Fall’s favorite dessert is served in cupcake form with these fun mini pumpkin cheesecakes. Made with pumpkin spice graham cracker crust and creamy pumpkin.
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Table of Contents
- About Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
- What’s in mini pumpkin cheesecakes?
- Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling
- Can you still use pumpkin pie filling?
- Can you make mini cheesecakes in advance?
- How long are mini cheesecakes good for?
- Can you freeze mini cheesecakes?
- Notes & tips for mini cheesecakes
- More delicious cheesecake recipes
- Other tasty recipes with pumpkin
- How to make mini pumpkin cheesecakes
- Recipe Details
About Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
A quintessential fall dessert that’s finger-food-friendly, these mini pumpkin cheesecakes are packed with sweet and creamy pumpkin flavor and a pumpkin pie spice crust. Plus, they also look like fun and festive cupcakes, meaning you can decorate them to your heart’s content with colorful cupcake liners, different types of frosting, and fall-themed sprinkles.
What’s in mini pumpkin cheesecakes?
To have your own batch of pumpkin-infused cheesecakes, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Pumpkin puree – The star of the show! You can use either storebought or homemade.
- Graham cracker crumbs – Used for creating the golden crust along the bottom. You can also use crumbled snickerdoodle cookies instead, but if you do this, skip adding any of the spices to the crust mixture to avoid an overpowering flavor.
- Granulated sugar and light brown sugar – Adds delicious sweetness at a touch of fall-themed flavor.
- Cream cheese – For a dense, rich texture.
- Sour cream – Helps make the cheesecake batter more fluffy. You can substitute this for an equal portion of plain greek yogurt.
- Lime juice – Helps balance the flavor of the cream cheese and, like the sour cream, also improves consistency. If needed, you can substitute this for lemon juice.
- Eggs, egg yolks, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, and heavy whipping cream – Classic baking ingredients.
- Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves – To give these cheesecakes some classic fall flavor.
- Frosting – Technically optional, but a little decoration gives these tiny cheesecakes a fun “cupcake” vibe. Use any type (storebought, homemade) or flavor (vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, etc) that you’d like. You can even keep it simple and use whipped cream or Cool Whip.
Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling
When it comes to holiday treats, you’re going to be faced with two types of canned pumpkin in the baking aisle:
Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling.
And while these types might seem interchangeable, there is a slight (yet significant) difference.
With pumpkin puree, the only contents are cooked and mashed pumpkin (or a variety of winter gourds), with no added flavors or spices. Pumpkin pie filling is made with cooked and mashed pumpkin, too, but it also has flavor added, typically with pumpkin pie spice.
The key difference here is convenience. If you don’t have (or don’t want to buy) pumpkin pie spice, using pumpkin pie filling can save you some time and effort; you simply add it to the recipe and skip measuring the spices. However, it does limit your ability to control the taste, and if you’re using the pumpkin pie filling with other flavors, there’s no way to guarantee how they’ll interact.
This is why you’ll see many homemade recipes use pumpkin puree (which, again, is just the gourds, no added flavor) and season and spice the recipe by hand as needed. It is a tad more work but it also gives you more control over the flavor of your fall treats.
Can you still use pumpkin pie filling?
If pumpkin pie filling is what you have to work with, then yes, you can use it in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the nutmeg and cloves when mixing the ingredients.
Can you make mini cheesecakes in advance?
Certainly! These cheesecakes are best served chilled or at room temperature, so they’re ideal for preparing in advance and serving when you’re ready.
For the best presentation, I recommend making them no more than 24 hours in advance.
How long are mini cheesecakes good for?
Once prepared, they can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three to five days.
Can you freeze mini cheesecakes?
Yes, you totally can! Cheesecakes freeze very well.
To freeze these mini cheesecakes:
- Bake and chill mini cheesecakes per recipe instructions. Note: for best and most consistent results, do not decorate mini cheesecakes before freezing. Frosting types and consistency may vary and could impact how long or well the mini cheesecakes will last while frozen.
- Once completely cooled and chilled, wrap mini cheesecakes in plastic wrap. You can either wrap them individually or arrange the cheesecakes in a group (single layer) and wrap them together.
- Place wrapped mini cheesecakes in a freezer bag or a storage container with a sealable lid.
- Mini cheesecakes can be frozen for up to three months.
Notes & tips for mini cheesecakes
- When whipping the cream cheese, make sure there are no clumps before moving on to the next step. If needed, you can use a spoon or a spatula to press any stubborn clumps against the side of the bowl to get them mixed in.
- You can substitute the sour cream for plain yogurt, but doing this will reduce some of the iconic “tangy” flavors of the cheesecake. Greek yogurt will also make the texture more light and airy.
- For the graham cracker crust, it’s okay to use more granulated sugar in place of light brown sugar, but keep in mind that the color of the crust will be lighter. You can also use dark brown sugar in place of light brown sugar, but this will also make the crust darker.
More delicious cheesecake recipes
Other tasty recipes with pumpkin
How to make mini pumpkin cheesecakes
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Prepare the crust by mixing graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Drizzle everything with melted butter, then use a fork to mix and fluff the mixture until it’s completely saturated.
Step 2 – Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners, then add about one tablespoon of graham cracker crust to each cavity. Firmly pack it down so that it forms an even layered crust. Once done, set the muffin pan aside.
Step 3 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), cream together the cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar, then blend in the pumpkin, heavy cream, sour cream, lime juice, vanilla, eggs, egg yolk, cornstarch, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. The batter should be smooth and creamy.
Step 4 – Top each graham cracker crust with about three or four tablespoons of pumpkin cheesecake filling. The cups should be nearly full.
Step 5 – Bake!
Step 6 – Let cool, then chill, then decorate as desired (frosting, whipped cream, more, pumpkin pie spice, etc).
Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Pumpkin Spice Graham Cracker Crust
- 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- vanilla frosting, for decorating (optional)
For the Pumpkin Spice Graham Cracker Crust
- In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.3 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Add melted butter to bowl and stir until all ingredients are damp and lightly clumping.3/4 cup salted butter
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of crust mixture into prepared muffin pan. Use your fingers or a spoon to firmly press the mixture to the bottom of each cavity in a firm, even layer.
- Set muffin pan aside and prepare cheesecake.
For the Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), add cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.24 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- Keeping speed on medium-high, mix in pumpkin, heavy cream, sour cream, lime juice, and vanilla until incorporated, about 3-5 minutes.1 cup pumpkin puree, 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons lime juice
- Drop mixer speed to low and add eggs and egg yolks. Mix for 30 seconds.3 eggs, 2 egg yolks
- Keeping speed on low, blend in the cornstarch, salt, nutmeg, and cloves until incorporated, about one minute.3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Spoon about 3-4 tablespoons cheesecake mixture on top of the graham cracker crusts, filling each cavity to nearly full. Once all cheesecake filling has been distributed, gently shake the muffin tin to even out the tops of the cheesecakes.
- Bake mini cheesecakes for 20-25 minutes. When ready, tops of cheesecakes should be puffy and appear dry (not shiny).
- Turn off oven and prop open the oven door a crack, but keep cheesecakes inside. Allow them to rest in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.
- Transfer mini cheesecakes to a wire cooling rack to cool. Once cooled, cover cheesecakes with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator to chill for about 3-4 hours.
Putting it all Together
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.