Introduction: Spicy Pumpkin Cheesecake

About: Hi, I'm Éva from Hungary. I love baking, cooking, and gardening, not to mention the perfect combination: cooking using fruits and veggies from our garden. I often experiment with new ingredients and try to use…

Hello again,

Today I brought you the recipe of an incredibly delicious cake.

Cheesecake meets pumpkin puree in this creamy, indulgent dessert that carries the flavors of the autumn. I was planning to finish the cake off with my favorite boozy salted caramel sauce but there was this beautiful orange puree sitting on the counter that I felt I had to incorporate into or rather onto the cake. So finally, I prepared a pumpkin-orange jelly that tops the cake and the slight acidity coming from the orange was definitely a good choice.

I also prepared a little extra something, roasted pumpkin cubes seasoned with fresh rosemary, salt and pepper for those who can't get enough of pumpkin, like me. I hope you'll like it!

Step 1: You'll Need


the quantities indicated are good for a 18 cm diameter round pan

for the cookie crust:

  • 150 g oat cookies (or your favorite cookies for making cheesecake)
  • 60 g melted butter

for the filling:

  • 400 g cream cheese (Philadelphia for example, I used something similar from the local market)
  • 250 g pumpkin puree (recipe includes instructions how to make it)
  • 140 g sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cloves
  • salt

orange - pumpkin layer (pic.2.):

  • 140 g pumpkin puree
  • 140 g orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 g agar - agar (may be substituted by other jellifying agent, check ratio in its instructions)

to accompany (optional, pic.3.):

  • 200 g raw pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • salt, pepper


  • stand mixer
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • 18 cm diameter round pan
  • saucepan
  • spatula
  • digital scale
  • mortar (to crush spices)
  • parchment paper
  • baking sheet
  • immersion blender

Step 2: How to Make Pumpkin Puree? 1.

1. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius.

2. Wash the pumpkin.

3. Cut it into half, then both halves into 4-8 parts (obviously, depending on the size of the pumpkin.

4. Remove the seeds with a spoon. (Don't throw them away, instead wash and dry them and then toast them in the oven - it's an excellent crunchy snack.)

5. Place the pumpkin pieces onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (save two pieces for the rosemary - pumpkin stuff).

6. Cover the pieces with tin foil so that the edges don't get brown. I think that caramelized edges taste heavenly when eating roasted pumpkins but I try to avoid them when making puree so that it would not change the color.

Step 3: How to Make Pumpkin Puree? 2.

7. Bake for about an hour until soft and tender. Poke a fork into it to check.

8. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

9. Remove the flesh with a spoon and transfer it into a container.

10. Blend. You're done.

Step 4: The Crust

While the pumpkin is sitting in the oven, prepare the crust. I used a non-stick pan, but depending on the mold you are using, you may need to grease or line it with parchment paper.

1. Crush the cookies into crumbs (unless you’re using cookie crumbs in the first place).

2. Melt the butter in the microwave – very gently, it tends to burst. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about and it is not very pleasant to clean the butter from the inner surface of the microwave. 😊

3. Mix the butter with the cookie crumbs, then press it (the bottom of a glass comes in handy) into the mold evenly.

4. Bake at 180 °C for 12 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

5. Lower the oven temperature to 160 °C.

Step 5: The Filling

Crush the spices (if they are not ground already).

Put the cream cheese into the mixing bowl, add sugar, start mixing, then add the eggs.

Remove 1-2 tablespoons from the mixture, add to the cornstarch and combine, then put the cornstarch back into the bowl. This way you can avoid lumps of cornstarch.

Add the salt, spices to the mixture and combine.

Step 6: Bake

Pour the mixture on top of the prebaked cookie crust and bake the cake at 160 °C for about an hour. (Right in the oven, no water-bath needed.) Check by shaking the mold, it is OK if the middle is slightly wobbly, but definitely not runny. Let it cool, the wobbliness will disappear.

Step 7: Orange - Pumpkin Layer

Add all the ingredients (orange juice, pumpkin puree, honey and agar agar into a small saucepan.

Bring it to boil while mixing continuously, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Let it cool slightly (you should be just able to put your finger in it), then pour over the top of the already cool cake. It sets almost immediately.

Step 8: Seasoned Roasted Pumpkin

Remember the two slices of pumpkin you saved before putting the rest in the oven?

Peel them and cut them into tiny cubes.

Lay them evenly in one layer on a baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper.

Remove rosemary leaves from the stem and chop them, add them to the pumpkin.

Drizzle it with honey and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in the preheated oven at 200 °C for 8-12 minutes until the edges get slightly brown.

Step 9: Time to Eat

Serve the cake cold, garnished with the rosemary - seasoned roasted pumpkin, with just a bit of whipped cream on top. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Challenge

Second Prize in the
Pumpkin Challenge