This Sweet Potato Cheesecake is the third recipe in the series I’ve been excitedly working on for Bon Appetit in partnership with Vitamix (Peach Bourbon Snow Cones and Coconut Corn Soup). The Thanksgiving issue (one of my favs each year) is fresh on the stands, so run and grab it! My face is in there (scroll to the bottom of the post to see it! Eep!)
The filling is creamy and rich, and stars sweet potato (which is close to the flavour of pumpkin in baking). Lots of ginger, cinnamon and cloves elicit warm and cozy fall feelings. And a generous, pillowy topping of brown sugar whipped cream make this an absolute showstopper at a holiday table.
My sweet potato cheesecake recipe features a buttery Oat-Pecan crust with brown sugar and cinnamon. It’s a rich, nutty change from the standard graham cracker crust, but it has the same crumbly texture that contrasts so nicely against a silky cheesecake filling.
To cook the sweet potato, prick all over with a fork then bake at 400º for 45-60 minutes, or until tender. Position a foil-lined baking sheet underneath to catch any drips for easier cleanup. Once cool enough to handle, slice in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Alternatively, cook in microwave oven in 2-3 minute intervals until tender.
You can turn sweet potato cheesecake into pumpkin cheesecake by swapping the sweet potato for cooked (homemade or canned) pumpkin puree.
Note that when making whipped cream in the Vitamix, watch closely and stop the machine as soon as you see it firm up a bit. Check it, then pulse again if necessary. This machine is very powerful, so perfect soft peaks take only seconds, and over-whipped cream takes a curdled appearance that you want to avoid.
Finish the cheesecake with a dusting of cinnamon and serve cold.
Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Oat Pecan Crust
- 2/3 cup whole pecans
- 1/3 cup large flake oats
- 1/3 cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup butter melted
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup cooked cooled sweet potato
- 1 ½ lbs. cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp.ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
BROWN SUGAR WHIPPED CREAM
- 2 cups cold whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar packed
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- cinnamon for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350º. Combine pecans, oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in Vitamix (or food processor) container and secure lid. Blend for 5 seconds until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour the melted butter through the lid opening and pulse a few times, until mixture comes together.
- Transfer crust mixture to a 9” springform pan, pressing it into the bottom and about 1” up the sides. Bake for 12 minutes, then place pan on wire rack to cool.
For cheesecake filling:
- Combine all ingredients in Vitamix container or food processor in order listed and secure lid. Blend for 10 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides and push ingredients down toward blades as needed.
- Bring two quarts of water to a boil in a kettle or on the stovetop. Position the springform pan inside a large baking dish. Pour filling into crust. Create a water bath by pouring boiling water into the outer baking dish until it reaches 1” up the side of the cheesecake.
- Carefully transfer cheesecake and water bath to oven and bake 50-60 minutes, until edges are firm and center is just set. Remove springform pan from the water bath and cool cheesecake on wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to refrigerator to cool completely, about 4 hours. Run a thin knife around inside of pan to release cake. Remove pan sides. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled, or freeze airtight for up to 2 weeks.
For whipped cream:
- Just before serving, whip cream, brown sugar and vanilla (if doing it in the Vitamix, blend for about 8 seconds on high, just until soft peaks form - be careful not to over-process). Pile the whipped cream onto the cooled cheesecake and use a fine-mesh sieve to dust cinnamon over top, if desired.