesecake batter in pretty much any design you like.
Go back and forth between the two kinds and try to resist the urge to “mix” them. The more you leave it alone with a semi-marbled look, the cooler it will be when you cut into a slice at the end, revealing distinct layers of plain and pumpkin cheesecake.
Here’s the scary part. Stick that cheesecake in the 500 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it just in case! You don’t want the surface to burn and every oven is a little bit different. After 10 minutes open the oven door for a moment and let a little hot hair to escape. Close it back up and turn the temperature down to 200 degrees.
Bake for 45 minutes and turn the oven completely off. Leave the cheesecake inside and the oven door cracked so it cools VERY slowly over the next hour. If it cools too fast then cracking can occur. And, because I was anxious, mine did crack.
Not only did mine crack but my toddler snuck up onto the table once it was out and stabbed it with a fork. #momlife.
As if that wait wasn’t long enough, I regret to inform you that this cheesecake needs another 3 hours in the fridge to set. The longer you let it set, the better. So I recommend actually leaving it overnight.
A new day dawns and you can happily unwrap your pumpkin cheesecake from the springform pan siding AND the parchment paper. It should come off easily but still… just be gentle!
Now for the vanilla whipped cream! So easy, guys. Just pour 1 cup heavy cream into a medium mixing bowl along with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk whisk whisk!
It takes awhile but the result is insane. Just be sure not to over-whip. I nearly did! You don’t want broken, almost crumbly whipped cream. We want nice and smooth.
Plop all that vanilla whipped cream right on top of the cheesecake and spread it out evenly. Doesn’t need to be perfect. In fact, I like it to have a more “rustic” and handmade look, haha.
Very gently sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with cinnamon. You can do this simply by rubbing a little between your fingers high overhead OR you could get a little more involved and sift the cinnamon through a fine mesh strainer. Your call.
There’s really nothing left to do but pat yourself on the back for conquering a cheesecake while devouring it at the same time.
I have to say, this pumpkin cheesecake with vanilla whipped cream IS the perfect harvest party dessert. Basically because it’s cheesecake, so duh. And it looks so pretty!
- 2 cups vanilla wafers
- ¼ cup pecans
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 3 (8oz.) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- ¼ brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of cinnamon on top
- Process vanilla wafers and pecans in a food processor until dusty. Melt butter in separate bowl and add vanilla extract, stir together. While the wafers and pecans are processing, slowly pour the butter/vanilla mixture into the food processor until it looks like semi-wet sand.
- Trace and cut out parchment paper for the bottom of an 8 inch springform pan. Cut out wide strips to cover the side walls. Dump out the crust into the springform pan and flatten out. Set aside.
- Measure out sugar and flour into a little bowl and whisk together. Also crack 3 eggs into a separate little bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees. In an electric stand mixer (or by hand, haha) beat cream cheese and vanila extract until smooth. Slowly (on low!) alternate adding flour/sugar mixture and eggs (one at a time) to the cream cheese mixture. Pour 3 cups of batter into a separate bowl. In the remaining batter add pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices. Slowly combine.
- Set the springform pan with the crust on a rimmed baking pan. Starting with the plain cheesecake batter, alternate spooning out each kind of batter (plain & pumpkin) so that it forms a kind of marbled look.
- Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes then turn the oven down to 200 degrees letting a little hot air out. Bake for 45 minutes and then turn the oven off and crack the door, letting the cheesecake cool very slowly for 1 hour. Once at room tempterature, leave in the fridge to set at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
- After the cheesecake is set, remove the springform pan siding and the parchment paper.
- Make vanilla whipped cream by combining heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Whisk until stiff peaks form and then spread over the cheesecake evenly. Dust with cinnamon.
And now for the rest of our crew from the 2016 #virtualpumpkinparty !!!! Check ’em out!
Cake Over Steak • Quick Pumpkin and Kale Risotto + Arancini
Twigg Studios • Sausage Stuffing Baked in a Pumpkin
Donuts, Dresses and Dirt • Pumpkin Spice Latte Popsicles
Cloudy Kitchen • Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla German Buttercream
Vegetarian Ventures • Smoky Pumpkin & Black Sesame Hummus
Eat Boutique • Pumpkin Scallion Dumplings
A Little Saffron • Pumpkin Stuffed Shells
Two Red Bowls • Pumpkin & Maple Caramel Baked French Toast
Wallflower Kitchen • Mini Pumpkin & Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
Wit & Vinegar • Pumpkin Butterscotch Banana Split
Style Sweet CA • Pumpkin Creme Brulee Cake
Nommable • Pumpkin Biscuits with Mushroom Thyme Gravy
With Food + Love • Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread
Hortus • Creamy Roasted Squash Soup
Sevengrams • Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Jojotastic • 1 Pumpkin, 2 Ways: Pumpkin Trail Mix & Dog Treats
Grain Changer • Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal
Girl Versus Dough • Pumpkin Cranberry Flax Crisps
Earthy Feast • Pumpkin Grits + Pumpkin Home Fries + a Fried Egg
Harvest and Honey • Truffled Pumpkin Papardelle Alfredo with Frizzled Sage
Tasty Seasons • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
Broma Bakery • Pumpkin Butter Pop Tarts
Tending the Table • Roasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad
The Sugar Hit • Super Soft Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Delicious Not Gorgeous • Waffles with Spiced Pumpkin Butter and Brown Sugar Walnut Crumble
Taste Love and Nourish • Pumpkin Bread Pudding
The Green Life • Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chunk & Hazelnut Skillet Cookie (Vegan)
Foolproof Living • Pumpkin Creme Fraiche Pasta with Sage
The Monday Box • Pumpkin Butterscotch Cakes
Design Crush • Pumpkin Bourbon Hot Toddy
The Road to Honey • Pumpkin Pie & Chocolate Layer Cake
My Name is Yeh • Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt and Hazelnut Dukkah
Give Recipe • Orange Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
Heartbeet Kitchen • Magic Vegan Pumpkin Pie Fudge
Beard and Bonnet • Marbled Pumpkin Muffins
Eat Within Your Means • Vegan Pumpkin Blender Muffins
Snixy Kitchen • Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Ruby Josephine • Moroccan Sweet Pumpkin + Beef Tagine
An Edible Mosaic • Pumpkin Spice Chia Seed Pudding
Hey Modest Marce • Mascarpone Pumpkin Pie
Inspired By the Seasons • Pumpkin Applesauce Smoothie
CaliGirl Cooking • Pumpkin Praline Cinnamon Rolls with Spiked Cream Cheese Glaze
Sally’s Baking Addiction • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Well and Full • Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus
Appeasing a Food Geek • Cheese Fondue Stuffed Roasted Pumpkin
SweetPhi • Pumpkin Chili Biscuit Bake
Warm Vanilla Sugar • Buttermilk Pumpkin Doughnuts
Mademoiselle Poirot • Cinnamon-Pumpkin Mousse on Honey Panna Cotta topped with Hazelnut Brittle
Heart of a Baker • Pumpkin Sticky Buns with Vanilla Bean Frosting
Flourishing Foodie • Massaman Curry with Pumpkin and Chickpeas
Ginger & Toasted Sesame • Pumpkin Jeon
Lindsay Jang • Best Ever DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Fix Feast Flair • Hokkaido Pumpkin + Sage Mac and Gouda
Will Frolic for Food • Pumpkin Kale Patties with Coconut Cilantro Rice
A Couple Cooks • Pumpkin Pecan Baked Steel Cut Oats
Vermilion Red • Pumpkin Pie Souffle
B. Britnell • Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Displaced Housewife • Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts
Sweet Gula • Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
La Pêche Fraîche • Pumpkin and Condensed Milk Cakes
Kitchen Konfidence • Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Rosemary Brown Butter Sauce
Loves Food, Loves to Eat • Savory Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Kale & Caramel • Goat Cheese & Sage-Stuffed Pumpkin Challah
Okie Dokie Artichokie • Pumpkin Chorizo Chili with Sweet Potatoes + Pinto Beans
Salted Plains • Easy Pumpkin Bread
Liliahna • Chicken Legs with Pumpkin and Tortellini
TermiNatetor Kitchen • Whole Wheat, Pumpkin & Brown Sugar Brioche
Vermilion Roots • Sweet Rice Dumplings with Pumpkin
Celebrate Creativity • Pumpkin Mini Cheesecake Tarts
Serendipity Bakes • Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake
So Much Yum • Vegan Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
The Brick Kitchen • Pumpkin, Pecan & White Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
Lisli • Pumpkin Pie Cake
Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt • Pumpkin Pie Dip
Fig+Bleu • Pumpkin Granola
The Speckled Palate • Pumpkin Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies
Floating Kitchen • Chicken and Pumpkin Chili
The Wood and Spoon • Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting
Fork Vs Spoon • Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
Lemon & Vanilla • Pumpkin and Coconut Caramel Flan
Dunk & Crumble • Pumpkin Chocolate Icebox Cake
Chicano Eats • Pumpkin Butter Pan de Muerto
On the Plate • Pumpkin Pancakes, Salted Caramel & Pecans
Rough Measures • Cosy Pumpkin Spice Latte (Caffeine and Dairy Free)
Brewing Happiness • Pumpkin Ginger Breakfast Cookie
The Little Loaf • Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Fork to Belly • Pumpkin Gnocchi
The Little Epicurean • Chocolate Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie
Bourbon and Honey • Spicy Roasted Pumpkin with Honey and Feta
What to Cook Today • Spicy Pumpkin Noodle Soup
Food by Mars • Pumpkin Pie (Grain-Free, Diary-Free)
The Bojon Gourmet • Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding
Oh Honey Bakes • Pumpkin Cake with Gingersnap Toffee
Long Distance Baking • Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake
The Jam Lab • Pumpkin Madeleines Dipped in White Chocolate
The Lemon Apron • Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with an Olive Oil Glaze
Sun Diego Eats • Thai Pumpkin & Sticky Rice Cakes
A Cozy Kitchen • Pumpkin Chai Scones with Black Tea Glaze
A Cookie Named Desire • Pumpkin Shrubs
Eating Clean Recipes • Vegan Pumpkin Chia Pudding
Kingfield Kitchen • Vegan Fresh Pumpkin Soup
Drink and Cocktail Recipes • Pumpkin Dirty Chai
The Pig & Quill • Pumpkin Sage Cannelloni (Dairy-Free)
My Lavender Blues • Pumpkin, Banana & Olive Oil Bundt Cake
Betty Liu • Pumpkin + Pear Butter Baked Melty Cheese
Happy Hearted Kitchen • Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin with Tahini Yogurt + Hazelnut Dukkah
InHappenstance • Pumpkin Scones with Maple Butter
Live Eat Learn • Pumpkin Gingerbread Hot Cocoa
Speaking of pretty, this slice is sitting atop a handmade cutting board from Haven & Hound. Handmade right here in South Carolina. Just sayin’.