What’s better than Pumpkin Cheesecake?
Ahhh – that would be two layers of cheesecake goodness – one of pecan praline cheesecake and one of pumpkin. Gluten Free Speculoos (aka Biscoff) Cookies is a great choice for your crust with it’s spicy goodness; cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and lemon zest. Then layer the cheesecake, bake it to perfection, and top it with Perfect Caramel. So what are you waiting for to make this one?
I know this looks like it might be difficult, but I designed it so you only need to make one cheesecake batter. Simply divide that in half – add toasted pecans to one half and pumpkin puree and spices to the other. The trick to keeping the layers separated is to deposit the pecan praline cheesecake over the prepared crust. Place this in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to firm it up a bit. Patience isn’t my strong suit, but, even I can wait 10-15 minutes. Then it’s safe to put the pumpkin cheesecake on top. Gently spread that on top of the pecan praline cheesecake.
You want to gently bake this cheesecake in a bain marie – a water bath. If you’re using a spring-form pan, use heavy-duty foil and wrap up under the cheesecake pan. I prefer to use a cake pan with a solid bottom. You’ll need a pan that’s larger than your spring-form and cake pan and, at least a 2″ depth. Place the cheesecake in the bain marie pan and place in the preheated 325F oven. Bake 50 to 55 minutes until the cheesecake is firm to the touch.
To Avoid The Cheesecake Cracking
In order to avoid cracking, you need to gently cool the cheesecake. This is the method I use. After the cheesecake is baked, leave the cheesecake in the oven but turn the oven off. Crack the oven door open – you might need to use a wooden spoon to crack the door open. Leave it in there for about 1 hour. Gently remove the bain marie pan and the cheesecake. Remove the cheesecake from the water and let cool an additional 1 hour at room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for, at least 4 hours, or overnight.
To Get the Cheesecake out of the Pan
If you used a spring-form pan, it’s an easy removal. If you used a cake pan, place the bottom of the cheesecake pan over your oven burner for about 30 seconds to release the cheesecake from the pan. Use a grease-proof cake circle, or a cake circle wrapped with plastic wrap. Turn it upside down on top of the cheesecake and turn the cheesecake over. Gently tap the edge of the pan on the counter all around until you feel the cheesecake releases from the pan. Remove the parchment from the bottom and turn over onto a serving plate.
Top with Caramel
Make Caramel. Let it cool and pour on top of cheesecake and swirl on top. Decorate with pecan halves or make individual Gluten Free Creamy Pecan Pralines and decorate the top.
How to Make a Clean Cut
There’s a trick to getting a clean cut of cheesecake. You need a hot knife. I fill a tall glass with hot water, dip my long knife into the water, dry it and make the first cut. For subsequent cuts, dip the knife into the hot water each time and wipe dry each time before cutting. You’ll feel like a professional.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Pecan Praline Cheesecake with Speculoos Crust
For the Crust
For the Cheesecake
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Prepare 9″ spring-form pan – grease bottom and sides or a 9″ cake pan by greasing and lining the bottom with parchment.
- 3 lbs. Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1 and 1/4 cups (1 cup or 7.5 ounces) brown sugar
- 1 and 1/4 cups (7.75 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 whole eggs, room temperature
For the Pecan Praline Cheesecake
- 1 cup (3.5 ounces) Pecans, Toasted and Ground
For the Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 1 and 1/2 cups (12.75 ounces ounces) pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 Tablespoons (.6 ounces) Gluten Free Farina All Purpose Flour
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Prepare pan by greasing bottom and sides.
- If using a inch cake pan, grease bottom and sides and line bottom with parchment.
- You’ll be baking the cheesecake in a bain marie (aka water bath). So, find an oven-safe pan larger than your cheesecake pan with, at least, a 2 inch depth.
- Grind the speculoos crumbs until fine. Combine with brown sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325F.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream cream cheese until smooth. Add brown and granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until combined, scraping down, if necessary.
- Add eggs, one at a time, until each is incorporated. Scrape down after the addition of each egg.
- Once mixed, divide the cheesecake mix in half. Add the pecans to one half. Add pumpkin puree, spices and Gluten Free Flour to the other half and mix thoroughly.
- Deposit the pecan cheesecake onto the prepared crust. Place the pan into the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes until mixture is set.
- Deposit the pumpkin cheesecake on top of the pecan cheesecake layer and gently spread over the top.
- Place the cheesecake into your bain marie pan and place in the oven. Gently pour water into the bain marie pan being careful not to splash the water up over the cheesecake.
- Gently push the rack into the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes until the cheesecake is firm to the touch.
- To avoid cracking, you want to cool the cheesecake gently. Leave cheesecake in the oven and crack the door open. Leave there for about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and remove cheesecake from the water and let it continue to cool at room temperature for another hour.
- Place in refrigerator, at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Remove cheesecake from spring-form pan. If removing from cake pan, heat the bottom of the pan over a burner for about 30 seconds. Place a greased cake round on top of cheesecake. Turn over and gently tap all around to release cheesecake from pan. Turn back over and place on serving tray.
- If topping with Caramel , warm it up a bit – maybe 30 seconds in the microwave. Spread on top of cheesecake. Top with pecan halves or Pecan Pralines
- Will keep 5 days refrigerated. To keep longer, cut and wrap individually and freeze for up to 6 months.