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Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Recipe by: Chef John V.
Serving size: 12 servings
Preparation time: about 3 hours plus 1 day chilling time
Note: Plan on making this cheesecake a day or so in advance so it can rest for at least twenty-four hours in the refrigerator before you serve it.


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup fine gingersnap crumbs
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
5 large eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups canned pumpkin pure
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup walnut halves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9" spring form pan with the butter. Sprinkle the gingersnap crumbs in the pan and tilt the pan to cover the bottom and the sides evenly with the crumbs.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix them into the cheese mixture. Add the pumpkin puree and blend well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 1 3/4-2 hours. The cake is done when the sides pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool on a rack at room temperature for 1 hour, then remove the ring from the spring form pan. Keep the cake at room temperature until it has cooled completely. Then cover it with plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator overnight.

To Serve: Just before serving, brush the top with the maple syrup and encircle the outer edge with the walnut halves. This cuts best with a knife dipped into hot water and dried before each cut you make.