Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Potluck: Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake

Thanksgiving dinner this year was a potluck held at my aunt and uncle's house. And I was told I could bring anything I wanted. So I scoured some of my favorite blogs looking for the perfect contribution, and landed on this delicious-looking pumpkin gingersnap cheesecake on Iowa Girl Eats.

I waited until Wednesday to make this and brought all of my ingredients to grandma's house, where she served as my trusty dessert-making sidekick.

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake - Serves 12
1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 8-oz 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 (this one I actually had to hunt for; thank goodness for my new favorite Penzeys Spices shop in Uptown)
3/4 cup egg substitute
Cool Whip
Extra gingersnap crumbs

Start by crushing your gingersnaps. Some people might use a food processor; I opted for the good ol' plastic Ziploc bag and soup can method. Made with extra love ;)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place your gingersnap crumbs in a bowl and combine with melted butter.

Next, spread the gingersnap crumb mixture into a sprayed non-stick 9" spring form pan and press the mixture to form the crust.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and cloves. Beat until creamy and slowly stream in the egg substitute with the mixer still running.

Pour the mixture over the crust on the pan. Use a spatula to smooth out the top (along with grandma's tried and true shaking-the-pan smoothing technique).

Place a casserole dish full of water on the rack at the bottom of the oven and bake the cheesecake on the center rack for 1.5 hours or until the center is set. Let cool for an hour and then place in the fridge for at least four hours or until firm.

The beauty of the spring form pan is that you can just unsnap and remove the sides, serving your cheesecake straight from the pan base (depending on your cheesecake, you might need to run a sharp knife around the edges before removing the sides; I forgot that step but it wasn't needed for mine).

Serve the cheesecake with a dollop of whip cream beneath a sprinkling of gingersnap crumbs.

I really thought this was quite delicious. Rich and creamy with just the right amount of spice. The flavor was perfect. The texture smooth. My only hiccup was convincing the family to try it. Dinner was so filling and the dessert options so plentiful that I almost thought I'd have to twist arms to get people to try it. After some aggressive light prodding, I successfully served up all but a few pieces. And the general consensus was also that it was very good :)


  1. was truly wonderful i loved it mom

  2. Oh, I'd like this. I'd like it tonight! I like cheesecakes that are creamy. I don't make them often anymore because there are just 2 of us and we can't eat an entire cheesecake (plus we shouldn't eat it at all). This flavor combination would be so good! It turned out pretty!