Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita bakery’s pumpkin cheesecakes aren’t dessert – they’re an event

Saturday is National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day.

And lucky for Wichita, a baker who specializes in dense, rich, caramel espresso swirl-topped pumpkin cheesecakes with gingersnap crust has set up a business selling them right here in town.

Cathy Grant is the owner of Lola Fine Cheesecake, a specialty bakery that she runs out of a commercial kitchen in town.

Grant, a band director at Life Preparatory Academy and a one-time flute teacher, started the business four years ago thinking it was something she could fall back on once she retires. She takes her orders online and delivers the cakes to her customers herself.

“I have been a cake person ever since I was a kid,” she said. “It was just one of those things where I baked a cake, and it worked.”

Because she’s still working full time, Grant has taken her time trying to grow her business. But with National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day (and Thanksgiving) quickly approaching, she said she’s ready to expand. She currently sells about four cheesecakes a week but could handle more, she said.

Her pumpkin cheesecakes are showstoppers.

The one she brought to show off was seriously heavy, and when we cut into it, we found a dense, creamy pumpkin-y filling. Grant also makes a Maple Pecan Bacon Fusion cheesecake. I can’t even imagine.

A whole pumpkin cheesecake ranges from $55 to $65. Less intricate cheesecakes, like blueberry, cherry, chocolate turtle, plain or lemon curd, are $40 to $45 for a whole and $25 for a half.

A large cake can be cut into 12 pieces if its being served with coffee. Or, if she was serving it after a big meal like Thanksgiving dinner, the cake could easily feed 16.

Grant said she named her bakery after her grandmother, Lola, who wasn’t a cook but who was always dressed up and glamorous, even into her 80s.

“I want to be like her in a lot of ways,” Grant said.

To order a cheesecake, visit lolafinecheesecake.com.

Other pumpkin cheesecakes in Wichita

La Galette, 1017 W. Douglas: This bakery sells pumpkin cheesecake in the fall.

J. Rae’s Bakery: This cupcakery sells mini cheesecakes, and its newest flavor is pumpkin spice.

Parsnipity Cafe: The cafe inside the Epic Center makes pumpkin cheesecake, and it will also serve pumpkin cheesecake lumpia on its LumpiaPalooza truck from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Cox Farm.

Cold Stone Creamery: This chain has pumpkin spice cheesecake ice cream for the season.

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