Crisp and sunny mornings, and the crunch of dried leaves underneath your feet: these are the things that epitomise, and excite me most about, autumn. It's the beginning of our hibernation. We harvest the fields and take stock of what the year has given us. We pickle and we preserve, and we prepare for months of little yield.  

Most thrillingly - and perhaps a vast antithesis to the grateful gathering - we begin to let loose and indulge. Pumpkin spice lattes are my guilty pleasure, so when Baileys released their Pumpkin Spice, I had to get down to work. 

Ingredients - serves 8-10

For the Base

  • 300g gingernut biscuits
  • 75g unsalted butter 

For the Filling

  • 900g full-fat cream cheese
  • 250g sour cream
  • 250g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 125ml Baileys pumpkin spice
  • 2 tbsp cornflour 
  • 1 tbsp coffee extract 

For the Topping and Finish

  • 250ml sour cream
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 2tbsp Baileys pumpkin spice
  • 250ml double cream
  • Gingernut biscuits, broken
  • Dried bay leaves
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks 


Preheat the oven to 160C fan/180 conventional/gas mark 4. Grease a 23cm springform tin and line the base with baking paper.

For the base, put the biscuits into a food processor fitted with blade attachment and add the butter. Blitz to a damp sand consistency, then tip into the prepared tin and press down to compact evenly. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. If you don’t have a food processor, put the biscuits into a bag and bash them to a fine crumb. Melt the butter and allow to cool, then combine with the biscuit crumbs in a mixing bowl and continue as above.

Meanwhile make the filling. Put the cream cheese and sour cream into a freestanding mixer fitted with paddle attachment, and beat until smooth. Add the sugar and eggs and beat again, then add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.

Pour the filling over the cooled base and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven to 140C fan/160C conventional/gas mark 3 and bake for a further 50-60 minutes. The cheesecake should be set with a slight tremble in the middle. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature – don’t worry if it cracks a little. Increase the oven to 160C fan/180C conventional/gas mark 4.

For the topping, mix together the sour cream, sugar and Baileys. Pour the mixture over the cooled cheesecake and bake for just 15 minutes. This will set the sour cream. Allow to cool completely, then chill overnight, or for at least 4 hours.

To finish, whip the cream to soft, floppy peaks, and spread it over the top of the cheesecake. Decorate with the gingernut crumbs, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and cloves – don’t forget to tell those eating it to remove the decorations before eating it, unless they’re partial to the mouth-numbing qualities of clove.