Pumpkin Frangelico Swirl Cheesecake

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I am a sucker for a good cheesecake. I can blame my Mama for this, as cheesecake has always been one of her all-time favorite desserts and in childhood it was always seen as something decadent and special.  Though I’ve made it several times over the years with success, I still feel such pride when I pull a beautiful, crack-free cheesecake out of the oven. Add a swirl to the mix and I’m pretty much in heaven- (what is it about contrasting swirly cheesecake that just looks like a work of art?)

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Anyway- this is a delicious and festive cheesecake recipe that I think would be just perfect on a Thanksgiving dessert spread or for any other holiday get together. Is is oh so smooth and creamy, and the subtle taste of hazelnut from the Frangelico adds a delicious nutty flavor that sends this over the top.

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I love this recipe because if you follow the instructions just so, it won’t crack and you’ll feel like an absolute cheesecake rockstar because of it. The key is to allow the cheesecake to cool very very slowly. When the temperature changes suddenly, the cheesecake seizes up and the result are the cracks we all know and dread. By leaving the cake in the oven for 2 full hours after it’s done baking, it cools gradually and the perfectly smooth top layer stays intact. Another trick is to resist the urge to peek on how it’s doing and not open the oven at all during baking. Believe me- it isn’t easy to resist checking on how it’s baking up- but it’s worth it in the end!

Note: This post was sponsored by Frangelico, but my thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own. 

Pumpkin Frangelico Swirl Cheesecake

Yield: 1 7-inch cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 8 whole graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur

For the Cheesecake:

  • 3- 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, very soft
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and liqueur and stir until moistened.
  2. Press crust firmly into the bottom of a 7-inch spring-form pan, and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

For the cheesecake:

  1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer,) cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the flour, and mix until just combined. (Don't over-mix.)
  2. Add the vanilla extract and eggs,( one at a time,) mixing until incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Remove 1 cup of the cheesecake batter, stir in the tablespoon of Frangelico and set aside.
  4. Gently stir the pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice into the remaining cheesecake batter.
  5. Pour the pumpkin cheesecake batter into the crust and then spoon the Frangelico batter into dots or circles over the top. Run a skewer or knife back and forth to swirl the two batters together.
  6. Place cheesecake on a middle rack and reduce heat to 300F. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the outside seems set while the inside of the cheesecake seems to giggle when you shake or tap the oven. (It is VERY important that you don't peek or open the oven the entire time it's baking.)
  7. Turn the oven off and allow cheesecake to slowly cool in the oven for 2 hours. (This will prevent cracking.) Cool the rest of the way on the countertop and then wrap with plastic and chill before serving.

Notes

Recipe loosely adapted from Martha Stewart

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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26 Comments

  1. I wanna be a cheesecake rockstar too! :) My fam does pumpkin cheesecake every Thanksgiving (once you’ve gone cheesecake, it’s hard to go back to the standard pie), and I love the hazelnut twist. Party on woman. You are a cheesecake queen!

  2. I want to be a cheesecake rockstar! :) But seriously, that is the best feeling, to make a cheesecake and have it come out just perfectly. This one is a stunner, too! Frangelico and pumpkin? Genius.

  3. I have not had Frangelico in years. This looks crazy good. At the least I’ll have some in Frangelico in my coffee.

  4. Audra this looks absolutely perfect. I so wanna have this for Thanksgiving! Perhaps I can convince my expert cheesecake-making uncle to whip one up : ) Gorgeous photos as usual!

  5. Oohhhh Cheesecake, yes that is also my all time favourit :D Your version looks amazing!
    Love, rebecca

  6. Baker Momma says:

    That looks heavenly!

  7. This sounds like an absolutely amazing pumpkin cheesecake! I love the frangelico swirl. So creative and drool worthy ;) Love this!

  8. I love a swirly cheesecake so much, especially one that doesn’t crack :) Great tips! The flavors here sound amazing, Audra!

  9. This sounds delicious! Did you use a springform pan? Did you use the water method?

    1. Hey Ana, Yes I used a Springform pan but you actually don’t need to use the water method if you use the method I described. (Not opening the oven and letting it cool really slowly.)

  10. This is utterly gorgeous, and I love Frangelico. I never thought to incorporate it into a pumpkin recipe, though. Mostly I just drink it, but I’ll definitely keep some aside so I can make this soon.

  11. Great recipe, Audra, I’m going to make this on Sunday (our belated Thanksgiving). One question… at the 40 minute mark, can I open the oven to test doneness (ie looks firm but still wobbly) or should I just turn the oven off and let it cool/continue cooking in there?

    1. Hey Lady.
      So- you could quite possibly be able to open the oven door and be just fine, BUT- the only way I have guaranteed a crack-free surface is to not open it at all. Do you have an oven light? I’d gently tap or shake the oven and observe the jiggle factor. There should be some jiggling in the center and then the outside should all be set. I hope that helps!

      1. Fab, thanks! I’m confident enough to let it bake for 40, then switch it off and trust the process. My oven is pretty solid and won’t move even if I bang it with a hammer! Planning to use a ricotta/cream cheese mix. Will tweet a pic when it’s all done :)

        PS, hope that little boy is treating you well and you’re excited to meet him (obviously)!

  12. Cheesecake is definitely in my top 3 for desserts :) this recipe is perfection, I’m dying to taste it!

  13. Hello!

    This cheesecake looks (and sounds) absolutely amazing, and I’m looking forward to switching things up a bit for my family this Thanksgiving! However, my family is quite small so I was thinking of halving this recipe. Does anyone know how that might affect the baking time?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hmm- hard to say since I’ve never tried that but in general apples aren’t super watery in pie and such so you may be Ok!

      1. Hi Audra!

        Thanks for replying so quickly! But I was wondering about the baking times for the cheesecake haha! I noticed that you did this for the Pumpkin Bruleed Cheesecake but the recipe was still for the whole recipe, so I was curious what changes you made. However, your salted caramel apple pie is already on my Thanksgiving menu :)

        Thanks again and happy Thanksgiving!

        1. Hi Renee- Sorry- that was definitely for a different question ;)
          I’m not exactly sure of the baking time for this, I’d take about 10 minutes off to start and then keep an eye on it. You want the edges to be firm and the inside a little jiggly .:)

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