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21 November 2012

Swirly Pumpkin Cheesecake

(adapted from Horizon Organic)

Greetings Loyal Readers,

It's almost Thanksgiving! Are you running around your house frantically taking inventory of ingredients, making grocery lists, and imaginging all of the side dishes that will soon line your stomach? Well I am doing all of the above, and the excitement has me feeling a little culinarily adventerous!

I'm not a big fan of cheesecake personally, but I do find that pumpkin-anything is always a hit. So when Horizon Organic (the milk people) sent a scrumptious looking Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake recipe sailing into my inbox recently, I thought... "Hey, why not?" I'm sure the pilgrims would have loved this, and I'm guessing Ma & Pa will too.

1 1/2c ginger snap crumbs (about 8 oz.)
1/3c butter, melted
16 oz. cream cheese (2 packs)
1/2c sugar, divided
2T flour
1t vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3T sour cream
8 oz. pumpkin puree
1t pumpkin pie spice (or more)


(1) Smash a bunch of ginger snap cookies into ginger snap mulch. I recommend using a zip-loc bag and a hammer/rolling pin. Mix this into the melted butter with your bare hands (required). Use a flat surface like a measuring cup to flatten your mulch into a pie pan, venturing part way up the side if it's not too frustrating. Cook your crust for 10 minutes on 350F, and then let it cool.

**Note: I used an 8-inch pan and then 4 mini tarts. A 9-inch pan would be perfect for this.

(2) Hopefully your cream cheese is at room temperature. If not, set it on the warmest part of the stovetop for a few minutes (assuming all burners are off). Blend that with 1/4c of sugar, flour, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Let's call this concoction A.

Concoction A, mid-stir

(3) Remove one cup of concoction A, and place it in a different bowl. Add 3T sour cream and some pumpkin pie spice to taste. Alternatively, you can add 1/2c of eggnog. I actually think this would taste better but we forgot to get it from the store. I added another 2T of sugar to concoction B, because it didn't taste sweet enough to me.

(4) Moving back to concoction A, add the pumpkin puree, the last 1/4c of sugar, and pumpkin pie spice to taste. The original recipe called for 1t, but I never measure that stuff, and I suspect that I far exceeded the prescribed amount. Follow your t-buds, people.

(5) Layer the two concoctions, starting and ending with concoction A. Use a butterknife to make a swirl through the whole thing.

(6) Bake for 15 minutes at 350F, and then lower the temperature to 300F for another 30 minute bake sesh. Cool before serving with a dollup of homemade whipped cream.

The little guys


An aerial view

Review: I guess I'm not the best judge of cheesecake due to the fact that I don't like it (see top of page for the reason that I made this dessert), and much to my dismay, the cheesecake tasted like cheesecake. However, my parents two most impartial taste-testers assure me that "the texture is smooth, and the flavors blend nicely." Also, about 1/4 of the cheesecake is already gone (as of 1-hour post baking) if that's any indication of the quality. I wouldn't make this again for myself, but I think it would go over well at a potluck. The crust is a different story. All future pumpkin pies will don this dark undergarment.
Many thanks to my guest-starring photographer!
There's no angle she can't handle..


  1. Yum! They used to have a pumpkin cheesecake at the little red coffee shop. Yiayia loved it. I bet she would have downed a piece of this in about 30 seconds. I've gotta be honest though, the whipped cream in that first picture looks like it came out of an aerosol can. Is it really homemade? Did you pipe it on? Also, love the picture of Mer.

  2. You caught me! It was whipped cream from a can. It was a last minute touch for the food staging. Plus, dad hadn't made his real whipped cream yet.

  3. look at all the flavored syrups y'all have!!! yum!! and that cheesecake looks freaking delicious! it needs the gilbride stamp of approval.