French Pumpkin Cheesecake
Sometimes I come across a recipe on the web that is just so incredibly delicious that I just have to share it. This French pumpkin cheesecake is one of those recipes.
French Pumpkin Cheesecake
I’ve probably made this recipe at least 3 times within the last 2 weeks. Even though this isn’t my original recipe, I did dream it up before I knew it existed.
You see, classic New York cheesecakes are fairly dense. They’re usually made with eggs and baked in a bain-marie (water bath), then chilled until they’re completely cool and firm.
While the French do make cheesecake, it tends to be much lighter and mousse-like in consistency. In fact, that’s why I call this pumpkin cheesecake “French pumpkin cheesecake” (even though the French definitely do not bake with pumpkin like Americans do).
That mousse-like texture is trés French to me, and is named in the same spirit as French silk pie.
When I stumbled upon the original recipe for this cheesecake, I was looking for ideas on how to achieve the consistency of a mousse-like cheesecake.
Coming across this no-bake pumpkin cheesecake, I immediately had an “aha” moment. Why of course, a no-bake cheesecake would be much lighter indeed.
So I tried the recipe as directed with plans to taste-test and alter to achieve creamy perfection. But after one bite of what I now call this French pumpkin cheesecake, I just couldn’t fathom changing a thing!
The only aspect of this dessert that I contributed to was the graham cracker crust (the original recipe used a gingersnap crust). But the actual cake batter was everything I had hoped for.
Light and creamy, this French pumpkin cheesecake will melt on your warm tongue within a second. Since the pumpkin and cream cheese have been whipped into a fluffy and airy consistency, it’s no surprise that it’s so light. The sweetened whipped cream that’s folded into the batter also doesn’t hurt the cake’s cloud-like consistency.
With normal cheesecake, I find that I can only eat half a slice before my palate feels heavy and overwhelmed. That is not the case with this French pumpkin cheesecake. I ate up my slice in a jiffy and couldn’t wait to dive back in for another.
I think my sister summed it up best when she described French mousse, which I find comparable to this cake, “It’s basically all air, so no harm done, right?” Yeah, Sis, no harm done whatsoever!
French Pumpkin Cheesecake
A light-as-air, no-bake cheesecake flavored with pumpkin for a fall twist.
for the crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
for the cake
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sweetened whipped cream, homemade or store-bought, plus more for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grab a tart pan, 9-inch pie dish, or a 6-inch cake pan. (If you use the cake pan, make sure to line it with a large sheet of parchment paper - large enough that it comes up the sides of the pan and over the rim - for easy removal of dessert).
- In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter together until everything is well-combined and all the crumbs are moist. Pour this mixture into your chosen pan. Use a rubber spatula or a flat-bottom glass to pack the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and smooth it out. If using a pie dish, you can pack some of the crumbs along the sides of the pan as well.
- Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and let the crust completely cool.
- Create your cheesecake batter by beating the cream cheese with the pumpkin, sugar, spices, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until you’ve achieved a mousse-like consistency and the batter is a light orange color - about 1 minute.
- Fold in the 1/2 cup of sweetened whipped cream using a rubber spatula. Fold until there are no white streaks apparent.
- Pour the batter over the cooled crust, using your spatula to evenly distribute and smooth out the batter. Pipe remaining whipped cream out on top of cheesecake using a pastry bag, or simply smooth all over the top using a spoon or offset spatula.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for 4 to 6 hours until chilled.
To create your own sweetened whipped cream, whisk 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Then fold in a 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into the batter, and use the remaining whipped cream to garnish the top of the cake.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 8 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342
Hello. What type of cream cheese did you use?
Hi Beata, I’ve used a variety of brands, but you’ll just want to make sure it’s the block kind and not the tub kind.
Hi.. just came across this pinned on Pinterest and I plan on trying it this weekend. It looks perfect for the end of our Thanksgiving here in Canada! I’m wondering if you could clarify the amount of the whip cream that you fold into the batter at the end. It says 1/2 cup… is that BEFORE you whip it or measure out 1/2 cup AFTER it’s whipped? Thank you!
Hi Judy! You’re going to love this recipe – its a big hit! You’ll need 1/2 cup of whipped cream AFTER it’s been whipped. Usually a 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar will produce the 1/2 cup you need, but I suggest whipping more so you can use some of the whipped cream on top too! 🙂