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Fall Treat Friday: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Happy Fall Treat Friday, my friends!

Last weekend Spouse Unit and I had a date night in. We watched Lion (so good) and made this yummy pumpkin cheesecake for dessert! I always have fun working in the kitchen with my main squeeze--he's a great cook and it's always fun to eat whatever we make and reconnect while the girls are sleeping.

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Joy of Cooking. I've made this pumpkin cheesecake a few times over the years, and definitely worth repeating. It doesn't need much of an introduction, because most cheesecakes are great, but this one is excelente, like so good that if you started making this for Thanksgiving nobody would miss the traditional pumpkin pie. It's creamy, and a little bit tart with a super delicious gingersnap crust. The recipe is pretty easy, too! No water baths needed. Okay, introductions are over. Let's get to work.

The Joy of Cooking, page 667-668, 745-746
Slightly modified by Melissa from The Frolics of Mama Llama

Gingersnap Crust
2 c. finely crushed gingersnap cookies, divided
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degress Fahrenheit. Mix together 1 2/3 c gingersnap cookies, brown sugar, and butter and press into the bottom of a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool. Reserve the remaining 1/3 c. crushed gingersnaps for topping the cheesecake. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 lb. cream cheese, softened (2 8 oz packages)
3 eggs
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine brown sugar (2/3 c. packed), cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg, mix.
In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese just until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and the beaters well (you'll be doing this after each addition, so have a rubber scraper handy. If you don't, your cheesecake will have lumps in it instead of being smooth).
Add the brown sugar mixture, mix. Scrape bowl and beaters.
Add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition. Scrape bowl and beaters.
Add and beat in pumpkin puree, just until mixed. Scrape bowl and beaters.
Scrape the batter into the crust and smooth the top.
Set the pan on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the middle jiggles slightly.
Meanwhile, whisk together sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla. Scrape on top of the hot cheesecake and smooth with a spatula.
Return to the oven and bake for another 7 minutes.
Move the pan to a cooling rack, cover with a large inverted bowl to allow cheesecake to cool evenly. Or, if you're impatient like us, pop it into the fridge or freezer until chilled.
Unmold and serve cold, sprinkling the set-aside gingersnap crumbs on top if desired (you'll want to). 

Candid photo mid bite
One day my photo skills will be glorious, but don't hold your breath. Until then I guess you'll just have to make my recipes and eat them. It's better that way, anyway.

What's your favorite kind of cheesecake? Let me know in the comments. I'll look forward to reading them, and you can look forward to next week's recipe and a super exciting announcement about the 2nd Annual Mama Llama Halloween Costume Contest! 2AMLHCC? Eh. Too long. I'll figure it out.

Thanks for reading, I'll see you on the flip-flop!

Melissa/The Mama Llama 


  1. The crust sounds divine. I love gingersnaps. Wanna know a secret?? Pumpkin isn't my favorite flavor. :/ I LOVE pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies, but I'm not really into 'diluting' the flavor into other things. I mean, it's good, and I'll eat it, but I don't think it's as good as the real thing straight up...mixed with sugar and stuff, of course... Does that make me a bad person?? lol


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