It feels like fall. That’s probably because it is.
Lately, we’ve had daytime highs of 43F. To most Californians that would sound like winter.
Most mornings it’s below 30F. Most Californians (including my former self) don’t even know what that feels like.
Regardless of what fall looks and feels like, I generally have a vague idea of how fall tastes.
At work, there is a cake called the Fall Collection. I’ve never tasted it in it’s full glory, but I’ve tried pretty much all the component parts: Gingerbread Cake, Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake, Caramel Pecans and Vanilla Buttercream.
Sounds like fall.
I was inspired to recreate it.
I won’t lie. This was sort of a process. It pretty much requires two days since the cheesecake has to cool completely and set.
BUT totally worth it.
Start with the cheesecake. I used good ol’ Paula Deen’s recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake. I’m not 100% pleased with the recipe, I think it could use a little more spice. But definitely not bad for my first try at cheesecake.
I didn’t have a springform pan, so I greased and floured two round 9″ baking pan and lined the bottom with wax paper to keep it from sticking. After baking and letting it set overnight in the fridge, I used a knife along the edge of the pan and turned the pan over. The cheesecake slipped out pretty easily.
The next step was the gingerbread cake. Using this Food Network recipe, but adding extra crystallized ginger. Great flavor, but would like it to be a little less dry (or maybe I just overbaked it a bit).
While your gingerbread cake is cooling, start making the caramel. I’ve never had my caramel turn out right. This time it did! It was great! Thanks to Yummy Supper!
Toast the pecans and mix it with the caramel.
Then the layering can start.
Start with the gingerbread cake. Put it on a plate, remove some of the cake to make a little well for the caramel pecans. This will keep it from overflowing.
Next, place the pumpkin cheesecake layer. My cheesecake had a little bit of a well in it naturally (mistake maybe?), the well allowed me to pour more caramel pecans in there and keep them from flowing out.
However, if you, unlike me, make perfect cheesecake that is flat on top, you can create a barrier with buttercream that will keep your caramel from flowing all over the place. Which leads to the next step, frosting.
Make traditional vanilla buttercream with butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Frost the cake all around.
Lay it on there thick, because we could all use a little more buttercream in our lives.