How to make cheesecake even better? Include sweetpotatoes, of course! Sweetpotato puree helps avoid cracking—which means this cheesecake is not only creamy-sweet, laced-with-spice delicious, it’s also practically foolproof!

Serve it for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, you name it—this is a spectacular dessert that deserves a regular spot on your holiday table.

Sweetpotato Cheesecake with Gingered Whipped Cream - for web site.jpg

Sweetpotato Cheesecake with Gingered Whipped Cream

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients:
8 ounces (about 32 cookies) gingersnap cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus softened butter buttering pan
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice or pumpkin pie spice blend
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups orange-fleshed sweetpotato puree (from about 2 pounds sweetpotatoes—here’s how to make sweetpotato puree)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered or confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup chopped candied, sugared, or crystallized ginger, plus more for garnish (see note)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Meanwhile, use softened butter to coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Place the pan on a 12-inch square of foil and wrap the foil up the sides of the pan (to keep it leakproof). Set aside.

  3. Also while the oven is preheating, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cookies until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until well blended. Transfer to the prepared pan and press it into the bottom.

  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside on a wire rack to cool completely.

  5. When the crust is cool, in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar, ground ginger, five-spice blend, and salt and beat on medium just until smooth, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs, beating just until smooth. Add the sweetpotato puree, sour cream, and vanilla, beating just until smooth, scraping the bowl as necessary.

  6. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust. Place the springform pan inside a larger pan (a roasting pan, for example, or a 10- to 12-inch cake pan) and transfer to the oven. Use a spouted pitcher to pour very hot tap water into the larger pan, enough to reach about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the edges are set and slightly puffy and the center is still a little wobbly, 45 to 50 minutes.

  7. Remove the springform pan and set aside on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edges of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan and cool to room temperature, at least 1 hour.

  8. Cover the cheesecake (still in the pan) and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

  9. When ready to serve, in the bowl of a stand mixer using the whip attachment or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the candied ginger.

  10. Top the cheesecake with the whipped cream, garnish with additional candied ginger, and serve.

Note: Candied ginger can be found in the spice section of most major supermarkets, but it’s usually less expensive if you find it in the Asian or ethnic section or with the bulk foods.

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