Oct 18 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Posted by     55 Comments    Posted under: Kitchen


I have blogged before about the perils of living somewhere where one cannot get ones hands on canned Pumpkin. I was scolded then, and expect to be scolded again, for not using fresh pumpkin. We do use fresh pumpkin. Hell, we grow our own and eat it on a regular basis during the winter. But sometimes, if a girl is in a hurry, it is handy to have a few cans of pumpkin on hand so a mother could whip up a batch of Pumpkin Muffins or bang out a Pumpkin Pie or better still bake off a Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Of course, when I elude to the fact that I might be baking any of the above items, you should all know by now that indeed, I am not. I am just planting the seed with the hopes that the Chef will take the hint, bake something beautiful and assume all along it was his bright idea. Even the children have mastered this skill.

Let’s face it, how could he refuse this little munchkin?

The kid that started it all and made me a Mama…….Rory Belle


Earlier this week I was looking at our friends website and It made me feel a bit homesick for my favourite time of year in the US, Autumn. Of course, after spending a huge chunk of my life living in the states, there will always be things that I miss. Our friends first of course, Starbucks and its free wi-fi (I know, so shallow) and seasonal stuff like pumpkin spiced lattes and gingerbread biscotti.

The kid that made me want to have my tubes tied ‘just incase’ a miracle would happen


This year, the kids have a lot of pumpkins and squash to choose from and they certainly come in handy as props when helping decorate around the house. The pumpkins come in handy, not the kids! Although we plan on eating all of them over the course of the next few months, they are hardy and will hold up well if left sitting pretty at the front door, waiting to greet any expected or unexpected visitors.

All the kids……


If you want to make a Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecake (and I highly recommend you do) first you must find the right pumpkin (small) and then cook it!  You will need a good sharp knife.


Welcome to our home…it is pure chaos for the most part. But a fun kind of chaos!


Slice off the top, scoop out the middle and slice it into quarters. Use the smaller pumpkins if you want to make a pie or cheesecake. They retain less water and will cook faster. We always roast ours with butter and maple syrup. After it has cooked in the oven (1 hour on medium heat) you can removed the skin, it will fall right off, and using a stick blender whiz it up into a nice lump free consistency. It should look and kinda smell like baby food.


Small Pumpkins (8 inch diameter) make the best pies. Less watery.

Of course, I prefer to cook them whole and even stuffed. In the photo below, we rubbed this pumpkin down with butter, salt and pepper and then loaded it with onions, garlic, sausage and bacon and a few chili peppers. It was most memorable and the kids tore it to shreds in seconds. Bacon does this to our family. Addicts.com – all of us.


My preferred way of cooking Pumpkins

5.0 from 1 reviews

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 8

A baked Pumpkin Cheesecake with ginger biscuit crust.
  • 5 packages of cream cheese (200 g or 7-ounce)
  • 90 g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
  • 425 g (or 1.5 cups) of canned or fresh pumpkin
  • 5 lovely large eggs (we used duck eggs)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 packet of gingernut biscuits
  • 6 tablespoons of butter (melted and cool)

  1. Make the crust first:
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 180 C (350 F). Butter the sides and bottom of your Cheesecake pan. We used a 9” springform pan. Place a round piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and butter the parchment too. Now, stop worrying about all the excessive butter.
  3. Using your food processor, grind up the entire packet of gingernut biscuits. Or, use a baseball bat and a ziplock bag. It all depends on your agression level for the day.
  4. Once the biscuits have been ground up in to a nice finely ground pulp stir in the melted butter until it is well combined. Press the crumbs onto the bottom of the pan and about an inch and a half up the sides too.
  5. Bake for fifteen minutes then allow to cool on a rack. Once it has cooled, place a very large sheet of HEAVY aluminium foil underneath the cheesecake pan and wrap the bottom and sides, because the cheesecake is going to be baked in a water bath soon.
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 160 C (325 F).
  8. Using your stand mixer and the paddle attachment (not the whisk) beat the cream cheese and sugar at a meduim speed until fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add vanilla, pumpkin puree, salt and spices and beat at low speed until smooth.
  9. Pour into the cooled crust.
  10. Place the foil wrapped pan into a large roasting pan and carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan around the wrapped springform pan. Do not splash the cheesecake – even if you are terribly distracted.
  11. Place the roasting pan in the oven and bake for a good hour until the cake is puffy around the edges but still jiggly in the middle.
  12. Turn off the oven and open the door and let the cheesecake sit there for an hour.
  13. Remove the pan from the oven and remove it from the roasting pan.
  14. Allow it to cool on a wire rack.
  15. Chill overnight. When ready to serve run a butter knife (dipped in boiling water) around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it up from the springform pan.
  16. Serve with a small layer of sour cream icing. (Sour cream mixed with a few spoonfuls of icing sugar.



A little slice of perfect pumpkin pie…. ah go on …

This was our first time making (and baking) a cheesecake. The Chef used to make one when he worked at a place called Parkers Blue Ash Grill, in Blue Ash, Ohio, but one of his staff always actually ‘made’ it. He just ate it. Quality control, someones gotta do it.

I do not suffer from sweet tooth syndrome but really do love Pumpkin so this was a very nice treat. We made it and shared it with friends last weekend when we went to visit a pig farm – and stories from that weekend will be shared on my next blog post.

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55 Comments + Add Comment

  • What I love about the cheesecake is that you did not use any cream! I absolutely hate the use of cream in cheesecakes!

    And you used duck eggs! Nice! Your cheesecake looks divine Mona!

    • Thank you An.
      My husband does not like cheesecake at all, despite having a wicked sweet tooth himself.
      He humored me with this request and even he agreed it was delicious. There is not a lot of
      sugar in it either, so it was not incredibly sweet – but really lovely flavours. I think we can thank the
      duck eggs for the rich texture and colour.
      Thank you so much for reading and the nice comment.

  • I am willing to eat a slice of the pie depicted herein with no questions whatsoever about whether or not the pumpkin came from a can. That’s big of me, yes indeed. And that’s a nifty new embedded recipe format you have; we will all sit around awhile and admire your professionalism.

    • Mise,
      I will sit with you to share a slice and we will never cast judgement on said pie.
      The nifty recipe thingy is a plugin on WordPress. I am a bit of a nerd and love it myself but am
      not sure I can take the credit for looking all professional etc. Although, come to think of it,
      I am a dab hand at the typing :0)
      Hope all is well and you are not too windswept out west.

  • After having eaten this delicious cheese-cake, I can certainly say is was gorgeous. Great Post, and the coveted recipe is a bonus too 🙂

    • Glad you liked this Colette. I am the Pumpkin fan here at home so it took a bit of cajoling but
      it turned out he liked it himself. I think it was the sour cream icing that sealed the deal for him :0)
      Let me know how it turns out if you try it.

  • Loving all the photos, everything looks yum. I tried growing pumpkin this year but planted them too late, didn’t weed enough and think I have one solitary and green looking pumpkin out there 🙁

    • We have only had success with them in the tunnel Lorna. They grow like crazy and take over the whole
      tunnel so we might plant a few less next year or try a few outdoors and see how we go.

  • Have you decorated for Hallow’een already btw? I haven’t done anything for it yet!

    • We have a few outdoorsy bales of straw and pumpkins carefully placed Lorna.
      Busy couple of weeks ahead with friends coming over etc. You have plenty of time
      to be getting ready for Halloween. Not to worry and I am sure your efforts will be far greater than mine!

  • I love anything cheesecake… even deep fried. However,not sure if I’ve ever had pumpkin cheesecake. So I will definitely be using this recipe…but will be using can for sure. I did make pumpkin soup one year @ thanksgiving from a Rachael Ray recipe using fresh pumpkin…I baked it with butter,salt and pepper. Straight out of the oven it was very tasty, but when I pureed it and finished the soup…it was quite bad. I think it was a texture thing…enough of my rambling…Love the Halloween decorations!!!

    • You should give it a try Robert. I have found when using fresh pumpkin the texture can be ‘weird’ if you are not careful.
      When making soups and sauces liquid is your friend like lots of chicken stock and plenty of cream :0)
      On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being the hardest I would say this cheesecake is no more than a 5. The Chef says it is about a 3
      but he bakes for a living ;0).

  • I need to try that sour cream icing………

    • Yvonne,
      It is almost not fair to call it ‘icing’ because it is literally a few tablespoons of the sour cream and a bit of icing sugar mixed in. It does not set up hard but
      it is a lovely sweet and sour combo……you can drizzle it on anything really.

  • There are a few things I have to confess. Don’t like cheesecake and pumpkin cheesecake gives me the heebee geebees. Second, grew up on pumpkin pies using canned pumpkin purée and never liked them; never liked pumpkin pie until I tasted it with fresh. BUT… I LOVE the way you maple roast your pumpkin and the next time I make pie this is the way I’ll do it. And what fun this whole autumn and Halloween season must be at your place with those adorable kids! And the decorations! I need to talk to JP about that visit! xo

    • Jamie,
      You do need to come for a visit. April and May are nicer months to travel. Not too rainy, nice early summer sun.
      The garden is always blossoming.
      I think my love for the Pumpkin comes from never having it as a child. As you well know, I have no love for desserts at all
      but I can honestly say this is hard to resist. I still prefer the roasted savoury pumpkin though. mmmmm bacon.

  • Canned pumkin is something I have always viewed with suspicion, along with tinned chestnut. Maybe this is the year I will try them, this recipe seems to have some heavyweight endorsement. Any suggestions for the pureed chestnut would be great fully received also.

    • You are out of luck on the chestnuts. Eewwww –
      McCambridges used to carry Pumpkin in a can in town (2008) but have since stopped carrying it due to the fact that there is no demand.
      Rumour has it, if you trave least to the big shmoke, it might be available to buy in the fancy Fallon & Byrne but when I rang them they did not know what I
      was asking for and kept saying ‘yes we have pumpkins’ . . ‘but are they in a can? ‘ .. no.
      For pies and cheesecake, the canned stuff is great. If you find Pumpkin Pie mix in a can – steer clear of it.
      Full to the hilt with glucose fructose syrup and other unmentionables that you would never feed your family.
      Good luck with the Chef Factor competition. You have my vote!

  • I LOVE everything pumpkin. And pumpkin cheesecake – I will certainly try this. How could you possibly leave this to chill overnight without taking a chunk??! Thanks Móna.

    • Niamh,
      You will love this and addmittedly, it will be very very difficult to leave it over night but it really does need to be ‘left’ for the flavours to
      develop and the consistency to be just right. Glad to know there are a few other Pumpkin nuts out there. I always feel so alone in my ramblings :0)
      See you over the holidays …… I will plan something with the folks…Granny is flying the coop to visit Kenneth and CA for a month. The nerve of her. xx

  • No flour in the recipe, I am trying this one….and I will be using canned pumpkin!!!

    • Nope – no flour and no cream and surprisingly easy to make and delicious to boot. Go figure.
      Yes – you will like this one Sarah. Just remember to let it set up over night……the smell will kill you though once it starts to bake.
      Thanks for the visit . . . wish it was in person xx

    • Wow, I just printed the recipe and Rory’s picture is even on top….an additional plus!!! Not that I didn’t like Jack’s picture too…they both still look as sweet as they can be!!! I am going to use my GF Gingersnap cookies for the crust and I am ready to start baking.

      • Woo hoo- that is great that the photo printed. She is so cute an innocent in that photo.
        I keep it on a my screen saver so that I can be reminded how cute she ‘used to be’ when she is like a raging 8 year old diva around here :0)
        Enjoy the cheesecake and give Kevin a big hug from Ron & I….
        Before you know it the Christmas lights will be pulled down from the attic and we will be clicking them on/off/on/off all night long xxx

  • I loved the pumpkin baked with all the other veggies. Funny…well, I think so at least…is that for all the years and all the pumpkin I have made and used, I have never once thought to do something like that and eat it as a part of dinner. Duh. Simply fabulous and certainly season worthy presentation!

    • Why thank you Barb. These little bitty ones are brilliant for roasting and they grow extremely well in Ireland so we have to be creative in our uses
      of them. They also work very well as soup torueens as long as you season them well when you roast them. Because otherwise you are digging into the flesh with your soup
      and it can be a bit tasteless if you do not treat it right. They are my favourite favourite Autumn versatile veggie.
      Thanks for popping in for a visit Barb.

  • Ooooh that pie looks so good! Would love to have a slice now *sigh*
    haha now I want to bake pie…

    have a lovely Wednesday xoxo

    • Thanks Astrid. This was our first time baking a cheesecake. It was really really good and very easy to make.
      If you can get your hands on some pumpkin you should try it….a fine baker like yourself you should have no trouble at all with the recipe!
      Getting cold here in Galway, how about you in Vienna?

  • Pumpkin cheesecake sounds amazing! And I bet all of your neighbours think your house is the coolest – those Halloween decorations are deadly 🙂

    • Thanks Aoife…it was rather good. I am not a huge fan of cheesecakes made with gelatin…it is a texture thing..
      But this one is baked like a cake and it needs time to set up and cool giving the flavours time to meld together
      and develop….very very yum. And, I am not sure about the neighbours…if I had to wager a bet on what they think I would say they love the fresh bread that the
      chef shares with them and we have a rowdy and rambunctious gaggle of happy kids….and some noisy birds. The props are all backyard usables…;0)

  • Hi Mona, I’m pretty good at quality control on cheesecake too. Yum! My favourite job!

    I love your decorations. Hope you and your happy little family have a wonderful Halloween.

    • Thank you Hester. The Cheesecake was very tasty and I have a feeling that this will be a regular feature around here for the
      holiday season – which seems like it will start now and end in January!
      Kids are geared up and excited for halloween. . . . thanks for the visit xx

  • If it’s any consolation… We can also not find canned pumpkin here… 🙂 In fact; there are times when fresh pumpkins are not that easy to find! (and no, I do not mean in the middle of summer, but I mean right now) I love that cheesecake especially as it mostly sounds delicious. I’ve never baked with pumpkin (not counting the pumpkin/walnut foccacia I made last year!)

    • Thanks Simone. I know. It seems that the canned stuff is not so easy to find in Europe in general.
      I am guessing that will change in the future though because people travel so much now and I have noticed a lot of our non-American friends are dying for a bite!
      Pumpkin/Walnut foccacia sounds very nice Simone. I will have to look for the recipe on your blog!

  • Ahh canned pumpkin puree – I have to say after living in the Staes and having tried the canned stuff I can say I prefer making it fresh. I make large batches and then freeze to use in recipes – somehow it tastes better and healthier. The chef is a fantastic man to humor your desire! Love the cutie pics too!

    • Thanks Meeta. He is a great guy. He has been baking for a very long time so there is very little effort involved in his making and baking.
      I also prefer the fresh homegrown pumpkins but am not organised enough to have some stashed in the freezer.
      Thanks for the visit!

  • I admire you for making your own pumpkin puree. I plan to make some this year too, but I love the canned variety here in the US. My kids love pumpkin pancakes which I make all year round. When we go home to Ireland in the summer, they miss their pancakes. A year ago, there was a huge shortage of pumpkins in the US and I had to search high and low to find my cans. Luckily this year there are oodles of pumpkins. Thanks for sharing your great recipe.

    • Hi there,
      We lived in Ohio for 15 years and visit to the Pumpkin patch were an annual favourite autumn passtime
      of ours. As much as I love the homegrown and roasted kind, the stuff in a can is not bad at all an so nice to have
      on hand when needed. Our kids love pancakes too. They are a regular on the menu every Sunday around here.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  • I do suffer (or enjoy!) from “sweet tooth syndrome”, love pumpkin, and cannot wait to try this pumpkin cheesecake recipe!

    • Hi Rachel,
      Thanks for popping in for a visit. I hope you enjoy the cheesecake. We will be making it a few times over the holiday season
      and have just found a business in Ireland that sells the stuff in a can!

  • So glad to hear you’ve found a place to get pumpkin in a can!

    • I know! There is a list of people lining up for pie and cheesecake now!

  • Hey Mona, The cheese cake was divine! It has to the first time something has come out of the oven and not been whoooomphed in 10 seconds flat…. quite impressive for us lot. It was painfully hard thought for each of us. Well worth the wait and will be making again for sure 😉 Thanx

    • Hey there!
      Glad you liked it! We are going to make it again this weekend.
      I know what you mean about being hard to make. I am not a baker at all so I think
      everything is hard to make and bake. Maybe when you try it the next time you will have an easier time :0)
      Thanks for letting me know you tried it and liked it!

  • Mona,
    That cheesecake looks A-MAZING, it really does! I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a fear of making cheesecakes. Afraid it will be uncooked in the centre. This one may cure my fear – well done!

    • Try it. You will do a bang up job of it because you like to bake. I would end up with a big messy center if I did not have the Chef looking over my shoulder offering
      ‘more hates less speed’ helpful hints. It was not that hard to make, really, and the gingernut crust – oh – yum. Let me know if you try it and thank you for the visit!

  • Using gingerbread crust for this cheesecake sounds wonderful and the finished product looks delicious. The idea of using just sour cream mixed with icing sugar for the topping is new to me and sounds great. The stuffed pumpkin is a hearty idea and the more bacon the better!

    Love your photos of the kids and your porch decorations, especially the *stuffed kids* are adorable. Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Halloween.

    • The gingerbread crust is lovely Paula. The finished product, sour cream icing and all is smooth and silky. It tastes like a cake – but it
      is all cheesecake. Try to sour cream icing. The chef calls it ‘lazy mans icing’ because he just dumps icing sugar into the tub of sour cream and pours it on….the stuffed kids are sometimes my favourite too ;0) Halloween was great. A long week because the kids have been off school but all is well and they are getting their Friday groove on ;0) Thanks for popping in for a visit!

  • Thanks for all the great ideas, Mona – love your stuffed pumpkin!

    Can I ask which shop you found that sells canned? Very inferior to the homemade product, of course. but it’s good for emergencies.

    • Look up http://www.americanfood.ie/ for the canned pumpkin or Fallon & Byrne in Dublin still have some and will post to you. I actually prefer the canned stuff – because the texture is so nice and smooth.
      I have found when steaming the fresh one, if I push it through a mesh sieve and some cheesecloth it comes out the same – but a lot of work :0)
      Enjoy and thanks for the comment!

    • Oh – and Amazon.co.uk will also send it to Ireland but you have to call them on the phone to get them to do it manually :0) and the shipping is a bear so if you know someone living in the UK you can ship it to them and
      have them bring it to you for Christmas. We are making the Pumpkin Cheesecake for Thanksgiving this week!

  • […] Pumpkin Cheesecake […]

  • […] was a delicious Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake, made by Chef Ron.  Not too sweet, it looked and tasted great. The remainder of the afternoon, and, indeed, in to […]

  • HI Mona,

    Typical me, probably overthinking the recipe, is it 5 x 200 gram packs of Cream Cheese for the filling?

    • Yes .. It is a pretty large recipe and you can freeze the leftover mixture if there is some.
      I usually make a few nice sized cheesecakes and give to friends and family.

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
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