Let’s try a little social experiment. I am going to attach an electrode to your head. And then I am going to present you with two different phrases. I will then measure the neural activity that accompanies each phrase.



Pumpkin cheesecake.

Waits thirty seconds.

Bourbon pumpkin cheesecake.
Mmmhmmm yes it was just as I suspected. You have alcohol-induced post-tetanic hyperpolarization. A very common syndrome that afflicts 99.9% of the adult population (and quite a few minors) in which the mention of any alcoholic substance in conjunction with a food induces a greater neurological response than the mention of the food alone. (Here is where you all breath a collective sigh of relief and think to yourself Oh good, maybe she IS learning something at that school. Other than how to bake artisan breads in 5 minutes a day. I will not disillusion you. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.)

The good news? This is NOT, I repeat NOT fatal.

The bad news? There is no known cure. Except possibly to gorge yourself on so much cheesecake that you become desensitized to it. But this would be quite a dangerous undertaking. Very few have done it and lived to tell the tale.

And sad, because is it actually worth living if you can’t enjoy a good slice of cheesecake with your Thanksgiving dinner? I think not.
I am proud to say that this was actually the most successful of all the Thanksgiving desserts. The crust was my absolute favorite part. I sat at the table after everyone had eaten their slices picking at the little bits that were left behind.

Don’t judge me.

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake
Serves about 16, found via Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Gourmet

For crust

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from five 4 3/4- by 2 1/4-inch crackers)
  • 1/2 cup pecans (1 3/4 ounces), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For filling

  • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (I used one can)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (NOT optional)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature (I used reduced fat cream cheese)

For topping

  • 2 cups sour cream (20 ounces) (I used reduced fat)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (Again, NOT optional)

Make crust:

Invert bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (to create flat bottom, which will make it easier to remove cake from pan), then lock on side and grease pan. NOTE – I used a 10-inch springform pan.

Stir together crumbs, pecans, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined well. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of pan, then chill crust, 1 hour.

Make filling and bake cheesecake:
Put oven rack in middle position and Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl until combined.

Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.

Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks). Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes. (Leave oven on.)

Make topping:
Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 minutes.

Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours.

Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Remove side of pan and bring to room temperature before serving.

FURTHER NOTES – I made this a day in advance and it kept very well in the fridge. I also did not bring it to room temperature before serving. No harm, no foul.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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40 Responses to Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake

  1. Cucinista says:

    There was some drooling going on while I read this. I think we need to try the electric shock thing again to snap me out of my bourbon pumpkin cheesecake induced catatonic state.

  2. monicajane says:

    I’m not a dessert eater (or maker) but this does indeed make me want to change that!

    My husband is a cheesecake fan too…

    and yeah, I suffer from alcohol-induced post-tetanic hyperpolarization even tho I don’t drink…go figure…

  3. Palidor says:

    That looks delicious. I am very impressed at how evenly spaced those pecans are. I am spatially-inept and if I had decorated your cheesecake, it would not look nearly that pretty.

  4. Uh, can I say yum? (Yes, I can!) I’ve actually still got stockpiles of canned pumpkin from the panic around Cupcake Hero time, so this is definitely going on the to-do list. You are too cute with that “syndrome” :).

  5. Jo- It is totally true! When I saw the title of this post, I was instantly intrigued, and had a higher confidence in this recipe because of the ‘bourbon.’ The recipe looks stellar!

  6. Lea Ann says:

    I don’t need no stinkin electrodes, I’ve had alcohol-induced post-tetanic hyperpolarization for years. How funny and this looks fabulous.

  7. Amy says:

    You had me at cheesecake. Pumpkin, Bourbon…doesn’t matter. Pie and cheesecake – my two weaknesses, and the reason I exercise daily!

  8. Why yes, I do believe I am suffering from alcohol-induced post-tetanic hyperpolarization syndrome – and it’s all your fault Joanne! I don’t think it was hearing the words that it though, I’m pretty sure it was seeing it. It looks so scrumptious that I can actually taste it! YUMMY!

  9. what a great recipe… and no cure needed if you have no disease

  10. Beautiful! I’ve had a bourbon pecan pie and now am looking forward to trying this bourbon pumpkin cheesecake – sounds fantastic!

  11. Pam says:

    I didn’t even have to read past the title, to know that I was bookmarking this!

  12. teresa says:

    lol, NOT optional, i love it! this really looks good, a must try!

  13. Karine says:

    Hahaha 🙂

    That looks to be an amazing cheesecake!

  14. SE(Denufood) says:

    have no idea about what alcohol-induced post-tetanic hyperpolarization syndrome is, but the cheesecake looks delicious and yummy…

  15. Yup, the bourbon got me! I’ll be saving this one 🙂

  16. Jen says:

    yum!! I also made pumpkin cheescake this year!! 🙂

  17. I am so drooling over this recipe! I am marking it for a future baking day.

  18. Mari says:

    Wow I might make this for myself lol…just when I think that you cant top yourself lol

  19. Donna-FFW says:

    Id take that sickness;) to be able to gorge freely on this. Fantastic!

  20. Sophia says:

    Haha, this sure beats pumpkin pie! I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie to tell you the truth…but this sounds wonderful, with a great kick to it!

  21. Graziana says:

    Wow I will prepare this cheesecake for the next thanksgiving! (and maybe this week too, you know, just to try it…)

  22. Katy ~ says:

    Yep, the alcohol thing caught my eye and got my tastebuds all excited. I admit it. I need help (or should I say a helping LOL!!!)

  23. I would eat it cold too, i like cheesecake that way. What great flavours! Bring on the booze!!

  24. oh wow what a fantastic cheesecake, tweeted it right now! or by the way a group of us are meeting in NYC friday 12.30am chef E, Christine from fresh local and best if you want to join

    Rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com

    Love Rebecca

  25. I just made a non-baked lemon cheesecake but your baked cheesecake looks absolutely fabulous! It makes my mouth water now…..

  26. Erica says:

    Wow! What a great combinations! Delicious dessert.

  27. Can we do Thanksgiving over so I can make this pie?

  28. Kelsey says:

    Bourbon makes everything better!!

  29. That looks awesome! I may try that to bring for Christmas but use a ready made graham cracker crust instead?

    Thanks for posting the recipe Joanne and glad you had a great Thanksgiving!

  30. Kim says:

    You are too funny! 😀

    This is such a lovely dessert and I bet the bourbon did add terrific flavor!

  31. Debbie says:

    What a great dessert! It looks absolutely delicious…wish I had a slice right now!

  32. Will you write the leads to my posts, please? I will make, just for you, a double bourbon Please be my ghost writer.

    How did you get so clever and you cook too and run!!!!!!! The perfect woman.

    Now that I have gone on, this is a recipe, I would like to make. How about for Chanukah? I would be the hit of the party. I am seriously thinking about this. I was going to make some chocolate delight but now I am wondering.

  33. Juliana says:

    Very funny I like the “NOT optional” on the bourbon 🙂 Anyway, the pumpkin cheesecake looks delicious…and nicely decorated!

  34. Oh my, does that sound like a perfect ending to the holiday meal!

  35. Little Inbox says:

    Got to learn the crust recipe from you. 😛

  36. Debinhawaii says:

    That is one gorgeous cheesecake! I would never judge you for picking the crust! 😉

  37. OH. MY. This looks absolutely scrumptious! I’d be picking at the crust with you and at whatever was left! If there was any…

  38. Sophie says:

    OOoooh,….Aaaaaah,….this cheese cake looks divine, Joanne!!

    So lovely,…MMMMMMM!!!

  39. Kerstin says:

    Wow, this looks absolutely fabulous! Pumpkin cheesecake is the best, and I’m sure the Bourbon takes it to a whole new level!

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