Few things in life make me as happy as cheesecake. Creamy cake with a crisp crust and an indulgent dollop of whipped cream on top–I could cry just thinking about it. While I love eating cheesecakes, I also love making them. When I lived in Minnesota, I occasionally catered desserts for various events, and one of my most requested treats were bite-size cheesecakes. One piece of advice from making over 80 mini cheesecakes in a day–ALWAYS remember to grease the pan… 

However, mini cheesecake disasters aside, this fall weather brought to mind one of my favorite cheesecake recipes: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Sugar and Bourbon Whipped Cream. Whether you bring this cheesecake to a fancy dinner party or a Netflix binge night, your dessert will be something to remember. For me, it’s a family favorite. My mum always makes Pumpkin Cheesecake this time of year, which brings back lots of memories of chilly weather and cozy evenings with my family. This recipe is inspired by Cooks Illustrated’s “Pumpkin Cheesecake.” I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

-Casey Perkins

P.S. Our recipe for homemade pumpkin puree works perfectly in this cheesecake!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is a great recipe to make-ahead. Store in the pan and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Cooling Time7 hrs
Servings: 12

Equipment

  • Stand mixer
  • Springform Pan
  • Roasting Pan
  • Large pot

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 5 oz graham crackers (about 9 crackers) To make this recipe gluten free, substitute GF graham crackers.
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground clove

For the Filling

  • 1⅓ cup sugar
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree Try using our homemade puree recipe link at the top.
  • lbs cream cheese (three 8oz blocks) at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 eggs at room temp
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Brown Sugar and Bourbon Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp bourbon (or whiskey) You can add more or less depending on your taste.
  • ¾ Tbsp sour cream

Instructions

The Crust:

  • Heat oven to 325 F. Spray a springform pan with oil and set aside. Set 4 quarts of water to boil for the water bath.
  • Crush crackers by either: 1) Using food processor/blender, OR 2) Crushing in plastic bag with rolling pin. Add sugar, melted butter, and spices. Mix well. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press the crust to the edges of pan. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is fragrant and brown. Let cool to room temp before adding filling. 

The Filling:

  • While crust is baking, combine sugar, spices, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Beat softened cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth.  Add sugar mixture in three batches. Scraping down bowl after each addition. Add in vanilla and lemon juice. Mix until well-combined. 
  • Add pumpkin puree and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated, scraping down after each addition. Add the cream and mix until just combined. 

Baking:

  • Wrap the outside of the springform pan with two layers of tinfoil, leaving the top open (this is to stop any of the water bath from leaking into the pan). Pour filling into crust and place foiled pan into the roasting pan.
  • Place roasting pan with cheesecake in oven. Then carefully pour boiling water into roasting pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the foiled pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 325 F or until the center of the cake registers 150 F. 
  • Let cheesecake cool in water bath until water is just warm. Remove the foiled pan from water and let cool on counter until room temp. Let chill in fridge for 4 hours or up to 3 days before serving. 

Brown Sugar and Bourbon Whipped Cream

  • Combine all ingredients into a chilled bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until soft peaks form when the mixer is lifted.

Notes

Remove cheesecake from fridge a half-hour before serving. Cut into wedges. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. 

 

 

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