It just wouldn’t be fall without pumpkin cheesecake, in my opinion. I mean, cheesecake is like everything else: it has its seasons. In the spring, it’s cheesecake with caramel. Summer is cheesecake with berries. Winter is cheesecake with chocolate. I don’t make the rules.
And fall? Well, pumpkin is everywhere! Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake, pumpkin jelly roll cake, pumpkin pancakes… and, obviously, pumpkin cheesecake! But this year, I’m obsessed with these little mini pumpkin cheesecakes! Each one is made in a muffin cup, so they truly are small and adorable.
Plus, they’re easy. Super easy! With a crushed cookie crust and simple mix n’ bake filling, you’ll want to make these again and again.
What You’ll Need
This recipe features an easy cookie crust, along with a simple cheesecake filling mixture that only needs a few ingredients.
For the Crust:
Gingersnaps: Crushed gingersnaps add a spicy touch to the finished dish. But you can also use graham cracker crumbs for a graham cracker crust if you prefer. To crush the gingersnaps use a blender or food processor into fine crumbs!
Sugar: I add a tablespoon of granulated sugar to my crust, but feel free to omit this if the crust is sweet enough to your taste.
Butter: Melted butter brings the crust together. Salted or unsalted is fine, whichever you prefer!
For the Cheesecake Filling:
Cream Cheese: Set the cream cheese out an hour or so in advance so that it can come to room temperature.
Sugar: I use regular granulated sugar, but you could even use brown sugar.
Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor.
Egg: Like the cream cheese, it’s best if the egg is room temperature.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can find this on the baking aisle, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and other spices.
Pumpkin: You’ll need a can of pure pumpkin puree. Make sure not to get pumpkin pie filling, which contains a lot of added ingredients and won’t work in this recipe.
Whipped Cream: Whipped cream is my favorite optional garnish. You can even add a little cinnamon or maple syrup into the whipped cream for a delicious flavor combination!
How to Make Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Making mini cheesecakes is very simple! No need to worry about steam, springform pans, or cracking. Just fill those muffin tins and slide them into the oven!
Make the Crusts: Preheat your oven to 350°F, and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Then, in a medium mixing bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the cookie crumbs into each cupcake liner, and press flat with a small cup or spoon. Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, until lightly golden, and cool on a wire rack while you make the cheesecake filling.
Make the Cheesecake Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, egg, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix for another minute until the filling is smooth, and scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Turn the mixer to low, and mix in the pumpkin until just incorporated.
Fill and Bake. Pour the batter evenly on top of the baked crusts, filling almost to the top. Bake the cheesecakes in the preheated oven for about eleven minutes, until the cheesecakes are almost set, but slightly jiggly in the center.
Cool and Chill. When the cheesecakes are done, take the pan out of the oven and let the cheesecakes cool in the pan for half an hour or so. Then transfer the cheesecakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Finally, put them on a platter, cover them, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Serve! Top the cheesecakes with whipped cream, if using, and enjoy!
Tips for Success
Don’t Overmix: It’s important to note that once you add the egg to the filling mixture, you should only mix the filling slowly until combined. Beating the egg too much will cause the filling to be airy instead of creamy.
Add Toppings: As well as whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and/or sprinkling of chopped nuts make a wonderful topping.
Use a different cookie: Gingersnaps are the ultimate fall combo if you ask me, but vanilla cookies or Nilla wafers would also be super tasty!
How to Store Leftover Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Mini pumpkin cheesecakes have a “shelf life” similar to regular cheesecakes. They need to be refrigerated, and last about 3 days in the fridge. To keep them as fresh as possible, and keep other food smells (hello, onions!) from being absorbed by the cheesecakes, cover them well. I like to place them all on a cake plate with a tight-fitting domed lid; you could also store them in tall, airtight food storage containers (plastic or glass).
Do Mini Cheesecakes Freeze Well?
Actually, yes! These do freeze well, although the crust might not be quite as crisp after thawing. Still, the filling will be decadent and creamy, so go for it! Store these cheesecakes in the freezer in airtight containers for up to 3 months, and thaw in the fridge before serving.
Creamy pumpkin and fragrant pumpkin pie spice take these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes to a whole new level! And they’re so simple to make. An easy and elegant dessert that’s perfect for Thanksgiving!
For the Crust
1 cup crushed gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 20 cookies depending on the size)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Filling
1 (8- ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
Optional – whipped cream to top
Make the Crust
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard size muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Stir to combine. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the cookie crumbs into each cupcake liner. Using a small cup, press the crumbs evenly into the bottom. Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool slightly while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
Make the Filling
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth. Add in the vanilla, egg, and pumpkin pie spice and mix for 1 more minute until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Turn the mixer to low and mix in the pumpkin until evenly mixed.
Pour the batter evenly on top of the baked crusts, filling the cups almost to the top. Bake for 11 – 13 minutes, until the cheesecakes are almost set, but slightly jiggly in the center.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cheesecakes to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then transfer the cheesecakes to the wire rack to cool completely. Transfer cheesecake to a platter, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until chilled.
Top with whipped cream, if desired.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Freeze in an airtight container for up to 30 days. Allow cheesecakes to thaw in the refrigerator before you serve them.
Keywords:: pumpkin cheesecakes, mini cheesecakes, easy pumpkin cheesecakes