Gladys Knight popularized sweet potato cheesecake. It’s a cheesecake-sweet potato pie hybrid. Graham cracker crust, creamy cheesecake filling with sweet potato puree, and warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice are usual. Some recipes include pecan praline or whipped cream toppings.
Southern states, where sweet potato pie is a staple, have embraced the treat. Gladys Knight’s chicken and waffles eatery in Atlanta, Georgia, sells her famous cheesecake.
Best Gladys Knight Sweet Potato Cheesecake
Gladys Knight Sweet Potato Cheesecake caught my eye, so I tried it. Classic cheesecake and sweet potato pie were too good to pass up.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice give this dessert a cozy fall and winter taste, and it combines two classics. Who can resist rich, velvety cheesecake filling?
As a baker and cook, I’m always seeking a challenge, and making a cheesecake from scratch is perfect. This treat lets me give my family and friends a taste of southern comfort even though we don’t live there.
Gladys Knight Sweet Potato Cheesecake Ingredients
For the crust:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 3 packages (24 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sweet potato puree
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
How To Make Gladys Knight Sweet Potato Cheesecake
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and wrap the bottom and sides with aluminum foil.
In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well combined. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, mix the sweet potato puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice until well combined. Fold the sweet potato mixture into the cream cheese mixture until fully incorporated.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly.
Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door slightly open for 30 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To make the pecan praline topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and heavy cream and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped pecans. Let cool to room temperature.
Once the cheesecake is chilled, remove it from the pan and place it on a serving plate. Pour the pecan praline topping over the cheesecake, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
Slice and serve.
Gladys Knight Sweet Potato Cheesecake Variations
Graham Cracker Crust: You can use broken ginger snaps or vanilla wafers instead of graham crackers in the original recipe. This can personalize the dessert’s taste.
Topping: Whipped cream, caramel sauce, or streusel crumble are great toppings for cheesecake, but pecan praline is wonderful. This can make the dessert more unique by changing its texture and taste.
Spices: The original recipe asks for cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but you can customize the dessert with your favorite spices. Add ginger or cardamom for a distinct taste.
Sweet Potato: The original recipe asks for fresh sweet potato puree, but you can also use canned or pumpkin puree for a seasonal taste.
This simplifies serving and amount control.
Gladys Knight Sweet Potato Cheesecake Recipe
- 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 3 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- ⅞ cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C ).
- Mix together graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and set aside. Keep the oven on.
- Place potatoes in a baking dish. Bake until a knife inserted in center goes through easily, about 1 hour. Cool sweet potatoes enough to handle, peel, and puree.
- Beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar until smooth. Mix in sour cream, 1/4 cup cream, and 1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree. Beat in eggs one at a time, blending well after each. Pour filling into crust.
- Bake in 350 degrees F (175 degrees C ) oven until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean, about 1 hour (center may still be slightly jiggly).
- Turn off the oven. Let cake stand 1 hour in oven with door ajar.
- Combine brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter or margarine in a heavy small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat, and bring to a boil. Mix in 1/4 cup cream, then nuts. Pour hot topping over cheesecake. Store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator.
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