Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake


Whats not to love about a classic plain cheesecake!? If made right, you don’t even need the fru fru additions of fresh fruit and whipped cream. I make at least 1 cheesecake every year, depending on the occasion will determine the flavor I choose to make. With autumn in full effect, I wanted to make the one pumpkin flavored dessert I make each year. Last couple of years I’ve made a pumpkin roll and decided this time to make a pumpkin cheesecake. I get that pumpkin spice is over rated and over used, but I promise you this pumpkin swirl cheesecake via Juniors Cheesecakes will have you begging for more.

If you’re not familiar with Juniors (I wasn’t either, my Husband told me about them) they are known for the home of New York’s best cheesecake. You haven’t really lived until you’ve had Cheesecake at Juniors. Unless you plan on traveling to NYC anytime soon, using one of these recipes to make for your own is the closest you’ll get to the best cheesecake. Believe me when I say Cheesecake factory is good, but this is so much better! It has been voted number 1 cheesecake in NY for over 45 years, that’s saying something!

This recipe was borrowed from the Juniors website. Check out the site for other tasty treats and history! (Graham cracker crust is my own)

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Total Time: 1 day.

Yield: 1, 9″ Round cake pan

Graham Cracker Crust:

-1 1/2 Cups Ground Graham Cracker crumbs.

-1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

-6 Tablespoons Butter, melted


-Combine all ingredients and mix until well incorporated.

-Press mixture into 9″ pie plate.

-Place in the oven @ 350 degrees and bake until lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool completely.



For the Cheesecake:

Mise en Place:

Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat), at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 cup canned pumpkin purΓ©e (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling

Method of Prep:

1. Bake off graham cracker crust if you haven’t yet done so.

2. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream just until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix!

3. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the batter and set aside. On low speed, blend the pumpkin and the 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice into the remaining batter. Gently spoon the pumpkin batter on top of the crust. Using a teaspoon, drop the white batter in small spoonfuls on top of the pumpkin batter, pushing it down slightly as you go. Using a thin, pointed knife, cut through the batter a few times in a “figure 8” design, just until white swirls appear.

4. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top has golden and tan swirls, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away-don’t move it). Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours.

5. Release and remove the sides of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate. Pipe whipped cream rosettes around the top edge of the cake. Lightly sprinkle the cream rosettes (page 26) with a little pumpkin pie spice. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice the cold cake with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover any leftover cake and refrigerate, or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.

The Junior’s Way
For this cake, the bakers use canned pumpkin, the kind that’s 100-percent pure pumpkin purΓ©e, not canned pumpkin pie mix. This works better than cooked fresh pumpkin because the moisture and flavor are consistent, cake after cake.



Pumpkin Granola

The long weekend for me at work has finally come to an end. The printers in the kitchen stopped shoveling out tickets, the hot line begins to cool down as I turn off the grill, flat top and fryers, and the breakdown of my mise en place on my station is in place. I tightly wrap my prep with plastic wrap, cut a small piece of blue tape and begin to write “Diced Tomatoes, 11-04” All of a sudden I realize the 11 on the tape stands for the month of November. Where did this year fly by?? It didn’t phase me that we were already in the end of the year until two days ago. What started out as a slow year for me as I unpacked my belongings and got settled into my new South Florida residence and began a new job, slowly picked up once summer came to an end.

Now that fall is halfway over, the holidays are quickly approaching in less than 4 weeks with Thanksgiving kicking it off. The change in climate has fallen which means most folks will be turning to comfort food to keep warm this winter. As I gear up my kitchen in preparation to make soups, stocks, stews, cookies, breads along with other hearty and seasonal favorites, I want to share with you one last fall recipe that I know you will enjoy. This recipe is great for the winter as well if you have access to fresh or canned pumpkin. This granola is fantastic with fruit for breakfast, yogurt for lunch, and dessert for dinner. At the end of this recipe, you will find an awesome suggestion for the granola.


Active Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Recipe Credit: Girlcooksworld


-6 Tablespoons Butter

-2 1/2 Cups Oats

-1 1/2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

-1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

-1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg

-1/2 Teaspoon Salt

-1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree

-1/2 Cup Honey

-1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

-1 Teaspoon Vanilla

-1/2 Cup Pumpkin seeds (optional)

Additional Tools:

-Parchment paper

-1 Sheet tray

-1 Medium sauce pot

-1 Mixing bowl

Method of Prep:

-Set oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit

-Melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the oats and stir to coat

-Pour oats into a bowl. Add spices and salt.

-Cook remaining butter, pumpkin puree, honey, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Stir in vanilla and remove from the heat.

-Pour hot mixture over the oats and mix well. Mix in pumpkin seeds and spread on a lined baking sheet.

-Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until desired granola texture (crunchy vs soft).

-Remove from oven and let cool. crumble granola in your fingers until it is all broken down into granola consistency.


Recipe Recommendation:

Bourbon Peaches, Pumpkin Granola, Apple/cinnamon yogurt, pomegranate.

Serves: 2


-1 Cup Pumpkin Granola

-8 ounces Apple Cinnamon Greek yogurt (Chobani)

-1 Cup Frozen Peaches

-2 Ounces Jack Daniels or other Bourbon of choice

-1/4 Cup Pomegranate seeds

-1 Tablespoon Butter

Method of Prep:

-In a large sauce pot, heat up bourbon and peaches until peaches are soft.

-If granola is soft, place in the oven to dry out and make crunchy for 10 minutes on 300 degrees.

-Once peaches are soft, place in a serving bowl. Leaving bourbon in the pan, place back on the stove, add in butter and cook over medium low heat until slightly reduced into a syrup consistency, approximately 5 minutes.

-Sprinkle granola and pomegranate seeds over the peaches. Add a dollop or more of yogurt of top.

-Pour bourbon syrup over granola, mix up and eat!


Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Cinnamon Butter

Your mother might of told you when you were younger not to play with your food. When I was told that I laughed but listened anyways, I never understood what the big deal was. Now my inner child cant help but play with food.Β  It leads to fun creations and awesome presentations, Oh If only momma knew.

Pancakes are delicious, except when your in Mexico (long story). 9 times out of 10 when people eat breakfast, pancakes are always included. I do enjoy the classic old school buttermilk pancakes but because I love everything about fall, I like to stay in season and eat pumpkin pancakes instead. They still have the same fluffy texture, and soft feel, just the color is darker and the taste is sweeter. If you have kids, you will make their day by making the pancakes into pumpkin shapes. I know as a kid I always enjoyed the Mickey Mouse cakes, and if I’m feeling extra childish, I will make them for myself every now and then. No harm in having a little fun with the presentation of your food. I made a maple and cinnamon butter to spread on top of the pancakes as well. Seriously, this is a great match. If you like your pancakes wet, drizzle on some more warm maple syrup! If you don’t have kids or a pumpkin cookie cutter (I found mine at Michaels for $1!) go ahead and make pancakes the round way. Breakfast is a lot of fun!

Active Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 20 Minutes

Recipe Credit: Martha Stewart


-1 1/4 Cup AP Flour

-2 Tablespoons Sugar

-2 teaspoons Baking Powder

-1/2 teaspoon of each: Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Salt, Allspice


-1 Cup Milk

-6 Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree

-2 Tablespoons Melted Butter

-1 Egg


-Whisk together all the dry ingredients.

-In a separate bowl, whisk together all the liquid ingredients.

-Whisk liquid mixture into the flour mixture until incorporated.

-Heat up a large skillet over medium heat.

-Spray with pan spray, or melted butter.

-Pour pancake batter into pan and cook for 3 minutes on both sides.

-Remove from pan, spread on maple butter and dredge in syrup.


Maple Cinnamon Butter

-2 Sticks Butter, soft

-2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

-2 teaspoons Brown Sugar

-1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon

-Add all ingredients into a medium bowl. Whisk until incorporated.

-If you want to get creative you can place whipped butter into a piping bag and pipe fun designs on the pumpkin.

-Save any leftover butter and batter for the next time you make pancakes!

**Note: To make the pumpkin shapes, you can either, place the batter inside the mold and let it cook, this is the harder way to do it, or you can make pancakes as your normally would, and then cut out the pumpkin shapes once finished. If you cook it in the mold be careful because the mold will get hot! Just flip it upside down when the bottom half is cook, only fill the mold halfway. When you flip it, some of the batter may spread out the sides, it wont ruin the shape though, just cut them off in the end.