Okay, I think it’s safe to say that I am officially on a pumpkin kick ūüėČ Truth be told,¬†while most states have¬†cold weather to kick off the fall season… us Floridians have… well, heat. It’s flipping hot down here.

SO, to get¬†in the spirit of fall, I plug in my Creamy¬†Pumpkin wallflowers, grab a pumpkin spiced latte from S-bucks, crank down the A/C and get to baking with…

Yes, you guessed it –¬†PUMPKIN. ¬†

Funny thing is, if you know me well, you know I’m not a big fan of baking. Baking is just so daggum precise that I always feel like I’m going to mess it up. It’s just too scientific. One wrong move and poof you have a flat cake.¬†

It’s interesting because most people either prefer baking or prefer cooking – one or the other. I happen to LOVE cooking. You can wing it and throw a dash of this… a splash of that… my creativity doesn’t have to be reined in. ūüėČ

Anyhow, this time of the year, I get in the baking mood. I don’t know what comes over me, but I just have. to. bake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake has¬†been on my list for quite some time, and it was finally time to get down to business. This was delicious. It was creamy, dreamy, and light at the same time; not, your typical dense cheesecake. It was more of a cheesecake meets creamy pie – a “cheese pie”, if you will! ¬†Err… Scratch that –¬†that doesn’t exactly make it sound appetizing…¬†I promise – it’s DELISH! Make¬†this the night before so it has a good amount of time to set up and let the spices work their magic!

What should I conquer next using my canned pumpkin stash?!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

Yield: 8 inch cheescake

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus cooling & overnight refrigeration

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons white sugar
5 tablespoons salted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:
2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree

For the Sour Cream Topping:
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

For the Crust:
Move rack to center position and preheat oven to 350¬į F. Spray an 8 inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients and press firmly into the the bottom (and partially up the sides) of the spring form pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set and beginning to golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the Cheesecake:
Fill a cake pan half way with water and place in bottom rack of oven (this will create some humidity). In a small bowl, combine brown sugar with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or using a large bowl and hand beaters), beat the cream cheese until smooth (1-2 minutes). Add the sugar mixture little by little and beat until creamy (another 1-2 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well before adding the next one. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the vanilla and pumpkin puree. Mix until combined. Pour into cooled crust. Place spring form pan on a baking sheet (to catch any drippings) and place on the center rack in the oven. Bake at 350¬į for 30 minutes and then reduce temperature to 325¬į. Bake for an additional 10-20 minutes until edges are puffed and set, but the center is till soft and jiggles slightly when moved. Remove from oven.

For the Sour Cream Topping:
Whisk together ingredients and spread evenly over cheesecake. Bake for an additional 8 minutes until topping is set. Remove from oven and run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to release the cheesecake from the sides (this should help prevent cracking).Cover with foil and allow to cool completely before refrigerating. Refrigerate overnight (or at LEAST 8 hours).

Serve with whipped cream for garnish.

Slightly adapted from: Joy of Baking