I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

The Great Pumpkin Break Through

Pumpkin is everywhere in the food blogosphere these days. Pie. Bread. Milkshakes. Even my friend Gina celebrates an entire month of pumpkin this time of year.

Dare I admit, for fear of being burned at the stake, that I don't really care for pumpkin? I've just never had anything that bowled me over. There was the pumpkin white chocolate cheesecake that I made for many years and pretended to love. And there were cookies and bars that were okay but it was really the cream cheese frosting that I adored. So why, pray tell, did I decide to spend my time on yet another pumpkin kitchen project? Why did I spend my money on two pounds of cream cheese, a can of pumpkin, and a bag of marshmallows?

Because Bon Appetit tempted me to, that's why.

I had torn BA's recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow Sour Cream Topping and Gingersnap Crust from the magazine when it was first published in November 2008 but each year afterward when pumpkin season rolled around, I was guilty of hiding it at the bottom of my "To Try" recipe pile. When it resurfaced again this year, I just happened to be in the right mood.

I think we can all admit that, by itself, pumpkin is boring. Can't we? But add two pounds of cream cheese and typical spices, bake it in a gingersnap/pecan/candied ginger crust and slather it with sour cream and melted marshmallows....well, now we've got something to get excited about!

It was DIVINE, people. I just hate that I waited so long to give it a fighting chance. Don't be guilty of making the same mistake. The cheesecake was very easy to pull together and it baked up beautifully without a waterbath. I have a gas oven and after only 1 hour of baking time, I decided to call it quits. The next day, I cut into what turned out to be a deliciously smooth and creamy center. Deeee vine, I tell you. Try it now.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow Sour Cream Topping & Gingersnap Crust
Bon Appetit, November 2008


•Nonstick vegetable oil spray
•2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 9 ounces)
•1 cup pecans (about 3 1/2 ounces)
•1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
•2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
•1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

•4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
•2 cups sugar
•1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
•5 large eggs
•3 tablespoons all purpose flour
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
•1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
•1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•2 tablespoons vanilla extract

•2 cups mini marshmallows or large marshmallows cut into 1/2-inch cubes
•1/4 cup whole milk
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•1 cup sour cream


•Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Grind cookie crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and ginger in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter; using on/off turns, process to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; press onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

•Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed to incorporate each addition. Add flour, spices, and salt; beat just to blend. Beat in vanilla. Transfer filling to cooled crust. Bake until filling is just set in center and edges begin to crack (filling will move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Run knife around sides of pan to release crust. Chill cheesecake uncovered in pan overnight.

•Stir marshmallows and milk in medium saucepan over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Cool marshmallow mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
•Add sour cream to marshmallow mixture; fold gently just to blend. Pour topping over cheesecake and spread evenly, leaving 1/2 inch uncovered around edges. Chill to set topping, at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Cheesecake can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

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