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Food Photography Tip {Recipe – Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake}

There is still plenty of time to enter the three giveaways we have going on right now. Check out the Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer giveaway by following this link, the Quaker Chewy Afterschool Rocks kits giveaway by following this link, and the Bush’s Beans Culinary Institute of America Giveaway here. Thanks for participating and good luck!

Food photography can be tricky. Sometimes, you have to try different angles to get the right shot. A photographer is always willing to do whatever it takes to make a photo interesting, even if that means taking a taste of the food… I like to call that “styling”.

In the name of creating something truly interesting, sometimes you may have to take several tastes.

And what if after all that hard work, you don’t get the shot you were looking for? You’ll just have to start over. Darn. Such a sacrifice, but all in the name of a trying to get that perfect shot!

My friend Julianne has been spoiling us with this cheesecake for several years now. It is an absolute favorite… I don’t even attempt to make it anymore because I know I just can’t make it as good as she does!

Recipe: Philadelphia Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake from Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Julianne makes a traditional graham cracker butter crust instead of the ginger snap crust the original recipe calls for.

  • 25 nabisco ginger snaps, crushed ( 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Planters pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 32 ounces Philadelphia Cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. PREHEAT oven to 325°F.
  2. Mix ginger snaps crumbs,pecans and butter; press firmly onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.
  3. BEAT cream cheese, 3/4 cup of sugar and the vanilla with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed after each additional just until blended. Remove 1 1/2 cups of batter; place in small bowl.
  4. Stir remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, the pumpkin and spices into remaining batter. Spoon half of the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of the reserved plain batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batters with knife several times for a marble effect.
  5. BAKE 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Cut into 16 slices. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

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  1. I’m drooling! That looks delicious!!

  2. I have a weakness for cheesecake! We even had it as our wedding cake! The things we do for good photos :-) xo

  3. I love, love, love pumpkin cheesecake. I will have to try this recipe for sure!

  4. That tip works for me. :)

  5. The crust sounds delicious! I love pumpkin cheesecake… we just had some about a week ago here. ;)

  6. You had me at “Pumpkin Swirl”! ;) Yum. And I wish I could take photos as well as you do!

  7. That’s an excellent tip. Never done that before. I’ll, uh, have to try that one. ; )

  8. LOL! Must’ve been one of your favorite desserts to photograph! It’s all in the name of getting the perfect shot!

  9. After all, how can you style any food you haven’t thoroughly & properly tasted! ;) So you get this cheesecake delivered to you by a friend? I need to find a friend like that!

  10. this just cracks me up – GUILTY AS CHARGED!!! i’ve wanted to make cheesecake forever but with only me and The Professor in the house, t’would be committing calorie suicide – at least you have 4 children and a husband to help . . . tough job . . . really, we have tough jobs . . .

  11. How right you are. Only becomes a problem when you find yourself constantly eating blog posts ;>)

  12. This looks so good. And I’ll be sure and try out that tip on this cheesecake.

  13. Whitney Schmale says:

    Isn’t it funny how it ALWAYS tastes better if someone else makes it? :)

  14. Hilarious! Love the crumbly all polished off plate shot. This cheesecake recipe does look great – any way to have your friend make it for all of us? Love food photography & “styling” over here too! xo

  15. What a great tip….though I think I would be able to convince myself that none of my pictures were perfect and I needed to keep “styling” my pictures :)

  16. Ah the perils of food blogging! All that “foodstyling” might explain why I’m carrying a few extra pounds… ;-)

  17. Great tips. I don’t do it often, but I enjoy the pics with a bite. Makes it look more real

  18. Fabulous tips!! And amazing looking cheesecake :) :)

  19. That sounds delicious!

    And I am all about the food styling, so long as it includes lots of bites. :)

  20. So true! Whatever it takes. Food styling is probably the best part of blogging.


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