My niece has a birthday in October and this became her requested birthday cake after she had it at California Pizza Kitchen. Here’s my version; it’s creamy and spicy from the ginger and the gingersnap crust. I think it’s better than the original. It may seem complicated to make but it is not hard- just takes some time but worth it, especially for a special girl!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour plus 10 minutes and 10 hours to chill
35 gingersnap cookies
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 bricks cream cheese, 8 ounces each
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup Confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Tiny squeeze lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9” springform pan by inserting the bottom and then wrapping the bottom with two layers of foil so water from the water bath will not seep in. Get a large baking pan with sides for the water bath.
For the crust: Melt butter. Put the gingersnaps and sugar in food processor until they are coarse crumbs. Add the melted butter. Toss with a fork to combine together. Press into the bottom and slightly on the sides of a buttered springform pan. Bake the crust for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t let it get too dark. Let cool on a rack.
For the filling: In a large mixing bowl, cream the cheese and sugar together on medium speed, just until creamy and light. Add the maple syrup. Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour, a little at a time. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure the first one is incorporated before adding the next one. Next, add the puree, lemon juice, spices, vanilla, and salt.
For the topping: Mix together sour cream, sugar, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Set aside for later.
Spoon the filling into the springform pan on top of the crust. Check the foil around the edges of the springform pan to make sure no water leaks in. Place the filled springform pan in the baking pan and put the baking pan in the oven. Carefully pour warm water halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until the edges are set but the middle is not quite set; it will set as it cools. Add the topping and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Carefully remove the springform pan from the water bath to a rack and let it cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen but don’t remove the sides. Cool another hour then transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 10 hours. Longer is even better. Remove the sides of the pan and let stand for 20 minutes at room temperature before slicing.