I love cheesecake. Vanilla cheesecake. Chocolate cheesecake. Strawberry cheesecake. I could literally go on, and on, and on…but, I feel that may be slightly tortuous?! I can’t do that to you. Cheesecake is one of those desserts I’ve been perfecting, off and on, for the past year. I know, why that long?! Well, for starters, I wanted to find a recipe that was stable enough without the eggs. Secondly, I needed to find the perfect cooking temperature and time to prevent a custard disaster!
Cheesecake is one of those desserts that is fragile, and unless it’s done right, it won’t look pretty. Well, I’m happy to finally be able to say, I FINALLY found success! I have missed cheesecake, and now that I have the technique down, I can’t wait to bring all the amazing cheesecake recipes currently stuck in my head, to you!
We are going to start slow, with a simple, vanilla cheesecake. I love this recipe because it reminds me of a New York cheesecake. I love the flavour the vanilla and brown sugar give to the custard. I also love the texture of this cheesecake. I strongly consider myself a cheesecake snob. I have high expectations, especially when it comes to texture. You will find this cheesecake has a creamy, denser texture. To me, cheesecake isn’t meant to be light and airy. It’s a serious dessert!
So, to save you from anymore of my cheesecake ramblings, it’s your turn to truly experience the amazingness of this recipe. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Tips and Tricks:
- This recipe is egg-free. If you don’t need to avoid eggs in your home, you can swap out the 3/4 cup soft tofu with 3 eggs. However, because of an egg allergy in my house, I haven’t been able to test this recipe with eggs. Let me know if you do try it!
- Cheesecake is a custard dessert so it is fragile. When mixing, do not beat on high speed! Whipping will cause air bubbles in your mixture.
- Patience is a must when making this cheesecake. Don’t try to rush the cooling. This cheesecake is best if it is left on the counter until room temperature and then transferred to the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.
- When cutting your cheesecake into servings, press down on the knife, do not drag. Dragging your knife will cause the cheesecake to tear and crumble. It won’t look pretty (experience talking, here!).
- This recipe is versatile! Mix it up with many different toppings: strawberries, blueberries, caramel sauce, chocolate, raspberries, etc. The options are endless!
Light pumpkin cheesecake with the perfect graham cracker crust and topped with a cinnamon whipped topping. This cheesecake is the perfect end to your Thanksgiving meal.
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup soft tofu blended until creamy
- 3 8 oz blocks cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (E.D. Smith or other high quality) room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon for sprinkling
Pre-heat oven to 325F.
Melt butter in the microwave.
In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter.
Line the bottom of a 9" spring-form pan with a 9" parchment paper circle. Grease the sides of your pan. Pour graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Press the crust mixture down firmly along bottom of the pan and half-way up the sides of the pan (I find using my hands is best for this).
Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Decrease the oven temperature to 250F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend cream cheese and sugar on low until smooth and creamy. Continuously scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure all the cream cheese and sugar have been incorporated.
In a blender, add tofu. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
Pour blended tofu into cream cheese mixture. Add pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Blend on low until combined. Continue to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Slowly pour cream cheese mixture onto crust. Spread and smooth out the filling with a spatula.
Bake at 250 F for approximately 90 minutes.
Once the edges of the cheesecake are firm (the centre will still jiggle), and the top of the cheesecake has a slight shine to it, turn off your oven. Allow the cheesecake to rest in the off oven for an hour. Keep the oven door closed.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven.
Allow the cheesecake to rest on the counter until it cools to room temperature. Do not rush this step. (Approximately 2-3 hours.)
Once the cheesecake is room temperature, place in the fridge, uncovered, for an hour.
Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and return it to the fridge. Leave the cheesecake in the fridge for at least three more hours, however, overnight is best!
Once ready to serve, add whipped topping. I like to make my own whipped topping from whipping cream. Spread the whipped cream over the entire top of the cheesecake. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Serve and enjoy!