Chef Kozinko’s recipe for the perfect pumpkin cheesecake

Pumpkin cheesecake

Pumpkin cheesecake

Makes two six inch cakes



4 cups graham wafer, processed to fine crumb

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Combine wafer crumbs and butter, blend to incorporate. Press into two six inch spring form pans.

Bake at 315F for roughly 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.



½ cup sour cream

2 cups cream cheese

¾ cup pumpkin puree

¾ tbsp. fresh ginger, grated

¾ tsp. ground cinnamon

1/3 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

4 eggs


Combine sour cream and cornstarch, whisk till smooth. Using the paddle attachment of a counter top mixer, beat cream cheese till soft. Scrape bowl then add sugar and continue to beat to form a smooth lump free mixture. Add sour cream mixture and spices and finish by adding eggs two at a time, scraping bowl in between.

Pour onto base and bake at 300F for roughly 45 minutes. When baked the cheesecake should have a slight wobble when gently shaken.

 Chef Kozinko’s super-secret suggestions

• Prepare your own pumpkin puree. Purchase sugar pumpkins from your local farmers market, split and remove seeds. Place cut side down on parchment lined sheet pan, roast in a preheated 350F degree oven for 30 – 45 minutes until fork tender. Remove skin with the back of a spoon and puree flesh in a blender or food processor until silky smooth.

• Use yam puree if you’re not into pumpkin.

• Buy whole spices. Lightly toast in a 325F degree oven until aromatic, allow to cool then grind in a spice mill or coffee grinder.

• Caramelize the cheesecake by topping with vanilla sugar and browning with a brulée torch.