This is my most famous creation. Ever. Really ever. Lori Duncan made this cake famous! From posing on my washing machine for this photo a few years ago, to voila!
She cleaned up pretty nicely didn’t she? Lori Duncan ran this in Lexington Woman Magazine and Clark Berry took this amazing photo.
When I first started cooking I couldn’t boil water. Literally. I spot welded the pot to the stove. Sad but true. 😦 Then I made a pizza that was so soggy you couldn’t lift the slices without it giving way and the toppings crashing into the bowl, or on the floor. Lucky dog! No pun intended. Again, true story. I had a very long row to hoe to get to the masterpiece you see above. 😉 I was quite proud of that one…can you tell?
Once I began cooking and baking on a regular basis, cheesecakes were placed at the top of my Baker’s Bucket list. I viewed these as the most difficult cake to bake and if I could master this, I could conquer the baking world! (…She says as she dons her Superwoman cape, hands placed firmly on hips).
Guess what I found out? Go ahead. GUESS.
These are NOT Difficult!!! They’re not! If you too viewed cheesecakes as the ultimate test of baking prowess, stop reading here.
What about the cracking you ask? And all the labor intensiveness! So if it cracks, frost it. Or serve it up. Cracks are our friends and will not make or break a cheesecake. I did learn a little trick though. I add 1 tbsp. flour into my batter, and I bake in a hot water bath. As for labor intensive, oh no my loves. You want labor intensive? Bake a pound cake or two. Now THAT is a labor of love!
Over 400 cheesecakes later and literally every flavor combination I can imagine, this little number right here is still my pride and joy. But shhhh! Don’t tell the others. Yes, I talk to food. I’m the food whisperer remember?
Pumpkin Cream Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham crackers
- 1/2 cup ginger snap cookies
- 1/2 stick butter, melted
- 5, 8 oz. packages cream cheese softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 4 eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract – GOOD VANILLA
- 2 tablespoons APPLE PIE spice – That is not a typo
- 1/2, 15 oz. can pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
The following are suggestions for garnishing the cake.
- Roasted marshmallows
- Praline Pecans
- Baked, spiced pumpkin seeds
Crust: Combine graham crackers, ginger snaps and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Press into a WELL GREASED and floured 10″ springform pan on the bottom and 1″ up the sides. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 or until golden brown. Watch carefully as you do not want it to burn. After the pan has cooled, RE-BUTTER the inside of the pan not covered with crust. Place in the center of a large piece of foil and wrap foil up the sides of the pan. This keeps the water bath from seeping into the pan.
Filling: Preheat oven to 500. Beat cream cheese on medium and sugar until fluffy. Add flour. Reduce speed to medium low. You do not want to whip in too much air into the batter. This is a dense cake. Slowly add eggs one at a time until each is well blended. Add vanilla, apple pie spice and pumpkin.
Slowly pour filling in to crust. Place cake into a shallow pan filled with about 2″water. Place in the oven. Bake at 500 for 10-12 minutes then reduce temperature to 200 degrees and bake for one hour. The cake will not be completely set when you remove it from the oven.
Allow cake to cool completely on a bakers rack, then transfer to the refrigerator for overnight refrigeration.
Garnish as desired, enjoy!
I like cheesecake! Bon appetit y’all!