Say Cheese! How to Upgrade Your Cheesecake

We didn't think cheesecake could be improved upon either.

Instead of serving up traditional pumpkin and apple pie this Thanksgiving, spring for a new treat – cheesecake. Take a traditional cheesecake recipe that’s super easy and customize it with your favourite fall flavours for the holidays.

Trust us, your guests will go wild.

Start with the Basics
The key to any of the recipes and ideas below is a good old-fashioned cheesecake. Nothing fancy. Yet.

Make the cheesecake mix below and fold in your favourite flavours or simply top the classic recipe with whatever you’d like.

Basic Cheesecake Recipe

2 227 gram (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
75 mL (1/3 cup) sugar
7.5 mL (1/2 tablespoon) vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 premade graham cracker crust


  1. Preheat oven to 160 C (325 F)
  2. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs and mix until barely blended
  3. Pour cheesecake mixture into crust
  4. Bake 40-45 minutes until the centre is set (a toothpick comes out clean)
  5. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until completely cool

Now for the Fun Part
Now you get to choose your add-ins and toppings! We took inspiration from our favourite holiday pies for these variations, but you can mix in whatever you want.

1. Apple Pie Cheesecake

Mix in 15 mL (1 tablespoon) of cinnamon with the filling and bake the cheesecake as directed.

1 apple, peeled and sliced thin
10 mL (2 teaspoons) freshly squeezed lemon juice
15 mL (1 tablespoon) plus 7 mL (1 1/2 teaspoons) sugar
3.7 mL (3/4 teaspoon) ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, toss the apples, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon to combine. Cool and top the cheesecake.

2. Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake 

50 mL (1/4 cup) brown sugar
3.7 mL (3/4 teaspoon) ground ginger
2 mL (1/2 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
1 425-gram (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

Whipped cream. Preferably from a can. Like grandma used to make. 

3. Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Just use the standard cheesecake recipe. The magic for this one comes from the topping.

175 mL (3/4 cup) pecans

150 mL (2/3 cup) light corn syrup
150 mL (2/3 cup) light brown sugar
45 mL (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
2 mL (1/2 teaspoon) vanilla extract

Instructions: Evenly divide pecans over the cheesecake batter. In a medium bowl, whisk the corn syrup, brown sugar, butter and vanilla to combine. Pour mixture over the pecans. Top the basic cheesecake and enjoy. 

4. Other Yummy Add-ins
This idea of customizable cheesecakes doesn't have to just be for Thanksgiving! Here are a few other cheesecake flavours that are great year-round.

Filling Ideas:

Add 125 mL (1/2 cup) of the following mix-ins to the basic cheesecake recipe above for a fun spin:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Crushed up chocolate sandwich cookies
  • Chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Malted milk balls
  • Orange segments
  • Chopped-up strawberries
  • Chopped-up candy bars
  • Coconut
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanut butter cups

Tip: Combine a few of these ingredients. You can’t go wrong, really. It is cheesecake after all.

Topping Ideas
Check out all of the delicious cheesecake topping ideas we could come up with here.

How do you do cheesecake? Log in and then submit your own recipe!


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