Spiced Pumpkin-Swirl Cheesecake

2 cups pecan halves, toasted

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, melted


3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar, divided

3/4 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325°.

Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square).

Wrap foil securely around pan.

Place pecans and brown sugar in a food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form.

Add butter; pulse to combine.

Press onto the bottom of prepared pan.

Place pan on a baking sheet.

Bake until light brown, 15-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup brown sugar until smooth.

Beat in sour cream and vanilla.

Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended.

In another bowl, mix pumpkin, spices and remaining brown sugar.

Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture.

To layer, pour 1-1/2 cups plain cream cheese mixture over crust.

Gently spread 1-1/3 cups pumpkin mixture over top. Repeat layers.

Cut through layers with a knife to swirl.

Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of very hot water to larger pan.

Bake until center is just set and top appears dull, 70-80 minutes.

Remove springform pan from water bath.

Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 10 minutes.

Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil.

Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove rim from pan.


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