Monday, November 9, 2009

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake!! Really, it's easy!

Welcome to our very first Iron Chef Week! Each day this week, we're cooking up a different dish using our secret ingredient, which is...PUMPKIN!

However, before I get to that, I wanted to announce our Iron Chef Week WINNER! It's MOLLY EBERT. She's won a $25 gift card to Williams-Sonoma. Molly gave us a terrific secret ingredient. Tune in, in December, to find out WHAT IT IS and how we will use it when we have our NEXT Iron Chef Week. And thanks to all who came up with the great suggestions, like Pattie for artichokes, Judy for anchovies, and Joann for green apples. Great ideas!!!! Also, remember, if you didn't win this time, check back with us. Our next contest will be starting SOON.

And now, for my dish, I decided to combine pumpkin and CHEESE (of course) and, well, what could be better than pumpkin cheesecake?

I came up with the easiest recipe in the world. Impossible, you say? Don’t be such a skeptic. It really is easy.

I tossed together crunched up cookies and butter and put them in the springform pan. While that baked for 5 minutes, I DUMPED everything else into a bowl, whipped it up, and I was ready to pour it on top of the “crust.” That's right, DUMPED.

This is an excellent substitution for pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. It’s also excellent pretty much any day of the week!

When I usually make a cheesecake, I whip the egg whites and egg yolks separately, folding the egg whites into the final batter and that makes the cheesecake “taller” and a little lighter, but truly the flavor of this EASY pumpkin cheesecake is so fabulous that it doesn’t need to be taller or lighter. It’s pure yum. I

The key, in my humble opinion, is using ricotta cheese as well as cream cheese. Ricotta has a lighter texture and blends well.

So, here it is…


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


For crust:

1/2 cup graham crackers crumbs (or crunchy chocolate chip cookies, pounded into crumbs)
2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. sugar

For filling:
1 cup sugar
12 oz. cream cheese softened
12 oz. Ricotta cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger


Make the crust by combining the cracker crumbs, butter and 1 Tbs. sugar.

Press into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Bake the crust for 5 minutes, then set aside until ready to fill.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese, 1 cup sugar, vanilla, pumpkin, eggs, spices. Beat on HIGH until smooth and creamy.

Pour into the springform.
Bake for 60-70 minutes.
The top will be a bit darker by this point.

Turn off oven and let stand in oven for 1 hour to SET.

Remove cake from oven. When the cake is at room temperature, put it into the refrigerator.

When the cake is chilled, run a knife around the outer rim and then remove the springform pan sides.

Serve plain or with whipped cream.

If you want to check out more of The Cheese Shop Mysteries, the first called The Long Quiche Goodbye and coming out in July, click on this link to check out my website:
Avery Aames.


  1. It really looks easy! And I happen to have some ricotta cheese in my fridge. That picture looks so yummy...

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  2. That is easy and I love the chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers for the crust. At our house, chocolate is a main ingredient in almost everything. My only problem, I don't know that I could wait until it chilled to try it. It looks so good.

  3. I love cheesecake, and the holidays are such a great excuse to indulge. This sounds wonderfully easy, Avery, and looks beautiful!

  4. Excellent recipe! (It helps that I'm a cheesecake freak. There's nothing better here in the Big Apple than a fat slice of creamy NY cheesecake with a hot pot o' joe.) Like Mason, I love your idea of using crunchy chocolate chip cookies for the crust. Will be making this one soon! Thank you, Avery!

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  5. This really does sound easy, Avery! Thanks!

  6. Not a cheese pie kind of person, prefer the real hard to make kind. On the other hand, pumpkin, sweet potato (anyone know the REAL secret there?) and squash pie season is truly upon us. Did my first mash last week.

  7. Chocolate chip cookie crust?! Yum! The little touch of chocolate should be especially good with the pumpkin/cheese goodness!

  8. I bought a food processor just to make my NY Style cheesecake. I use 16 oz cream cheese, 1 lb cottage and 2 cs sour cream. Big cake. To big for my blender as the recipe suggests.
    Food processor works perfect, just dump it all in and presto. Done. Hooray