Photo: Levi Brown
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
12 Hours
Serves 14

If your springform pan is loose and prone to leaking, wrap the bottom of it completely with heavy-duty aluminum foil before scraping the batter into it and baking. You can also place the pan on a baking sheet in the oven so that nothing drips on the floor of your oven. Serve the cheesecake unadorned for informal dining, or garnish with the whipped topping and almond brittle to add a special touch to your holiday dessert buffet.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare almond cake, combine 6 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 4 ounces almond paste in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Stir flour and rum into sugar mixture. Spread the batter evenly into a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (do not remove or loosen sides of springform pan).

Step 3

Reduce oven temperature to 300°.

Step 4

To prepare the cheesecake, place softened cheeses, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed just until blended. Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until each addition is incorporated. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, and reserve bean for another use. Add seeds, pumpkin, yogurt, and ginger to cream cheese mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over top of cooled almond cake. Bake at 300° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven, and run a knife around outside edge. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.

Step 5

To prepare brittle, line a baking sheet with parchment paper; coat parchment paper with cooking spray. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, for 7 minutes or until mixture is golden. Remove from heat. Stir in almonds and butter. Quickly spread sugar mixture in a thin, even layer over prepared parchment; cool completely. Break into 14 pieces. Slice cheesecake into 14 slices; top each serving with 1 tablespoon whipped topping and 1 piece brittle.

Ratings & Reviews

Catwoman's Review

December 26, 2013
Made for Christmas - everyone loved. Thought it was much lighter than regular cheesecake, which for us was good. We liked the contrast of almond cake to creamy cheesecake. I used a vanilla bean because I had, but didn't think it offered much flavor - next time would use extract. Used Jules Gluten Free flour in cake with good results, and full fat cream cheese. I followed directions exactly but for these changes - no issue with time to cook or cracking. (had eggs & cr cheese at room temp - maybe that helped?) I tried the brittle for something different, but don't think I cooked it long enough so was kinda chewy - not sure it was really needed. Would definitely make cake again.

smith3576's Review

December 27, 2011
I made this according to directions and we thought it was okay. The cake portion was really good, and I like the idea of mixing cake and cheesecake but didn't care for the cheesecake portion. It was bland. We ate a slice and threw the rest away - not worth the calories and sugar, even in a light recipe. I might make it again but use a different cheesecake recipe.

rrdlaw1's Review

December 09, 2011
This was amazing. I didn't even make the brittle or serve with whipped cream - and it didn't need it, although I am sure that would make a very elegant presentation. Even so, I was able to get some pumpkin haters to try it and they loved it. Hands down the best pumpkin thanksgiving dessert that I have made.

ptcrew's Review

November 25, 2011
I made this for Thanksgiving. I didn't know if the family would like it as it was not the "normal Thanksgiving " dessert that theeveryone was use to. Everybody loved it, and went back for a second piece! It was very moist and had great texture. The recipe says for it to sit 8 hours - I put it in the refrig and let it sit for about 4 hours and it was just fine. I will make this recipe again - This is a keeper!

SSSMarj's Review

November 24, 2011
This was our special Thanksgiving dessert and it really impressed a group with high standards. Everyone loved it and we all agreed it was a keeper. The only substitution I made was a tablespoon of real whipped cream with a bit of almond flavoring in it to replace the artificial stuff. The presentation with the almond brittle was beautiful and the brittle was very tasty on its own. I can't wait to have another piece tomorrow!

3Boys4Me77's Review

November 30, 2011
This was really delicious. My only complaints: the cake cracked and the brittle did not turn out for me at all. It was outstanding anyway.

Mirizena's Review

November 22, 2011

flaorangeblossm's Review

November 12, 2011
My family loved this definatly cured my sweet tooth

kathstevens's Review

January 05, 2013
We aren't cheesecake fans, but I make the almond cake to stand alone. I just double the recipe (using one tube of almond paste, which is 7 oz.), and serve it cool, sprinkled with powdered sugar and with fruit on the side. Everyone we've made it for comments on how good it is.

jmeleeS's Review

December 05, 2011
So many reviewers loved this recipe, so I had very high hopes for this cheesecake as I was gathering the ingredients and making it this weekend. Perhaps I had too high of hopes - this dessert was just "okay" - it was good, but I didn't really find the taste outstanding. I must caveat this statement with the fact that I could not for the life of me find almond paste at the store, so my cake base was made of sliced almonds instead. The dessert turned out visually perfect anyways and using the cake base in lieu of a crust was really good for both removing the cake from the pan in one piece and for a nice sweet / spice. The pumpkin cheesecake part of this dessert was where the taste train derailed though. It was fairly bland and I expected it to taste more like pumpkin pie overall. This was a hassle free dessert and took no time to make, so I LOVED that part of making this dish. IF I make it again, I will add more spice and slightly more sugar to the cheesecake for more flavor.