Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Dan Becker
Total Time
2 Hours 30 Mins
Other Time
2 Hours 30 Mins
Makes 12 to 16 servings

Roasted sweet potato offers a perfect earthy sweetness to show off the flavor combo of cinnamon and nutmeg in this creamy cheesecake.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375° (convection not recommended). Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Place in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and brush with melted butter. Bake until potatoes are soft when pressed, 45 to 55 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, prepare crust. Bake in same oven with potatoes until lightly browned all over, 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 3

Scrape any charred spots off potatoes, then cut potatoes into chunks. Whirl in a food processor or mash in a bowl with lemon juice until smooth. Reserve 1 cup; save any extra for another use.

Step 4

Reduce oven temperature to 325°. In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in granulated and brown sugars, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally, until mixture is well blended and smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Add reserved sweet potato mixture, the whipping cream, sour cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix on low speed until well blended.

Step 5

Wrap bottom of cheesecake pan with heavy-duty foil, pressing it up the sides. Pour batter over crust. Put cheesecake pan in a 12- by 15-inch roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Set pans in oven and pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cheesecake pan.

Step 6

Bake until cake barely jiggles in the center when gently shaken, about 55 minutes. Remove pans from oven. Lift cheesecake pan from roasting pan and let cool completely on a rack, about 1 hour, then chill until cold, at least 1 1/2 hours, or up to 3 days (cover once cold).

Step 7

Up to 6 hours before serving, cut around inside of pan rim to release cake; remove rim. With a pastry bag, pipe dollops of maple cream onto cake. Or serve maple cream separately, to spoon onto each wedge.

Step 8

Pecan Crust: Whirl 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans in a blender until finely ground; you should have 1/4 cup. In a bowl, mix pecans, 1 1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Pour into a 9-inch cheesecake pan with removable rim (2 1/4 in. tall). Press mixture evenly over bottom of pan.

Step 9

Maple Cream: In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat 3/4 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form. On low speed, beat in 1/4 cup maple syrup just until blended.

Chef's Notes

You can make this cheesecake up to 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Garnish with cream up to 6 hours before serving; cover and chill until serving.

Ratings & Reviews


September 29, 2016
When I tell you this recipe is perfect it truly is. I made this recipe last thanksgiving for the first time and everyone loved it. The flavors married perfectly with each other. I followed the recipe to a "T" . You can taste the sweet potatoes it's not too rich and the spices and maple syrup bring everything together.I had a wonderful sweet potatoe pie recipe but I have abandoned that for this one.PLEASE MAKE THIS!!! You will not be disappointed. I can't wait to make it again this year.

Miriamlaverne's Review

November 22, 2013
I have made this recipe around Thanksgiving every year since it came out in 2008. We are living in Russia this year, and having a low-key celebration, and you know what my family wants more than turkey? You guessed it. The ingredients were a challenge to source but it was well worth it. This cheesecake is a family tradition worth taking around the world!

infinitysnake's Review

November 14, 2013

lhc815's Review

November 12, 2012
delicious and easy to make! i used reduced fat cream cheese which made it light & fluffy. sweet potato is very subtle, but adds flavor. for the maple whipped topping, I recommend using less than the 1/4 cup of maple syrup called for in the recipe.

kns215's Review

March 23, 2012
Followed recipe almost exactly excep I got a different maple pecan topping elsewhere. It turned out nicely and everyone like them. It's a little sweet for my family's tasting, but oh well once in a while it's OKAY to go beyond your limit. ;) I wish I took some pictures as they turne dout really great looking too! Next time I'm goign to puree sweet potato more thoroughly as saw few pieces of sweet potato in my cake.

lrtweedy's Review

December 26, 2011
This was delicious!

ChefLee's Review

November 26, 2011
I got sooooo many compliments on this cheesecake that I HAD to write a review! I gave my man and his brother some of the cake and it has gone viral to the point that his mother is anticipating trying it for Christmas! I stuck exactly to the recipe. The preparation was simple, but after I had already put the cheesecake in the pan and filled the roasting pan with water, I realized that it was supposed to be boiling water and not faucet water. I proceeded to bake it anyway without the boiling water for 55 minutes; it wasn't done. My assumption is that it was due to me not putting boiling water in the roasting pan? So I ended up baking it a lot longer, seemed like 2 hours! I had to keep checking it with a toothpick to see if it came out clean b/c it seemed undone and to "liquidy" inside the cake. But once it was finally done baking, I cooled it, and refrigerated it for about 5 hours. OMG! It was cheesecake greatness!!! And the maple cream complimented it so well. GREAT RECIPE!

Simmers's Review

November 23, 2011

washbabe's Review

November 22, 2010
This is THE most requested dish at my family's Thanksgiving get together. It is not too super sweet and is really moist. MY young children love it and I know they are getting something good out of the sweet potatoes! IT really is an outstanding dessert! It does take a while to make from start to finish. Plan on making this a day or two ahead.

Islandbear's Review

November 20, 2010
I have made this every year for 4 years, and I am now required to make it every Thanksgiving. When in Hawaii I made it with Okinowan (PURPLE) sweet potatoes. If you can find purple yams, DO use them, and the cake comes a fabulous Violet Color with the same amazing roasted flavor.