Butternut Squash & Spice Cheesecake

August 29, 2016
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes one 9-inch cake
Author Notes

Our friend Bridget introduced us to the joys of American home cooking. She is the kind of cook who makes exactly the type of food you want to eat: chicken cacciatore; Southern-fried chicken drizzled with maple syrup; buttermilk mash and gravy; proper, potent chilies—the good stuff. She introduced us to this unbelievably tasty cheesecake, which is possibly the best cake in this book. We used to bake a large batch in big trays and cut it into portions (the offcuts were the most coveted food in the kitchen), but for you at home, this size should suffice.

Reprinted from Golden: Sweet & Savory Baked Delights from the Ovens of London’s Honey and Co. courtesy of Little, Brown and Company Copyright © 2016 by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich —Food52

What You'll Need
  • For the base and topping:
  • 100 grams whole hazelnuts
  • 25 grams unsalted butter
  • 25 grams light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 200 grams biscuit (or graham cracker) crumbs
  • 300 grams sour cream
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • Seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod
  • For the filling:
  • 1 butternut squash, to yield 360g when cooked (or a can of pumpkin purée)
  • 375 grams full fat cream cheese
  • 265 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 150 milliliters sour cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F (425° F convection). Line a springform 9-inch cake pan with baking parchment.
  2. Start by preparing the squash for the filling. Halve the butternut squash (you can leave the skin on) and remove the seeds. Wrap loosely in aluminum foil and roast in the oven, cut-side facing upwards, for 40 to 50 minutes ,until the flesh is soft. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp, place in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato ricer. You can do this a day in advance if you like and store the mashed squash in the fridge until needed.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° F (325° F convection). Now prepare the base: Roast the hazelnuts on a tray for 8 minutes before removing. Rub with a clean towel to get rid of some of the papery brown skins, then crush to a rough crumb (you can use a food processor or chop with a knife). Melt the butter and set aside. Put the chopped hazelnuts and other remaining ingredients for the base (brown sugar, sea salt, cinnamon, biscuit crumbs) in a bowl, pour in the melted butter, and stir to combine. Tip the mixture into the tin and spread around to cover the base. Flatten a little but don’t compress too much. Bake for 10 minutes, then allow to cool.
  4. Place the cream cheese, sugar, and spices for the filling in a mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large spoon, if making by hand). Work at a medium speed until well combined, then add the eggs one at a time. Finally add the butternut purée, flour, and sour cream and mix well. Pour over the base and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest and cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Mix the sour cream for the topping with the sugar and vanilla seeds until you have a smooth paste. Pour over the top of the baked cheesecake, making sure not to pour it all in one spot, as it may sink in. Then use the back of a spoon or a small spatula to spread evenly over the top. Return to the oven for a final 10 minutes. Cool in the fridge for at least 6 hours (or overnight) before cutting and eating.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • stefanie
  • Beth
  • H-Town Veg
    H-Town Veg
  • vgeme

7 Reviews

vgeme November 3, 2020
I'm a fan of their recipes but yes, definitely too much crust. You can drop the crumbs as somebody suggested here.
I also found it a bit too sweet for my Italian palate, I'll reduce the sugar for the filling to 200g next time!
stefanie November 16, 2018
The crust of this cheesecake is much too dry; I wonder if there was a typo. All other cheesecake recipes in this cookbook have crust with ratio of 200g dry ingredients: 25-30g butter: ~25g brown sugar. This recipe is written as 100g hazelnuts + 200g crumbs. There was also definitely too much crust - I took a few spoonfuls out. I'd recommend dropping the crumbs to 100-150g.
Cheesecake itself was great - silky with the butternut/pumpkin flavor front and center and a great tang from the sour cream.
TKT October 10, 2017
300 grams sour cream then 150 milliliters sour cream -- is the second measurement supposed to be grams as well?
stefanie November 8, 2018
this is a very late response, but according to the original recipe in the cookbook, the mL measurement should equal the gram measurement, so the topping is 300g sour cream OR 300mL sour cream and the filling is 150g sour cream OR 150mL sour cream.
Beth October 2, 2017
Yum! Would work to do a straight substitution of sweet potato for the squash?
H-Town V. October 28, 2016
This recipe is intriguing. I love the idea of using Butternut squash in desserts, as it is one of my favorite things in the world. I might take a stab at veganizing it and see how it works out.
MV October 27, 2016
Do you recommend to bake this in a water bath or is it not necessary? I'm always concerned with cheesecakes cracking. Thanks!