I'll be the first to admit that I've been to Starbucks a little too often since the Pumpkin Spice Latte has been back on the market. There's something so lovely about spiced coffee... it makes you feel cozy and assures you that fall has truly arrived. I've been so impressed with the many food bloggers who have tried their hand at a copycat recipe, and there are a few I can't wait to try. (Like this one!)
Needless to say, this dessert was inspired by that same cozy drink, and it was an instant favorite at my house. I'll be bringing one (or two?) home for the Thanksgiving table this year.
This cheesecake is one of the easiest baked varieties I've ever tried. I didn't experience any surface cracking and I didn't need to adjust the baking time at all. I half expected something to go wrong due to the adaptations I made to the recipe - but no. I didn't even use a water bath!
An easy way to dress up a cheesecake (or most any cake) is to cut strips of wax paper and lay them across the cake evenly before dusting generously with powdered sugar. No special equipment necessary! Gotta love that.
It's so nice when a dessert turns out exactly the way you hoped it would. I piped on a little freshly whipped creme and then sprinkled the entire cake with nutmeg and cinnamon. Instant coziness on a plate!
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake [click for printable recipe]
Yield: 9" cake, serves 8-10
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup almond flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend ingredients until mixture resembles coarse sand. Press into the bottom (not up sides) of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely.
2- 8oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar divided
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup of canned pumpkin
2 tsp. ground allspice (substitute recipe here)
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
3 tsp. espresso powder, or Starbucks VIA instant coffee (for authenticity)
Using an electric hand mixer, combine the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Mix eggs in one at a time, blending well after each addition.
Remove one cup of the mixture and transfer to another bowl. Add the espresso powder to the 1 cup of filling and mix until coffee has dissolved and is uniform in color. Set aside.
Blend 1/4 cup of sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and allspice into the remaining filling. Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the crust in the spring-form pan. Top pumpkin mixture with the 1 cup coffee filling mixture.
Bake for 55 minutes or until filling is set. The cheesecake will puff up in the middle a little bit as it bakes and then relax back down as it cools. Run a knife around the edge of the pan for easy un-molding. Allow the cheesecake to cool before removing rim of spring-form pan. Chill until ready to serve.
Whipped cream (1/2 cup heavy cream, 3 Tbsp fine white sugar, beat together with electric mixer)
Cinnamon, nutmeg and powdered sugar for sprinkling
1 Cinnamon stick broken in half (decor only)
Top cake with whipped cream, sprinkle with spices and powdered sugar. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.