Butternut Squash (or Pumpkin) Cheesecake

Last year, I had a piece of pumpkin cheesecake for the first time, and it was delicious! It got me thinking, if butternut squash pie is so good, I bet I could make a fabulous butternut squash cheesecake! I searched and found a bunch of pumpkin cheesecake recipes, then modified them, added a ginger snap crust instead of a graham cracker crust, and added extra spice.  There was a lot of discussion about how to keep the cheesecake from cracking.  My reaction: Get over it! It will taste good if it cracks anyway, so stop stressing.  My mom’s famous, delicious cheesecake that she makes for every holiday always cracks, but she tops it with cherries, blueberries or raspberries and everyone loves it.

The only drawback that I see to this recipe is that you have to use a food processor to crush the cookies (although you could do that in a big plastic bag with a rolling pin) and puree the squash, and then use the stand mixer to make the filling.  But for something that I’ll only make once or twice a year, I guess the energy is worth it.

Butternut Squash Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (use the food processor to make them)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then press into the bottom of a 9″ spring-form pan.  Bake 10-12 minutes.

For the filling

  • 4 packages cream cheese (8 oz.), room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree (if you want, substitute with pumpkin or any other winter squash)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed in a stand mixer until smooth.  Blend in flour.  Add squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time.  Pour into crust and smooth out the top.  Reduce heat to 300°F and bake 60 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let cool for 1 hour in the oven.  Then transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 4 hours.  To serve, remove the sides from the pan, slice and garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

12 Comments

Filed under Food, Local Agriculture, Recipes

12 responses to “Butternut Squash (or Pumpkin) Cheesecake

  1. Cooking at a lower temp would slow the “puffing” of the batter and would protect against the crack. For a while, I was cooking mine at 275. I shall look in my notebook for a more detailed comment to come later.

  2. Oh my… I’m loving this blog already! I’ve been afraid to try my hand at making cheesecake but this might just be the little push I needed. Yum!

  3. allie

    Looks like a delicious cheesecake. I love pumpkin pie and cheesecake is just as good. If you guys are interested I have some recipes at http://www.cheesecake-recipes.org

  4. Do you think you can sub tofu cream cheese? My house is kosher so milk and meat can’t mix so I try to make vegan like desserts.

  5. Hi Anna, Um, I’m confused. Where’s the meat? Do eggs count as meat? I’ve never used tofu cream cheese, so I don’t know. But if you’ve used it in recipes before and it works, it’s worth a try. Let us know how it turns out!

  6. Jai

    Awesome recipe, I’m going to try baking one soon. I just baked a pumpkin cheesecake right now, and I was thinking to myself, “Boy, it would be fun to bake a butternut squash cheesecake!”

    Question for you, why do you add flour to the batter? I see it called for in half the recipes I read, the other half just admit it and keep everything else the same. I’ll try adding it and let you know the difference, if any.

    And to prevent cracks, simple solution: give it a waterbath. Works everytime. Just cover your spring form in foil and put it into a roasting pan. Then just fill the pan with boiling water until it reaches half way up the springform.

  7. Monice

    I gave this a try for Thanksgiving this year and it was a huge hit! Everyone said, “ooooh, what a great flavor!” I asked my mom about how to prevent the cracking and she said the key was to cool it slowly. So, in addition to the directions in the recipe, I cooled it on the counter for 1 hour before putting it in the refrigerator overnight. It worked great. It took me a bit over an hour to bake the butternut squash to a nice, soft consistency that would work well in the food processor. Given that, plus the extra hour to cool on the counter, it took about 5 hours from starting to bake the squash until the time I put it in the fridge, but about 1.5 hours of actual cooking activity during that time.

  8. I don’t know where you live but we are kindred spirits for sure! (I’m also a farmer’s daughter btw). Thank you for the recipe. I down scaled it to work in a small pie tin because I’m giving it away – but it is the most lovely color!

    Thanks again.

    Oh and to anybody else that maybe interested. It works wonderfully to cook your butternut squash in a pressure cooker. I had it cooked in 20 minutes as opposed to 2 or 3 times that amount of time in the oven….

  9. An Yan

    Is it 8 oz of cream cheese or 32 oz of cream cheese? I’m not sure which you want us to use. Thanks!

  10. Carla

    I was wondering what is your recipe for the pie crust. I have never made my own. Making pies is a new step for me so any advice would help.

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