Two8-ounce packagescream cheese,at room temperature
⅔cupgranulated white sugar
⅓cupheavy whipping cream
PUMPKIN SPICE 2-LAYER CAKE:
¾cupvegetable or canola oil
1¾cupsgranulated white sugar
¼cuppacked brown sugar
One15-ounce canunsweetened pumpkin puree
2½cupsall purpose flour
1tablespoonpumpkin pie spice
PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
One8-ounce packagecream cheese,at room temperature
⅓cupcanned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1teaspoonpumpkin pie spice
4 to 5cupspowdered sugar,sifted
PREPARE THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Wrap a double layer of heavy duty foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan).
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in the sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all is mixed in. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in the sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla (and food color, if using). Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan. Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan.
Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely (4 to 5 hours or overnight).
PREPARE THE CAKE:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, then line each with a round of parchment paper.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the oil and sugars. Mix until well-combined. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the pumpkin.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and remaining dry ingredients (through nutmeg). Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake tests done with a toothpick inserted in the center coming out clean. Cool the cake in the pans for about 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out to a rack to cool completely (remove the parchment paper and discard).
PREPARE THE FROSTING:
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, spices and vanilla. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add 2 additional cups of sugar and continue to mix. Add additional powdered sugar by the spoonful, as needed, and mix until you have your desired spreading consistency.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Spread a small amount of frosting on the first cake layer. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the cheesecake to remove it from the pan. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Spread a small amount of frosting on the cheesecake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake. Use the rest of the frosting to frost the entire cake.
Keep the cake refrigerated (no need to cover) until ready to slice and serve. It will slice best when it has had a chance to chill for at least a couple of hours (or overnight).