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Dulce de Leche–Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Almonds

Oxmoor House
Hands-on time 40 mins
Total time 11 hrs, 37 mins
Yield 12 servings
Sweet milk caramel, or dulce de leche, takes this decadent cheesecake over the top–be sure to save room for dessert!

Ingredients

  • CRUST:
  • 2 (5.3-oz.) packages pure butter shortbread cookies
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned dulce de leche
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • CANDIED ALMONDS:
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • Parchment paper
  • TOPPING:
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream, divided
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned dulce de leche

How to Make It

  1. Prepare Crust: Preheat oven to 350°. Process shortbread cookies and almonds in a food processor 30 seconds or until finely ground. Place in a medium bowl; stir in melted butter. Press mixture onto bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.

  2. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

  3. Prepare Filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add dulce de leche, beating at low speed until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Add pumpkin and next 3 ingredients, beating at low speed until just blended. Pour batter into prepared crust.

  4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until almost set. Turn off oven. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door partially open, 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

  5. Meanwhile, prepare Candied Almonds: Preheat oven to 300°. Whisk egg white, sugar, and cinnamon until foamy. Fold in almonds until coated. Spread almonds in a single layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet.

  6. Bake at 300° for 26 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on pan (about 30 minutes). Remove almonds from parchment paper, and break into small pieces.

  7. Prepare Topping: Beat 1/2 cup whipping cream until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Transfer chilled cheesecake to a serving plate. Spread topping over cheesecake.

  8. Combine 1/2 cup dulce de leche and remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 4 minutes or until smooth. Drizzle dulce de leche sauce over topping, and sprinkle with Candied Almonds. Serve immediately.

2012 Christmas with Southern Living