Tuesday, November 23, 2010

M: Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake and Blogger Baked Goods Exchange!

Ohhhh it's almost here! The holiday that literally revolves around food. Isn't it grand? No wonder it's my hubby's favorite holiday. Although I'm not sure I share his sentiments on gravy...Oh, don't get me wrong, I like gravy like anyone else, but I usually reserve it for my mashed potatoes and turkey. The hubs, however, reserves it for his entire plate, cranberry sauce and all =) No really, I may take a picture of it this year, it is truly a sight.

So, speaking of this great holiday, I must share this cheesecake that my mom makes every year. I made it for the first time last year when I hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my house and I won't lie, I was pretty dang proud of myself. I know there are lots of pumpkin cheesecakes out there, but of course I always think my Mama's is the best and plus it looks all cool and swirly!

I love eating…err…making cheesecakes. But I always had that nagging cracking and sinking issue. I thought it was possibly because I was overmixing after adding in my eggs, but I fixed that problem and still had the cracking. Then I found out about this crazy thing called a water bath. I know…why do I want to bathe my cheesecake? Let me tell you though…it worked! I also allowed it to cool for about 30 minutes inside the oven. This was literally the first cheesecake I’ve made that didn’t crack the least bit or sink at all.

As you can figure out, my issue was apparently the temperature changes. The water keeps the cake a consistent temperature and lets it heat up and cool more gradually. All you need to do is put your ready-to-bake cheesecake into a larger pan filled with water up to about half of the height of your springform pan…Just be sure to wrap your pan tightly with foil to be sure you don’t have leaking!

Back to this cheesecake…the graham cracker crust I sort of made up on my own, not unlike any other graham cracker crust you can find most anywhere. I do love making a homemade crust, but if you wanted to sub the ready-made stuff, go for it, I ain’t mad at ya! And I really do love the presentation of the pumpkin swirl, it’s just pretty =) I mean let's be honest here, if you like cheesecake, and you like pumpkin pie, you will love this cheesecake.

I just love the combo of the cream cheese and pumpkin and spices, it just mixes together to make this 9 inch heaven in a crust. And while we're on the subject, I mean pumpkin is really good for Thanksgiving AND Christmas right? So why not just have pumpkin cheesecake twice? Ok, sorry, I’m getting a little cheesecake happy. Here we go…

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake


1 ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs

2 TB brown sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ cup butter, melted


4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar, divided

1 tsp. vanilla

4 eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven to 315 degrees.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Pour melted butter over the graham cracker mixture and stir until all crumbs are moistened. Press onto the bottom of a 9 in. springform pan and about 1 ½ in. up the sides. I use a glass to form the crust flat against the sides and flush against the corners and such. It works!

Beat cream cheese, ¾ cup sugar, and vanilla with a mixer. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each additional until just blended. Try not to overmix! Remove 1 ½ cups batter. Stir remaining sugar, pumpkin, and spices into the remaining batter.

Spoon half of the pumpkin batter into crust. Top with spoonfuls of half of the plain batter. Repeat layers and swirl with a knife when done to create the marbled effect.

If you want to do the water bath: Wrap bottom up to the sides of springform pan as tightly as possible with aluminum foil. Place inside of a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with water about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake 55 minutes or until the center is almost set. Let cool for about 30 minutes inside a turned off oven with the door cracked open. Then allow to cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours before serving.

Optional: I like to garnish each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon =)

And last but certainly not least, don't forget to sign up for our blogger baked goods exchange in December! Go to Miss Erica's previous post for the details! Just be sure to sign up by noon on Wed, November 24!


Jessica @ How Sweet said...

Pumpkin swirl cheesecake sounds so good! And it is SO pretty!

Stephanie @cookinfanatic said...

what a pretty dessert, love the swirls!!!

Megan D said...

Such prety cheesecake! It reminds me of these swirly cream cheese brownies I like :)

Megan D said...


Judy said...

Oh,my, does this look delicious, and pretty too!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that cheesecake looks amazing! I don't bake that often and don't think I could tackle a cheesecake yet!

Amanda said...

I've never tried a water bath! do you cook the cheesecake in the oven with the water?

It looks so gorgeous!

Katie said...

Ha too funny about the gravy! I've never been a gravy fan myself, but bring on the cranberry sauce!

Pining for Pinterest said...

Pumpkin cheesecake is seriously my favorite! Thanks for the recipe :)

Alisa Cooks said...

Oh, this looks great! I so need to make my DF pumpkin cheesecake this year!

Julie said...

this sounds amazing! i've been looking for a pumpkin pie recipe and i like the addition of the cream cheese :) i just maaaay be making this! thanks girl!

Pound said...

that is one beautiful and festive cheesecake!!!

the first and ONLY cheesecake i think ive ever made called for a water bath. i was scared, it was a tiramisu cheesecake turned out looking like a hot mess but tasted ok.

maybe next time youre here, we can have a cheesecake party!

lea @ healthy coconut said...

The cheesecake looks scrumptious and you make it seem easy to make. I am intimidated with recipes that seems hard, especially ones that I've never made before.

Krista (kristastes) said...

This looks DELICIOUS and beautiful :)

erica said...

this looks gorgeous. My college roomie just sent me a picture of the one she made and it`s pretty tragic. I just sent her a link to this and she was envious lol


Holly said...

oh my...i may try to pull a last minute switcheroo and demand that i make this for thanksgiving. i. love. cheesecake.

Simply Life said...

oh my gosh, that cheesecake looks heavenly!

Maria said...

The cheesecake is gorgeous!

Unknown said...

i love how light and airy the cheesecake looks!!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Oo girl, this looks like something out of a bakery! I agree--water baths are key to a perfect cheesecake

fittingbackin said...

Well this is beautiful - I love the look of this dessert! you've been doing so much baking lately!!!

Anonymous said...

I wish I would've known about this. I made cheesecake for the first time last night and was freaking out b/c it was cracking. It was Paula Deen though so it turned out delicious but still, could've turned out prettier.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

What a delicious looking cheesecake!