Merry Christmas everyone! For me personally, this is the most wonderful time of year! I absolutely love the Holiday season and everything that comes with it. Whether it’s good food, beautiful lights, the smell of pines trees, the story of Jesus or the excitement of gifts under a tree, I’m all about this time of year! Sign me up! Count me in!
There are many things in this world that I simply love – and two of them are Christmas and dessert. Let’s be honest, Christmas time can also be a stressful time, but the beauty of the season is that it isn’t about us but rather the reason for the season. So let me just say, thank you, Jesus, for desserts!
I have many favorite desserts for the Christmas season but this Pumpkin Chocolate Swirled Cheesecake is probably in my top 5! I wouldn’t necessarily go as far as saying this is the easiest dessert I’ve ever made, but I also wouldn’t call it the hardest.
Personally, cheesecake is my Achilles heel. There have been more instances where I have messed up making cheesecake than I care to admit, but it’s possibly my favorite dessert! Most of the time the reason for these mess-ups is that I put too much water in the water bath. Seriously… I just did it again over Thanksgiving. Little note of advice – take it easy on the water bath.
Anywho, I thought I would share how I make this cheesecake in case anyone wants to give it a go this Christmas weekend! This cheesecake is not only beautiful but I love that the pumpkin flavor isn’t overpowering. The chocolate swirl combined with pumpkin makes every bite amazing and topped with whipped cream, this soft and delicious cheesecake will blow your socks off!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
TIP #1 – take your time! The main reason I have made “oopsies” while making cheesecake is that I rush it and don’t read the directions slowly and thoroughly! Try to allow at least an hour to prepare the cheesecake so you aren’t rushed and avoid making mistakes.
TIP #2 – I would definitely recommend having all your ingredients out before you start – this will help make the process go more smoothly so you won’t be scrambling!
To begin, place your oven rack in center of oven and heat to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, you are going to chop your graham crackers until finely ground and then mix in the sugar. Then add the melted butter and pulse until combined and cookie mixture is evenly moistened.
Pour your cookie/butter mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and using a flat-bottomed, straight-sided glass, press and smooth the bottom and nudge the crumbs halfway up the sides (you can use your fingers too). BAKE until firm – about 8-10 minutes and let cool.
Once the pan is cool, wrap the bottom and sides with overlapping squares of heavy duty aluminum and place in a large baking pan (I use a roasting pan). NOTE – I will put multiple overlapping layers – anywhere from 5-6 layers as I tend to always get water from the water bath leaking through.
Leave the oven on and move your oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.
In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute – try not to overmix. Add the sugar and beat until combined. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the eggs, egg yolk and ¼ C. of the heavy cream. Mix until well combined and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1/3 C. heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil; remove from heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until smooth and mix in 1 C. of the pumpkin batter.
Pour the remaining pumpkin batter into the prepared crust. Drop 2 tablespoon dollops of the chocolate batter over the pumpkin batter. It doesn’t have to look perfect as you will be swirling it. Using a wooden skewer, continuously write capital cursive L’s throughout the batter. Be careful not to scrape the bottom.
Pour 1 inch of boiling water into the baking pan. NOTE – I only put enough water to reach just below the first layer of foil so water doesn’t pour into the layers of foil.
Bake until only the center of the cake jiggles when nudged – about 1 hour 25 minutes. If the cheesecake starts to crack this is typically an indicator that it is being overcooked. Turn the heat off but leave the cake in the oven with the door open for another 45 minutes.
Remove from the water bath and foil and run a thin, sharp knife around the edge of the cake. Cool completely on a rack. Cover the pan with plastic wrap (without letting it touch the cake) and chill for at least 8 hours and up to 24.
When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, remove the springform pan. Run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust and carefully slide the cheesecake onto a flat plate. Serve with whipped cream and ENJOY!
Did you give it a try?? Let me know what you think!
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