Hello! We have officially crossed the threshold into September and I’m bringing us a pumpkin dessert. Yes, I see your side-eye, but I have a great reason for jumping on the pumpkin wagon so early. I’ve teamed up with Baileys to create a couple of recipes using their brand new, limited edition–as in never before seen and soon to be gone–Pumpkin Spice flavor. Like the original Baileys, this version is smooth and rich with an added punch of sweet spices and distinctive pumpkin flavor. While I want these long days to linger, I’m also excited for cardigans, crunchy leaves, and all the pumpkin and spice that comes along with it (#basic). I’m sharing this now so you have the entire season to make this (maybe even for the still distant holiday season) and share it with your people because this cheesecake is insane and not to be missed and exactly what all of your Autumnal dessert dreams are made of.
Every cheesecake starts with the crust and this one is made of speculoos cookie crumbs (aka the cookie of cookie butter fame), a little sugar, and just enough butter to hold the crumbs together. The middle layer is a pumpkin and cream cheese batter that’s generously spiked with Baileys Pumpkin Spice. Even though the cheesecake filling does include pumpkin, it plays a supporting role next to the liqueur which lends a rich, creamy spice flavors with that pleasant warmth that you’d expect from a boozy dessert. The top of the cheesecake is a thin layer of sweetened sour cream that has been spiked with even more Baileys and sprinkled with a crown of crumbled cookies. Did I mention that it’s spiked? Which means this doubles as an adults-only dessert + nightcap. So, you have a real
excuse responsibility to not share this with any sweet, little, cherub children…you know, the ones who always seem to sneak the best bites off of your plate (or is that just me?).
This recipe was developed in partnership with Baileys as we welcome the start of Autumn with their new seasonal Pumpkin Spice flavor. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help make this blog possible!
- 2 cups speculoos cookie crumbs (from about 4 cups of whole cookies)
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Kosher salt
- 2 lbs cream cheese (4, 8oz, packages)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup Baileys Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1¼ cups sour cream
- ¼ cup Baileys Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
- ¼ cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter, sugar, and a pinch of kosher salt until the crumbs are moistened with the butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 15 minutes to set. Remove the crust from the oven and cool on a rack.
- Beat the cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in the sugar until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating just to combine and scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the Baileys Pumpkin Spice Liqueur, pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat in the flour. Spread over the cooled crust and gently rap the pan against the countertop a few times to release any large air bubbles. Set a baking rack in the center of the oven, set a second oven rack underneath the middle rack and fill a 9×13 baking pan with hot water and place it on the lower rack. Bake the cheesecake on the middle rack at 350° for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 275° and bake an additional 45-60 minutes. The cheesecake will be puffed and the center should still jiggle a bit but the top should look dry and set. Turn off the oven, crack open the oven door, and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly for 1 hour before topping. The cheesecake should sink to a flat top as it cools. For the topping, whisk all of the ingredients together to combine. Spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool on a rack for 1 hour minutes before chilling. Chill at least 6 hours before serving (a day or two is even better).
When mixing the cheesecake ingredients, take care not to whip too much air into the mixture. You want to just combine the ingredients, not give them volume. This will reduce the air bubbles in the final cheesecake and give the cake a dense and creamy texture.
I have baked this cheesecake both in a bain marie (water bath) and with the method described above, with good results. I prefer the pan of water beneath the cheesecake because I don’t like fussing with wrapping the pan in foil and setting it in a water bath.
After you have allowed the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour, you can either immediately add the topping, or you can let the cheesecake chill overnight before adding the topping and returning it to the refrigerator to set.
I think cheesecake texture improves with a longer chill before serving, 6 hours is fine but I find a full 24 hours is best.