My father purchased a cheesecake for my mother's birthday recently and I began to wonder why it is referred to as a cake; it has all the characteristics of a pie. If you think about it pies are generally made up of a crust filled with a single primary ingredient. A pie is baked in the oven and when it is finished the consistency is generally the same as when it went in, unlike a cake which fluffs up and fills with air. A pie is circular and almost never topped with anything extra when it's done, cakes are usually square and covered in icing and decorations. An apple or cherry pie could easily stand on its own without the help of icing, just like a cheesecake. If a cheesecake is not a pie then why is pumpkin pie not pumpkin cake? A pumpkin pie resembles a cheesecake quite a bit but still maintains a spot in the pie family. A cake should be airy when baked right-- unlike a pie which is dense. So why, oh why is it not cheese pie? Or better yet, why are we not enjoying pumpkin cake at Thanksgiving dinner?