Updated: Dec 15, 2019
I think we can all agree the main reason we accompanied mom or dad to Costco as a child was for the free samples. I too, am guilty of this and can remember the pure joy of getting handed a mystery cup while shopping.
I was first introduced to pumpkin cheesecake as a child roaming the aisles of Costco and fireworks went off as I devoured the spoonful of cake. As a seasonal favorite since an early age, I couldn't help but make my own one day. So here we are just in time to celebrate the first day of fall.
I'm a pumpkin QUEEN. Anything I bake in September/October is most likely some form of pumpkin. I love a good cheesecake and have been holding on to the idea of this twist for awhile now. And I think my inspiration is rooted in that Costco cheesecake.
I went abroad my junior year of college and would grocery shop regularly. You had to pick and choose your shopping battles in the alps of Switzerland because the trek home was a workout and a half.
I could not find canned pumpkin in Switzerland for the life of me! How could my birthday month (October) be complete without a taste of pumpkin?! I kept thinking, "this country does not know what it's missing!"
Well, leave it to Karen (aka my mother)! She shipped me a box full of pumpkin bread to share with all my study abroad classmates. FOUR loaves of it!
I wouldn't want any of my people here to miss out on a taste of pumpkin this fall. Enjoy!
for the filling...
1 can (15oz) pumpkin purée
2 (8oz) packs cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
for the crust...
2 packs graham cracker
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
for the whipped cream...
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Melt butter and set aside. Place graham crackers in a food processor with salt and brown sugar. Gently pulse about 3 to 4 times. Add butter gradually, while continuing to pulse until even pieces appear.
Line a Springform pan with butter. Add foil to the outside of pan to avoid water seeping in during baking in water bath.
Pour graham cracker mix into the pan and use a measuring cup to form a crust. Form an even layer on the bottom and a crust about halfway up the sides of the pan.
Bake at 350ºF for about 10 mins. Let crust cool for about 15 mins before adding batter to the pan.
Combine softened* cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract in a stand mixer. Beat for about 3 mins. Add pumpkin purée, cornstarch and spices to the mix and lightly beat again until thoroughly combined.
Pour batter into the pre-baked crust. Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour 30 minutes. Shake cheesecake after baking to make sure the outside of the batter is stiff and only the center moves slightly. Take cheesecake out and let rest for about 20 mins.
Let set in fridge for at least 2 hours; however, letting rest overnight in the fridge is recommended.
Place a metal or glass bowl in freezer for about 15 mins, or until very cold. Freeze beater(s) as well for optimal results. Put all ingredients in the bowl and beat on high for about 5 mins, or until cream is stiff enough to cling to the beater.
Garnish with whipped cream when ready to serve.
*Be sure cream cheese is at room temperature or you'll end up with little "lumps" of cream cheese in batter!