Chocolate Drizzled Pumpkin Cheesecake

Chocolate Drizzled Pumpkin Cheesecake

Happy Thanksgiving week! Along with a main course of lasagna, Chocolate Drizzled Pumpkin Cheesecake is the staple dessert for the occasion. It features a buttery, graham cracker crust and a pumpkin spiced filling, topped off with a smooth, creamy, chocolate ganache.

This recipe is a bit involved, so I’ll break down all the steps in detail. I’d suggest reading through the whole recipe before starting to make sure you allow enough time for the resting, cooling, and chilling.

chocolate drizzled pumpkin cheesecake

Homemade Graham Cracker Crust

For most cheesecakes, I use a graham cracker crust. If you’re really motivated, you can even make your own graham crackers. I like to make a batch ahead of time and keep them in my freezer for the next time I make a cheesecake. Another one of my favorite crusts is make with chocolate chip cookie crumbs.

making the graham cracker crust

Regardless of what type of cookie or cracker you use, mix one and a half cups of crumbles with three tablespoons of melted Irish butter. If you use an extra buttery cookie, you may not need as much butter to hold the crumbs together.

Then take a nine inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. It’s also a good idea to grease the sides with butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then transfer the graham cracker/butter mixture to the pan and press the crumbs into the bottom until they are flat and compact. Set aside

Pumpkin Spice Filling

It’s very important not to overmix cheesecake filling so that it doesn’t cave in later. I use a stand mixer and paddle attachment on low speed, but a hand mixer can work as well. Start by placing the room temperature Organic Valley Neufchâtel cheese (or full fat cream cheese) and pumpkin purée in the mixer bowl. Butternut squash can be used in place of pumpkin if it’s more readily available. On medium-low speed, mix just until combined. Use a spatula to periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl.

mixing up cheesecake filling

In a separate bowl, whisk the sucanat, sugar, starch, spices, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the cream cheese mixture and fold them in on low speed. Again, scrape down the sides to make sure everything is mixed evenly.

Pour the filling into the spring-form pan and smooth it out with an offset spatula. Make sure it is evenly distributed and that there are no air pockets between the crust and filling. Place the pan on a baking sheet to catch any butter drips and bake for 45 minutes. Do not open the oven door!

mixing the dry ingredients

When the time is up, turn off the oven and leave the cake in the oven for another 30 minutes. Still do not open the door! It’s critical to avoid rapid temperature changes that can lead to caving and cracking. After the half hour, remove the cheesecake and let it cool on the counter. Then chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Chocolate Ganache

While the cheesecake is chilling, make the ganache. Place a half cup of dark chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and stir in a teaspoon of butter. As soon as it starts boiling, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let stand for five minutes before whisking to combine. While the ganache is still warm, drizzle it over the cheesecake. Store leftover ganache in the refrigerator.

chocolate drizzled pumpkin cheesecake

Homemade Whiskey Whipped Cream

Every cheesecake is better with a dollop of freshly whipped cream! Ditch the Cool Whip and aerosol cans because once you see how delicious and easy homemade whipped cream is, there’ll be no going back!

For pumpkin recipes, I like using cinnamon extract or a splash of whiskey to flavor it. Start by chilling the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk attachment. Then pour in the whipping cream and beat on high speed until stiff peaks start to form. Add the whiskey and/or extract along with pure maple syrup. Continue beating until the cream is thick, light, and fluffy. Serve over a slice of Chocolate Drizzled Pumpkin Cheesecake for the most decadent fall dessert!

chocolate drizzled pumpkin cheesecake

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chocolate drizzled pumpkin cheesecake
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Chocolate Drizzled Pumpkin Cheesecake

This egg-free cheesecake is a staple dessert for Thanksgiving. It features a buttery, graham cracker crust and a pumpkin spiced filling, topped off with a smooth, creamy, chocolate ganache.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Cooling Time4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time5 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients 

Crust

  • cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp Irish butter melted

Filling

  • 16 oz Neufchâtel cheese room temperature
  • 15 oz pumpkin purée or butternut squash
  • ½ cup sucanat
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp Celtic sea salt

Chocolate Ganache

  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Irish butter

Whiskey Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ Tbsp whiskey or cinnamon extract
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper. Grease the sides with butter.
  • In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs crumbs. Press into the bottom of the spring-form pan and set aside.

Filling

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the Neufchâtel cheese and pumpkin. Mix on medium-low until combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk together the both sugars, the tapioca starch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix until combined while continuing to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do not mix more than is necessary.
  • Transfer the filling in the spring-form pan and spread on top of the crust. Smooth it out using an offset spatula. Be sure that the filling is even and there are no large air pockets underneath.
  • Set the pan on a baking sheet to catch any butter drips and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and let cake rest in the hot oven for another 30 minutes.  Do not open the oven at all during this time! Any rapid changes to temperature will cause the cheesecake to crack or cave in.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool completely before refrigerating. The cake will need at least four hours of chilling to set up.

Ganache

  • While the cake chills, place the chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, bring whipping cream and butter to a boil.
  • Immediately, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let the chocolate and cream sit for 5 minutes before whisking to combine.
  • Drizzle the ganache over the cheesecake.

Whiskey Whipped Cream

  • Place the bowl of a stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
  • When the bowl and beaters are chilled, attach them to the stand mixer and pour in the whipping cream.
  • Whip the cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks begin to form. Add the whiskey and maple syrup and continue whipping until it becomes light and fluffy. Adjust whiskey and sugar to taste.
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