Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

The hardest part of Halloween is always finding the perfect costume.

In my household growing up, Halloween costumes were never purchased from the store. I remember being a pumpkin, a princess, a puppy dog—all costumes which were either handmade or created using items we had around the house. However, when I was in first grade I received a Strawberry Shortcake costume which had been passed down from my cousin. I was ecstatic. In my mind, this was going to be the best Halloween costume ever.

Enter the Halloween blizzard of 1991. It starts to snow throughout the day and it progressively gets worse and worse. My mom and I drive home from school and the commute takes twice as long as it should have. By the time we get home, it’s a full blown blizzard. Now by this point it is clear to my mom that I will not be able to wear my cute Strawberry Shortcake costume, as I trek through 9 inches of snow to get candy. I will note that I had clearly not come to this realization yet. My mom being the wonderful mother that she is, suggests that I could instead be a “rainbow girl” for Halloween. What, I’m thinking to myself… NO, this is not what I want to do.

Now my mother is a smart woman. I happened to have a rainbow snowsuit when I was in first grade (and yes, it was cool). Masterfully planned, my rainbow girl costume consisted of dressing me up in my rainbow snowsuit and using face paint to draw little rainbows on my cheeks. I’m sure somewhere there is a picture of me sullenly posing in my rainbow girl Halloween costume amidst the drifts of snow with a big bag of candy in my hand.

So if you don’t have your costume planned for tonight, put on a rainbow shirt, draw some rainbows on your face and consider yourself a rainbow girl- it’s timeless, really.

Although my pumpkin swirl cheesecake isn’t strictly a Halloween dessert, I baked it for our work Halloween party today. It’s really simple and the swirls make it look like you put more effort into baking it that you really did. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups ginger crisp cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 (250 g) packages cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 dash ground cloves

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of 9 inch springform pan. Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the sugar and vanilla with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.

Remove 1 cup plain batter; place in small bowl. Stir remaining 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin and spices into remaining batter. Spoon pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of reserved plain batter. Cut through batters with knife several times for marble effect.

Bake 45 minutes or until centre is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
It’s easy to over-bake your cheesecake mainly because cheesecakes continue to bake after being removed from the oven. In addition, baking times are not always exact due to variations in ovens. As a rule of thumb, the center of the cheesecake should be just slightly moist when it is ready to be removed.


10 thoughts on “Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

  1. Oh my goodness. I SO remember the day. I think our 30 minute commute took 2 hours plus and it was dark by the time we got home. Yes, you were not a happy trick or treater and did pout…you did ie with perfection. The memory always makes me smile…such sweet times we had together. We walked through some mighty drifts well over my knees and the only way I could keep track of you amidst the huge swirling flakes was to follow your precious rainbow cheeks.


  2. OMG this looks amazing. I’ve never been able to make cheese cake…. it always turns out crumbly and crappy.

    Any way…. love your story. I know you already know this but I hate halloween…. I never like dressing up! I did put on the festivities one year and became a brightly colored crayola crayon (not my best moments)…..

    I can just imagine powty faced heather with rainbows on ur face. I want to see this picture.


    • Even the one I made had some cracks in it- I feel like cheesecakes are just really hard to make! Ahhh yes, I have a picture of that Halloween hanging up in my apartment- you in the red crayon costume and all :) Truth be told it’s not among my favorite holidays- it ranks down there with Valentine’s Day and New Years. On another note, let me tell you that snowsuit was awesome- just maybe not for Halloween ;)


  3. This looks amazing! Just fyi, if you put a pan of water in the rack below the cheesecake, it’ll keep the cheesecake from cracking (I noticed some cracks in the cake in the picture)… not sure if that was in the instructions (didn’t see it but could’ve missed it). Can’t wait to try this though!


    • Oh that is a great tip! I was super bummed when it cracked while it was cooling :( I will definitely try that next time I’m baking a cheesecake. Thanks for the sound baking wisdom, much appreciated!!


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