It’s my favorite time of the year. Those who know me, know that I Fall is my season bar none. Though Fall officially started a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that I’ve yet to post any Fall-related recipes. Well, that changes today. I’m sharing my version of a beloved fall staple. Cinnamon rolls! Now, there are tons of recipes out there for cinnamon rolls. But, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. If I’m going to make a cinnamon roll, it’s going to have to hit all the marks. So, what makes a great cinnamon roll? In my opinion, it should be soft, tall, fluffy, golden, full of flavor and topped with a delicious glaze. I didn’t want to share a cinnamon roll recipe until I feel like I nailed all those points. After much research and testing, I believe I’ve arrived at the pinnacle of cinnamon roll goodness. I’m happy to share it with you!
Pumpkin is quite controversial. You either love it or hate it. There is no in-between. Well, if you hate pumpkin, then you’ll want to hide under a rock for the next few months. Why? Because, it’s pumpkin season, that’s why! Luckily for me, I love pumpkin. Funny thing is, I used to hate it. True story. It wasn’t until I tried a pumpkin pie while in culinary school that I fell in love with it. I’ve been a convert ever since. If you’re a pumpkin lover AND a cheesecake lover like me, then you’ll definitely want to try this delicious pumpkin swirl cheesecake. It not only looks beautiful, but the taste is OH MY GOD, out of this world. It’s like taking a big bite of Fall. What more can you ask for?
Combine all the crust ingredients together and mix until the crumbs resemble wet sand and it clumps together in your hands when pressed together. Set aside.
Okay, I know you’re going to hate me for this, but you’ll have to trust me when I say this. Ditch the springform pan. It’s really not necessary. I’ve worked in professional kitchens as a pastry chef in hotels, bakeries and restaurants. Nowhere in any of those kitchens, did I see someone use a springform pan to bake their cheesecakes in. They all had something in common. There was no fancy pan. They all used the trusty old cake pan. That’s right…if you have a cake pan, you can make a cheesecake. In my case, I’m using an 8″ pan, because I’m feeding myself. You also have the option to use a 10″ cake pan which will give you a little bit more room for the batter. Anyway, trust me if you prep a cake pan the right way, you’ll get great results. Prepare the cake pan by brushing on the pan grease in a light coating on the bottom and sides. Cover the bottom with a parchment circle and brush the pan grease on top of the parchment circle. Set to the side.
Pour the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Begin to flatten the crust with your hands and then use the bottom of a measuring cup to evenly flatten the crust. Make sure you get the edges. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Set aside and let it cool at room temp.
Begin to smooth the softened cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until smooth.
Stop the mixer and scrape. It’s important to scrape the bowl and paddle thoroughly throughout this process. We want ensure we get no lumps in the batter. It’s also important you don’t turn the mixer on above medium low through the process. Also, be aware not to over-mix. The last thing we want to do is incorporate air. Add in the sugar in a steady stream. Mix for a couple minutes on medium low speed. Stop mixer. Scrape really well.
Add in the salt and lemon zest and mix until incorporated. Scrape. Add in the sour cream and mix well for about a minute or so. Stop mixer and scrape well. Add in the lemon juice, mix well for about a minute. Stop the mixer. Scrape well.
Combine the eggs and vanilla. Add the eggs/vanilla mixture into the batter in four stages. Allow the eggs to thoroughly incorporate before adding in the next addition. Stop the mixer. Scrape paddle and bowl really well.
Begin mixing on low speed and add in the heavy cream in a steady stream. Mix to incorporate for about minute or so. Stop mixer and scrape paddle and bowl well.
Pour out 1 1/2 cups of batter into a bowl and set aside. Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice into the remaining batter in stand mixer all in at once. Mix on low speed for about a minute or so. Stop the mixer and scrape bowl and paddle well.
Pour the pumpkin cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Tap and shake the pan to allow the excess air bubbles to come up.
Use a small measuring cup, I use a 1/4 cup measure cup, to pour small amounts of regular cheesecake batter in random patterns over the pumpkin cheesecake batter. Use an offset spatula or knife to swirl. I do an up-down, across and up-down pattern. It creates a wonderful marble look. Tap and shake to remove excess air. Prepare a water bath. The easiest way is to place a large pan with water into the oven. Alternatively, you can place a pan in the oven and pour boiling water into it. The water should come up a 1/4 of the way up the sides of the cake pan.
Bake at 350°F for a half-hour, turn the oven down to 325°F and bake for another 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cook for another 5-10 minutes. It’s important to not overcook it. The outer 2″edges should be firmly set. The middle should be jiggly still, but if you touch it with your finger, it shouldn’t be a liquid. Your cheesecake may take more or less than an hour to bake. All ovens run at different temperatures. That’s why the jiggle test is so important. That’s the key to determining doneness.
After it comes out of the oven, let it cool to room temperature. Wrap well with saran wrap and aluminium and place pan in fridge to cool overnight. Make sure saran doesn’t touch the surface of the cheesecake.
The next day, to unmold the cheesecake from the pan, dip the bottom of the pan in boiling hot water and leave there for a minute or so. You can also run the bottom over a flame on the stove. My favorite method is using a blowtorch. It’s a great investment. Trust me. If you’re using a blowtorch, run it all over the sides while turning the pan. Flip the pan over and run it over the bottom of the pan (which should now be the top), constantly moving the flame. Flip it back over and use a cake board covered with parchment and place over the top of the cheesecake. Flip the pan over, the cheesecake should pop right out.
Use another cake board and place on the top (bottom) of the cheesecake. Use it to flip the cheesecake over.
From here, you’re done! It’s beautiful as is. I like to go the extra mile though and decorate it. I just pipped whipped cream rosettes, sprinkled leftover crust crumbs and white chocolate shavings over the top of the whipped cream. The fun thing is you can decorate as you wish. Get creative!
See how I do it:
- 10 oz Gingersnap Cookies
- 1 oz Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- Cheesecake Batter:
- 1.5 lbs (Three 8 oz packages), Softened Cream Cheese
- 6 oz Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
- 5 whole eggs, room temp
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream, room temp
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (puree)
In one bowl, combine all your ingredients for the crust and combine until it resembles wets sand and clumps together when pressed between hands. Set aside.
Prep the 8" or 10" cake pan by brushing some of the pan grease all over the bottom and sides of the inside of the pan. Place a parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and brush the top of the parchment paper with the grease.
Dump the crust ingredients into the pan. Pat the crumbs until they reach the sides and are even across the bottom. Use your hands at first to pat the crumbs down, then use the bottom of a measuring cup to pat the crumbs down evenly across the bottom. Make sure the edges are even as well. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Let it cool after baking. Set aside.
Start by having all your ingredients at room temperature and pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
Mix the cream cheese on low for about a couple of minutes, stopping halfway through to scrape bowl and paddle thoroughly. It should be smooth.
Gradually add in the granulated sugar and mix until sugar is blended in, about 2 minutes after adding all the sugar in. Scrape.
Add in the lemon zest and salt and mix until combined on medium low speed for about a minute. Scrape.
Add in the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Scrape.
Combine the eggs and vanilla in a bowl. Add the eggs/vanilla mixture into the batter in four additions. Let it mix properly before adding the next batch. Scrape well in-between each addition.
Slowly pour in the heavy cream and mix until combined. Scrape.
Add the lemon juice and mix until combined. Scrape.
Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the cheesecake batter. Leave the rest in the stand mixer.
Add in the canned pumpkin, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice all at once and mix until combined for a minute or so on medium low speed.
Pour the batter on top of the crust into the prepared crust. Tap and shake pan to release the air bubbles.
Start adding in the regular batter on top of the pumpkin batter using a 1/4 cup. Pour in various spots on top.
Use a knife or offset spatula and swirl. Use an up-down movement, across and then up-down again. You should get a beautiful marble look.
Tap and shake to release air bubbles.
Prepare a water bath. Fill a large pan, that you can fit the cake pan in with 5 or more cups of hot water. The water should come up at least 1/4 of the way up the sides of the cake pan.
Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325°F for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and keep the cheesecake in there for about 10 minutes. The key is don't over-bake. Check at the 40 minute mark. The outer edge, 2" out should be firm and set, the center should be jiggly like jello, but if you touch it, not be liquid.
Remove from oven and let it cool to room temp.
Wrap well in saran wrap, making sure the wrap doesn't touch the surface of the cheesecake. Cover the pan in aluminum foil as well.
To unmold, run a hot knife around the sides of the cheesecake in one swift motion. Unmold with hot water, stove top or a blowtorch. See the video to see how it's done. Decorate as you please. Use a hot knife and wipe between each cut for a clean slice of cheesecake.
Use canned pumpkin (puree). NOT pumpkin pie mix. For unmolding, you'll need parchment paper and two cake boards. Hot water, a flame or a blowtorch are options to use for unmolding. You'll need a scale for this recipe. I also recommend a blowtorch for unmolding. Invest in these valuable tools. It's important to keep a cheesecake refrigerated at all times. The waterbath is important to achieve a perfectly baked cheesecake. Don't skip it!
I hate hyperbole. You’ll never see me claim that any of my recipes are the best of anything. Why? Well, I’m a firm believer that there are so many great recipes out there and so many improvements and variations that can be made. Because of that, it’s really hard to claim anything is the best anything. Bloggers and YouTubers only claim the best this and the best that for clicks. That’s the secret everyone is in on. So, instead, I’ll say that this is my favorite pumpkin roll recipe. It’s the Libby’s pumpkin roll recipe. The one you see everywhere. There is a very good reason why this recipe is so popular. It produces an uber moist fluffy roll cake. It’s easy to execute and the taste is so great. It’s really a no-fail recipe. So, while I would claim this is most likely the best pumpkin roll recipe, my self-imposed rules, will only allow me to claim this as my favorite pumpkin roll recipe.
So it’s important that we prep our baking sheets first. One of the baking sheets, we’ll line with parchment, grease with cooking spray and dust with some flour. The second baking sheet, we’ll invert and place a piece of parchment on top. We’ll dust generously with some powdered sugar. Some people prefer the towel method, so if you’re used to doing it that way, go ahead. But, I prefer just using another piece of parchment to roll the cake in.
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Begin by beating the eggs and sugar until it becomes paler in color and thicker. About five minutes.
Add in the pumpkin and mix until combined.
Add in the vanilla and spices and mix until combined.
Dump in the dry ingredients and food them in until just combined. Don’t overdo it, but make sure the flour is absorbed.
Pour the batter into the greased and floured baking sheet. Use an offset spatula to spread evenly.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched.
Once out of the oven, loose the sides with an offset and turn over on the inverted baking sheet with the parchment dusted in the powdered sugar. Carefully peel off the parchment on top.
Use the parchment on the bottom and roll slowly and tightly on the narrow side. Let it cool until completely cool.
Make your filling by combining your filling ingredients and beating until combined.
Use the parchment to unroll slowly. Spread the filling evenly. Make sure you get to the edges too.
Reroll using the parchment. Cover with saran wrap and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Just cut the roll in half and dust with confectioners sugar. Enjoy!
See how I do it:
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle onto parchment or towel)
- 1 tablespoon flour (to sprinkle on the other piece of parchment paper)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
- 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (add more to adjust sweetness)
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest from 1 orange or 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream (add more to adjust consistency)
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper or parchment paper. Grease with cooking spray and dust the paper with the flour. If you're using a towel, dust the towel with the powdered sugar. Or invert a baking sheet and cover with a piece of parchment on top and dust with the powdered sugar. Set to the side.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in a large mixer bowl until thick and paler in color. Beat in pumpkin. Dump in the flour mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula until just combined, but most of the flour is absorbed.
Spread evenly into prepared pan with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with nuts if you're including nuts.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel or the inverted sheet of parchment. Carefully peel off paper on top. Using the towel or piece of parchment slowly begin to roll up cake tightly, but gently starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack until completely cool.
For the filling:
Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add in the sifted confectioner's sugar, spices and vanilla and beat until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake using the parchment paper or towel to help you along. Wrap in plastic wrap, set on a baking sheet and refrigerate at least one hour. Make sure the seam side is down!
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Will keep in the freezer for about a month or the fridge for about a week. Use as much powdered sugar as needed to ensure the cake won't stick.
Salted caramel sauce is pure bliss. Don’t believe me? You will after you taste this then. Caramel sauce is one of those items that many people avoid making at home, because they think it’s way too difficult. Well trust me, it’s not. If it was, I wouldn’t make it either. But who knew, you could elevate something already delicious in it’s own right like caramel sauce? Well, salted caramel sauce is caramel multiplied by 100. It is out of this world good. The flavor combination is amazing alone, but dip some chocolate in there and you have your own slice of heaven. I’m seriously not exaggerating here. If you don’t think you like caramel, then you need make your own at home. It will turn you to a convert in no time.
Making caramel at home is not difficult, despite what some may have you believe. There are a few keys to success though. First, have all your ingredients at room temperature. Since we’re using butter and heavy cream, it’s important to make sure these ingredients are at room temp rather than being cold. Cold ingredients plus hot caramel equals a big no-no. Secondly, be prepared! (side note: that’s one of my favorite Disney songs.) What I mean by being prepared is having all your ingredients not only measured out all the way, but to also have them all by your saucepan ready to go. I’m talking having everything near you. The pastry brush, whisk, rubber spatula, etc. Everything.You also want to prepare yourself by reading the recipe completely a few times and really understand the process before beginning. Thirdly, wet the sides. This is important step. If you don’t wet the sides with your pastry brush throughout the process, you will have a grainy caramel. Consider that your first and only warning!
First, you want to use a heavy-bottom sauce pan and turn on the stove-top to medium heat. Combine the sugar and water in the saucepan. Ensure that the sugar is submerged in the water. Begin to cook the sugar, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
Once the sugar dissolves completely, leave the mixture alone on medium-high heat. Let it cook for anywhere from 5 to 13 minutes. During this cooking period, make sure you don’t stir! Leave it alone. You should brush the sides with water from time to time though. This will ensure the sugars on the side won’t crystallize and fall in your caramel.
Let it boil until it reaches a golden brown color. Don’t take it off too early, even though you’ll be tempted. Make sure to look at the bubble’s color. Should be a golden brown nearly, instead of the light amber color. It will bubble. Don’t worry about that.
Once the color is reached, take it off the heat and immediately drizzle in slowly, the heavy cream, while whisking constantly. This will cause the caramel to bubble, but that’s normal. Whisk in the butter in pieces and whisk until fully incorporated. Whisk in the salt and then the vanilla.
Pour the caramel into a different bowl and let it cool slightly. Then move it to your storage container and cover for up to two weeks refrigerated. It will thicken as it cools. Re-heat by microwaving carefully or submerging a heat-proof container full of caramel into simmering water.
See how I do it:
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Make sure the sugar is submerged in the water. Over medium high heat, stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to bubble. Make sure you use a slightly bigger saucepan than what you think you may need.
Increase to a medium-high to high heat and leave it alone. Don't stir at this point at all. Make sure during this period, you brush the sides with water to ensure the sugar doesn't crystallize. Let the mixture boil until it reaches a nice golden brownish color. The darker the bubbles, the darker your end caramel will be. The lighter they are, the lighter your caramel will be.
Once the proper color is achieved, remove from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream slowly. It will bubble up. That's normal. Just go slow and you'll be fine. Add in the butter in pieces and whisk in until fully incorporated. Whisk in the salt and then the vanilla.
Pour the caramel sauce into a separate container to cool. It will thicken as it cools. Once cool enough, place in your squeeze bottle or plastic container to store. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Adjust the salt to taste. What may be salty to me, may not be salty to you. Remember though, this is supposed to be a salted caramel sauce. It's important to keep in mind to not touch this mixture once the sugar has completely dissolved. Let it sit and do it's thing until it reaches an amber color. Slightly darker actually. Also, keep brushing the sides with water throughout the whole process, periodically. Lastly, be careful! Caramel is very hot and if you're not careful, you'll burn yourself. The only way to clean your pan, easily, is to add water to it and to bring it to a boil. That will cook off the remaining caramel in there and it will instantly pour out. Making it much easier to clean.
Fall is officially official now. I know you guys have been doing what I’ve been doing. Searching for fall recipes, then testing them, then gaining some weight. Also, scrolling on Pinterest and Instagram at all hours of the night looking at food. Just me? Okay then. Well, you know a cool (no pun intended) way to incorporate the great flavors of fall? Ice cream! Not just any ice cream though. Some homemade ice cream will do the trick. This ice cream recipe is a more traditional, French-style ice cream. This means it’s the recipe that involves egg yolks. Now, if raw eggs freak you out and you shutter at even the thought of using them, then feel free to try my egg-free base recipe on my site.
Though, it is a traditional method of making ice cream, it’s still pretty simple. Just a few more steps, that’s all. We also use a secret ingredient that will help keep our ice cream nice and creamy. Nonfat milk powder is the key. That’s what many people in the ice cream industry use to keep their ice cream super creamy. Why does it work? Well, milk and cream are both used in our recipe. Milk and cream have a high water content believe it or not. So that’s why sometimes when you’re making ice cream at home, you end up with those nasty ice crystals. If I wanted to eat ice crystals, I’ll have a freeze pop or a snow cone. Anyways, the milk powder helps absorb that water, making a creamier ice cream. Okay, I’m done with my Alton Brown impersonation for now. Let’s get to this recipe.
Prepare an ice bath in a bowl big enough to fit your saucepan. Combine your milk, both sugars, vanilla and milk powder in your liquid measuring cup.
Combine the egg yolks in a bowl.
Place your milk mixture in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about five minutes our until the lumps completely dissolve.
Add the cream in and whisk. Cook for about five minutes or until it reaches 110°F.
Take off the heat. Temper the milk mixture into the egg yolks by adding a half a cup, slowly in a stream while whisking constantly.
Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the milk and cream and put it back on medium heat.
Stir with a rubber spatula every now and then and cook on medium heat until 165°F is reached or until it passes the spoon test.
Place the saucepan into your prepared ice bath and let it cool stirring for the first minute. Cool for about 15-20 minutes.
Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a plastic container. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or up to overnight.
After you refrigerate the base, pour the base into your ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Every machine will be different. Mine is a Cuisinart and it usually takes about 15-25 minutes to churn proper ice cream. You don’t want to over churn, because you’ll get grainy ice cream. You want to churn enough for air to incorporate to produce a light, creamy ice cream.
Once churned enough, move to a plastic container that has been pre-frozen for about 5-10 minutes. Swirl in your caramel sauce lightly. Don’t overdo it like I did. Once you’re done adding the caramel sauce, move to a pre-frozen plastic container to freeze. I have an actual ice cream container that freezes great that I bought from Amazon. Tovolo Sweet Treats Tub – Raspberry.
If you want to freeze it in the same mix-in container that’s fine too. Freeze for up to four hours or overnight.
Before serving, let it sit out for around 5 minutes or up to 10 minutes for it to get to the perfect scooping consistency.
See how I do it:
- 1/2 c granulated sugar or cane sugar
- 1/4 c light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 c skim milk powder
- 1 2/3 c whole milk
- 1 2/3 c heavy cream
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
Prepare an ice bath in a large heat proof bowl.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugars, milk powder and milk. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Make sure the milk powder is dissolved into the mixture and there are no lumps. Stir in the cream and whisk in over medium low heat.
Cook the mixture, stirring often with a rubber spatula over medium heat. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. Mix until 110°F, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl. While whisking, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of hot milk-cream mixture to temper the egg yolks. Continue to whisk until even in color.
Whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the milk and cream.
Return the pan to the stove top over medium heat, continue cooking, stirring often until it reaches 165°F, 5-10 minutes. Another way to test if it's ready is if it coats the back of a spoon and if you run your finger through it, the milk stays separated.
Transfer the pan to the prepared ice bath. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour the ice cream base into a plastic container through a wire-mesh strainer. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Transfer the cooled base to the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.
After churning, place in a frozen plastic container and swirl in the caramel sauce with a knife. Pour the ice cream into a frozen container.
Serve immediately or place in freezer for a few hours or overnight before serving.
You can let the ice cream temper and sit out for about 5-10 minutes. You can use homemade caramel sauce or store bought caramel sauce.