Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butter Rum Praline Sauce

pumpkin cheesecake white plate

This is what the holidays taste like! The pumpkin puree adds a festive punch to this traditional favourite. Rich, but not overly sweet, this harvest time recipe can easily be extended throughout the season. This dessert, like all cheesecakes, is a bit challenging, but worth the effort. Reward yourself afterward by pairing it with a glass of yeasty Champagne. My selection went to Veuve Clicquot LaGrande Dame, Brut 2004. Cheers to you! You’re about to make your family and friends VERY happy.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butter Rum Praline
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10-12
  • 1¾ cups pumpkin puree (canned works if fresh is unavailable)
  • 8 whole graham crackers, broken
  • 1 cup pecans (4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for greasing the springform pan
  • 1½ cups cream cheese (14 ounces), at room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split with inside removed
  • Butter Pecan Topping, for serving
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  1. Set a cookie rack over a baking sheet and line the rack with two layers of paper towels. Spread the pumpkin puree over the paper towels and let it drain for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until finely ground. Add the pecans and brown sugar and pulse until mixed. Add the melted butter and pulse until mixed. With your fingers, gently press the crumbs onto the bottom of the greased pan. Bake the crust for 6 or 7 minutes, just until it is fragrant. Let the crust cool.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the cream cheese until it is very smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. With the machine on, add the sugar mix to the cream cheese and beat until creamy. Add the drained pumpkin puree and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Scrape the bowl between each egg. Mix in the cream and vanilla bean until smooth.
  4. Pour the cheesecake mix over the cooled crust and bake for 12 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 225 degrees and bake for about 3 hours, or until a thermometer inserted in the middle registers 150 degrees. The middle will be quite jiggly, but should not be liquidy. Let the cheesecake cool on a rack, then cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. The cheesecake will most likely have peeled itself away from the pan, but if not, run a knife around the cheesecake and loosen the ring. Remove the ring and transfer the cake to a plate. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the Butter Rum Pecan Topping and Whipped Cream.
Notes: make the crust up to 2 days ahead. make the topping up to a week ahead, but keep refrigerated. Reheat before serving.

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