Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Ball, featuring Cache Valley Creamery cheese, is sure to be the hit of the appetizer table. Easy to make, cute to look at, but most important, super delicious.
The following post is sponsored by Cache Valley Creamery. All the opinions and comments about Cache Valley Cheese are my own.
Cheese dips are huge when it comes to party fare and get togethers and this Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Ball will be the show stopper at any event. Not only does it look inviting, but it also tastes amazing. In my area, Cache Valley Creamery is the king of all cheeses and I love that it’s local. The wholesome quality of this cheese shines in the way it tastes, and has smooth texture and excellent appearance when it’s grated or melted. So naturally I start with that for guaranteed success. If you can’t find Cache Valley Creamery cheese, buy the best cheese you can afford.
What ingredients are in a cheese ball?
Cheddar cheese– In this cheese ball, there’s cheddar in the center as well as the outer layer for both flavor and eye candy. Mild, medium, or sharp cheddar will work, based on what you like best. And since white pumpkins are so trendy and different, you could even use Monterey Jack on the outside for a more elegant look.
Cream cheese- Softened cream cheese is the base for most cheese balls. You could use reduced fat if you need to and the flavor is still great.
Butter- Butter gives extra creaminess and flavor to the cheese ball as well as helps to hold everything together when chilled.
Canned pumpkin- Canned pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie filling) adds a mildly sweet, earthy flavor and the texture adds a silkiness and great color to the cheese ball.
Spices- This cheese ball calls for smoked paprika which adds a fantastic but subtle smokiness throughout, plus garlic powder, salt and black pepper for even more flavor enhancing goodness.
Onions- Scallions (green onions) are probably the best bet for most cheese balls and are classically used. The flavor is mild enough and the texture soft enough for a good bite.
Herbs- You could add pretty much any of your favorite herbs or leave them out completely. Adding sage to the pumpkin cheese ball gives a delightful warm bite that doesn’t overpower but works well with the spices in this one.
How do you make a Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Ball?
Making the pumpkin cheddar cheese ball couldn’t be easier. You could even let your kids make it. First all the ingredients go into a mixing bowl.
The mixture is beaten until it’s fluffy and thoroughly mixed, with no streaks of the cream cheese left. The mixture is then left in the bowl, covered and refrigerated for about 4 hours and up to 24 hours until it’s firm enough to hold its shape.
The mixture is placed on plastic wrap and molded into a ball.
Then using another sheet of plastic wrap, place the now-round cheese mixture on a bed of shredded cheddar.
Roll that mixture again, pressing with your hands to fully cover the cheese ball with the shredded cheddar.
Then wrap the covered cheese ball in fresh plastic wrap, covering completely. Using three rubber bands, wrap them around the outside of the ball to create the indentations. If your rubber bands are not creating deep enough creases, you can press at the top where they all intersect to tighten the bands, creating deeper grooves. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes to an hour more to set the pumpkin shape.
You’re ready to serve your perfect fall Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Ball! Set the cheese ball out a few minutes before serving to let it become spreadable.
The Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Ball is delicious with assorted crackers and colorful bell pepper slices. Enjoy this unique appetizer at your next gathering. It’s sure to be a hit. And even though this cheese ball is in the shape of a pumpkin for the fall season and Thanksgiving, you can make this recipe year round and skip the pumpkin shape.
If you love appetizers and snacks as much as I do, be sure to check out my recipe for Hot Corn Dip, or Jalapeno Popper Pigs In a Blanket. And if you’re looking for a cheesy main dish, check out The Best Macaroni and Cheese I’ve Ever Made.
Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Ball
- 2 8-oz. pkgs cream cheese softened
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar finely shredded (2 cups)
- ¼ cup butter softened
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin unsweetened
- 2 scallions finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
- 1 tbsp sage leaves finely minced (or about 5 leaves)
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp fresh black pepper
- Assorted crackers
- Assorted bell peppers, carrots and other vegetables sliced
- In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, 1 ¼ cup of the cheddar cheese, and the next eight ingredients, through the black pepper. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, scraping bowl as needed. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.
- Place the cheese mixture in the center of a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the mixture and shape into a ball, remove plastic wrap and roll the ball in the remaining ¾ cup cheddar cheese.
- After rolling the cheese ball in the remaining cheddar cheese, wrap the ball in another piece of plastic wrap. Place a few rubber bands around the plastic-wrapped cheese ball to form ridges (I used 3rubber bands). Chill 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the rubber bands and unwrap cheese before serving. Add additional sage leaves and a cinnamon stick (or fresh green bean) down the center to complete the effect.
- Set out the cheese ball 30 minutes before serving so it will be more spreadable.
- The cheese ball can be made completely up to a day ahead of serving. It shouldn't be made any sooner than that as it starts to get a little wet after a couple days in the plastic wrap.
- Any leftovers keep for up to two days sealed in an air tight container and refrigerated.
- The total time in making the cheese ball is the minimum estimate for chilling and shaping into the pumpkin shape. Your time may vary. That being said, if you're in a bit of a hurry, you can try shaping the initial ball after about 2 hours in the fridge. It will be soft but should still hold together well enough. Just be sure to place it back in the refrigerator after completing the shape for an hour to give more time to firm up.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.