Pumpkin Cheesecake Takes the Cake

Amazing autumn release from the Bakehouse

By Ari Weinzweig

I’ve come to believe over the last few years the Pumpkin Cheesecake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse just might be one of the best baked goods we make. Over the years, it has quietly and rightfully won an ever-larger legion of loyal fans. It is terrific!

The story behind cheesecake.

The history of cheesecake, dates back to England in the 15th century. A closer form, is likely 18th century in its origins. Its American advancement happened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. American cream cheese was invented in 1872 (three years after Gandhi and Emma Goldman were born) in the town of Chester, New York by one William Lawrence.

One hundred and twenty years later, we started making similar, artisan cream cheese at the Creamery, which then, in turn, went on to become the base of the Bakehouse’s incredible cheesecake. The creaminess of the cream cheese, the earthiness of the pumpkin, and the spicy zip of the ginger cookies in the crust make for some marvelous eating! The pumpkin cheesecake is a study in contrasts: sweet and slightly savory from the cheese, light and substantial at the same time, creamy filling set against the crumbly cookie crust. Once you taste it, it’s hard to stop eating it. 

Why our pumpkin cheesecake is so good!

What makes it so good? Each ingredient! The “custard” is made from the Creamery’s handmade, artisan cream cheese and pumpkin purée baked onto a crust that’s made out of one of my favorite Bakehouse cookies—ground up bits of the amazing Ginger Jump Ups. If you want to embellish the “natural” excellence of the Pumpkin Cheesecake, you can do something of a deconstructed pumpkin latte, by sprinkling some finely ground espresso over top. (It’s truly tasty!) Similarly, dark chocolate shavings are a super addition. And in the spirit of the medieval affection for spices, I think it’s also terrific with a little freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper sprinkled on top.

As Brad Hedeman, long-time marketer at Mail Order, writes, “The result is redolent with the rich spices of fall, yet light and fluffy like the classic cheesecakes we love. It’s so good, once you taste it you may not even want a pie on your Thanksgiving table.”

You can order the Pumpkin Cheesecake by the slice or by the full cake in the months of October and November.