October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

A few weekends ago - my Mom, my little Sister, and my Niece, and I went to a local apple orchard that has been here in Minnesota for three generations since 1948! It spans over 60 acres and includes over 6,000 apple trees + its own winery! I didn’t get a chance to taste any of the wine (sadly) since my Mom and I were with my little sister and baby niece. I think I’m going to have to make a trip back there this year – I’ve heard their wines are delicious! The 60 acre apple farm has two 1880′s barns, a granary, apple storage and preparation barns, and a bakery – all of which are open freely to visitors! It ended up being too late in the season to pick any apples from this particular orchard, but we got to go inside one of the barns that housed the bakery and store where they had bins filled with apples.

Besides all of the delicious varieties of apples and baked goods filled with apples – they had the walls lined with some really great, local products. As I was perusing the shelves I stumbled upon a jar of Pumpkin Butter. I knew I had to get it, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it – until the idea of a Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with a Ginger Snap Crust popped into my head as we were leaving the barn. Perfect for Autumn and perfect for the upcoming Holidays!

Crust Ingredients:
  • 2 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs (I used a full bag of Mi-Del Ginger Snaps. If you don’t want to make your own crust – feel free to buy a pre-made ginger snap or graham cracker crust. You may have a little extra filling though!)
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted Earth Balance Spread (or your favorite margarine)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, blend together the ginger snap cookies, pecans and brown sugar until well combined and powdery. After you’ve melted your Earth Balance, pour it into the crust mixture and process until well combined. Pour into a pie pan or springform pan and press down firmly and form the crust along the edges of the pan.

Cheesecake Ingredients:
  • 2 8oz containers of vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 tbsp Pumpkin Butter (if you can’t find pumpkin butter – I’m sure canned pumpkin pie puree would work just fine!)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch and cold water. I added the corn starch to ensure that the cheesecake would set well. In your food processor, blend together the cream cheese, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Then add your corn starch and water mixture. Once well combined, pour on top of your ginger snap crust.

In a small bowl mix together the pumpkin butter and maple syrup. Heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to thin it out. Drop small spoon fulls on top of the cheesecake and incorporate into the cheesecake with a knife by making pretty swirls (or whatever design your prefer!)

Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes. Once it’s done cooking, cool for 15 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

I know a lot of people say a cheesecake is done cooking once you tap the sides and the middle doesn’t jiggle. I tapped the side of my cheesecake after 50 minutes and the center was still jiggling! I took it out anyway and I hoped the refrigeration would help set it. I was right because the texture was absolutely perfect the next afternoon! So don’t worry if yours is still jiggly when you take it out!


  1. Mmmm.....pumpkin butter....Must go buy some now! The cheesecake looks incredible, Matthew. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

  2. This sounds so delicious! Great looking recipe.