Make Ahead

Thanksgiving Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake

November 22, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes one 10-inches cake
Author Notes

This recipe is inspired by Chef Brad Farmerie, who calls his mother's Thanksgiving cheesecake recipe a "home run" to pumpkin pie. I used chef Farmerie’s technique but changed some ingredients, some added and some omitted. I used Dulce de Leche instead of sugar to add a caramel flavor, added orange zest, vanilla and orange extracts, which I like with pumpkin and omitted egg yolks in the Pumpkin Mousse. In the original recipe the cake was baked in 9-by-13-inches Pyrex baking dish, but I recommend making the cake in a spring form; it will look beautiful and make slicing the cake a lot easier. Try it as a decadent alternative to pumpkin pie. —Kukla

What You'll Need
  • For the Crust
  • • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted unsalted butter, plus more, for pan
  • • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • • 1/4 cup sugar
  • • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • For the Cheesecake and Pumpkin Mousse
  • • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • • 2 large eggs
  • • 3/4 cup Dulce de Leche or light brown sugar
  • • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla + 1 teaspoon of orange extract
  • For the Pumpkin Mousse:
  • • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope gelatin
  • • 1 (15-ounce) can Organic Pumpkin puree
  • • 3/4 cup Dulce de Leche or light brown sugar
  • • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • • 2 large egg whites at room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 10-inches spring form; set aside.
  2. To make the crust: In a large bowl, combine melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, sugar and orange zest; stir until well combined. Press graham cracker mixture into bottom of prepared baking dish in an even layer; set aside.
  3. To make the cheesecake: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a handheld mixer, whisk together cream cheese, eggs, Dulce de Leche, vanilla and orange extracts until fluffy. Spread cheesecake mixture over crust in baking dish. Transfer to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  4. To make the mousse: To a small bowl or liquid measuring cup pour 1/4 cup water; sprinkle gelatin over top and let soften. In a large heatproof bowl, mix together pumpkin, Dulce de Leche, cinnamon and orange zest.
  5. Set bowl over simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is far from simmering water; whisk pumpkin mixture until well warmed through to insure that the gelatin will dissolve completely, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in gelatin mixture. Let cool to room temperature.
  6. In a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a handheld mixer, beat egg whites and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt until medium peaks form. Fold into cooled pumpkin mixture.
  7. Spread pumpkin mixture over cheesecake; Cover and transfer to refrigerator until set, at least 8 hours and up to overnight. The cake can be made 2 days ahead and kept in refrigerator.
  8. To make the whipped cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together 1 cup chilled heavy cream, 1 tablespoon Dulce de Leche, or light brown sugar and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla + 1/2 teaspoon orange extract until medium peaks form. Serve cheesecake with a dollop on the side.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hiromi Motojima
    Hiromi Motojima
  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • drbabs
  • Kukla

7 Reviews

Hiromi M. January 28, 2018
This was amazing! Everyone loved it. I especially loved dulce de leche cheesecake part, so I may just make that next time for myself!
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 1, 2013
stunning, but believe it or not I don't eat cheesecake. This is a winner!
Kukla November 1, 2013
Thank you so much sexyLAMBCHOPx!! You are not the only one who doesn’t eat cheesecake, we have a couple of those between our relatives and friends.
Pegeen October 27, 2013
This sounds delicious. I love the little fan of turkey tail feathers cut from the orange wedge, with the dollop of cream. Nicely done!
p.s. The serving plate is gorgeous. Limoges?
Kukla October 27, 2013
Thanks Peegen for your nice comment! This cake is not too sweet at all and if you like to cut the sweetness even more, just omit the sugar in the graham cracker crust or use only 1 tablespoon. I sometimes make the crust with a combination of graham crackers and finely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans and instead of orange zest use lemon zest. Play with the cake as much as you like it is forgiving!
drbabs November 23, 2011
Kukla November 23, 2011
Thank you for the comment, dear drbabs! I made a mistake baking the cake in an 8-by-8-inches baking dish and straggled a little to get it out. If you are going to make it, use a 9 or 10-inches spring form, otherwise it is a delicious and original cake. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!