Celebrating the holiday season with this Gluten Free Maple and Molasses Pumpkin Swirled Cheesecake! A mildly flavored maple and molasses cheesecake swirled with a cinnamon spiced pumpkin cheesecake, baked on top of a gluten free molasses graham cracker crust.
Maple, molasses, pumpkin. Um, yeah. These three were made to be friends. Throw some graham cracker and cheesecake in the mix, and now you just have a full on party. And who doesn’t like to be invited to a party???
And that is why I will absolutely never turn down a party thrown by a bunch of maple, molasses, and pumpkin hooligans. It’s bound to be a blast with those three around.
Three is a funny number. You either have team “Three’s Company!” or team “Three’s a crowd!”
Growing up I had these two best friends that lived just one street away from one another. I loved playing with both of them. They each had such opposite personalities and brought out different sides of me.
First there was Becky. She was the spunkiest girl you’d ever meet. She was a little fashion diva that always had her own agenda. If we were playing school, she was the teacher. Didn’t like that, well too bad. That’s how it was. She had two sisters and they cat fought all of the time. Full on claws and teeth came out when those three got in an argument. It was quite the sight to see for my timid, shy, mild mannered self. But, I loved it.
Then take Michelle. She was the intellectual type. Everything had order to it. Things were thought out and planned beforehand. We played games that had sequences and patterns to them…games that had strategy and made sense. She was also quite bossy. Her way or the highway. But, if you listened to her, she would teach you everything you ever needed to know from boys to computers to the best kind of music you should listen to (which apparently was Country). I loved playing with her, too.
Now get those two friends of mine together, and all hell broke loose! They would fight and argue, each one trying to gain territory over the other. No matter what I tried, those two just would not get along. So basically I resorted to playing with one friend at a time, racing down the street, hiding in bushes, camping out in strangers yards until the coast was clear…just to make sure that neither friend would see me playing with the other.
It was exhausting!
People, it’s so much nicer when we can all just GET ALONG!!!
If only I knew how to bake at the ripe old age of 8, I would have made this Gluten Free Maple Molasses Pumpkin Swirled Cheesecake as a peace offering and proved to them that three is definitely company.
The three distinct flavors in this cheesecake are so complimentary of one another. The maple gives it a caramely sweetness with a scent that’s so soothing you’ll want to bottle it up and spray it every morning just to get you out of bed. But then you might end up angry because you’ll realize that nope, there are not any pancakes waiting for you at the breakfast table. Instead you’ll have to eat another bowl of cold cereal. But hey, at least you will be out of bed!
After the initial taste of maple, you get this slight undertone of molasses that is so deep and rich and yummy. This is the flavor that gives this cheesecake it’s elegance in my opinion. There is something about the flavor of molasses that is simply sophisticated and refined. I feel like it’s “grown up” flavor, and yes, sometimes I like to be all grown up.
But the real star of this cheesecake is the pumpkin swirl. The ribbon of pumpkin tastes exactly like a fresh baked pumpkin pie. It’s dreamy.
So when all is said and done, these three flavors really come together to make one absolutely stunning dessert. This fancy little cheesecake is quite the show stopper indeed. It’s rich. It’s creamy. It’s smooth. It’s oh so beautiful!
Forget about what little black dress you’ll be wearing to your next Christmas party because if you show up with this cheesecake in tote, ain’t NOBODY going to be looking at your outfit. But, EVERYBODY will want to be your friend.
And hopefully you and all of your new little friends will all get along…hopefully.
Do you remember your childhood besties?
- For the crust:
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1⅔ cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs (I used the entire 7.5 oz. box of Pamela's brand)
- For the cheesecake:
- 3 packages cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1½ tablespoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover the bottom and up the sides (on the outside) of a 9" spring-form pan with a double layer of foil. Set aside.
- In a small microwave safe mixing bowl, melt butter. Add sugar and molasses and stir until combined. Add crushed graham cracker crumbs and stir until there are no dry crumbs left. Pat mixture into bottom of spring-form pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes and remove from oven.
- While crust is baking, cream together softened cream cheese, sugar, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add Greek yogurt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice and mix until smooth.
- In a separate smaller mixing bowl, scoop 1 cup of pumpkin puree. Add 1½ cups of cream cheese mixture to pumpkin puree and stir until smooth.
- Once crust has cooled to touch, add a thin layer of cream cheese mixture, enough to just coat the crust. Add about 10 spoonfuls of pumpkin cream cheese mixture on top, in scattered spots. Then do the same with the plain cream cheese mixture. Alternate this pattern until both batters are gone.
- Using a knife, cut through the batter to make swirls. Do not over-mix or you will loose the swirl effect.
- Place spring-form pan on a baking sheet pan with a lip. Make sure the foil securely seals the bottom and sides of the spring-form pan and add ½" of water to the baking sheet pan, making sure that the water level does not come higher than the foil barrier.
- Carefully place pan in oven and bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes until cheesecake is no longer glossy and just barely jiggles when moved.
- Remove from oven and lift spring-form pan onto a cooling rack to cool. Allow cheesecake to come to room temperature (at least 1½ to 2 hours). With a thin knife, circle the blade along the edge of the cheesecake to loosen from the pan.
- Loosely cover the cheesecake and store in the fridge over night. Remove from fridge prior to serving, run knife along the edges again, unhinge the ring of the spring-form pan, and carefully slide cheesecake onto serving dish. Decorate as desired.
- Store cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.