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Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

You know it’s fall when pumpkin cheesecakes start coming out of the ovens at Junior’s, and the customers start lining up to pick up their orders. Junior’s make their pumpkin cakes by swirling white and pumpkin batters together then decorating them with dollops of whipped cream. The result, a dessert that’s cheesecake and pumpkin pie, all in one. What a way to celebrate Thanksgiving, or any day!

NotesThe Junior’s Way

For this cake, the bakers use canned pumpkin, the kind that’s 100 percent pure pumpkin purée, not canned pumpkin pie mix. This works better than cooked fresh pumpkin because the moisture and flavor are consistent, cake after cake.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentelectric mixer, springform pan

Taste and Texturecreamy, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishcake, cheesecake, dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe 9-inch Junior’s Sponge Cake Crust
  • Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat), at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • ¾ cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 recipe Decorator’s Whipped Cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides. Make and bake the cake crust and leave in the pan. Keep the oven on.

  2. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream just until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix!

  3. Remove 1½ cups of the batter and set aside. On low speed, blend the pumpkin and the 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice into the remaining batter. Gently spoon the pumpkin batter on top of the crust. Using a teaspoon, drop the white batter in small spoonfuls on top of the pumpkin batter, pushing it down slightly as you go. Using a thin, pointed knife, cut through the batter a few times in a “figure 8” design, just until white swirls appear.

  4. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top has golden and tan swirls, about 1¼ hours. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away-don’t move it). Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours.

  5. Release and remove the sides of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate. Pipe whipped cream rosettes around the top edge of the cake. Lightly sprinkle the cream rosettes with a little pumpkin pie spice. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice the cold cake with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover any leftover cake and refrigerate, or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.

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