Pumpkin swirl cheesecake

Pumpkin pie, move over. Cheesecake is joining the dessert table for Thanksgiving this year. Oh, it’s been there before, but since making cheesecakes for my daughter-in-law’s baby shower last month they’ve been on my mind. The first step is to make ginger cookies, aka gingersnaps or molasses cookies, or Biscoff copycat cookies to use for the crust. Both of these cookies feature spices that complement the pumpkin. You need enough crushed cookies to end up with about 1 cup (about 150 grams, or 5-6 oz.) of crumbs. Depending on the size of your cookies that will be anywhere from 4-10 cookies.

Use full-fat cream cheese and sour cream for the filling. Set them out on the counter for a couple of hours, along with the eggs, to warm to room temperature before mixing. This makes a very thick 9″ cheesecake. Make it 1-2 days before serving or freeze for up to one month. To freeze, wrap the completely cooled cake with aluminum foil, still in the pan but loosened around the edges with a knife. Place it in a freezer-weight ziplock bag and freeze till needed. If you have to transport the cheesecake leave it in the pan. It’s easiest to remove from the pan to a serving plate while still at least slightly frozen.  Cover with a large inverted bowl and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or several hours before serving.

– Joan, 24 November 2019


Pumpkin swirl cheesecake

  • Servings: One 9-inch cheesecake, for 12-16 servings
  • Print

Pumpkin pie spice:

  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1½ teaspoons allspice
  • 1½ teaspoons cloves

Mix all together. Store in airtight container, *reserving 2½ teaspoons for this recipe.


  • 4-10 cookies, ground fine in food processorIMG_2024
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Use enough cookies to get about 1-1¼ cups of crumbs. Mix in melted butter to make the crumbs stick together slightly. Pat this mixture in the bottom and a little way up the sides of a 9″ springform pan that has been lined with a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom.


  • 1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 lb. sour cream, room temperature

Beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating each time until egg is just blended. Beat in vanilla extract. Fold in sour cream by hand. Reserve 1½ cups of this mixture for the pumpkin swirl.

Pumpkin swirl:IMG_2025

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2½ teaspoons reserved pumpkin pie spice*
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups cream cheese filling from filling recipe above

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Stir all of the pumpkin swirl ingredients together by hand. Alternate cupfuls of cream cheese filling and pumpkin swirl filling in pan and swirl together with a knife, being careful not to stir up bottom crust. Wrap the bottom of the pan tightly with heavy foil. Place the pan in a larger pan with high sides, such as a roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan till it comes about halfway up the sides of the springform pan, being careful not to get higher than the foil covering. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour. Give the pan a slight shake to check for doneness. The middle of the cheesecake will still jiggle a bit when it’s ready and will set up after you turn off the oven. Leave the door slightly ajar and let it sit in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the roasting pan and remove foil. Run a knife around the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan. This helps prevent cracking as it cools. Let cool completely before refrigerating or preparing for freezing. Flavor is best after refrigerating for 24 hours. Serve with any of these, or any combination of them: bourbon or rum spiked whipped cream, chopped toasted pecans, a drizzle of sea salt caramel topping.



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