Pumpkin Hazelnut Cheesecake

What’s that you say? You need one more holiday dessert to choose from? Ok. Yep. I got ya covered. This takes a nod from one of my first posts on DisplacedHousewife. It was a Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake and it went CRAZY on Instagram. It might have been my first recipe to do so. I wanted to reinvent her this year. So we use hazelnuts in the crust and because we were feeling extra decadent we sandwiched a nice layer of chocolate hazelnut spread between the crust and the pumpkin.

This is my second post in collaboration with Diamond of California. We have a year-long partnership that I’m super excited about and until we started working together I didn’t realize how often I reach for nuts for texture and flavor when baking. I have one more holiday sweet recipe coming up in December with them and then after the start of the year I will do some savory posts. Perhaps something healthy to start the year off right? An appetizer for Super Bowl? Let me know your thoughts/requests via email, DM or leave a note below!

This is my first year in as long as I can remember that I’m not actually hosting Thanksgiving dinner…I’m equally crushed and relieved. Sometimes we just feel too busy, am I right? So to that end, I’m SUPER excited to sit on my mom’s couch, sip wine, eat too many appetizers and stuff myself on mash potatoes, gravy, stuffing and dessert. Because those are my basic Thanksgiving food groups. What are you guys looking forward to eating? Drinking? Doing?

Before We Get Started:

  • Hazelnuts. I didn’t bother skinning them. It was completely unnecessary in the crust and I think they look pretty on top with the darker + lighter colors showing. I used raw and unsalted hazelnuts.
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. You can buy it at the store or make your own. Try this recipe here!
  • Timing. Cheesecake isn’t intensive to make, but you need to allow time at certain steps. We need to drain the pumpkin on paper towels to get rid of some of the excess moisture; let the crust cool a bit before smearing on the hazelnut spread; let the finished cheesecake cool in the turned-off oven; let it cool some more on the countertop; and finally, I recommend at least several hours or ideally overnight to chill in the fridge. The work of making the cheesecake is minimal but do allow extra time for these steps.
  • Mixing. Always mix your cheesecake filling on low to minimize the potential for cracks. To that end, have all of your ingredients at room temperature to facilitate easy mixing.
  • Water Bath. Don’t skip it. It may sound like a pain but it’s really not. It helps keep the cheesecake nice and moist and, again, crack free.
  • Necessities. You’ll need a large roasting pan or casserole dish to place your cheesecake in while baking, so have that handy. Additionally, you’ll need a 9-inch springform for the cheesecake. I have made cheesecakes in regular cake pans which will work fine, it will just be A LOT harder to get it out and make nice, gorgeous slices.
  • Clean Slices. Use a very sharp knife and clean it in between cuts for razor-sharp slices.

Let’s make some holiday magic, shall we?

Pumpkin Hazelnut Cheesecake

Serves 8-12

INGREDIENTS

For the Cheesecake

  • 15 ounces (1 3/4 cups) pureed pumpkin (pure pumpkin, not pie filling)
  • 8 (about 4.5 ounces) whole graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 14 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To Garnish

  • Hazelnuts
  • Sea salt flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Spread the pumpkin puree on a couple of layers of paper towels to get rid of any excess moisture. Let drain for several hours.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch nonstick springform pan. Put a kettle on to heat up some water. You’ll need this for your water bath.
  3. Put the graham crackers, hazelnuts and brown sugar in a food processor fitted with the blade and pulse until the mixture becomes a fine crumb. Drizzle melted butter on top and pulse until just mixed and resembles wet sand. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform. Place the crust in the center of the oven for 10 minutes or until it starts to turn a little golden. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, spread the chocolate hazelnut spread over the crust, wrap the bottom of the springform pan in two layers of foil and set in the center of a roasting pan.
  4. Increase your oven temperature to 400 F.
  5. Put the cream cheese and granulated sugar in an electric-stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low until smooth. A couple of notes here… First, if you don’t have an electric-stand mixer you can use your beautiful arms and a spatula to beat it into submission. Second, you don’t want to add too much air, at any point, into this creamy mixture. Too much air can make unsightly cracks on your cheesecake. Thus keep it to a low-speed beating as much as possible. Once the cream cheese is smooth, add the salt, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Scrape the pumpkin off of the paper towels and in with the cream cheese mixture. Mix until completely combined taking care to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl so that everything is incorporated (do this periodically). Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure they are completely blended before adding the next. Lastly, add in the cream and vanilla. If you have any rogue bits that are still in chunks, smash them against the bowl to smooth out or you can pass the mixture through a sieve to eradicate any chunks. Pour the mixture on top of the hazelnut spread and place the roasting pan in the center of the oven.
  6. Pour your boiling water in the roasting pan being careful not to get any water in the springform pan with your cheesecake. Fill to about 1 cm up the side of the cheesecake pan. Should be about 3 to 4 cups of water.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the temperature to 250 F and bake for 1 hour more.
  8. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 30 minutes, with the door open. Transfer to the counter to cool for several hours more. Once cool to the touch, wrap tightly and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  9. When ready to serve, take the side of the springform pan off…you may need a knife to gently run along the side. Periodically clean the knife with a damp cloth to keep everything as clean and smooth as possible. Follow this advice when cutting slices. Garnish the top with raw hazelnuts + sea salt flakes. Thank you for making this cheesecake! Please tag me @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your smooth as buttah cheesecakes!!! xoxo

A huge thank you to Diamond of California for sponsoring this post and giving me an excuse to make what are now my favorite breakfast buns! All content, ideas and views are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me in the kitchen! 

Wishing you all a WONDERFUL holiday week. I hope it’s filled with lots of love and cheer and happiness!!! xoxo

 

16 Comments

  • Erin Clarkson 2017/12/03 at 2:59 PM

    Ooooooh Becky this looks YUM! I am kinda scared of baked cheesecakes – I’ve only made one and the water bath leaked and it was sog central, but I think I need to get my big girl pants on and try again! xx

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/12/04 at 2:22 PM

      The leaking water bath is the WORST!!!!! You just need a really good springform and tightly wrap the crap out of it in foil…someone told me you could do a cheesecake in an Instant Pot and I was like, wait, what? Does that mean it wouldn’t have leak concerns??? …You need to revisit the cheesecake — they’re so much fun!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Laura | Tutti Dolci 2017/12/01 at 11:24 PM

    Prettiest cheesecake ever! Love the hazelnut crust (can that be mandatory for all cheesecake from here on out?!) :)

    Reply
  • hilmopaige 2017/11/26 at 2:48 AM

    Love this – all of your thanksgiving dessert options were beautiful and inspiring!! Can’t wait to see what else you create in the coming month…xoxox

    Reply
  • Natalie 2017/11/21 at 5:14 PM

    Oh this cake looks simply awesome!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/11/22 at 7:23 PM

      Thank you so much Natalie!! Happy Thanksgiving!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen 2017/11/20 at 8:36 PM

    As much as I love hosting, it’s nice once in awhile to sit back and relax! I’m sure this cheesecake will fly right off the table. It looks absolutely delicious Rebecca. I LOVE the added decadence with the chocolate hazelnut spread. Now that the stretchy pants are out, why not, right?! Hope you, Stella and Gavin, and your entire family have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! XO

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/11/21 at 2:02 PM

      Oh the stretchy pants are out for sure!!!! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving Mary Ann!!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Amisha 2017/11/20 at 7:54 PM

    OMG !!! Stunner as always! I am loving both your cheesecake recipes! I love that you used hazelnuts in your crust – such a beautiful rich texture it would provide I am sure! and your pictures are gorggggg!!! I love that last shot especially.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/11/21 at 1:57 PM

      You’re so sweet — thank you Amisha!!!! I love putting nuts in this type of crust — it does add such nice texture and flavor. Happiest of Thanksgivings to you!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Traci | Vanilla And Bean 2017/11/20 at 7:47 PM

    I’ve not made cheesecake in far too long.. doesn’t mean I’ve not been thinking about it, though. I looove how you’ve combined hazelnuts, brown sugar and pumpkin. Absolutely scrumptious Becca! Really I get it – relieved and crushed. Sitting on the couch sipping wine.. I’m SO with you! Rob, I and et al are going out to a farm to table local restaurant/bistro – I feel completely pampered over Thanksgiving because we just take a break from it all. A bit of a staycation if you will. I’ve come to look forward to it SO much (more than I used to due to years of hosting – burnout if you will)! Eating? Pie, pie, pie, drinking a lot of sangria oh and making and eating all the appetizers pre thanksgiving dinner! Happy Thanksgiving my dear! xo

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/11/21 at 1:55 PM

      That sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving Traci — wishing you the best holiday week!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Asha Shivakumar 2017/11/20 at 7:16 PM

    Wow Rebecca!!! This looks gorgeous and love all the moody pictures. I am a big huge fan of pumkin desserts and this one is no exception. Love the use of all the spices here.
    xx

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/11/21 at 1:54 PM

      Hi Asha!! I am such a big fan of pumpkin desserts — I’m loving the cake you just did. Happy Thanksgiving to you!!! xo

      Reply
  • Josh 2017/11/20 at 5:15 PM

    Wow!! This looks great!

    Reply

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