3 Holiday Baking Tips for Beginners {Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake + Giveaway}

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray. #PAMSmartTips

Tracking PixelPAM SprayThis year more than ever, I am super excited to get into the holiday spirit…baking included! Maybe it’s mommyhood and the realization that things are so much more fun with kids during the holiday or maybe it’s just the general excitement that fills the air this time of year.  Whatever the case, this year I actually want to do the things I always envision myself doing during the holidays (aka baking!)…and doing them right!

That’s why I am tossing out the butter (figuratively of course!) and teaming up with PAM Cooking Spray to help me get that dish right on the first try!

Why PAM instead of my typical go-to packet of margarine or butter?  PAM Cooking Sprays (Original, Butter and Baking) now leave up to 99 percent less residue buildup than margarine or bargain brand-cooking sprays while still offering superior no-stick results. The improved formula also has ZERO calories per serving — something everyone would appreciate during those eat-til-you-pop holiday parties. Sounds like a great option to me!

So, today I want to share a delicious pumpkin swirl cheesecake recipe (and giveaway brought to you by PAM), but first here are a few baking tips non-bakers or beginners MUST keep in mind as they get started in the kitchen:


1. Make sure you have EVERYTHING the recipe calls for.

We’ve all been there. We see the long list a recipe includes and think, No big deal if I’m missing 1 or 2 of those ingredients, right?  But let’s be honest. If you’re a novice baker, now’s not the time to experiment. Follow the recipe to a tee to give yourself the best shot at success. (Experiment the second time around ;)!)

2. Stay organized.

One of the biggest mistakes I made in the past when first baking, was working in a cluttered kitchen. I didn’t look for essential utensils and tools until I needed them, which only added to my stress. Make things easier on yourself and clear the counters, lay out all ingredients AND utensils before you start cooking. That way, you won’t add another hour to your baking by rummaging through cabinets for can openers, mixers or spatulas at the last minute.

3. Taste as you go.

If you’re new to baking you may overlook tasting the dessert as you go, but doing so will ensure you get all the flavors just right. Trust me, once your masterpiece is complete you don’t want to realize you added only half a cup of sugar instead of that full cup — it can make all the difference!

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, on to the yummy RECIPE & GIVEAWAY:

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Recipe

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Recipe
4.9 from 9 reviews
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 10
  • Crust:2 cups finely crushed ginger snaps cookies
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 6 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • Filling:3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. (Crust) Mix ginger snap crumbs, pecans and butter; press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch pan.
  2. (Filling) Using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla until well blended. On low speed, add eggs one at a time, mixing each time just until blended. Remove 1-1/2 cups of the plain batter and set aside.
  3. To the remaining plain batter, add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Pour 1/2 of pumpkin batter over crust in pan. Spoon 1/2 of plain batter over pumpkin layer. Repeat until all batter is used. Using a long butter knife, gently swirl through all layers of cheesecake batter without disturbing crust to achieve a marbled effect.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Do not overbake. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, before serving.

pumpkin swirl 6

pumpkin swirl 5image_11


image_2Want a chance to win your own PAM Cooking Spray kit (valued at $50.00) with a full size sample of PAM and a Le Creuset Pie Dish (pictured here!)?

1. Simply leave a comment below telling me about your favorite holiday dessert.

2. For an additional entry, tweet about the giveaway and leave a second comment with a link to the tweet.

(Example: Enter to win a $50 value PAM cooking spray & baking dish via @mommysbundle #PAMSmartTips #ad [URL])

Note: Contest runs through midnight EST Tuesday, November 26th. All entrants must be 18 years+ and reside in the continental U.S.  One winner will be randomly selected, contacted via email and announced on Facebook.  For full giveaway terms and conditions please click here.

PAM giveawayHappy Baking!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray.

For more information, visit http://www.pamcookingspray.com

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  1. i love cheesecakes for the holidays!

  2. I like sweet potato cheesecake

  3. I love my mom’s pecan pie!

  4. I like pumpkin pie.

  5. -https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/403986252627587072

  6. Tessy Fuller says:

    4 layer pumpkin dessert or Raspberry Cheesecake

  7. My favorite holiday dessert is sweet potato pie.

  8. Carrot cake is my favorite during the holidays.

  9. I love the bake a Classic American Apple Pie (though now I will remember the Pam – I am often left with cooked on gunk!)

  10. My favorite holiday dessert is cherry pie.

  11. Wanda McHenry says:

    My favorite holiday dessert is Bacardi Rum Cake

  12. Wanda McHenry says:
  13. Debbie Jackson says:

    I love making my own pumpkin roll roddjackson at hotmail dot com

  14. Debbie Jackson says:
  15. I love my mom’s chocolate pie she makes 2 for us on Thanksgiving.

  16. I like Pumpkin pie for the holidays.

  17. I like Pumpkin Bars.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  18. Tweet:

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  19. My favorite holiday dessert is buttermilk pie!

  20. I love pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream.

  21. My favorite holiday dessert is apple pie.

  22. Love the pumpkin cheesecake roll and I’m also going to serve a blackberry sour cream pie with streusel topping this year

  23. I love cheesecake and lemon meringue pie.

  24. Kim Henrichs says:

    Chocolate chip cheesecake for Christmas and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!!

  25. Meghan Finley says:

    I love my mother’s huckleberry apple pie

  26. Meghan Finley says:
  27. My favorite holiday dessert? Oh boy – it’s a super tie between:

    Russian Tea Cookies,
    Date-Nut balls
    chocolate yum pudding
    pecan pie
    cranberry salad

  28. My favorite holiday dessert is cherry cheesecake.

  29. Robin Wilson says:

    My favorite holiday dessert is Chocolate Eclair Cake!


  31. I love making red velvet cake at Christmas

  32. I usually make pies for the holidays

  33. My mom’s frosted sugar cookies

  34. Italian Cream Cake is one of my holiday favorites.

  35. My favorite holiday dessert is Salted Caramel Apple Pie.

  36. Cheesecake is my favorite, especially if it’s covered in chocolate ganache!

  37. Jennifer T. says:

    I have to have pumpkin pie during the holidays.

  38. Pumpkin pie!

  39. This looks amazing, hope to try it for Thanksgiving!

  40. Angela Jarvis says:

    My favorite holiday desert is pumpkin pie or sweet potatoe pie for Thanksgiving, usually have a piece of both! And at Christmas chocolate cheesecake or chocolate peanut butter pie!

  41. Love Tiramisu, especially during the holidays ;) Love, love, LOVE it!!!!

  42. Nannypanpan says:

    My sisters carrot cake

  43. Jennifer P says:

    Pumpkin Bread

  44. Jennifer P says:
  45. my fave desert is two layer pumpkin pie.

  46. My favorite holiday dessert is a cranberry-nut pie I found at the Ocean Spray website. Really good, and not too sweet.

  47. I tweeted about this excellent giveaway:

  48. My favorite holiday dessert is pecan pie!

    acartwrightmorell at gmail dot com

  49. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/AACMorell/status/405559674419679235

    acartwrightmorell at gmail dot com

  50. I love the Pecan Pie my mother-in-law makes for the holidays. She grounds the pecans up medium fine and bakes them into the top of the pie. Delicious!

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