If you love pumpkin pie and cheesecake, you’re going to flip over this crazy delicious dessert hybrid! These Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes are perfect for Halloween parties, Thanksgiving dessert, or just because! The cheesecake filling is made with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices, so it’s bursting with pumpkin flavor.
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
It’s no secret the only thing I love more than cheesecake is a mini cheesecake situation! They’re so cute, so creamy, and so much easier than baking a whole cheesecake. That’s because they’re baked in a muffin pan, and don’t require the fuss of a water bath, or an overnight chilling session.
So if you’re a newbie to the world of cheesecake, this is a great recipe to start with! Really, any of my mini cheesecakes are: mini chocolate cheesecakes, mini cheesecakes, mini espresso cheesecakes, mini key lime cheesecakes, mini baileys Irish cream cheesecakes.
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Ingredients:
- Graham Crackers Crumbs: I suggest buying the pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs, which makes measuring a breeze! But you can definitely make your own by processing a few sheets of graham crackers though a food processor. You want them to be super fine crumbs!
- Granulated Sugar: Sweetens our crust without adding too much moisture (so it bakes up nice and crispy!).
- Salt: I suggest fine sea salt, but whatever you have on hand will work.
- Melted Butter: I prefer unsalted, but if you only have salted, simply omit the salt called for in the graham cracker crust.
- Cream Cheese: Full-fat! And be sure your cream cheese is softened before blending, otherwise when you go to beat the cream cheese, it’ll clump up. And could even damage your food processor/blender/mixer. You’ll want to let it sit out in a warm area for at least 30 minutes, but ideally an hour.
- Pumpkin Puree: NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX! Which is loaded with spices and sugars and stuff we don’t want. Homemade pumpkin puree will work, but the texture will vary because the water content of homemade pumpkin puree is often higher than canned pumpkin.
- Sour Cream: Full-fat and at room temperature! If you cannot find sour cream, your best bet is full-fat greek yogurt, which will add a similar thick and creamy texture to the cheesecakes.
- Molasses: Enhances the pumpkin flavor. Use regular strength molasses, not the blackstrap variety, which is too overpowering for this recipe.
- Brown Sugar: I prefer light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar will work in a pinch. If you’re not weighing your ingredients, be sure to pack the brown sugar into the measuring cup when measuring.
- Vanilla Extract: Always use pure vanilla, and not imitation vanilla! A bourbon vanilla extract would also be lovely in this recipe.
- Eggs: You’ll need one whole egg and one egg yolk. You may discard the egg white or save it for another use.
- Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves make up our homemade pumpkin spice blend! If you prefer to use pumpkin spice instead, I suggest using 2 and 1/2 teaspoons in place of all of the called for spices.
- Flour: Just a pinch thickens up the batter, yielding dense but creamy pumpkin cheesecakes.
- Heavy Cream: Aka whipping cream! Do not sub with milk… or anything else!
How to Make Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
- Be sure to preheat the oven at least 30 minutes before you plan on baking. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Lightly spray the liners with nonstick baking spray to ensure your mini cheesecakes don’t stick! (If you want to use a mini muffin tin, this recipe will yield about 24 mini cheesecakes. Reduce the baking time by 5 minutes).
- Make your crust! In a large bowl combine graham cracker crust ingredients. Press crust into cupcake liners, and bake for 5 minutes.
- Make your cheesecake filling! Blend your filling until super smooth. But make sure you blend on low speed once the eggs have been added.
- Divide the filling evenly, pouring it on top of the crust. Bake until puffed up and just a little bit jiggly in the center.
- Keep the mini cheesecakes in the pan and cool completely. Then place the pan in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours. If you try to serve them before they’re fully chilled, they’ll be too soft and kind of mushy in texture. So plan ahead time wise.
- When ready to serve, top with whipped cream (store-bought or homemade) and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a drizzle of salted caramel sauce, if desired.
Looking for more pumpkin dessert inspiration? Check out my 16 delicious pumpkin recipes to celebrate fall.
More Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipes:
- Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars
- Classic Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake
- Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake
For the Crust:
- 1 cup (120g) graham cracker crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 and 1/2 Tablespoons (49g) unsalted butter melted
For the Cheesecake:
- 12 ounces (340g) full-fat block style cream cheese softened
- 2/3 cup (150g) pure pumpkin puree
- 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons (35g) full-fat sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon (14ml) molasses
- 1/2 cup (106g) light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1/4 cup (57ml) heavy cream
- whipped cream
- ground cinnamon
- salted caramel sauce
For the Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Lightly spray the liners with nonstick baking spray, set aside until needed.
- In a large bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir well to evenly combine. Divide the filling evenly among the prepared liners, adding about 1 heaping tablespoonful to each cup. Press the crust down firmly into an even layer (I use the back of a spoon to do this).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes then remove from the oven and set aside to cool. In the meantime, make your filling.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees (F).
For the Cheesecake:
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sour cream, and molasses until well combined and very smooth.
- Add in the brown sugar and vanilla and beat smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- On low speed, add in the egg and egg yolk and beat until just combined. Do not over mix.
- On low speed, beat in the spices, flour, and heavy cream, just until combined.
- Divide the filling evenly among cups, pouring it on top of the prepared crust layer. The molds will be very full.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the door closed for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool to the touch, place the pan in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours.
- When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or a drizzle of salted caramel sauce, if desired.