Pumpkin Cheesecake

By: Chef Amanda 


- 3/4c graham crackers, crushed

- 3/4c gingersnaps, crushed 

- 6tbsp unsalted butter, melted 

- 2tbsp granulated sugar 

- 1 pinch kosher salt 

- 3 (8oz) blocks cream cheese, softened 

- 1c packed brown sugar 

- 1c pumpkin puree 

- 1/4c sour cream, at room temperature 

- 1tsp pure vanilla extract 

- 3 large eggs, at room temperature 

- 1tbsp all purpose flour 

- 1 1/2tsp pumpkin spice

- garnish : pumpkin spice, warm caramel, whipped cream, and chopped, toasted pecans 


1. Preheat oven to 325 with a rack in the middle position. Grease an 8" springform pan with cooking spray.

2. Make crust: In a large bowl, add cookie and graham cracker crumbs. Stir in butter, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt and mix until well combined. Press crust into bottom of pan. 

3. Meanwhile, make cheesecake batter: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined, then beat in flour, pumpkin spice, and 1/4tsp salt. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust. 

4. Double-wrap outside of pan in aluminum foil, making sure to cover the bottom. Place pan in a large baking dish, place the baking dish in the oven, and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the pan. Bake until only slightly jiggly in center, 1 hour and 25 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes. 

5. With oven door propped open, turn oven off and let cool 1 hour in the oven. Remove from water bath and discard foil, then refrigerate cheesecake until cooled completely, at least 3 hours or overnight. 

6. Garnish with a layer of caramel and a few dollops of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake. Sprinkle all over with pecans and more pumpkin pie spice. 

Bourbon Chocolate Cake with Browned Buttercream Frosting

By: Chef Amanda 

Ingredients (serves 10)


- baking spray 

- 1 3/4c granulated sugar 

- 1 3/4c all-purpose flour 

- 3/4c cocoa powder 

- 1 1/2tsp baking powder 

- 1 1/2tsp baking soda 

- 1tsp salt 

- 2 large eggs 

- 1c whole milk 

- 1/2c canola oil 

- 1/2c (4oz) bourbon 

- 2tsp vanilla extract 

- 1/2c hot water 



1. Preheat oven to 350 

2. Coat 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray and line bottoms of pans with parchment paper. Coat the paper with baking spray. 

3. Whisk together granulated sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl 

4. Whisk together eggs, milk, oil, bourbon, and vanilla in a small bowl. 

5. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and whisk until just combined. 

6. Add hot water to batter and whisk until combined 

7. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans (approximately 1/2c in each). 

8. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted into centers of cake comes out clean - approximately 22-25 minutes

9. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack - cool completely for approximately 45 minutes

10. Measure 1/3c browned buttercream frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and set aside 

11. Spread remaining browned buttercream frosting between cake layers and on top and sides of cake. Pipe reserved frosting in piping bag around top edges of cake. 

Ingredients: Browned Buttercream 

- 2c butter

- 6c powdered sugar 

- 1/4c (2oz) bourbon 

- 1tbsp heavy cream 


1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until butter is fragrant and golden brown - approximately 8-10 minutes. 

2. Remove pan from heat and immediately pour butter into a small heatproof bowl. 

3. Let stand for 15 minutes then cover and chill until butter is cool and almost firm - approximately 1 hour - stirring every 15 minutes 

4. Beat chilled brown butter with a heavy duty stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment on medium speed until fluffy - approximately 3 minutes.

5. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating on low speed until well blended and smooth - approximately 2 minutes

6. Stir together bourbon, cream, and vanilla in a bowl. Add to butter mixture and beat until smooth - approximately 2 minutes

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