Sometimes you need to mix up your traditional holiday desserts for something a little different, to create a new tradition. Or maybe you’re just looking for a way to allow yourself to still indulge a little bit, but to not be temped to eat a large piece of pumpkin pie. Then there are those holiday get-togethers where you want to serve something small and bite-sized to make it easier to share. These mini pumpkin cheesecakes definitely fit the bill. They’re tasty, they sparkle, and they truly delight the sweets lovers in your life.
Yield: 24 mini-cheesecakes
Total Prep Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients for Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes:
Whipped Cream Topping:
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 2 T. real maple syrup
- 1 ½ c. crushed gingersnap cookies (approximately 25-30 cookies)
- 2 T. unsalted butter, melted
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
- 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 t. salt
- 3/4 c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 T. Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
- 2 t. ground cinnamon
- 1 t. ground nutmeg
- 1 t. ground ginger
- ½ t. ground cloves
- Salted Caramel Crunch
- Caramel sauce
- Chopped nuts
How to Make Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes:
- In a large glass bowl, blend 1 pint of heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract with a hand or immersion blender until it doubles in size and changes texture. Then, drizzle maple syrup into the bowl and continue blending until the mixture is light and fluffy. Set aside or place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24-cup mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Put cookies in a large heavy-duty freezer bag and cover with a towel. Pound bag with a meat mallet or rolling pin until cookies are uniformly crushed into very small pieces. (This can also be done in a food processor).
- Transferred crushed cookies to a glass bowl and add melted butter. Stir with a fork until thoroughly combined. (Note: Add a little more melted butter to hold cookie crumb mixture together, if necessary. However, do not add too much or the butter will compete with the flavor of the gingersnap crust.)
- Divide cookie crumb mixture into 24 equal parts and press into the bottom of each muffin cup firmly with your fingers to form a crust. Bake in preheated oven for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, brown sugar, and salt with a hand-held mixer. Add pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt to cream cheese mixture and continue beating until combined.
- Open egg in a separate bowl before adding to the cream cheese mixture. Then blend in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Continue blending until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated into the batter.
- Evenly divide pumpkin cream cheese mixture between the 24 muffin-tin cups, placing on top of the pre-baked cookie crust. Fill each cup slightly higher than the edge of the pan.
- Place muffin tin on center rack of oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the pumpkin mixture has set. Remove from oven and cool completely before removing mini cheesecakes from tin. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.
- To serve, top with whipped cream and salted caramel crunch or your favorite caramel sauce. If using homemade whipped cream, spoon it into a plastic sandwich bag and cut a small corner off one bottom side. Pipe onto individual mini pumpkin cheesecakes for greater control. Or keep it simple and just sprinkle a little bit of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon on top.
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Can’t find salted caramel crunch in the store? You can order some on Amazon.
Need a 24-cup muffin tin to get them all done at once? Try this one on Amazon.