Halloween Maple Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake


Yes I know, I  know I only just did a cheesecake, but that one was all white chocolatey and raspberries whilst this one is totally different - cinnamon spicey and earthily sweet pumpkin with a ginger base - it is perfect for Halloween (or Thanksgiving in the states). I did a little mucking about getting this cheesecake just right because here in New Zealand we don't have such things as tinned pumpkin (!! tinned - why??) or pumpkin pie spice mix - here you gotta make it yourself! So I baked the pumpkin before pureeing as I didn't want to steam or boil it and have it get too watery, and I blended up a little not-so-secret spice mix to give it a good bit of grunt. Add to that sweet smoky maple syrup and a lug of bourbon, and really, say no more! Can't wait to feed it to the assorted friends of the boys all coming around for dinner tomorrow night - yippee, love that! Happy Halloween!!!!!

750g peeled, de-seeded pumpkin, cut into 6cm chunks
1 tbsp maple syrup

300g Gingernuts or similar biscuits (you could use Graham 
Crackers and add 1 tsp ground ginger)
60g melted butter

1kg cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups caster sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp rum or bourbon (or you could use vanilla extract)
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp custard powder
4 large eggs plus 1 yolk extra

Right! Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and line a roasting dish with baking paper. Put in your big chunks of pumpkin and drizzle with maple syrup. Bake for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife - turn once during cooking. 

While the pumpkin is cooking line the base and sides of a 23cm removable base cake tin with baking paper. Whizz gingernuts in a blender, add butter and whizz a bit more until smooth crumbs. Pour into prepared baking tin and squish down with your hands, and then smooth it out with the back of a tablespoon. I like to take the base a tiny bit up the sides to give the filling a little extra support. Pop in the fridge for now.

When you take the pumpkin out of the oven reduce the temperature to 150˚C (300˚F). Chop pumpkin up a bit to get it to cool down faster then put in the blender and whizz until really smooth. Give it five minutes to cool down more then add cream cheese, sugar, spices and salt and blend again until smooth. Whisk bourbon and maple syrup with custard powder until smooth and add to mix with eggs and egg yolk. Last brief whizz to combine it all, then you can pour it onto the base. Give it a tap on the bench to open up air bubbles then bake for 1 1/2 hours until it still has a bit of wobble in the middle. Allow to cool in the oven for at least two hours before removing. Wedge something in the oven door to open it a crack during cooling. Cool further on the bench then pop in the fridge to cool completely. Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving.  Serve with bourbon spiked whipped cream and a little dusting of walnut praline if you fancy...recipe for that right here!


  1. hi!
    I made these recipe and it's amazing!
    Thanks for sharing!



    1. Hi Ivana - yay that's so cool! Thanks for letting me know :) Gorgeous blog you have too by the way!

  2. Extremely delicious recipe, folks at work keep asking me to make more. Have just put one in the oven using kumera instead of pumpkin as my sister-in-law is a kumera lover. Hope it turns out just as yummy!

  3. Yay - I'm so pleased - let me know how the kumara version turns out! :)