Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake

When I wake up in the morning to a cool house, all I want to do is wrap myself up in blankets with a warm drink in my hands. Over the past few weeks, I've had my fair share of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. In fact, I love my homemade version of this coffee house favorite so much that family and friends have asked me to whip up a batch here and there simply because I couldn't stop talking about it. If you made one of these yourself—without those $5 bills to knock you down—I think you'll find the very same words coming out of your mouth.

The words simply can't be stopped.

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So, when my mother informed me a couple weeks ago that she was inviting over 20 of her closest friends for a little wine and cheese party, those darn pumpkin spice lattes popped into my head first. What can I say? I have lattes on the brain. Nevertheless, I put that thought aside and worked out a menu. As it so happens (and this should come as no surprise to you), I think in the language of desserts so the wine and cheese party quickly turned into one for wine and cheese(cake).

Yet, I couldn't get those pumpkin spice latte thoughts out of my head. Pumpkin cheesecake had found a place on the menu, but who was to say I couldn't turn that into something more? When I stumbled across this recipe from Sprinkle Bakes, I was instantly sold.

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I made a few desserts for that evening, but this Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake stood out as the clear winner (and I don't think it was the wine talking). My mother and I loved it so much, we hoarded the leftovers and kept them all to ourselves.

This cheesecake is really a great occasion dessert (think holidays and special evenings). It can't help but impress those who take a bite (plus, it's surprisingly light, which is something everyone can love).

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This Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake combines two great delights—your favorite autumncoffee house drink and cheesecake. This cheesecake honestly tastes like a pumpkin spice latte, with deliciously strong flavors. The cheesecake crust is made from almonds spiced with cinnamon. A rich, but surprisingly light cheesecake filling is poured on top before it heads into the oven. The pumpkin spice flavor is prevalent when the first bite hits your tongue, followed by subtle tones of espresso. I think the most gorgeous part of this cheesecake is the representation. This is a perfect holiday or weekend treat.

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Bread Pudding with a Caramel Rum Raisin Sauce

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake

Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

Yields 9-inch cheesecake

2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease well.

In a food processor, place all ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Filling
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin works)1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 teaspoons espresso powder

In a large mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in vanilla extract and eggs. Beat in pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and espresso powder until smooth. Pour mixture on top of baked crust. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until filling is set. Cheesecake is ready to come out of the oven when the center still wobbles very slightly (the residual heat in the cheesecake will continue to bake it once out of the oven). Allow to cool completely to room temperature in pan before chilling in refrigerator until ready to serve. It is very important the cheesecake is completely cool or moisture will form on the top of the cheesecake (which means the powdered sugar part of the garnish will dissolve and leave a mess).

Powdered sugar
Whipped cream
Cinnamon sticks

When cheesecake is cool and the top is dry, lay strips of wax paper across the surface on the cheesecake in even stripes. Sift powdered sugar over the top to form a thin layer. Remove wax paper strips carefully. Place whipped cream on the center of the cheesecake, sprinkle with cinnamon, and garnish with cinnamon sticks.