Pumpkin (Honey) Bourbon Cheesecake

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving, people!

If there’s ever a riper opportunity to stuff yourself silly and chow down on pumpkin, then you’ll have to tell me what it is — cuz I totally can’t think of one.

This is going to be a quick n’ dirty recipe-only post, just because… well — once you get to adulthood, you realize that there’s really no such thing as a real “holiday” anymore.

Whether it’s working or cooking or studying, I find that holidays, while fun, have just become a chance to catch up on chores and social obligations and business you’ve been meaning to get done.

Like, reading the chapter on cookies in my lovely baking textbook… Ohoho — not that I would ever neglect my studies. Not me!

Anyways: pumpkin honey bourbon cheesecake! Totally silky, rich, and divine!

And, after seeing a million-billion commercials for Jack Daniel’s honey infused bourbon, I finally got my hands on a bottle.

Taste test opinion: tastes like regular JD, only a little sweeter, more complex, and with less burning — but, after having bourbon from Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek, ol’ Jacky just doesn’t cut it anymore. Maybe not for drinking straight or over ice, but for baking and cooking, it’s pure awesome!

For those of you who don’t want the alcohol or don’t have the honey bourbon on hand, just substitute with 50% honey and 50% dry apple cider (or regular bourbon) in your pumpkin cheesecake.

Pumpkin (Honey) Bourbon Cheesecake

*adapted from Bon Appétit


Pecan Crust

  • 1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup pecans, finely ground
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • 900g / 32 oz / 4 packs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon star anise
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 & 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
  • 4 tablespoons honey bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Butter-Bourbon Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons whip cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, if desired


Preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C. Spray a round 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.

Set a large, heat-safe dish of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Set the remaining rack in the middle.

To make the pecan crust, sift the graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Drizzle with melted butter and stir to evenly incorporate. Press the buttery crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan (the crumbs do not have to go all the way up the sides of the pan). Bake for 8 ~ 10 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely.

To make the pumpkin cheesecake filling, first beat the cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the white sugar and condensed milk.

Add the flour and ground pumpkin spices and stir until smooth once more.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Stir in the pumpkin puree, honey bourbon, and vanilla extract until the pumpkin filling is smooth once more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, then pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake at 325°F/165°C for 110 ~ 120 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are lightly browned and the middle only wobbles slightly when nudged.

Even if the pumpkin cheesecake might not look done, but gently take it out of the oven and allow it to rest on a cooling rack for an hour so the center can set. After an hour, move the cheesecake to the refrigerator and chill for another 8 ~ 10 hours.

To make the butter-bourbon sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.

Stir in the condensed milk and white sugar, whisking as the sugar melts and the sauce starts to bubble. Once smooth and bubbling, stir in the bourbon, whip cream, vanilla, and salt.

Let the sauce bubble vigourously once more, then remove the sauce pan from the heat, stir until smooth, then allow to cool before stirring in the pecans and spooning over the pumpkin bourbon cheesecake.

So, if cheesecake isn’t your thing, or if you’re pressed for time, you can always do this super straight-forward pumpkin bread pudding by Daisy.

Punkin’ bread puddin’ is what I’m making for my second Thanksgiving dinner tonight, cuz double dinner = double (pumpkin) dessert! Yum!

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10 thoughts on “Pumpkin (Honey) Bourbon Cheesecake

  1. I definitely need this in my life!

  2. Josie says:

    Well I can attest that that was the best cheesecake I have ever eaten. It was light and smooth, just the right balance of flavour, not too much of anything except too lovely!

    Thanks for making the cake, it was hit with all the guests!

  3. yum!!! you had me at pecan crust!! 🙂

  4. daisy says:

    Christine, first of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I have to tell you, this pumpkin cheesecake looks absolutely perfect. I wanted to reach out and grab a bite. Also, thanks for the shout out and link about my pumpkin bread pudding. I hope you like it as much I did.

    • Christine says:

      I followed your recipe (but used honey bourbon instead) and had enough for one big bread pudding and one little bread pudding — the little one was amaaaazing! The big one has yet to be dug in to, but I know it’s going to be even better with vanilla whip cream tonight! 😉

  5. lulu says:

    You had me at bourbon! Happy Thanksgiving =)

  6. A Tablespoon of Liz says:

    This may be the greatest pumpkin dessert I’ve ever seen in my life. That honey infused bourbon sounds so interesting too!

  7. I’ve made pumpkin cheesecake, but never thought of putting nuts in the crust. Dark rum is my thing, not bourbon, so I will be tweaking your recipe and reporting back in closer to the holidays. Thanks! — Sharyn

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