Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sugared Cranberries! (The Apron Winner is…)

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sugared Cranberries Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

This past week I taught several classes on bread baking. We made breads from my book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day that fit the cooling weather, like oatmeal pumpkin bread. The recipe calls for a roasted “pie” pumpkin, but only uses 1 cup of it. I promised all the wonderful people in my class that I would come up with a way to use the rest of that pumpkin puree and share it here. Every year at this time I make a bourbon pumpkin cheesecake, in fact I make a few of them, by demand. It tastes like the richest, creamiest pumpkin pie you will ever eat. Even people who swear they don’t like pumpkin love this cheesecake.

I topped it with some beautiful red fruits, including sugared cranberries. The tartness combined with the crisp sugar coating is a perfect compliment to the smoothness of the cake. Keep reading and I’ll show you how.

Before I make the cheesecake I want to THANK YOU all for the fantastic well wishes during this eventful month! The winner of the Zoë bakes apron by Crooked Brook is…Tracey from Sugar Punk.  Congratulations and thank you so much!

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheese Cake Batter:

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin or canned

6 large eggs

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1 tablespoon bourbon

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon (corn or potato starch)

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake topping:

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1 recipe génoise (cut to 1/4″ thick) or graham cracker crust

preheat oven to 325° and prepare an 8 by 3-Inch Round cake pan
with parchment and either the layer of génoise (as I used here) or graham cracker crust. Set aside.

Genoise crust | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

To prepare cheese cake batter: In a previous post on Key Lime cheesecake I show step by step how to mix and bake the cheesecake.

Mix together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment the soft cream cheese and brown sugar, until smooth.

In a separate bowl combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, sour cream, vanilla and bourbon. Slowly add to the cream cheese mixture, scraping down the sides often.

In another bowl whisk together the sugar, starch, spices and salt. Add this to the cream cheese and pumpkin mixture. Beat on medium/low speed until well combined, scraping down the sides often.

Cheesecake batter in pan | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Pour into prepared pan. Gently tap the cake pan several times on the counter to bring any air bubbles to the surface.

Bake in a water bath and with a foil tent as shown in previous post on Key Lime Cheesecake, for about 45-60 minutes or until set, slightly puffy and no longer wet looking.

While the cake is baking mix together all the ingredients for the topping, set aside.

Spreading sour cream on cheesecake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Once the cake is fully cooked remove the foil and very gently spread the on the sour cream topping with an Offset Spatula . Bake uncovered with the topping for an additional 5 minutes.

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Remove the cake and allow to cool slowly still in the water bath. Carefully run a thin blade knife around the edge of the warm cake so that it won’t crack. Put in the refrigerate to cool for at least a couple of hours!

Fresh cranberries | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Meanwhile make the sugared cranberries:

1 cup fresh and firm cranberries

1 egg white (use pasteurized if you are uncomfortable eating raw egg)

1 cup sugar

Sugared cranberries | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Mix the cranberries with the egg white. Drain off the excess egg white between your fingers and then dip the cranberries in the sugar. Roll them around until they are evenly coated. Remove to dry on a cookie sheet.

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sugared Cranberries Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I garnished the cake with the sugared cranberries, pomegranate seeds, raspberries and dried sweetened hibiscus flowers that I found at Trader Joe’s. The hibiscus tastes like floral cranberry fruit leather.

Thank you again to Tracey and everyone else that stopped by to leave me a message. A huge thank you to Crooked Brook for the gorgeous apron. For those of you who were interested in ordering an apron I’ll be getting all the information together so just be in touch!

Also thnk you to all of the wonderful people that I have met through teaching classes who inspire me to try new things, that also goes to all the folks at Twitter!

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53 thoughts to “Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sugared Cranberries! (The Apron Winner is…)”

  1. that looks fabulous .. I’m going to send this to my sister and niece and see if we can make this for Thanksgiving this year…

  2. Thank you everyone!

    For those of you who are not fans of bourbon, feel free to just drop it or replace it with a different liquid. The alcohol isn’t doing anything to the cheesecake, but adding a bit of a zing in contrast to all the mellow flavors.

    Armagnac, cognac, rum, tart cider or a teaspoon of lemon juice may do the trick as well.

    Thanks again for all the lovely comments.


  3. Susan was so impressed that she made me print the recipe; she is going to do it on first opportunity!

    Looks so appetizing!


    S & S

  4. It’s amazing how elegant a touch sugared cranberries add to this, or any dessert. I’m a huge fan of sugared fruits, especially during the holiday season.

  5. I just stumbled upon your blog and just wanted to say that you’re amazing at baking! i love to cook and consider myself pretty ok, but i SO lack in baking skills. To me, it’s just a different level of skill that I don’t have! But your stuff is gorgeous!

  6. I love the way you decorated that cheesecake. I was stuck with way too much pumpkin puree late last year – wish I’d thought about cheesecake back then 😛

  7. Geewhiz! those sugared cranberries and pomegranate seeds look like jewels atop your cheesecake! When I saw “Bourbon” I knew it had to be yummy! Gorgeous pics!

  8. Bourbon + Pumpkin? Why had I not thought of this combination before?! As a woman who loves spritzing just about everything she bakes with a touch of wine or liquor, this will definitely be added to my “must bake” list.


  9. Eheh! I just picked up a load of dried hisbiscus while I was out of town at Trader Joes (still none where I live). I can’t stop snacking on it!!
    The cheesecake is splendid and love the idea of a genoise as a base!

  10. Hey brilliant co-author:

    Thanks for serving me this yesterday, it was the best cheesecake I’ve ever eaten. (Readers, of course, she hemmed and hawed about how it was stale, didn’t measure up, etc. Nonsense)

    53 days to deadline. Happy Anniversary by the way.


  11. Hi Zoe, This cheesecake is GORGEOUS!!! One suggestion…when you provide links from your website, you should have the link open a new window…not direct people away from your site. 🙂

  12. Thank you all for the great notes!

    Jeff, it is nice of you to visit my non-bread world! 😉

    Lil, thank you for the advice. My webmaster/husband showed me how to do links in a separate page!

    Happy baking! Zoë

  13. Zoe, I’d like to make this for Thanksgiving—it’s beautiful! How far in advance can I bake it and keep it in the refrigerator?

  14. Hi Luisa,

    You can make it a couple of days ahead. Let ti cool completely at room temp then stick it in the refrigerator and let it completely cold, then wrap it well. If you wrap while it is soft you may smooth it.

    My family decided they like the graham cracker crust the best, although next time I’m going to make it with a chocolate crust. That sounds really good to me!

    Enjoy! Zoë

  15. That is so beautiful! You are very creative. And not only gorgeous but sounds like a wonderful combination of flavors. Thanks for the inspiration.

  16. Hi Thistle,

    Some springform pans will allow you to bake in a water bath, but I prefer to wrap the pan in foil just to make sure.

    Enjoy! Zoë

  17. A Granola crust would go really well with pumpkin cheesecake. Either a homemade one or one of the commercial ones they have right along side of the graham cracker and chocolate crusts. Heartland makes one.
    I make a crust for cheesecake using granola right from the Quaker Granola Cereal Bag with its small pieces of slivered almonds, etc. I do take out the raisens as I find they might take away the flavor of cheesecake you are making.
    Loved the colors and ideas on top. Will use for other things. Thanks.

  18. when a recipe is printed it is easily 12-14 pages which I find hard to sleeve. Is there another way to print from website with out pics, although they are so helpful for online reference. Other websites with pics also have a printable version of just written recipe and I was wondering if I am missing this option on your website.

    I have baked your Devil’s Food Cake of recent and it is hands down the best I have tasted/baked (and my files are full of similar recipes). I am now wanting to bake the pumpkin cheesecake. I am thinking it will top the one I currently bake (and love). Why not bake the best–and that is where you come in. Thanks so very much. Carol

    1. Hi Carol,

      Last time I asked about this, I was told that WordPress didn’t have a print only option, but things change quickly on the web and I will check again.

      Thanks! Zoë

  19. I’m going to make the cheesecake for a Xmas Party and am wondering if someone eats a cranberry wouldn’t it be too tart?

    Thanks, Paula

    1. Hi Paula,

      They are tart, but coated in sugar. I love them, but everyone has different tastes. You can try a few ahead of time and see what you think.

      Thanks, Zoë

  20. Hi. Your cake is beautiful! Wondering about the hibiscus garnish. I have dried hibiscus but would I need to hydrate and sugar it to look,like your garnish?

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