Cheesecakes have always been one of my favourite things to make and eat. I remember as a teenager buying my first ever spring-form cake tin from a German supermarket and being pretty impatient to get home and use it! The first thing I made was a Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake, which was my go-to recipe for many years. Since then, through many trips to the US, I’ve tried and tested dozens of cheesecakes (conveniently ignoring their nutritional qualities…). All this eating and baking has made me into a bit of a self-proclaimed cheesecake connoisseur (and snob – I definitely prefer eating baked cheesecakes; sloppy ones set in the fridge just don’t cut it!).
One cheesecake in particular that has piqued my interest is the most American one of all: the spiced pumpkin cheesecake. Once I realised I could get hold of tinned pumpkin over here in the UK, I had to give it a go. I made my first pumpkin cheesecake a few years ago and it’s now become a little Halloween tradition! While I admit that it is a bit of an investment in time to make, I can promise that it’s always a show stopping centrepiece at any Halloween or Thanksgiving party.
My spiced pumpkin cheesecake recipe has been adapted from this recipe, although I’ve made it a little spicier for an extra kick of flavour.
Spiced pumpkin cheesecake recipe
Ingredients for the base
- 300g digestive biscuits
- 125g butter, cubed plus extra for greasing
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
Ingredients for the filling
- 1 425g tin pumpkin purée (I used Libby’s solid pack pumpkin)
- 750g cream cheese (don’t be tempted to use reduced fat)
- 200g caster sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Recipe: spiced pumpkin cheesecake base
- Prepare a 23cm spring-form tin by lightly greasing the sides with butter. The cheesecake is going to be baked in a water bath so the tin needs some layers of protection. Wrap the tin in 3-4 layers of cling film so that the joint at the bottom is well covered. Then add a layer of foil for extra coverage.
- Put the digestive biscuits and spices into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are formed. Add the butter while continuing to pulse. Stop when the butter is evenly distributed and the crumbs are starting to clump together.
- Tip the biscuit mixture into your tin and press down the crumbs firmly with the back of a spoon, making sure that you bring the crumbs up the side of the tin so that the join at the bottom is well covered. Chill the base in the fridge while you are making the filling.
Spiced pumpkin cheesecake filling
- Preheat the oven to 160°C. In a food mixer (or by hand) beat the pumpkin and cream cheese on a low speed until well blended together. It’s really important that the cheesecake filling is only mixed on a low speed as you want to avoid incorporating any air as this might cause it to crack. Add the sugar and mixed spice and combine gently.
- While the mixer is working, crack one egg at a time into the bowl, waiting until the previous one has mixed in before adding the next. Finally squeeze in the lemon juice, stir and pour onto the prepared cheesecake base.
- Take a cocktail stick and swirl through the cheesecake mix to release any small bubbles in the filling taking care to pop any that appear on the surface.
- Gently place the cheesecake in a large roasting tin before placing in on the lowest shelf of the oven. Just before closing the oven door, pour boiling water in to the roasting tin so the level comes half way up the cheesecake. Bake for 1 3/4 hours until the middle 2-3 cm is still just wobbling.
- Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and leave to cool on a rack. Once the cheesecake has cooled slightly, run a sharp knife around the outside of the tin and release the clasp to remove the outside of the tin. Allow to cool completely before refrigerating.
Despite it’s vibrant orange appearance, this spiced pumpkin cheesecake has a deliciously delicate flavour – a hint of pumpkin, coupled with classic autumnal spice of cinnamon and ginger. So good! Serve it with a dollop of crème fraîche and a mug of hot spiced tea and you’ll be on to a winner. Happy Halloween!
Don’t forget to Pin the image below so you can make this later!