Martin Sheen’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

Martin Sheen's Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is a gorgeous cheesecake, beautifully spiced. Garnish with salted caramel sauce for a spectacular finiish!




  • whole graham crackers, broken (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoon butter, melted


  • (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • large eggs, at room temperature
  • (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Recommended Garnishes:

  • 1 cup whipping cream whipped with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • Salted caramel drizzle, homemade or store-bought
  • Several crushed gingersnaps


Equipment: 10″ springform pan, wide heavy-duty aluminum foil, roasting or another pan large enough to accommodate springform pan. Large star tip and piping tip or Ziploc bag to garnish. (Note, my roasting pan, when filled with water, does not come up to 1/2 the level of the cheesecake and it turns out just fine.)

To make the Crust:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor. Process until the graham crackers are very finely ground. Drizzle the melted butter over and pulse until the crumbs begin to stick together. Press the crumbs over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake in the middle of the oven with one layer of heavy-duty foil (large enough to wrap the cheesecake in later) on the shelf below the crust. Bake until the crust is slightly golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool while preparing the filling.

To make the Filling:

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Beat the eggs on low speed, one at a time, stopping to scrape well after each addition and beating only enough to incorporate each egg. Add the pumpkin and the remaining ingredients and beat until just mixed. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Place the springform pan on two layers of wide heavy-duty aluminum foil (use the one in the oven for one layer) and carefully wrap. Place into a large roasting pan and add to oven. Carefully pour hot water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake until the filling is slightly puffed and softly set (it should jiggle ever so slightly in the center and the edges should be firm) and the top is lightly golden but not browned, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool. (Note: I found it easiest to turn off the oven and leave the door open until the hot cheesecake and water had cooled to a reasonable temperature to handle.)

Let Cheesecake sit on wire rack until cool, then carefully run a thin knife between the pan and the cheesecake. Transfer to refrigerator. Once the cheesecake has cooled in the refrigerator, cover, and chill overnight.

When ready to serve, carefully dab any moisture that may have accumulated on the cheesecake with a clean towel or paper product. Release the springform pan and serve in wedges, garnished as desired.

Recommended Garnishes:

To whip cream, place cold cream in a cold bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and cornstarch and continue to beat until stiff peaks. Add to piping bag with a large star tip. Carefully pipe rosettes, one in each anticipated slice. For instance, if dividing cheesecake into 12 slices, pipe twelve rosettes. Mentally (or lightly mark) cheesecake into 4 quadrants. Pipe four rosettes on top, close to the edge of the cheesecake at each of those four lines. Then fill in the rest.

Drizzle each serving with Salted Caramel Sauce, and garnish with crushed gingersnaps.

Note: Cheesecake ingredients are exactly as published, the directions have been changed up to clarify and prevent any possible cracking as the cheesecake cools. Garnishes are my suggestions.

Keywords: best american recipes, Cheesecake, Cream, Cream Cheese, Desserts, Pumpkin, graham crackers, gingersnaps

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