Liberty Lifestyle: Our Favorite Pumpkin Cheesecake

This fall, try a spin on an American classic cheesecake with our favorite pumpkin cheesecake recipe! Cheesecake is a much simpler dessert than many think it is to make. Our recipe calls for no water bath, a bit of cornstarch for clean cutting and folding in whipped egg whites to make your cheesecake light and less dense! But first…what are the origins or cheesecake?

Cheesecake originated over 4,000 years ago in the fifth century B.C., by the ancient Greeks on the island of Samos. Their cheesecake was made by patties of cheese layered and pounded smooth with flour and honey, then baked on an earthenware griddle. When the Romans conquered the Greeks, the cheesecake recipe was just one spoil of war. As the Romans expanded their empire, they brought cheesecake recipes to the Europeans. It soon became very popular all throughout Europe and would eventually land in the American Colonies as settlers landed and established America as their new home. Soon cheesecake took off as American favorite! In the 1730s, Philadelphia became home to the “Cheesecake House” tavern. Martha Washington’s prized and gifted cookbook features three different cheesecake recipes, one of which being a cheesecake without a crust.


Cream cheese was an American addition to the cake, and it has since become a staple ingredient in the United States. In 1872, a New York dairy farmer was attempting to replicate the French cheese Neufchatel. Instead, he accidentally discovered a process which resulted in the creation of cream cheese. Three years later, cream cheese was packaged in foil and distributed to local stores under the Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand. The Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand was purchased in 1903 by the Phoenix Cheese Company, and then it was purchased in 1928 by the Kraft Cheese Company. Kraft continues to make this very same delicious Philadelphia Cream Cheese that we are all familiar with today.



Of course, no story of cheesecake is complete without delving into the origins of the New York style cheesecake. The Classic New York style cheesecake is served with just the cake – no fruit, chocolate or caramel is served on the top or on the side. This famously smooth-tasting cake gets its signature flavor from extra egg yolks in the cream cheese cake mix.

By the 1900s, New Yorkers were in love with this dessert. According to, virtually every restaurant had its own version of cheesecake on their menu. New Yorkers have vied for bragging rights for having the original recipe ever since. Even though he is best known for his signature sandwiches, Arnold Reuben (1883-1970) is generally credited for creating the New York Style cheesecake. Reuben was born in Germany and he came to America when he was young. The story goes that Reuben was invited to a dinner party where the hostess served a cheese pie. Allegedly, he was so intrigued by this dish that he experimented with the recipe until he came up with the beloved NY Style cheesecake.



New York is not the only place in America that puts its own spin on cheesecakes. In Chicago, sour cream is added to the recipe to keep it creamy. Meanwhile, Philadelphia cheesecake is known for being lighter and creamier than New York style cheesecake and it can be served with fruit or chocolate toppings. In St. Louis, they enjoy a gooey butter cake, which has an additional layer of cake topping on the cheesecake filling. No matter how you slice it, cheesecake is truly a dessert that has stood the test of time and a dessert that America has transformed into our own! Try our favorite pumpkin cheesecake recipe to celebrate the flavors of the season today!



Liberty Lifestyle’s Favorite Pumpkin Cheesecake





2-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 40 squares)
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted


4 8 oz. blocks cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/3 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch (keeps your knife clean when slicing)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Make the Crust: In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan.
3. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside, egg whites will be folded into the cream cheese mixture later. This helps keep the cheesecake light.
4. Beat the cream cheese and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed, 2 to 3 minutes, until combined and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Lower the mixer speed and beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until just incorporated. Beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, and vanilla until combined. With the mixer on low, beat in the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon.
5. Fold in the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture.
6. Pour the filling into the crust.
7. Bake for 65-75 minutes or until center is almost set. Turn the oven off, crack the oven door just slightly (you can use a wooden spoon to keep the door slightly open), and allow the cheesecake to rest in the oven for 1 additional hour. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. Cheesecake stores really well and gets better each day it’s in the refrigerator. This is great dessert to make ahead of time and cheesecake freezes beautifully, as well!



Jonathan Lord, Cheesecakes & Desserts;, November 1, 2022.;, November 1, 2022.


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