It’s October and pumpkin everything is in full swing, but honestly pumpkin cheesecake is good year round. I’ve made it in March, July, and December. Sweet pumpkin pairs with cream cheese and warm spices for a smooth, rich dessert. It’s even more indulgent topped with cinnamon vanilla whipped cream. Don’t worry if you don’t have a springform pan – you can have your pumpkin cheesecake and eat it too.
I didn’t make cheesecake for a long time because I thought I needed a special pan. Just because that’s what people do doesn’t mean that’s how you have to do it.
Then I read somewhere that instead of a springform pan, you should cook cheesecake on the stove. You use a pie pan in a skillet full of water with the lid on to make a water bath.
That just scratches up your skillet when the pie pan knocks around in there. And you run the risk of all the steam from the lid dripping and watering up your dessert.
I use a glass Pyrex pie pan on a cookie sheet in the oven. I pull the cheesecake out of the oven and let it cool on the counter right away like you’re not supposed to. No water bath. No fancy pan that can only be used for one thing. My favorite skillet doesn’t get ruined.
And I haven’t had cheesecakes come out dry or [gasp] crack. But really if it does crack, who cares? You can always cover it with whipped cream. Either way you’re gonna eat it.
And whew, it’s good.
Brownies and cookies can be devoured with reckless abandon, but cheesecake is meant to be relished. Savoring small bites curled up on the couch in extra long sleeves is the definition of self care. The soft creaminess melts into your tongue and reminds you that no matter what else is going on, there are things that are right in the world. Pumpkin cheesecake is a deep experience y’all.
Don’t even get me started on the whipped cream. Buy that little container of heavy whipping cream and mix the heck out of it. It’s worth it. I like a little vanilla and cinnamon in mine. When I was a kid I would eat the frozen tub whipped cream with cinnamon on it. That was before the term guilty pleasure became a thing. Anyway, I would imagine a touch of maple syrup would be divine also. And really ramp up the classic fall feeling.
Nothing burns my britches more than buying an ingredient for a recipe and having a weird amount left and nothing to do with it. I dislike wasting food. And money.
Two 8 oz packages of cream cheese. Get the plastic tubs. They can be recycled and the foil wrapped blocks can’t. One sleeve of graham crackers. No random leftover singletons to go stale on you. Half the 16 oz can of pumpkin. So make 2 cheesecakes (and bring me some) or freeze the other half. Frozen pumpkin works great for this once it’s thawed.
I do still have leftover cream in my fridge with no firm plans yet. But take this as an opportunity to make all those recipes you skip because they call for heavy whipping cream. Or just make more whipped cream. Put it on pancakes. Eat it with a spoon. You got this.
Leave the cream cheese sitting on the counter while you binge watch your favorite show. Take out any existing stress crushing every little graham cracker chunk for the crust. Or just let the food processor do it. The crumbs will be more uniform that way. Ignore that you forgot to add vanilla to the batter. You’ll still enjoy every bite. [been there…done that]
If you must take a dish to Thanksgiving, sign up to bring pumpkin cheesecake. I won’t judge you if you savor a piece in the corner by yourself. Or make the whole thing for you, and you alone. Fall is too awesome to spend frantic.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cinnamon Vanilla Whipped Cream
A creamy pumpkin and spiced cheesecake with decadent whipped cream.
16ozcream cheeseroom temperature
3/4cupheavy whipping cream
Melt the butter in microwave while pulverizing graham crackers in the food processor.
Mix the two in a greased pie pan. Use a fork or spoon to smooth out the crumbs and pat them down, letting them travel up the side of the pie pan some.
Preheat the oven to 325.
In a large bowl add all cheesecake filling ingredients. Blend with mixer until uniform and smooth. (This can be done by hand, but it's hard to get the cream cheese smooth. You'll likely have a lumpy cheesecake.)
Smooth filling over the top of the crust.
Bake 40 minutes or until cheesecake has firmed up around the edges.
Let cool on the counter until safe to put in the fridge. Cool in the fridge for a few hours until its chilled and firm.
Combine cream & sugar in a cold bowl. Start slow, don't wear the powdered sugar, but blend the crap out of it with a mixer.
Blend in cinnamon and vanilla to taste.
Blend until mixture retains it's shape and is the desired thickness. Keep refrigerated.