Pumpkin Spice Maple Cream Cheesecake Recipe

Are you ready to learn how to make a Spiced Pumpkin + Maple Cream Cheese Layer Cake for my special Thanksgiving edition of Delicious Bites? Hi, it's me Jillian and around this time last year I spent a few weeks in Quebec and New York, arriving just before Thanksgiving. I found beautiful fall leaves; pumpkins were in abundance at the markets and my hotel served delicious steaming cups of hot apple cider in the lobby. I love all things pumpkin and I love apple cider so I was in heaven. Even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, in my mind’s eye I have visions of a Martha Stewart-style spread complete with gleaming roast turkey followed by fresh-from-the-oven pumpkin pie. I’m sure you already have your own favorite recipe for pumpkin pie so instead I’ve come up with a pumpkin pie inspired layer cake with maple flavored cream cheese icing. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving dessert? givethanks

The cake is based on a classic carrot cake recipe using browned butter and grated pumpkin for flavor and texture. Pumpkin tends to be used for savory dishes in Australia so tinned pumpkin puree can be hard to find. If you like, you can use pumpkin puree instead of the grated pumpkin and although the texture will be different it tastes just as good. Just hold back on the buttermilk though, as pumpkin puree is much more liquid than grated pumpkin.


Pumpkin puree is easy to make if you’d like to make your own. Just take a generous wedge of pumpkin; my favorite kind is Kent which you may know as kabocha and I also like butternut. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin but leave the skin on; wrap the pumpkin in foil and place it on a baking tray. Bake at 400°F/200°C for 45 minutes to an hour until the pumpkin is soft. When the pumpkin is cool, unwrap it from the tin foil and scrape the flesh from the skin and blend it using a stick blender or food processor. This is one of those cakes that takes a while to prepare but is a snap to put together. You combine the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients, pour into a tin and bake. What could be simpler than that?


Once the cake has cooled and sliced horizontally into 2 even layers it’s time to ice it with some maple flavored cream cheese icing. I kept the decoration simple with this lovely bunting from Paper Boat Press.


Here’s the recipe for you -

Ingredients 1 1/4 cups self raising flour 1/2  tsp bicarbonate of soda 1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg 125g (4 oz) unsalted butter 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar 1/4 cup (40g) brown sugar, lightly packed 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla essence 1/4 cup buttermilk 50g dried dates, roughly chopped 50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped 1 cup peeled, grated pumpkin or pumpkin puree

Method Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line the base of a 20 cm (8 inch) cake tin with baking paper and then grease and flour the sides. Sift the flour with the bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl and set to one side. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown. Pour the browned butter into a medium size bowl and let stand until cool but not set, about 15 minutes, before mixing in the caster sugar, the brown sugar, the eggs, the vanilla and buttermilk. Stir until well combined. Add the buttermilk mixture, the dates and nuts into the flour mixture and mix well. Add the pumpkin and combine until well mixed. Add a little extra milk if the mixture looks too dry. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake on the centre shelf of the oven at 180°C/350°F (conventional) for 45 minutes. Cook until the centre of cake is firm and the top golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack. When completely cool, slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers.

Cream Cheese Icing 125 g (4 oz) unsalted butter 250 g (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature 1 tablespoon light brown sugar 2 cups icing (confectioners) sugar 1 tsp maple extract 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method In a small bowl cream the butter, cream cheese and extracts until thick and creamy. Add the 2 sugars and mix to form a creamy icing.

Assembling the cake Put one cake layer on a cake plate. Spread 1/2 the icing on the layer. Top with the second layer then ice the top the cake with the remaining icing. Decorate as desired. Refrigerate the cake. Before serving allow the cake to come to room temperature for maximum flavor. Cut into generous slices and enjoy a little taste of Thanksgiving on a plate. Delish!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! See you all again next month with a special Christmas themed Delicious Bites treat for you! - Jillian

(text/images: jillian leiboff)

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