Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cake slice Bakers - November 2011: Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake

It’s the 20th again and that means the Cake Slice Bakers are posting November’s cake. You may (or may not) have noticed that I did not get a chance to post last month’s cake, time just got away from me. This month I promised myself I would make the cake chosen from our new book The Cake Book by Tish Boyle. All of the cakes in this book sound incredible and there are over 300 pages of recipes. It’s broken down into Angel Food, Chiffon, and Sponge Cakes; Pound and Coffee Cakes; Butter- and Oil-Based Cakes; Fruit-Based Cakes; Flourless Cakes; Cheesecakes; Mousse and Ice Cream Cakes; and Meringue Cakes. As you can see, this book touches on EVERYTHING! There’s even an entire section devoted to different frostings and toppings.

For November’s cake, the bakers decided on a cheesecake recipe. I know it’s not the conventional cake, but it just looked so good (there are not many pictures in this book, but the few that are shown are all beautiful). I have never made cheesecake prior to this, and I was a little nervous because I have heard horror stories of water leaking into the pan and cracked tops. To my surprise, I had absolutely no trouble baking this cheesecake (except for the two trips to the grocery store at 7 in the morning to get forgotten ingredients), and it turned out really well.
As mentioned above, I did in fact make two trips to the grocery store at 7 am because I thought I had four eggs, but I had forgotten to take into account that my dad eats eggs every day. Then, when I was portioning out the cream cheese, I realized that I was about 200 grams short of cream cheese. And even after all of those trips to the grocery store, I still forgot to buy pecans for the crust! Well I wasn’t going to go to the grocery store for the third time in 30 minutes, so I improvised; I made a graham cracker crust with brown sugar and cinnamon.

The filling was the creamiest things ever. I ended up eating my slice(s) kinda slow and I could never finish the cheesecake, it was kind of rich, but not overwhelmingly so. This cheesecake is also very forgiving I believe. I realized after I had put the better into the pan, I had not used enough cream cheese! So, I ended up only putting around maybe 530 grams of cream cheese instead of the full 567 grams. I also used 1/3 less fat cream cheese because that was the kind I had on hand and when I bought the second tub, I decided just to stick with the same cream cheese. But really, I don’t think this cheesecake could have gotten any better, well, except I did omit the sugared pumpkin seeds because I couldn’t find raw pumpkin, let alone any kind of pumpkin seeds.

I’m really glad that the Cake Slice Bakers chose to do a cheesecake this month because it gave me a chance to do something I’ve never done before. Check out how the other members of CSB did this month here.

Brown Sugar Graham Cracker Crust

9 graham cracker sheets
3 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp butter, melted

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap a two layers of tin foil around a 9 in spring form pan. Lightly spray the inside of the pan with cooking spray.
  2. Break up graham cracker crumbs and place them in a food processor. Pulse until all of the crackers are broken up and become finely ground. Add in the sugar and the cinnamon and pulse until combined. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse until the crumb mixture becomes moist and starts to pack together.
  3. Empty the packed crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Using a cup or something flat, press the crumb mixture down into the pan, leaving an even layer on the bottom. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust has browned a little. Take out of the oven and let cool while you make the filling.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book

1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ pound cream cheese, soft
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
4 eggs

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed until it becomes creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Gradually add in both sugars until fully incorporated. Add the pumpkin mixture and beat until blended. Add the corn starch and mix until just combined. Drop the eggs in one at a time, making sure to fully beat one before another gets mixed in. Scrape down the bowl as you go.
  3. Scrape the batter into the spring form pan. Place the pan in a roasting dish and place on the middle rack of the oven. Carefully pour in enough hot water into the pan for it to rise about an inch up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake in the water bath for 70-80 minutes, or until the outside edges are set and the very center is just a little wobbly. The cheesecake will set completely as it cools.
  4. Immediately after taking the cheesecake out of the oven, take it out of its water bath, put it on a cooling wrack, and run a paring knife around the edges. This will help prevent those pesky cracks on the top of the cheesecake. Let the cake cool completely before storing it in the fridge. Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before slicing.


  1. Hi Becca,
    My cream cheese is not enough too, short of about 40gm! But decided to go ahead with what I have, it turned out great. Forgotten all about that, until I read your post! :)
    You did a great job with the crust! Nice to 'meet' you!

  2. HI Becca!!! It's funny! The same thing happened to me! I also used the 1/3 less fat because I hadn't realized that's what I bought along with other mishaps while making this cheesecake and just like you said (and I also mentioned in my post) this cheesecake is forgiving indeed! It was fun to make too! (I had never used crystallized ginger and loved it!!!)

  3. Well worth all the trips to the shops!! It looks delicious.

  4. Looking FAB!

    I used all of two tubes of an Australian brand cream cheese of 275gm and just eyeballed the homemade pumpkin puree and it was fine too.

    and if blogger acts up again.....

    this is me, Emily!

  5. I bet the graham crackers made a great substitution!

  6. That crust that you used sounds so yummy!

  7. Stacie- Oh it is. I found myself eating the filling first and saving the crunchy crust for last. :)


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