Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake

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Week of Thanksgiving Favorites!

Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays, as it’s all about family and – hello – food! I look forward to the feast all year long and wanted to share some of my favorite turkey day recipes with you this week.

Some are dishes that my family and I have been eating for 25+ years, while others are new recipes I just know you’ll love and want to incorporate into your menu this year.

I’ll be posting them over the next 5 days, and tonight I’m kicking things off with what is arguably the most important part of any Thanksgiving meal – dessert!

Pumpkin Pie is usually the dessert du jour on the big day, but this year I’m spicing things up with a gingery, thick and luscious Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake.

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I tasted this cheesecake at the Dole Healthy Bloggers Summit, and begged them for the recipe to include on my Thanksgiving menu this year. Creamy and pumpkin flavored to boot – it is incredible!

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It’s surprisingly simple to make too, and can be made a day or two in advance which is great for the hectic holiday. Start by processing gingersnap cookies into fine crumbs. You’ll need a cup and a half to form the gingery, spicy crust.

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Whir in a little butter, then press the mixture into the bottom of a non-stick sprayed spring form pan, which is basically a cake pan with removable sides.

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If you don’t have one of these babies, a pie plate might work. I think they’re fairly inexpensive though, and who doesn’t like to be able to say they own a spring form pan? Very chi-chi! ;)

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The bottom of a glass works great to get the crumbs into a nice, even layer.

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Next mix up the sweet, creamy, classic cheesecake batter with a pumpkin twist.

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Pour it into the pan and bake low and slow for one and a half hours. Resist the urge to peek inside the oven, mmkay? Droopy cheesecakes will just not do at Thanksgiving!

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Now, if you are a master baker your cheesecake probably won’t crack around the sides, but if you are not they probably will. But that is ok because nobody will be thinking about your cheesecake cracks after they take their first bite…

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Especially if it’s topped with whipped cream and gingersnap crumbles!

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Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake

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From the California Health & Longevity Institute

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
3-8oz packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
1-3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup egg substitute
Cool whip, extra gingersnaps

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine gingersnap crumbs and melted butter in a food processor. Press the mixture into the bottom of a non-stick sprayed 9″ spring form pan.
  2. In an electric mixer or food processor, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and cloves, and beat until thoroughly combined. Slowly stream in egg substitute while the mixer is running.
  3. Pour mixture over the prepared crust and smooth the top.
  4. Place a casserole dish full of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the cheesecake on the center rack and bake for 1-1/2 hours or until center is set. Cool for one hour then place into the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  5. Before slicing, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan, then remove the side from the base. Top with cool whip and crumbled gingersnap cookies.

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This cheesecake is like velvet. Dreamy, decadent and indulgent. So special and worthy of the holiday feast!

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Each bite melts in your mouth, and totally takes the (cheese)cake for star of Thanksgiving dinner. I really hope you’ll give this a try!

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In other news…

I was a woman about town this weekend! :)

Ben and I dragged our butts off the couch and out of the house Friday night (like, seriously shamed ourselves into doing something. It’s so difficult to get motivated when it gets dark so early!) for low-key dinner and drinks.

Saturday we got up early to hit a couple stores in search of the perfect quartz color. She likes rich, buttery shades like Palermo and Calabria, while he prefers dark, muddy tones like Devon and Edinburough. Both think each others’ choices look like a shade of cat fur.

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A trip to the North Pole Homemakers afterwards, to help my Mom pick out a new entertainment center, nearly made my eyeballs pop out of my head. The Christmas decorations and music playing throughout the store had me checking my phone to make sure it was really (only!) November 12th?!

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Finally, an impromptu shopping sesh at Found Things rounded out the afternoon. Found Things is an incredible antique/architectural/one of a kind finds store in the East Village. Think the best of garage sales, your Grandparent’s basement, architectural salvage yards and estate sales, all in one place. I could wander around the shop for hours.

Yesterday I found this massive, old, wooden, grate-type thing that I am obsessed with hanging above my fireplace. I have no idea what it is, but I’m enamored. Too bad it’s $120…blerg!

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Better start savin’! ;)

Have a great night!

~~~~~

What do you usually have for dessert on Thanksgiving?

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Comments

  1. Omg that looks amazing! Pumpkin + Gingersnap + Cheesecake? That rocks my world.

  2. Jeri 11.13.2011

    I don’t think you want that grate thing, it’s broken!
    I try to spice things up with new things for Thanksgiving, since I love fancy desserts. But no one appreciates my efforts. I was going to make a Pumpkin Chiffon Cake for Thanksgiving and my husband about had a heart attack…”WHAT!? no Pumpkin pie!?” I just threw up my hands in defeat.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 11.13.2011

      Oh I know, it’d just be for decoration. I like it because it’s broken and weathered – I can only imagine its story! :)

  3. simplysarah 11.13.2011

    Looks delish – but how many eggs could you use instead of egg substitute (since probably most of us don’t have that on hand)?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 11.13.2011

      Egg Beaters’ website says 3, but I can’t vouch for the final product if using eggs instead. http://www.eggbeaters.com/about-egg-beaters/faq.jsp

      • simplysarah 11.13.2011

        Thanks for the quick reply!

    • Cheryl 11.13.2011

      Egg substitute is 99% egg white, so just measure out egg white and you’ll be fine.

      • Rachel 11.29.2011

        Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit! I used 3 whole eggs and it worked perfectly. I think I did beat them too much because I quite the crack in my cheesecake, but you were right…no one noticed after we put whipped cream and gingersnap crumbles on top! :)

  4. Carmen 11.13.2011

    After you add your eggs, be careful on how long you beat. That will make the cheesecake crack. Make the eggs last and beat just until incorporated. This I know from lots of experience. Looks awesome.

  5. Kylie 11.13.2011

    We already had Thanksgiving here in Canada, but that cheesecake looks too good not to give it a try! I’m sure that store has nothing on my sister, she has had her house decorated for Christmas since the beginning of November, ha. Christmas baking is intense in my house, we make “snowballs” (oats, coconut and cocoa, etc) which I’m most looking forward to, as always.

  6. brindi 11.13.2011

    We always have pumpkin or pecan pie, and my Mama always makes some kind of cheesecake. Last year we had a turtle one :) but my favorite is the hot fudge cheesecake she mafe lst Christmas!

  7. Lindsey 11.13.2011

    Usually pumpkin cheesecake :) I am not a fan of regular pie crust but graham cracker crusts I love! Love the idea to use gingersnap crumbs, too bad Canadian Thanksgiving has come and gone!

  8. Dawn Marie 11.13.2011

    I love pumpkin pie, but go for whatever is offerered to me. As long as I don’t have to cook it these days I am happy camper!

    I wonder if I will ever start cooking again???

  9. Nancy 11.13.2011

    I think this would also be great made in cupcake pans with a ginger snap on the bottom, the pumpkin cheesecake filling, then gingersnap crumbs on top and a pecan or walnut for garnish.

  10. The stores around here have Christmas decorations too and some houses even have lights! Crazy but part of me actually likes it :) I love pumpkin although I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. Weird right? So at Thanksgiving I typically go for the apple pie or anything covered in chocolate!

  11. Lauren 11.13.2011

    Oh my. I’m having a love affair with that cheesecake!

  12. Julie 11.13.2011

    YES! Except for the gingersnaps, this looks gluten-free. Thanks for sharing!

  13. lisa 11.13.2011

    This cheesecake sounds just like the one at cheesecake factory! My mom always has pumpkin pie but I don’t much care for pie, this sounds better!

  14. drooling over here! this recipe looks fantastic. thank you so much for sharing.. can’t wait to see what you have for the rest of the week :)

  15. Sarah G 11.13.2011

    That looks amazing! Also, I love that you added the PIN IT button, which works from google reader, too. SOOO much easier–thanks!

  16. Karla 11.13.2011

    Whoa, that was a Christmas wonderland! What a great idea to share a week of recipes. Can’t wait to follow along the whole way! :)

  17. karen crooks 11.13.2011

    I did not know this shop, “Found Things”, existed! I can’t wait to visit it! It might cure “garage sale withdrawal” for the winter months!

  18. Sheena 11.13.2011

    I can’t wait to try this and I’m so excited for the next few days of Thanksgiving recipes! It’s going to be an Iowa Girl Eats Menu on the 24th. I love how you tend to keep cooking classy and simple with a twist. Thank you!

  19. Hope 11.14.2011

    Wow, this dessert looks heavenly! These are the times that I wish I had a food processor! Gr..I might just have to borrow one so I can make this. It looks way too good to pass up! I can’t wait to see what is next in your Thanksgiving recipes :)

  20. C. 11.14.2011

    Oh goodness that looks AMAZINGLY delicious. Pumpkin-flavored desserts are by far my favorite thing about Thanksgiving. Last year I tried Paula Deen’s pumpkin cheesecake recipe and it’s a goodie- though maybe that’s because it includes cream cheese AND heavy cream ;)

  21. Yum….love pumpkin cheesecake, that’s what I made for Thanksgiving last year! This year I think I’m going with Apple Pie Cookies: http://thelifeingreen.com/2011/10/17/time-for-a-nap. (Smitten Kitchen recipe…so of course delicious).

    Love the grate, so many fun things you could do with it.

    And love your cheesecake pics with the ‘vintage’ plate & pumpkins.

  22. Colleen 11.14.2011

    Hello! Just a quick comment to let you know that last night I made your bbq chicken quesadillas (paired with your chipoltle style rice and black beans). It was awesome! Also, planning to make your lettuce wraps later this week. My husband loves when I use your site for recipes :) THANKS!!!

  23. Imwaytoobusy 11.14.2011

    I had to laugh because your choice does look a lot like cat fur. I am going to have cheesecake on my brain all day today!

  24. Erin 11.14.2011

    Gingersnap crust with this is absolutely perfect!

  25. [...] is here. Everyone has their favorite Thanksgiving treats that they wait for all year round, but Iowa Girl Eats has a new take on the classic pumpkin desserts. It’s the Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake; [...]

  26. Allison 11.14.2011

    For dessert on Thanksgiving, my mom always makes homemade apple pie. It is a family recipe that has been passed down through the generations. Warm and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it is the best thing in the world.

    Not so much of a fan of standard pumpkin pie. This recipe looks good though.

  27. Wow, this cheesecake looks absolutely magnificent! The pumpkin-spice flavors really seem like they would perfectly complement the fall atmosphere here in Westchester

  28. My dad usually makes homemade apple and pumpkin pies. Served with vanilla ice cream of course!

  29. You know because we don’t have Thanksgiving over here so I have no holidays to celebrate between now and Christmas and I’m starting to get a little excited :-P
    That pumpkin cheesecake looks sensational! I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of your Thanksgiving recipes :-)

  30. Alyssa 11.14.2011

    Wow, it’s like three desserts in one: pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and gingersnap cookies! This sounds delicious. I really like the idea of gingersnaps and pumpkin together.

  31. Jackie 11.14.2011

    To prevent cracking, use a water bath when you cook it. Just google “cheesecake water bath”. You’ll get the method to do it. It’s sounds like I need to try and make it, nummy!!

  32. nicoleigh 11.14.2011

    I LOVE pumpkin cheesecake! I have made it in varying forms as well.
    And a tip to help the cracking…..when you pull the cheesecake out of the oven, quickly run a paring knife {or a knife that is smooth} around the edge of the pan to release the cheesecake from the pan. That produces the best results for me. {I have tried water baths a couple times before…and I do NOT like them. Cheesecake quality wasn’t up to par. Each baker has their own preference.} :)

  33. I think baking in a water bath would help with the cracking. I have only ever made cheesecake in a water bath and never had problems with cracking, so it could help!!

    And I am obsessed with the gingersnap crust! It’s a really great idea!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 11.16.2011

      I did the water bath, but still got the cracks. You actually couldn’t tell after it was sliced though!

  34. AmyZig 11.15.2011

    Yum cheesecake! My favorite! Looks delish! About the cracking – a few have mentioned water baths, which might help, but the best advice I’ve gotten is to let the cheesecake cool in the oven. The cracks generally happen when the cheesecake cools too quickly (because it’s fluffy when it’s hot and falls when you take it out of the heat). Tried it and didn’t have a single crack!

  35. [...] Kristen’s Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake [...]

  36. Yelle 11.16.2011

    That pumpkin gingersnap cheesecake looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it!
    PS. Where did you get that adorable plate that the slice is sitting on? <3

  37. Alexa 11.16.2011

    Planning to try this with Trader Joe’s gluten free ginger snaps to make a gluten free version of this. Looks great!

  38. maria 11.17.2011

    Hi Krisitn —

    What size is your springform pan? Mine came with three different rounds so I want to make sure I use the right one!

  39. [...] The cheesecake filling was based on IGE’s pumpkin cheesecake recipe. [...]

  40. [...] Recipe adapted from: Iowa Girl Eats [...]

  41. [...] Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake from Iowa Girl Eats [...]

  42. [...] Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake from Iowa Girl Eats [...]

  43. Courtney 11.21.2012

    This is SO on tomorrow’s menu, and I am beyond excited. Just a few questions though: how many eggs (or egg whites) would you say would appropriately replace 3/4 cup of egg substitute? And if I don’t have a food processor, is there some other easy way to crumb the gingersnaps?

  44. [...] tends to taste better after it’s been sitting a while, so I tackled that first. I used this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. The first time I made this recipe I struggled with getting the gingersnaps [...]

  45. […] roasted butternut squash and shredded brussel sprout & kale salad. For dessert, I made a pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust; Steph brought a caramel apple pie and Marissa brought a chocolate pecan one. Everything was made […]

  46. […] for dessert, what could be better than Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake? This recipe from Iowa Girl Eats would be just perfect for a holiday gathering or any day of the […]

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