Carrot cake is one of my all-time favorite cakes. But somehow I go months, sometimes even years without making it! Italian cream cake is another one of those that happens too. Definitely a favorite, but I never think to make it.
In my latest Better Homes magazine a gorgeous carrot cake graced the cover. And it even had a little twist added in.
Umm yum. Mangoes are one of my favorite summer time fruits. They are fantastic to eat on their own, but also make the perfect addition to all types of salsa, potato salads, etc. Turns out, they also make a fabulous addition to carrot cake.
Somehow I was able to refrain from smothering this cake in cream cheese icing, and just did a light layer on top and in between the two cakes. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but it was a really good decision.
It let the carrot cake shine.
Now don’t go expecting a light and fluffy cake with this recipe. It is dense. Gloriously dense.
Before we get down to business, I thought I would share a fun collage of Lizzie and Suzie playing fetch.
We live in the heart of downtown, so unfortunately my dogs do not have a nice grassy back yard to run on. What they do have is a long paved alley way behind my garage where the neighbors and I like to have our “block parties.”
Aren’t they sweet? Suzie (aka Snootie) is the black lab and Lizzie is the little red spaniel. When Lizzie gets running fast she actually resembles a rabbit. It is hilarious. Suzie will do pretty much anything for the orange decoy. Her world revolves around it.
Ok, now on to the promised no fail pumpkin cheesecake.
I promise this is one of the best pumpkin cheesecakes you will ever have. Not only does it taste delicious, but it is really pretty easy to put together. And the top barely cracks. I’m not sure why, but now is not the time to start questioning it.
Pumpkin cheesecake was the cake of choice for office birthday’s this month. I made it two years ago for the office and it was a favorite, so it was about time it made its return. Once again, it proved to be a winner.
First things first, lets start off with the crust. Instead of your typical graham cracker crust, you are going to want to upgrade this to a ginger snap crust. It makes all the difference in the world.
Delicious hardly describes it. Try to keep yourself from eating it all before you bake it. The amount of will power required for that is incredible. If you are like me, just plan on making a little bit extra. And whatever leftover you have you can press up the sides of your springform pan, creating a bit of a side crust as well.
It really is the perfect cheesecake. I am so glad that I printed out this recipe years ago because I have made it every year since then. Baking cheesecakes used to really scare me. It just seemed like they were quite a bit of work for something that was always kind of bleh. But, not this cheesecake. While it does require a little more effort, it is very simple. And even people who claim to not like cheesecake will like it. Trust me, I know. I’m one of those people, and I can’t seem to keep myself from eating this one.
If you are hosting a little Halloween gathering, this would be perfect. Or earmark it for your Thanksgiving meal. Sure it isn’t as traditional as a pumpkin pie, but I think your family will thank you for the new addition. And if they are resistant to change, then go ahead and make a pumpkin pie and save this one for yourself!
: Modified from http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/perfectly-perfect-pumpkin-cheesecake/
A perfect cheesecake for the holidays
For the crust
2 cups gingersnaps
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
6 tbsp butter
For the cheesecake
20 ounces cream cheese
15 ounces pumpkin puree
3 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
⅓ cup sour cream
1 1/ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
⅛ tsp nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor combine gingersnaps, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until crumbs form. Add crumbs to a large bowl and stir in melted butter.
Press crumbs into the bottom of a large springform that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend cream cheese until smooth. Add in pumpkin puree. Once combined (don't worry if it looks funny), add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Once the eggs are combined, add in all remaining ingredients. Pour batter on top of the cooled crust.
Prepare a water bath. Boil several cups of water. Wrap the base of the springform pan in foil. Place the springform inside of a larger dish. Then, pour the boiling water to fill the space between the springform and the larger dish. You will want it to come about half way up the springform.
Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Run a knife along the side of the cheesecake to help it release from the springform and to help prevent cracking. Chill before serving.