I make some variation of pumpkin cheesecake every year for Thanksgiving. This year, my friend suggested making a cheesecake version of a Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte. I loved the idea and headed straight to Pinterest. Of course, it had been done before (as all good ideas have) and the recipe I selected is from Sprinkle Bakes. This cheesecake was super easy to make, and turned out delicious!
4 tbsp. butter melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crush up vanilla wafers. I do this in a big ziplock bag using a random jar or bottle to smash the cookies. I cannot tell you how many vanilla wafers to use, because I just eyeball it. Just go crazy! Mix with the melted butter. Press into the bottom (not up sides) of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.
2- 8oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar divided
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup of canned pumpkin
2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
3 tsp. espresso powder, or Starbucks VIA instant coffee (if you like to waste money on fancy instant coffee…I mean, for “authenticity.”)
Using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Mix eggs in one at a time, blending well after each addition.
Remove one cup of the mixture and transfer to another bowl. Dissolve espresso powder in a very small amount of hot water and stir (just enough water so it dissolves and isn’t grainy). Add the espresso to the 1 cup of filling and mix until batter is uniform in color. Set aside.
Blend 1/4 cup of sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and allspice into the remaining filling. Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the crust in the spring-form pan. Top pumpkin mixture with the 1 cup coffee filling mixture.
Bake for 55 minutes or until filling is set. The cheesecake will puff up in the middle a little bit as it bakes and then relax back down as it cools. I let it sit in an open, turned off oven for about 20ish minutes before taking it out. This helps it transition from temperatures and not crack on top. Run a knife around the edge of the pan for easy un-molding. Allow the cheesecake to cool before removing rim of spring-form pan. Chill until ready to serve.
You can get all fancy with the garnish–powdered sugar, dollops of whipped cream, cinnamon sticks–whatever screams “Pumpkin Spice Latte” to you! I was feeling a little lazy at this point on Thanksgiving, so I just sprinkled some powdered sugar on it and called it good.
Yield: 9″ cake, serves 8-10