Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sugared Pumpkin Seeds

I love a good pumpkin cheesecake, and this one is especially good.  The recipe comes from Food & Wine’s Best of the Best Cookbook Volume 10.  The first thing about this dessert that piqued my interest was the sugared pumpkin seeds. I’ve sugared pecans plenty of times at Christmas (a tradition) but never pumpkin seeds!  Why didn’t I think of that?!

Sunflower seeds, you’re next.

I appreciate the nuances of flavor in the crust; slightly nutty with the addition of pecans and just a hint of ginger. Every component of this cheesecake is well composed.  It does take a little time to make, but it’s the real deal.

Embrace the beauty of the water-bath method.  It’s so worth the effort.

Sugared pumpkin seeds are so easy to make and great for a quick snack!

 

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake 

with Sugared Pumpkin Seeds

Adapted from Tish Boyle’s recipe in Food and Wine’s Best of the Best Volume 10

Makes one 9-inch cake; serves 12-16                                                                                [click for printable version]

Ginger-Pecan Crust:

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1/3 cup pecans (1.2 oz.)

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup cold butter

1 tablespoon cold water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch springform pan.  Wrap the outside of the pan in an 18 inch square of heavy duty aluminum.  

2. Place flour, sugar, salt, pecans and ginger in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until the pecans are finely ground.  Add cold butter and process until crumbs form.  Add water and process in bursts until the dough starts to come together in clumps.  Press dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely.  Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

1 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine)

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 lbs (20 oz, or 2 1/2 eight oz. bricks) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar 

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tbsp cornstarch

4 large eggs

1. In a medium bowl whisk together pumpkin puree, heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon , ginger and salt. Set aside.

2. In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium-low until creamy (approx. 2 mins).  Gradually add sugars and beat until blended.  Add pumpkin mixture and beat until blended. Add cornstarch and beat until just combined.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Scrape down bowl as necessary.

3. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter onto the cooled crust.  Place the aluminum-wrapped pan in a roasting pan or large baking pan.  Pour enough hot water into the pan to come up 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.  Bake 70-80 minutes, or until set and slightly wobbly.  The cake will completely set as it cools.

 

Whipped Cream Topping

 

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar

 

 

 

1. In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream until it begins to thicken slightly.  Add in granulated sugar a little at a time.

 

2. Beat until stiff peaks form.  Use to top cheesecake, or pipe in decorative swirls.  You may also serve this on the side.

Sugared Pumpkin Seeds:

1/2 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds

1 egg white

Pinch of salt

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment, or grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2.  Whisk egg white until frothy.  Place pumpkin seeds in another bowl, and pour in just enough egg white to coat the seeds.  You will most likely not use the entire egg white.  Add salt, sugar and cinnamon.  Toss well to coat.

3. Spread seeds on baking pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until they begin to dry and color.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  

Note:  I broke the sugared seeds into large pieces and used them as a sculptural garnish for the cheesecake.  If you do this, be sure to top the cheesecake just before serving so the seeds stay crispy.  These can also be served alongside the cheesecake in a pretty dish.

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Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Gorgeous! Love the sugared pumpkin seeds!

Erin
Erin
9 years ago

That is spectacular looking and I bet it tastes amazing!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

I bet this is worth every single ounce of effort. And I LOVE your cake stand. So RAD!

Mary Anne
Mary Anne
9 years ago

This looks wonderful and looks like my Thanksgiving Dessert this year! Thanks for posting this one…

Heidi
Heidi
9 years ago

This is awesome. 🙂 I'm already planning my Christmas cheesecake. We have a big family Christmas party and some of us show off by what dessert we bring. I'm making a lemon raspberry cheesecake topped with lemon curd and raspberry puree. I think I'll win. lol

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

You will!!!

Jessica @ How Sweet
Jessica @ How Sweet
9 years ago

i think these are the most gorgeous pictures of any recipe i have ever seen on a blog. GORGEOUS!

Irvin @ Eat the Love
Irvin @ Eat the Love
9 years ago

I'm in LOVE with the sugared pumpkin seeds! I recently made pistachio brittle for a project and now I just want to candy anything/everything. Pumpkin seeds sounds like perfect for the upcoming holidays.

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie
Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie
9 years ago

That is gorgeous! I've never seen such a intricate cheesecake.

vanillasugarblog
vanillasugarblog
9 years ago

YES! Girl you done this just right.
Love the addition of the sugary pumpkin seeds.
xoxo!

Rosie @ Sweetapolita
Rosie @ Sweetapolita
9 years ago

Gorgeous and intriguing, Heather! The cheesecake itself looks incredible, but I also love your Heather-spin on it all. Stunning!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

Wooooow it looks amazing!! :O

Glory/ Glorious Treats
Glory/ Glorious Treats
9 years ago

This is just so gorgeous!!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

Amazing! Can this be made the night before or does it need to be served right after you make it?

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
9 years ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
9 years ago

What a gorgeous cheesecake! I really love the sugared pumpkin seeds.

Cheers,

Rosa

Paula
Paula
9 years ago

This is a stunning looking cheesecake and the addition of the pecans in the crust and the sugared pumpkins seeds are a beautiful finishing touch.

Lili
Lili
9 years ago

Your images always make me sigh. I just love looking at the styling and the little details that just make me want to jump through the screen and see it all in person. Oh this one is just so very pretty Heather! You know, I didn't even realize there were seeds inside the pumpkin seeds, in fact I think I even ate them whole before…yikes! xo ~Lili

Lora
Lora
9 years ago

Outstanding decoration on this beautiful cheesecake. Wow!

Sara
Sara
9 years ago

This is such a pretty cheesecake! Looks like it would be a perfect unique dessert for Thanksgiving. Great flavors!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Every thing you make is perfection…who eat't these creations?

Valerie Harrison (bellini)
Valerie Harrison (bellini)
9 years ago

Sugared pumpkin seeds are a stroke of genius!!

Karyn
Karyn
9 years ago

That is the most beautiful cheesecake I have ever seen! Just amazing! You are a wonderful inspiration and when I grow up, I want to bake just like you!

RedPoppy
RedPoppy
9 years ago

oh boy, this looks absolutely scrumptious and delicious. You are amazing! x
redpoppyfashion.blogspot.com

www.you-made-that.com
www.you-made-that.com
9 years ago

Lovely cheesecake, I've been craving one and in fact I am making one tomorrow. What a creative way to use the pumpkin seeds.

Zo @ Two Spoons
Zo @ Two Spoons
9 years ago

Wow, looks stunning! I've seen so many pumpkin cheesecakes and been like…bleh! This is the first one that has got me drooling and actually wanting to make and eat one! Maybe because it looks so fluffy and light. Anyway, thanks for converting me 😀

Salomé
Salomé
9 years ago

Gorgeous! I'm goingo to make it… Besos

il cucchiaio magico
il cucchiaio magico
9 years ago

wow! che fantastica ricetta e complimenti per il bellissimo sito

megan @ whatmegansmaking
megan @ whatmegansmaking
9 years ago

This is a beautiful cheesecake! The topping makes it stand out especially. I had a pumpkin cheesecake I'd seen in a magazine that I wanted to make, but I think I'm going to switch to this one since it's been tested and approved! 🙂

katarzynka
katarzynka
9 years ago

OMG, sugared pumpkin seeds look just amazing!

Liz
Liz
9 years ago

love it, love it, love it . A fan from Germany 😉

Liz

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

This cake is out of this world beautiful. Great job!

Heather (Heather's Dish)
Heather (Heather's Dish)
9 years ago

this looks so dainty and beautiful!

Cookin' Canuck
Cookin' Canuck
9 years ago

Oh my, that is a work of art. The sugared pumpkin seeds are a wonderful idea – they look beautiful and I'll bet they taste pretty darn good, too.

Lauren at Keep It Sweet
Lauren at Keep It Sweet
9 years ago

I love pumpkin cheesecake but that addition of sugared pumpkin seeds is such a good idea as a topping. Looks amazing!!

Manding.
Manding.
9 years ago

um dreamiest cake and DREAMIest cake stand 😀 this would be dangerous to bake though considering i might just eat all the sugared pumpkin seeds before the cake is baked !!!
ps, http://amandamantes.blogspot.com !

emily
emily
9 years ago

another gorgeous dessert! i love pumpkin cheesecake – far more satisfying than pie, in my opinion. you should check out bonnie stern's recipe for butternut squash & bocconcini salad. it's incredibly yummy and comes with a recipe for pumpkin-seed brittle. not a dessert, but a great fall salad and the brittle is heavenly!

Meg @ write meg!
Meg @ write meg!
9 years ago

As I'm absolutely addicted to anything pumpkin, this has to be moved onto my "must be created and consumed" list! And your photos are gorgeous.

Kathryn O
Kathryn O
9 years ago

What an unbelievably beautiful cheesecake! I am obsessed with pumpkin and I love your addition of sugared pumpkin seeds. Brilliant!

Nic@diningwithastud
Nic@diningwithastud
9 years ago

Those sugared pumpkin seeds are such a great idea 🙂 perfect for a little snack too

kelsey_the farmer's daughter
kelsey_the farmer's daughter
9 years ago

This sounds amazing! And is so beautiful. I love the idea of sugared pumpkin seeds…they add such a nice touch!

reyhan kokulu mutfağım
reyhan kokulu mutfağım
9 years ago

görüntü harika tadıda eminim çok güzeldir ellerine sağlık…

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Yum! Yum! Cheeeeeesecake. Wait. I forgot that I shouldn't be here due to my need to scale back from vacation eating! I just can never resist coming to your beautiful blog.

Cookbook Queen
Cookbook Queen
9 years ago

Oh this looks almost too good to eat! I mean…I'd manage a piece or three somehow,though 😉 The filling looks so creamy and decadent. And sugared pumpkin seeds? It's like a candy dessert for after dessert.

Laurie {Simply Scratch}
Laurie {Simply Scratch}
9 years ago

Seriously, I don't think I've seen anything as pretty as this!!

Southern Elle
Southern Elle
9 years ago

This is gorgeous! And such a tasty set of flavors. Hope I have the patience to throw it together half as lovely as this.

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

I'm so in love with ur blog 😉 Great!

Sue
Sue
9 years ago

Can't get much better than a pumpkin cheesecake, unless you add sugared pumpkin seeds, of course! 🙂

Renata
Renata
9 years ago

I don't think I have ever seen such a beautiful pumpkin dessert! I love the idea of the sugared pumpkin seeds.

Irene @ H.V.R.
Irene @ H.V.R.
9 years ago

Great pictures! Very tempting and mouth drooling. The instructions are also easy to follow. I will make my own batches of these and hope that it will also look good and taste good.