Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger & White Chocolate

The past week’s weather here in the Midwest has been absolutely spectacular! It has allowed me to wear a pair of jeans with open-toed shoes, and maybe a light sweater in the early mornings and evenings – which I LOVE. And the color in our foliage this year has been nothing short of breathtaking. Be sure to read on after the pumpkin cheesecake recipe for a fall tradition my parents started, and that I continue to this day with our own girls!


I came across a new pumpkin cheesecake recipe recently, and it was just too good to not share with you! This Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger & White Chocolate has a pumpkin cream cheese base, no crust (I didn’t know if I would like a crustless cheesecake, but I did!), and a crunchy, sweet, and salty topping. The candied ginger in the topping is especially lovely, and was the perfect way for me to try it out after purchasing a bag at Penzeys a few months ago.

I changed up the recipe quite a bit from what was featured in the Real Food Magazine that I snatched up at Byerlys a month ago. Besides adding a larger quantity and variety of fall spices, I also altered it to bake in a regular 9″x9″ pan. The recipe called for a square pan with a removable bottom, which I didn’t have, and I didn’t feel like buying. The method included in my recipe works beautifully, no special pan involved. This pumpkin cheesecake bakes and slices like a dream, and was a big hit when I brought it into the office. I know your upcoming Thanksgiving feast would welcome its presence.

Be sure to also check out my


Perfectly Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake


with a gingersnap crust!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger & White Chocolate

Yield: 12 to 16 servings


for the cheesecake filling:

  • 1 T. soft butter, for greasing pan
  • 24 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

for the topping:

  • 1/3 c. chopped white chocolate bar (about 2 oz.) – I used Ghirardelli
  • 4 T. finely chopped candied ginger – I used Penzeys
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350°.

Spray a 9'' x 9'' metal baking pan with cooking spray. Fold a 16'' long piece of foil into a 9'' x 16'' strip and place in the pan, leaving overhang on 2 opposite sides. Repeat with another sheet of foil in opposite direction, lining pan completely. Butter the surface of the foil generously with the 1 tablespoon of butter. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sour cream, and cornstarch until smooth. Add eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour cheesecake batter into prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes.

Top with white chocolate, candied ginger, and pecans. Press the toppings in gently. Bake 30 to 35 minutes longer, until mostly firm. The edges will be nicely browned and the center should jiggle just slightly. If the white chocolate is browning more than you like, place a 9'' x 9'' piece of foil lightly on the toppings after the toppings have baked on the cheesecake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight, as it really does need to cool and set. Gently lift the cheesecake out of the pan, using the overhanging foil as an aid. Cut into squares and serve.

Heavily adapted from Real Food Magazine, fall 2011. (I picked up this free – and gorgeous! – magazine at Byerlys in St. Paul.)




As much as I don’t like letting go of summer, fall is pretty hard to resist. Especially with what we’ve been blessed with lately in warm temperatures and bold pops of autumnal color.

This time of year brings about a tradition I like to uphold with our girls in the form of a fall nature walk. Back when my sisters and I were young, Dad and Mom would slide us across the bench seats in the ol’ blue Ford Galaxy and tuck a cooler, blanket, and a couple plastic ice cream pails in the trunk. We were giddy, off for a walking adventure through the groves and grasses of nearby Cottonwood Lake, a State Wildlife Management Area in the northeast corner of South Dakota.

Jessica, me, Cheryl, & Dad – 1979

This is the earliest photo I could find of our fall walks. See the bucket Dad’s carrying? That was for all our found treasures. My favorite finds were rocks with sparkles and little glass bottles (extra points if the glass was blue or green).

Dad & Mom – 1980

This photo of Dad and Mom was taken one year later. I remember vividly taking that shot, feeling so big and proud as I centered my parents in the viewfinder.

Cheryl & Jessica – 1980

My younger sisters that same year…

Hatti – 2006

Then fast forward to having children of our own. I started up the tradition again when Hatti was 4 years old. As I packed a picnic lunch, Hatti loaded her little pink backpack with goodies, including binoculars, a paper tablet, and crayons. We set off for our local park at the end of the street.

Hatti – 2006

The artist in her plopped right down in the middle of the leaf-strewn walking trail so she could do immediate leaf rubbings. I can still hear her softly humming.

“Wonder Woman” Tessa and “Athena” Hatti – 2011

This past weekend, I snapped a photo of our latest fall walk, with Hatti now having a sisterly companion, just as I did. The bucket provided a vessel for their collection of interesting finds, while Tessa’s bullet-deflecting bracelets and Hatti’s sword, coupled with her renowned wisdom and military strategy, kept me safe on the trails. The girls had been getting their Halloween costumes ready prior to our outing, and took their key pieces with. You know, to keep the bad guys away.  ;)

 Do you have a favorite fall tradition?
I’d love to hear about it! 

I’m linking up with the following this week:

Cheryl at TidyMom for I’m Lovin’ It (Check out all the PUMPKIN RECIPES!)
Allison at Alli ‘n Son for Sweet Tooth Friday (Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls!)
Robyn at Add a Pinch for Mingle Monday
Rachel at A Southern Fairytale for Mouthwatering Monday


31 Responses to “Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger & White Chocolate”

  1. #
    Carol@easytobeglutenfree — October 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I’m loving this Pumpkin Cheesecake! No crust = gluten free! Sharing this on Pinterest for my gluten free friends to see. Love the treasure hunting pics and stories too! If you like treasure hunting you should check out Geocaching! It is so much fun.

    • farmgirl replied on October 9th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

      I’m so happy you’re able to enjoy the goodness of this sweet treat. Thank you so much for sharing with your friends. I have never tried geocaching, but it definitely intrigues me. Some day!! Nice to hear from you – thanks!

  2. #
    Maria — October 7, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Oh my! This dessert is calling my name!

    • farmgirl replied on October 9th, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      Thank you, Maria. (And your pumpkin cornbread is calling my name!!)

  3. #
    Paula — October 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Your pumpkin cheesecake is a beautiful as this post. So good that you are carrying on this Fall tradition with own family. Walking in the woods is very good for the soul.

    Your penchant for collecting rocks and glass is the same as my grand-daughter Ella. She has a box full! Hatti is much like Ella as well in that Ella never leaves the house without a notepad and pencils/pens. She is always sketching and always writing down stuff.

    Enjoy the rest of this colourful season.

    • farmgirl replied on October 9th, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      I just think we need to live a whole lot closer, Paula. We’re missin’ out on hangin’ out with our families. :)

  4. #
    Mom — October 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful memories, Brenda! And the pumpkin cheesecake looks so good.

    • farmgirl replied on October 9th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks, Mom. They’re some of the most simple and best memories ever.

  5. #
    Amanda — October 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Your blog makes me happy. :) Cant wait to try this beautiful recipe!

    • farmgirl replied on October 9th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      That is one of the best comments – highest compliments – I’ve received about this blog. To know that it makes someone happy. Thanks, Amanda. xo

  6. #
    Lauren @ hey, who cut the cheese? — October 8, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    This cheesecake looks beautiful and delicious. Enjoy the rest of the fall season and treasure hunting in the woods with your girls =)

    • farmgirl replied on October 9th, 2011 at 6:44 pm

      Thank you, Lauren – thank you so much for visiting.

  7. #
    Deborah — October 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Those bars look absolutely delicious! But even more, I love the story of your fall tradition, and that you are carrying it on with your children!

    • farmgirl replied on October 10th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      So nice to meet you, Deborah – thank you – and congrats on your Rachael Ray feature!!

  8. #
    Sheryl — October 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I Love your recipe! Would you come over to Cast Party Wednesday tomorrow and share your tasty recipe with us?
    I hope to see you there!

  9. #
    Kulsum at JourneyKitchen — October 12, 2011 at 2:22 am

    you got me on with ginger and white chocolate. I don’t think I have see anything better with pumpkin so far. Love it!

  10. #
    Geni — October 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    There couldn’t be a yummier looking cheesecake anywhere in the world then on this post! WOW!!! LOVE pumpkin, LOVE cheesecake and LOVE white chocolate and nuts. I think I would be in big trouble with that around. I have an awesome $100 Amazon Gift Card give away on my blog today if you want to stop by and make a wish for the Fairy Hobmother to visit you too!

  11. #
    Liz — October 17, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Oh, my. this looks AMAZING!

  12. #
    Cheryl — November 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Those walks were the best, most simple pleasures. I can still remember digging those stocking caps out of the bench in the entry way and the way they smelled when we put them on.

    • farmgirl replied on November 3rd, 2011 at 6:13 am

      mmmm…I can smell those caps, too…

  13. #
    Rae Potter — February 21, 2012 at 2:26 am

    Cant wait to try this beautiful recipe! So good that you are carrying on this Fall tradition with own family. I just think we need to live a whole lot closer, Paula.


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