Every Halloween through Christmas, my mother seeks out pumpkin cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory and Olive Garden. Olive Garden's is her absolute favorite, until I made this recipe. This is the best pumpkin cheesecake ever! Maybe it tastes better than the one at the restaurant because Olive Garden's desserts are shipped frozen to the restaurants from being mass produced in factories. Making this version from scratch gives it a fresher, spicier, and more delicious flavor. For the crust, ten whole graham cracker rectangles yielded 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs, and 27 gingersnap cookies yielded 1 cup of gingersnap crumbs. I used a 9.5 inch spring form pan for the cheesecake. A nine inch would have worked also, but a ten inch would have been too big for the amount of filling. Brown sugar made the perfect sweetener for the crust, cheesecake filling, and sour cream layer. To lessen the guilty feelings , I substituted reduced fat Neufchatel cheese for the cream cheese and low fat sour cream for the Sour Cream Layer. To thicken my watery sour cream, I poured off the whey on top, and wrapped the remaining 1 ½ cups of sour cream with clean paper towels to let rest in a colander for one hour while the cheesecake baked. After the sour cream drained, it was thick, creamy, and reduced to be one cup. After baking, the top of the cheesecake had a matte finish with no deflating, cracks, or bubbles. Adding the sour cream layer and baking for 10 more minutes gave the top of the cheesecake a glossy pearlized porcelain finish. For the whipped cream, I substituted Spice Guru's recipe for Whipped Cream Topping in his Holiday Pumpkin Pie recipe. It has heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and dark rum (I used Bacardi Select Dark Rum. Furthermore, I plan on making his sure-to-be-divine pumpkin pie recipe soon.) Thank you, kimcroft, for a recipe for Olive Garden Pumpkin Cheesecake that is unbelievably better than the real one!
LOVED how this cheesecake came out! Thank you for your tips and your copycat recipe, it was so good! Just a couple more tips...I think foil around the bottom of the springform pan would prevent the butter dripping from the crust. Also, using a food processor is the best way to crush the graham crackers and gingersnaps.
This cheesecake is awsome. My wife was craving the Olive Garden punkin cheescake, but with 3 kids going out to eat is not always so much fun. I looked at mant recipes across the internet trying to mimic the Olive Garden cake, but all were completly off. This is the the only one I could find that was even close.