For times when a pie or a cake simply is not enough.

PIECAKEN is a whole pie baked inside of a cake. Any cake. Any pie. PIECAKEN has endless flavour combinations, which is why this web page exists. So when a pie or a cake simply is not enough, turn to this page for recipes, ideas, photos and events dedicated to PIECAKEN. It is a celebration all on its own, baked into one delicious dessert.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Recipe for Pumpkin-Pie-In-A-Vanilla-Cheesecake PIECAKEN - Delicious!

I made this Piecaken with my own recipe for pumpkin pie and my usual vanilla cheesecake recipe, just to see how it might turn out.  And - being the chocolate-lover that I am - I topped it with milk chocolate ganache. I loved it.  So then I made a second one for a couple who were planning their wedding and with one taste, they ordered it as the main dessert to be served at the wedding!  Yes, that's right.  It is THAT good.

So what you'll need is:
  • A pumpkin pie
  • Vanilla cheesecake batter
  • Graham cracker crust
  • Milk chocolate and whipping cream for a ganache or dulce de leche caramel sauce and vanilla buttercream icing

You can purchase the pumpkin pie if you like, and then just follow my cheesecake recipe, or follow my recipe for pumpkin pie below.  So here is my entire recipe (get ready, it is long!), as well as some delicious-looking pictures, for a very tasty Fall and Thanksgiving dessert.

The 'Pumpkin Piecaken' (short for Pumpkin-Pie-In-A-Vanilla-Cheesecake PIECAKEN) Recipe

Basic Instructions (see below for from-scratch recipes for each part):

1.       Make and fully bake an 8-inch pumpkin pie (my dough recipe, Stokely’s pie recipe) – in the foil pan.

2.       Make a graham cracker crust. Press into a 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

3.       Prepare Vanilla Cheesecake batter.  Pour ½ inch on bottom of pan.  Flip baked pie upside down into cheesecake (or right-side-up if possible). Pour the remaining batter on top and spread into and around the sides of the pie.

4.       Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.
5.    Top with Milk Chocolate Ganache or Pumpkin-Spiced Icing and Dulce De Leche Sauce

If you are buying your pumpkin pie, make the Graham Cracker Crust recipe below and then skip to the Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe and Assembling Your PIECAKEN instructions.

Complex, Fully ‘From-Scratch’ Pumpkin Piecaken Recipe:

Graham Cracker Crust Recipe:

You need:

1 sleeve of Graham Wafers (300 grams of wafers) or 1 box (300 grams) of Graham cracker crumbs – I like the HoneyMaid brand, I find the NoName brand of ‘honey wafer crumbs’ too sickly sweet.

1/3 lb butter, melted

1/3 cup granulated regular or organic cane sugar (I try to use unbleached sugar, where possible)


1.       Prepare an 8-, 8.5- or 9-inch pan by lining with parchment paper and slathering with butter on the bottom and up the sides to prevent sticking.

2.       If using whole graham crackers, beat them with a rolling pin while still enclosed in their sleeve, or move to a plastic zipper bag and beat them on the counter within the bag until you get a mix of small and large crumbs, then place in a medium-sized bowl. If using the pre-ground crumbs, simple place in the bowl.

3.       Pour in the sugar over the crackers and mix with a wooden or large spoon until sugar is dispersed.

4.       Pour the  butter over the sugar/graham mixture and mix until all crumbs are damp.

5.       Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan and partly up the sides (about a ½ inch).  Reserve a handful of the crumbs in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  You can top the cake with these for decoration later – it adds a nice flavour on the top of the cake as well.

6.       Bake for 10-14 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees F. Take out if the sides start to brown.  Do not over cook – this is just a pre-cooking to ensure you have a firm crust.

7.       Let cool and set aside for later.


Pumpkin Pie Crust Recipe:

You need:

5.5 cups flour (all-purpose)

2 tsp lard

1 lb Lard

1 egg

1 tbsp vinegar (white)

3/4 cup water

2 eight-inch aluminum pie plates

1 egg yolk and two tbsp of water (for optional egg wash)


1.       Combine  the flour and salt in a automatic mixer bowl (or regular baking bowl). 

2.       Reserve about a tablespoon of lard and spread around pie plate. Then chop the remaining lard into pieces (about  1-inch in size).

3.     With paddle attachment on blender mix lard with flour and salt until it is crumb-like in texture (you can also do this with 2 knives in a regular bowl, if you do not have a stand mixer).

4.     In a medium bowl, beat egg with water and vinegar. Add slowly to lard/flour/salt mixture.

5.     Kneed the dough on the counter for a minute, then make a log. Divide it into four balls and set two aside.

6.     Using a generous amount of flour on your counter and rolling pin to prevent sticking, roll out one of the balls of pie dough into a circle. Then place your pie pan upside down on dough and cut a circle about ¾ of an inch larger than the widest sides of the pie plate.  Take the pie plate off and sprinkle a little flour on the pie crust and rub it around to spread across the whole surface. Fold the pie crust in half then in half again the opposite way. Do this again for the second ball of pie dough.

7.     Cut two pieces of round parchment paper the same size as your pie crust. Ensure the pie plates are greased and then line the pie plates with one each and also grease the parchment paper.  Sprinkle flour over parchment lightly.  You really want to ensure that the pie will not stick, since you will need to extract it later to place in the cheesecake.

8.     Pick up your folded pie crust and place in one quarter of the pie plate and unfold gently to fit to the pie plate and parchment.

9.     Fold and manipulate the sides as you wish to create a pretty crust edge or simply press down with a fork all along the edges and cut off the excess.

10. Optional Eggwash: Mix an egg yolk with about two tablespoons egg water and beat with fork.  Then brush on pie crust, particularly on sides.

11. Bake your pie crust at 350 preheated oven for 10 minutes. Let cool and set aside on cookie sheets (this ensures easy handling while placing in and out of the oven) while you make your pumpkin pie filling.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe:

You need:

2 cups of brown sugar (or muscavado sugar, for a less processed recipe)

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp mace

1 can of pumpkin (about 28 ounces or 796 ml)

4 eggs

1 cup of whipping cream (or heavy cream)

1 cup of evaporated milk


1.       In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, mace and salt.

2.       In your stand mixer bowl (or a medium to large bowl to use a hand mixer), place the eggs and them lightly until yolks and whites are fully mixed and slightly bubbly.

3.       Pour in the brown sugar and spice mixture and beat together until well blended.

4.       Add the pumpkin and beat until well mixed.

5.       On low, mix in the cream and the milk.

6.       Ensure your prepared pie crusts are on baking pans for easy handling in and out of the oven. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Then pour the mixture into your two prepared pie crusts. Be careful not to spill over the sides, onto the crust edges.

7.       Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for about 25 minutes more until firm but not hard.  You want a soft pumpkin pie.  Just ensure it is cooked all around. 

8.       Also, check the crust edges at 15 minutes – if they are browning and you think they will burn, you make need a circle of foil placed lightly over crust edges to protect them.  You can add this halfway through cooking if necessary. Ensure the foil does not touch the top of the pie filling.

9.       Gently take pies out of the oven and set aside to cool until it is set. You can chill in fridge overnight before making your cheesecake filling, if you wish.  Or just wait several hours until it is cooled and set (for instance, make your pies in the morning, then make the cheesecake part and Piecaken in the afternoon or evening once the pumpkin pie is set). You will only need one of these pies for the Piecaken. If all goes well, enjoy the second pie on its own!

Cheesecake Filling Recipe:

You need:

Four (4) 250 gram packages of cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup of granulated regular or organic sugar.

1.5 tsp real vanilla

5 eggs

1.5 cups sour cream


1.       Beat the sour cream in your stand mixer until it is softly whipped.  Using a spatula, scrape the bottom of the bowl and whip again if necessary to prevent any firm chunks of cream cheese. 

2.       Slowly add the half of the sugar.  Spatula the bottom of the bowl to even out the mixture and add the other half of the sugar. Continue to beat on high for 30 seconds and then using a spatula, ensure the bottom of the mixture is fully mixed into the top.

3.       Add the vanilla and mix for a few seconds.

4.       Add the eggs one at a time and beat for about 30 seconds per egg.  Use a spatula between each egg addition to ensure the mixture at the bottom of the bowl is fully mixed in.  If not, you will have chunks of cream cheese and a lumpy filling.

5.       Add the sour cream and beat for 30 seconds.  Stir with your spatula for a few seconds to ensure the mixture is fully mixed.

6.       Set aside.

Assembling your PIECAKEN:

1.       Pour 1/3 to half of the cheesecake mixture into your Springform pan (with the prepared graham cracker crust in it), so there is a coating of about ½ to 1 inch of cheesecake filling on the bottom, covering the crust.

2.       Pick up your pie and very quickly flip it upside down into the middle of your cheesecake pan. 

3.       Remove the pie plate and parchment paper carefully.

4.       Pour the remaining cheesecake filling on top of the pie. Spread it around the top and into the sides to ensure an even top on your cake.

5.       Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour.  Check the cake after forty minutes to see if it looks cooked.  Take it out of the oven if it starts to crack or looks too firm.

Let cool for several hours then refrigerate. Once chilled, run a knife around the edges of your springform pan and release. Then carefully remove the cake from the plate and parchment and place it on a serving plate (it helps to have a second person remove parchment with you).

Piecaken Topping:

Bring 1/3 cup of whipping cream just to a boil and then pour over 6 ounces of broken or chopped milk chocolate (about 2 100 gram chocolate bars).  Stir until smooth.  Add 1 tbsp or corn syrup or agave syrup and stir until smooth – this adds a nice shine. Pour the mixture onto the centre of your chilled PIECAKEN and spread around carefully.  You can spread it slightly over the edges to make it looks really chocolaty.  Sprinkle the reserved graham crumbs in the centre.  If you do not want chocolate, you can encircle the top edges with a pumpkin spiced buttercream (use the same spice combination as in the Pumpkin Pie recipe above) or a vanilla icing and then pour a Dulce de Leche caramel sauce in the centre and spread to edges of icing – whatever you prefer!


  1. Is there a way to make this with real pumpkin rather than canned?

    1. Hi!

      Yes, I've made it with real pumpkin many times as well. You'll need to oven roast or boil your pumpkin until very soft. For oven roasting - cut in half, scoop out seed and place in a half-inch water face down - cook about 45 minutes or until soft at 350F. Scoop out the soft pieces of pumpkin. For boil - chop the peeled pumpkin into cubes and boil in a pot until it feels very soft when you insert a fork or knife into the pieces.
      Then puree it with a blender or hand immersion blender, smoothie maker or whatever you have, and then with a scale, measure out the same amount of puree as the can amount. Or if your measuring cup has mls on it, you can measure it out that way (should be about 3 cups I believe).
      I hope that helps!

  2. Have you made this using a white chocolate ganache?

    1. Yes! For white chocolate, reduce the cream to 1/4 cup. White chocolate can be finicky and burns easily. You can also microwave the cream and white chocolate pieces together for 1 minute on half power to make it easier to stir together (the reduction in cream makes it harder to melt the chocolate when poured over top). I hope that helps!