Essence of Eats: Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with Bourbon Sea Salt Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin swirl cheesecake with bourbon sea salt caramel sauce…it sounds like a mouthful…and it is. A delicious one!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I know my family and I had a lot of fun yesterday, but now I’m ready for January 1st! This time of year goes by so quickly and there is so much going on. Luckily, I slept in (no Black Friday shopping for me!) and have spent most of this beautiful, and unseasonably warm, day relaxing. I’ll take it!

One thing about this time of year is that it seems like there’s a holiday party every which way you turn. Sometimes, you’ve got to bring a Yankee Swap gift, for others, it’s a host/ess gift and more often than not–you’ll need to bring some kind of snack or dessert.

I’ve got dessert covered! Pumpkin is in season all winter (just like butternut squash) and it makes this cheesecake. This simple-to-make recipe, will have you out the door in just a few hours and your friends will think you bought it. Featuring a gingersnap crust, bourbon sea salt caramel sauce and fresh whipped cream, you might even want to keep the whole thing for yourself!

What you’ll need:

For the cheesecake

  • 35 Ginger Snaps, finely crushed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • Red and yellow food coloring (optional)

For the whipped cream

    • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
    • Confectioner’s sugar (to taste)

For the caramel sauce

Bourbon Sea Salt Caramel Sauce

Let’s make it!

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix ginger snap crumbs and butter; press firmly onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.
    2. Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the vanilla with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.
    3. Remove 1-1/2 cups of the batter; place in small bowl.
    4. Stir remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the pumpkin and spices into remaining batter. Add 4-5 drops of each food color if desired to enhance orange color.
    5. Spoon half of the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of half of the reserved plain batter. Repeat layers. Cut through layers with knife several times for marble effect.
    6. Bake 55 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Serves 16 slices.
    7. While the cheesecake is cooking, whip up your bourbon sea salt caramel sauce.
    8. Prior to serving, whip your cream. Freeze a large mixing bowl for 10-15 minutes. Using 1/2 cup of heavy cream, whip cream on high with an electric mixer until cream begins to form stiff peaks. I prefer my cream extra thick, especially for decorating, and usually whip an additional 2-3 minutes past the peaks. Be cautious to whip so long that you start to get butter! Add confectioner’s sugar to taste. Whipped cream can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
    9. When you’re ready to serve, fill a decorator’s pastry bag with a 1/2 cup of whipped cream. Using the decorative tip of your choice, pipe it on to the cheesecake edges, about 2 inches apart, or whatever design you choose.
    10. When the whipped cream has been piped, warm up your caramel sauce so that it is still thick and not so hot it will melt anything (10-15 seconds on high in the microwave should do the trick.)
    11. Add the caramel sauce to a zip-top freezer bag and snip the bottom corner off. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the cheesecake in a diamond pattern.

Voilé! You’re finished. Serve your delicious pumpkin swirl cheesecake immediately, or keep it refrigerated for up to a week.IMG_5669

(adapted from All Recipes by PHILADEPHIA Cream Cheese)

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