Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake

In Cakes, Frostings and Icings on January 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm
From Recently Updated

December evenings were made up of the type of nights that creep in, slowly dousing the world in darkness. No one notices the gradual shift in lighting until suddenly, windows no longer frame the outside world but reflect the life inside instead. White walls become stark and clinical under harsh fluorescent lighting, and edges and angles become more pronounced without natural light to soften their outlines.

New Year’s eve arrived in much the same fashion, catching me unawares. I was sitting by the fire when I decided that the year had fizzled out almost as quickly as the spilled champagne at the dinner table, and was left saddened by the realization that I could do nothing to rein it in.

But today, already living my first day of the new year, I realized that I’ll forever remember 2011. It was a recipe book of tea green frosting sandwiched between pepper biscuits, of giant cookies in celebration of a blogoversary, of yeast-raised doughs, and of ice cream. I’ve documented my year in recipes.

2012, in turn, starts with gingerbread, pumpkin, orange, and the marriage of flavors.

I baked this cake for Thanksgiving, and upon giving away the last piece and discovering what a success it had been, I made another one a few weeks later to photograph and post.

The cake is a combination of actual cake, cheesecake, and cream cheese frosting.
The middle layer of cheesecake is less dense than normal cheesecake, with a consistency more similar to frosting. The cake itself becomes dense after being refrigerated, and tastes predominantly of molasses, though the orange zest lends it a delightfully floral undertone. Paired with orange cream cheese frosting, it was the best cake I had made last year.

From Recently Updated

Pumpkin Cheesecake
From the Joy of Cooking
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1 pound cream cheese
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup pumpkin puree

Have all ingredients at room temperature, and preheat the oven to 350 F. Place a loaf pan or cake pan filled with hot water in the oven to moisten the air. Line a 6-inch pan with parchment paper.
Combine the sugar and spices in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese just until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beaters well. Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time until well blended, and scraping the sides of the bowl and the beaters after each addition.  Add the pumpkin puree and beat until mixed.
Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F, reduce the oven to 325 F and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center still looks moist and jiggles when the pan is tapped.

Gingerbread Cake
From Form V Artisan
Makes one cake (double recipe to make two)

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp each ground nutmeg and ground clove
7 tbsp room temperature butter
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1 large egg
⅓ cup molasses
¾ cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 ° F.  Line a 6-inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and orange zest on medium speed until well blended, about 20 seconds. Add egg and molasses and beat until smooth and somewhat fluffy. With mixer on low, add one third of the dry ingredients followed by half of the milk. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients and the rest of the milk. Continue to beat on low speed until just incorporated – do not over mix. Gently fold in the remainder of the dry ingredients.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about thirty minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I used this recipe for the cream cheese frosting, and mixed in two tablespoons of orange zest at the end.

From Recently Updated


Use a cake leveler or serrated knife to level the tops of the gingerbread cakes. Gently flip the cheesecake onto the cake, and then place the second cake on top.
Use about a third of the cream cheese frosting to cover the whole cake with a crumb coat. Refrigerate the cake for half an hour, or until the crumb coat is no longer soft.
Frost the cake with the remainder of the cream cheese frosting.
Store the cake in the fridge. It can stand at room temperature about half an hour before serving, if necessary.

  1. Hey Adriana, I’ve missed u sooo much! I love all your recipes and I constantly check ur website. Your introductions r always interesting and entertaining. I have tried some of ur recipes like the blondies and chocolate cake and I really enjoyed them.
    I love u Adriana!! 🙂

  2. This looks lovely……Happy New Year!

  3. it looks fantastic! And I love that it only has a thin layer of cheesecake, the combination of flavors is genius

  4. Hey Adriana! I just found your blog on foodgawker and I think it’s really great! I cannot believe you’re only 15! I’m 19 and I think your photos and writing is waaaay better than mine. You’re like me gone back in a time machine, only cooler. Keep up the good work!

    p.s. Do you take your own photos? They’re really great.

  5. […] Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake + Bittersweet Baker […]

  6. Adrianna, your cake looks delicious. But most of all I love the way you introduced it.

  7. […] the original: Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake « Bittersweet Baker This entry is filed under Uncategorized and tagged cake, cakes, chocolate, cookies, cooking, […]

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