Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake covered with Leaves of Chocolate


Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake with Chocolate Leaves | From My Sweet Heart

HaPpY BiRtHdAy To Me!!!

I LOVE my birthdayIt always feels like such a special day to me, because even though I know that I’m not the only one in the world celebrating a birthday today, I TREAT myself as if I am the only one celebrating a birthday today!  Every year I make myself a different kind of cake.  I have yet to make anything pumpkin this season, so I thought today would be a fitting day for some pumpkin cheesecake!  I added a splash (or two!) of bourbon, cuz I am in celebration mode after all!  And I used a pecan shortbread crust.  But my favorite thing about this cake are the chocolate and white chocolate leaves!  Actually, it was the hike in the woods to pick the leaves that I enjoyed the most!   This upcoming year, I am going to take the time to find something special in every day.  And celebrate more for no reason at all!!!  There are so many good things in life to embrace……this cake is just one of them!  This year for my birthday, I treated myself to ………


A new camera!  I will get it mid week, but it is a Canon DSLR and I cannot wait to really learn how to use it well.  This morning, there was snow and ice on the deck and I had to shoot the cake inside with my trusty little point and shoot.  So I’m hoping the new camera will give me better options, especially for situations when my lighting is less than ideal.  I also treated myself to a couple of new books….From Plate to Pixel (Helene Dujardin) and Will Write for Food (Dianne Jacob).  I’m really looking forward to another year of life with a new perspective!

So back to the cheesecake…….


Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake with Chocolate Leaves | From My Sweet Heart

Yields:  12-16 slices

Level of Difficulty: Easy (though the leaves require patience!)


  • 1 package (16 oz) of pecan sandies cookies
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Grind the cookies in a food processor to a fine crumb.  Pour the butter into the crumb mix and combine.  Press into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan and set aside.


  • 3 (8oz) packages of cream cheese at room temperature.
  • 1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • pinch salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of bourbon

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the pumpkin puree and beat until combined.  Add the eggs, egg yolk, sugar, sour cream and spices.  Add the flour and mix until incorporated.  Add the vanilla and bourbon.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake until puffed and slightly golden about 60-65 minutes.  Let cool on a rack for 30 minutes and then cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.


  • 1 1/4 cup of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cup of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4cup of white chocolate chips


Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake with Chocolate Leaves | From My Sweet Heart

Let me talk for a minute about these leaves.  This is the first time I made these.  What I did and what I suggest is making more than you think you will need.  I probably made 30 or more leaves.  They are fragile and some will always break when you try to remove them.  I read a few articles about making these.  Some suggested that you use a brush to paint the chocolate on.  I bought several and quickly put them aside for another use.  Other articles suggested, for the multi-colored leaves, to put spoonfuls of 4 or so colors on a plate and drag the leaf through.  What I found worked best for me in all instances was my finger!

I used the same technique for melting all the chocolate (I used semi sweet, milk and white chocolate).  I melted a cup of chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water.  When the chocolate was melted, I added one more 1/4 cup of chips and stirred them till smooth.  You will notice with the white chocolate, that when you add the food coloring, the chocolate will seize up a bit…become hard again, quickly.  Don’t panic!  Once you set it over the simmering water again….it will liquify and blend together. 

When you are ready to make the leaves, simply scoop up some chocolate on your finger and paint it on to the BACK of the leaf.  (That’s where the veins are and it will show up more of a pattern when you unmold them). Experiment with this…but I found a thick layer unmolded more easily than a thin layer of chocolate.  Set the leaf on parchment or wax paper to dry.  To make leaves with multiple colors….I just used a different finger on one hand for each color and did the same thing….dip into chocolate and swipe on whatever area of the leaf you wanted to have that color.  It helps to have leaves with stems on because it makes it easier to unmold.  I made mine in the evening and let them dry on my kitchen counter overnight.  To unmold…pull gently on the stem and gently and slowly peel the leaf off of the chocolate.  Some will inevitably break.  Some articles said you could chill the leaves in the refrigerator.  But I found those are the ones that were most difficult to unmold.  I think they broke less if there was some ‘give’ to the chocolate.

Once they are unmolded…I think the leaves are easier to store in a container in the fridge.  So it may be worth making these in advance of when you need them.  Experiment and have fun.  I will definitely try these again and am thinking of different types of “molds” than just leaves.


Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake with Chocolate Leaves | From My Sweet Heart

These were not difficult to make and really can lend a special look to cakes, cupcakes etc.  I think they are well worth the effort!  Let me know how they work out for you and how you used them!

Celebrate and enjoy!











  1. says

    HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAAAAAAAAPPPPPPYYYYYYYYYYYY birthday! I hope you took an extra sip (or three) of that bourbon as you were baking this fantastic cake! I wish you nothing but joy today and hope that all of your dreams come true this year! AND congrats on your new camera! HUGS!

  2. says

    Happy birthday, Anne! You are very special and you deserve a special dessert on your birthday. This sounds wonderful and is so beautiful. I would love to try to make these chocolate leaves, they are awesome!

  3. says

    Anne!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you are having an absolutely fantastic day today!! I hope all your wishes and dreams come true this year and you have a blessed year ahead! I just love the cake you are celebrating with this year!! I adore the chocolate leaves.. .what a fantastic idea! I’m sending you a very big birthday hug!!! All the best to you!! ~ Ramona : )

  4. says

    That is just the most beautiful cake I’ve seen. The leaves are just impeccable. Happy Birthday dear friend, I love your outlook and optimism. That is so fab you got a new camera. I am chomping at the bit to get one myself. Okay so this cake is bookmarked and just putting it out there that my birthday is in January. Just sayin’.

  5. says

    Happy Birthday Anne! This is a STUNNING dish and I’m SO happy you treated yourself to such a terrific birthday present! I can’t wait to see your new pictures. What you take right now are already stunning!

  6. says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! I totally got a camera for my birthday to but I still don’t fully know how to use it. I also got photoshop and if you remember my birthday was in July I just loaded it on my computer yesterday. I’m slacking!!! I also got Plate to Pixel…. so minus the awesome bourbon pumpkin cheesecake my birthday sounds a lot like yours lol!!!! Those leaves are amazing!!!! I love the way this cake looks and seriously I would never have known you had a point and shoot camera everything looks fantastic as always. I wish you a wonderful year Anne you are truly an amazing and wonderful person. :)

  7. says

    Happy Birthday Ann and you bet the camera will be great though will take sometime to learn all the functions and I am still learning until today.

    Its a beautiful cake and the leaves are simply stunning too.

  8. says

    I think it’s brilliant that you celebrate yourself in such a special way; that’s how birthdays should be. Happy, Happy Birthday Anne and may you have a beautiful year ahead. I’m with you on learning how to use a new camera – I look forward (sort of – :)) to learning about aperture, depth of field, etc. Only more fun ahead, right? I love the idea of pumpkin puree in this cheesecake – and your fall seasonings sound just perfect. The leaves….., what can I say… extraordinary? Truly Anne. You never cease to amaze – I could just imagine a bunch of crumbly uni-colour chocolate if I tried making these… ha-ha. Gorgeous Anne!

  9. Brian says

    Happy birthday to the “sweetest” person I never met. Maybe someday I will have the distinct pleasure and honor! Your site just gets better and better each time I check in! I am very impressed!


  10. Anne says

    Thank you friends for all of your lovely comments and well wishes for my birthday. It really means so much and I am truly touched! : )

  11. says

    Happy Birthday to you!! That cheesecake, especially the leaves are spectacular! So impressive, so beautiful! Way to treat yourself to something amazing today!

  12. says

    Happy Birthday Dear Friend, I agree wholeheartedly that we should all look for something special in each day. I hope you’re blessed with many more fun and peaceful birthdays. So happy that you had a visit from the Fairy Hobmother and excited to see your new pics. I’m also happy about this awesome cheesecake and I can’t wait to try it. Keep the celebration going!!!

  13. says

    Happy Birthday!! I hope you had a great day :) This cheesecake sounds awesome and those leaves are spectacular! I love them. I’m excited for you to get your new camera. That’s the same one that I use. It’s so awesome. Hope you had a great weekend. Happy Halloween!

    I would love for you to link this up to my pumpkin blog hop! Those leaves are so cool!!!

  14. says

    woohoo! happy birthday! this looks like a wonderful way to celebrate! and congrats on your new camera, i love my canon dslr :) can’t wait to see all the beautiful photos !

  15. says

    Great minds! I also treated myself to the Plate to Pixels book for my birthday last month :) Your chocolate leaves turned out beautifully! I hope your special day was super fun!

  16. says

    First of all – Happy belated birthday! What a way to celebrate! Love the cake and the decoration is gorgeous! Everyone should adopt your goal of finding something special in every day. I try to. Life is too precious and too short to let slip by. Wishing you another great year of life!

  17. says

    Happy Belated Birthday! The cheesecake sounds delectable! And your leaves are gorgeous – very realistic. Thanks for all the tips on making them for ourselves!

  18. says

    Happy Birthday Anne!!!! I know I’m very late on this, I’m finally catching up on my favorite blogs! I hope you had a fabulous day & your cheesecake looks gorgeous! I actually just made one this morning. I’m with you, we need to celebrate more often :)

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