Baker’s Delight: Pumpkin Desserts

I love that the fall brings pumpkin things. The taste is so homey and comforting. From the minute Pumpkin Lattes are available until at least Thanksgiving, we enjoy many different pumpkin items. Today I want to give you three different dessert recipes: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Cake, and Pumpkin Bars. I hope you enjoy!

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PUMPKIN WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

CRUST:
1 1/2 c. crushed gingersnap cookies
1/4 c. butter, melted

FILLING:
3-8oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 c. sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 squares (1 oz. ea.) white baking chocolate, melted and cooled
3/4 c. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

PECAN TOPPING:
1/2 c. chopped pecans
2 Tb. butter, melted
1 tsp. sugar

Fresh whipped cream (opt.)

Combine crust ingredients and press into bottown of a greased 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in white chocolate. Combine pumpkin and spices; gently fold into cream cheese mixture until mixture is uniform. Pour over crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until center is just set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 min. Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients in a pan and saute until nuts are golden brown – about 5 minutes. Cool.

Carefully run a knife around edge of springform pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight (I’ve done less and it’s fine). Transfer topping to container and store in refrigerator.

Just before serving, remove sides of pan; sprinkle nuts over cheesecake. Serve with fresh whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers. 10-12 servings.

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My husband’s favorite cake is pumpkin spice cake. He loves it and frequently requests it for his fall birthday dessert. We enjoyed this bundt recipe topped with caramel icing. I like it best with cream cheese frosting although this caramel (birthday choice) was a close second.

PUMPKIN CAKE w/ CARAMEL FROSTING
1 c. canola oil (or vegetable)
3 eggs
1 – 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree (or the equivalent of homemade)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. white sugar
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 inch bundt or tube pan very well.

Cream oil, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla together.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together. Add to the flour mixture (I actually sift if directly into the wet ingredients). Mix just until fully combined. Stir in nuts if desired.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool for 5-10 minutes and then turn out of pan onto platter. Let cool completely and frost with icing of choice.

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CARAMEL FROSTING
(recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes.com)
2 Tb. butter
3 Tb. milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and mix in in milk and brown sugar. Boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and beat in 1/2 c. of the powdered sugar. Coll slightly and beat in the vanilla and remaining sugar. Adjust with more milk for thinner consistency.

*It seemed thin to me so I added a bit more sugar – do not do this until you are certain you need it. I wished I had not so it would have drizzled better on my cake.

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PUMPKIN BARS w/CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
(From Cookies Year-Round)
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. white flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 c. canola oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 and an 8×8 with cooking spray (or a lg. sheet pan).

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugars, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add the eggs, pumpkin, and oil and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until ingredients combined (could also do this by hand).

Spread evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bars comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Spread with cream cheese frosting and cut in to bars. Store in a single layer for 2 days at room temperature or 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the unfrosted bars for up to a month.

Makes 4 dozen bars.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 – 8oz. block of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Beat together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Add the pinch of salt and half of the sugar and mix until combined. Add the remaining sugar and beat until creamy and spreadable. Store in refrigerator. Does not freeze well.

Makes about 3 c. of frosting.

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5 responses

  1. I made the pumpkin cheesecake for our Scottish thanksgivinig celebrations this year and it worked really well! I even managed to find all the ingredients, so unusually I didn’t have to substitute anything! Thanks x

  2. After being tempted by you all this morning as I read your delicious desserts I decided to make the pumpkin bars for our tea time treat. I substituted 2 cups of brown rice flour to make them gluten free and they turned out fabulously! Thanks for the recipe.

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