Sweet ReMarks: All Things Pumpkin!!

by | Desserts, In the Kitchen, Recipes

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

Hello Autumn!

We are ready for you and all the things you have to offer! Give us those red and yellow, fiery-colored leaves. Bring on your crisp morning air that requires soft cozy sweaters. And please, please, give us ALL THINGS PUMPKIN! Fall wouldn’t be complete without the smells and tastes of everything made with pumpkin. It’s only here for a short season so why not jump on the harvest-flavor bandwagon and turn your baked delights into all things pumpkin!


Canned pumpkin

Using canned pumpkin is the easiest way to incorporate this flavor into your baked goods. When you use canned pumpkin, make sure you use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. These are two completely different ingredients and cannot be used interchangeably. That is very important so please double check when you purchase them at the store. They look very similar and are usually displayed right next to each other. The pumpkin puree can be mixed into any batter you are whipping up: cupcakes, muffins, pancakes or waffles, breads, cookies … whatever it is that you are making that you want a splash of fall flavor, just add a little pumpkin!


So how much pumpkin do you add?

For a single batch recipe, let’s say for a dozen cupcakes for example, start by adding ¼ cup of pumpkin. Make sure you write this down as a side note on your recipe in case it’s the perfect amount or maybe you want to add more next time. Just know that if you add too much you may throw off the balance of the flour ratio which can make the batter soupy or gummy. So, start with small increments of pumpkin puree and build from there.


Punch up the flavor

Once you have the puree added, now you can add a punch more flavor! Add pumpkin pie spice, vanilla bean paste, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and/or allspice. And if you’re really daring, add chili powder or curry powder. Don’t knock it until you try it! Imagine the warmth of a pumpkin chili chocolate chip waffle topped with honey butter and a drizzle of maple syrup and chocolate sauce. Holy flavor explosion! If you try out this flavor composition, you can even add a little cayenne pepper to give it a kick. Pumpkin is one of those flavors that can easily transition from savory to sweet. Allow yourself to be adventurous in the kitchen and experiment with flavors & textures.



Great nutrition, too!

The beauty of using pumpkin is that it not only adds color and flavor, it also amps up the nutrition in your recipe. Yep I said it, pumpkin is nutritious. It has fiber, Vitamin K & C, folate, iron and is low in calories and fat. That said, did you know that out of all the pies there are, Pumpkin Pie is generally the lowest in calorie and fat when compared side by side. That is due to the pumpkin! I’d say that’s a pretty decent way to top off your Thanksgiving feast.





Here’s a decadent recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake

I’m just going to warn you this one is not low fat due to all of the cream cheese in this recipe. But I promise you it is worth every single bite! Enjoy!




Pumpkin Cheesecake By Keli Marks


Begin with:

  • Prepared Graham Cracker base baked in a springform pan.
  • Then wrap the outside of the pan in foil to prevent water from seeping in during the baking process.


Ingredients for the Cheesecake Batter:

Cream Cheese               1 ½ pounds

Pumpkin Puree            2 Cups

Vanilla Extract               2 teaspoons

Eggs                                4 each

All Purpose Flour        ½ Cup

Cinnamon                     ¼ teaspoon

Nutmeg                         pinch

Sugar                              1 ½ Cups



  • Soften cream cheese in the microwave in one-minute increments until it is soft enough to cream in Kitchen Aid mixer.
  • Add the softened cream cheese to the Kitchen Aid bowl fitted with a paddle.
  • Turn on medium high speed. Allow to paddle for 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the mixer. Scrape down then turn back on for 2 minutes.
  • Add half of the pumpkin puree. Mix on low speed for 1 minute.
  • Scrape down and add remaining pumpkin. Mix until it comes together.
  • Scrape down. (This stopping, scraping and mixing is imperative to creating a super creamy cheesecake. This is the most complicated cheesecake batter to make. Be patient and be methodical during this process.) Add eggs one at a time.
  • Scrape down the bowl and make sure you scrape the very bottom. Once the mixture is a beautiful consistency, add all the dry sifted ingredients at once and turn on low speed to bring together. Then turn off the mixer and pour into the prepared cheesecake pan.
  • Place the cheesecake pan in a larger pan of hot water. The hot water should be halfway up the cheesecake pan.
  • Place on the center rack in your oven that is set between 270F – 310F (depending on your oven.)
  • Bake 45 minutes to 75 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the top looks like it is baked and dry. It will be slightly jiggly in center but not too much.
  • When the cheesecake is removed from the oven, allow it to rest for 20 minutes before removing the springform. Wrap in plastic wrap or place a cover over the top and refrigerate overnight.
  • Serve with chocolate sauce, toasted pumpkin seeds, cinnamon Chantilly cream and a splash of pumpkin oil.



Printable version of this recipe



Autumn leaves, pumpkins, and spice mages courtesy of Pixabay.com
Pumpkin cheesecake photo courtesy of Keli Marks



Pastry Chef Keli Marks

Pastry Chef Keli Marks is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. She received a full year education at the French Pastry School in Chicago, IL in exchange for being the very first assistant to Jacquy Pfeiffer & Sebastien Canonne, MOF when they opened the school in 1996.

Keli has been on the Food Network on three separate occasions: Sugar Rush, Romance Novel Cake Challenge and The Holiday Baking Championships. In addition, she was on the Chicago chapter’s board for Les Dames d’Escoffier from 2009 – 2011 and was a guest pastry chef at the famed James Beard House in NYC in 2013.

As the pastry chef owner of Bakery 28, she incorporates local ingredients from farmers within the Carolinas and promises to only use natural ingredients.



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