Tis the season... when we start seeing pumpkins and sweet potato dishes. I had a block of cream cheese I wanted to use so I started searching for a recipe to try out. I came across this Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe because not only did it have rave reviews, I had everything I needed except for some pumpkin pie spice.
Here's what I needed to make this recipe: Whipped topping, Pumpkin Pie spice, flour, cream cheese, canned pumpkin, Jell-O Instant Vanilla pudding mix, milk, vanilla extract, chopped pecans, confectioner's sugar and a stick of butter. Typically I use unsalted butter when baking but all I had was salted so I went with it.
The first thing I needed to do was preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. The only thing that needs to bake is the crust so make sure you turn it off once the crust is done! I halved the recipe so instead of making a 9 x 13 pan I used my smallest rectangular pan which was 2.2 quart glass pan. For the crust I hand mixed the softened butter, finely chopped pecans and flour. I'll be honest, when making this crust I was worried because I'm not a big fan of pecans and the crust had no sugar so I wasn't sure how it would fare but I decided to stick with it as closely as possible.
After mixing the crust ingredients together, I pressed them evenly into the bottom of the pan and baked it for 15 minutes.
While the crust was baking, I had plenty of time to put the rest of the layers together so although this recipe has several steps, it really doesn't take too long! The key is to make sure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature and the whipped topping isn't frozen.
Ok so for the next step, I used my KitchenAid Mixer to combine the cream cheese, 1 cup of whipped topping, confectioner's sugar and the vanilla extract.
It is important for the cream cheese to be at room temperature so that when you get to this stage everything blends together smoothly.
I set the blended cream cheese mixture aside for a moment and started assembling the next layer. Into a bowl I added the canned pumpkin, instant vanilla pudding mix, 1 more cup of whipped topping, the milk and about 1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. The recipe halved would call for 2 whole tsps of pumpkin pie spice but I recalled reading in a review that someone felt like it was too much. After combining all the ingredients I tasted the pumpkin pie mixture and it tasted fantastic so I left it at 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
The crust was ready just as I was putting the pumpkin pie layer ingredients together so I removed it from the oven and set it aside to cool down. Upon seeing the complete crust I thought to myself "pecan sandies!". Can't really say if they tasted that way since I haven't had a pecan sandy in FOREVER but that's what it reminded me of.
After all the layers were ready for assembly and the crust was sufficiently cooled, I coated the crust with the cream cheese layer.
Next I dropped blobs of the pumpkin pie mixture on top. Pretty eh?? haha! Ok, so not very attractive at this point HOWEVER I did this so I could easily smooth the pumpkin pie mixture over the cream cheese mixture without the two getting combined together.
Worked like a charm!
After the cream cheese and pumpkin pie layers were added, I topped it off with a final layer of whipped topping.
The hardest step of all? Letting it chill for a minimum of two hours.
The parts I tried separately were so tasty that I actually cranked the refrigerator up but left it in there for an hour and twenty minutes. I wanted a solid hour but wanted to make sure it would chill properly. Knowing we'd probably be in and out the fridge, I figured the extra time and lowered temperature would help ensure it would be ready to dig into after an hour and twenty minutes.
There are numerous steps to this Pumpkin Cheesecake but it was TOTALLY worth it!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! Dangerous. It's one of those recipes. It was like a slice of pumpkin pied topped with whipped topping nestled on top of a no-bake cheesecake with this lovely, crumbly, wonderful crust.
Listen, if you do nothing else... make this recipe. Make it this weekend. Make it today. And share! Because otherwise you will eat the entire thing yourself and then you'll be upset with yourself and I don't want to be the reason anyone feels any self-loathing. But trust me... make this recipe. You will not regret it.
(Slightly Adapted from Pumpkin Cheesecake I)
1 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
20 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
3.5 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, butter or margarine, and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Beat until thoroughly combined. Press mixture into a 2 quart glass baking dish.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese, 1 cup of the whipped topping, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled crust.
- In a large mixing bowl combine pudding, milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and 1 more cups of whipped topping. Stir until thoroughly combined. Spoon mixture over cream cheese layer. Top off with whipped topping as final layer.