Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes are perfect little dessert bites with a whole lot of pumpkin spice flavour. They are easier to make than pumpkin pie and are the ideal individual dessert for your holiday table. Serve them with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce.
As a hostess, I love mini desserts that offer a satisfying sweet treat in a convenient little package at family events and after dinner parties. So, I do have a more than a few mini dessert recipes to share with you!
Banoffee Pie minis feature the superb combination of bananas and caramel with a bit of rum thrown in for fun, while Cranberry Pomegranate Christmas Trifles are a no fuss, no bake dessert featuring store bought ingredients and leftover cranberry sauce.
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Though there are so many delicious ways to celebrate fall, today I’m kicking off cozy sweater season with a delicious pumpkin recipe. This Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe is one you’ll want to save for your family Thanksgiving menu plan.
My family isn’t picky, but they always request Pumpkin Cheesecake or Walnut Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tart instead of Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving dessert. I usually make a whole cheesecake in a springform pan, however this year I’m making minis! They are so simple to make, and everyone loves to have their own individual portion of dessert.
September also marks the beginning of pumpkin spice season, and these mini cheesecakes are packed full of everyone’s favourite fall flavour. From the graham cracker crust to the pumpkin cheesecake filling, these beauties are perfectly spiced to reflect the season.
Ingredients for Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
These soul warming pumpkin cheesecakes contain all the usual ingredients that go into a classic pumpkin pie plus cream cheese. The crumb crust is much simpler and less time consuming than a pastry pie crust.
- Vanilla Wafer Cookies
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Cream Cheese
- Brown Sugar
- Pumpkin Purée
The most recognizable brand of Vanilla Wafer Cookies is ‘Nilla wafers. Unfortunately, they are no longer available in Canada so I have started making these and my Bite Sized Berry Cheesecakes with Graham Cracker Crumbs. I either crush the crackers or buy them crushed in a box, ready to go.
Use full fat cream cheese and salted butter in this recipe. If you substitute with unsalted butter, please add a pinch or two of salt to the cream cheese mixture.
Sweeten this recipe with dark brown sugar or light brown sugar. The darker sugar, the deeper the flavour will be in the finished cheesecakes.
Be sure to use 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. Feel free to buy a pie pumpkin and make homemade pumpkin puree… it’s worth it!
What is Pumpkin Pie Spice?
Pumpkin pie spice plays an integral role in this and many other fall baking recipes. Some people love this warming combination so much that they always keep a jar of pumpkin pie spice mix on hand. However, if you know the individual spice ingredients, it’s easy to make your own mix on demand.
In fact, creating your own spice mixes as needed will give your baked products and dishes a much better flavour profile. The key is to begin with fresh spices. I cannot stress this enough. Thanksgiving is THE BEST time of the year to buy new baking spices because it is also the start of holiday baking season!
So, what are the spices in a ‘pumpkin pie’ spice mix? Let’s start with cinnamon, it makes up the bulk of the mix because it is present in the highest quantity. Then there’s ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg (or a hint of mace if you can find it).
My formula for pumpkin spice mix is 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon each of ground allspice and ground nutmeg with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves. This spice formula will make just enough to use in this Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe.
How to Make Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
For this mini dessert recipe, you will need a 12-cup muffin pan and paper or parchment muffin tin liners. Alternatively, you can make, bake, store, and serve them in 4 oz (1/2 cup) glass jars for a paper-free presentation.
Unlike traditional, full-sized baked cheesecake recipes, these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes don’t need a water bath to keep them moist while they bake. Their small size allows them to cook evenly without added humidity, so they don’t crack on the top.
They are also amazing because they can be easily made in one bowl and take 10 – 15 minutes to prep for baking!
The Biscuit Base Layer
Start by preheating the oven to 325 F and lining a muffin tin with paper liners. Alternatively, grease 4 oz glass jars with butter.
Next, place the graham crackers/vanilla wafer cookies and pumpkin pie spice in a food processor* and process until they are uniformly crushed. You will need approximately 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs to make the base layer for 12 mini pumpkin cheesecakes.
Drizzle the melted butter into the food processor and pulse to combine. The crumb mixture should resemble wet sand. Next, scoop 1 1/2 Tablespoons crust mixture into each paper liner/glass jar and press firmly to create cheesecake base.
Bake the cheesecake bases for 6 – 10 minutes, or until the edges brown slightly. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
*If you don’t have a food processor, place the biscuits in a heavy-duty freezer bag and squeeze out all of the air. Use a rolling pin to crush the biscuits until they are all the same size. Pour them into a mixing bowl, then add the spice mixture and butter. Stir to combine and proceed as outlined.
Make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
Use a stand mixer or hand-held mixer to cream the 8 ounces cream cheese and brown sugar together for 3-5 minutes. Beat cream cheese mixture until there are no remaining lumps and the mixture is smooth.
Next, mix 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 tablespoon flour into the softened cream cheese mixture. Ensure it is well incorporated before you add the egg. Finally, slowly beat in the large egg until just combined. Do not overmix.
Scoop 2 1/4 tablespoons cheesecake mixture into each muffin liner/jar.
Bake the cheesecakes in a 325 F oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are set and the middle slightly wobbles.
Remove cheesecakes from oven and allow to cool to room temperature in the muffin tin/glass jars. Cover the tin with plastic wrap or place mini cheesecakes in airtight container (or cover jars with lids) and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
To serve, remove cheesecakes from muffin tin or decorate directly in the jar. Pipe whipped cream on each cheesecake and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired.
How to Store Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Store your Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The toppings do not store well, so I recommend garnishing just before serving.
You can freeze the cheesecakes for more extended storage for 2-3 months. Allow frozen cheesecakes to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Hi! I’m Bernice Hill and I’ve been the sole recipe developer, photographer, and writer at Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen for the past eleven years. It is my pleasure to share easy to follow recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and approachable for the whole family.
If you make this Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section or in the ratings. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please share your photos and tag me on Instagram. I hope you like this recipe!
Base Layer Ingredients
- ½ (11-ounce) box vanilla wafer cookies or graham crackers
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
- ¼ cup (½ stick) salted butter; melted
Cheesecake Layer Ingredients
- 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese; softened
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar; packed
- ½ cup pumpkin purée
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- I large egg
- Whipped Cream, Caramel Syrup, Pumpkin Pie Spice
FOR THE BISCUIT BASE LAYER
- Preheat oven to 325 F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- Place vanilla wafer cookies and pumpkin pie spice in a food processor and process until they are uniformly crushed.
- Drizzle the melted butter into the food processor and pulse to combie. Mixture should resemble wet sand.
- Scoop 1 1/2 Tablespoons crust mixture into each paper liner and press firmly to create cheesecake base.
- Bake for 6 - 10 minutes, or until the edges brown slightly. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
FOR THE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE LAYER
- Use a stand mixer or hand held mixer to beat the cream cheese and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Ensure there a no remaining lumps and the mixture is smooth.
- Add the pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, and flour to the cream cheese mixture and mix until well incorporated.
- Slowly beat in the large egg until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Scoop 2 1/4 Tablespoons cheesecake mixture into each muffin liner.
- Bake in 325 F oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are set and the middle slightly wobbles.
- Remove cheesecakes from oven and allow to cool to room temperature in the muffin tin, Cover with plastic wrap (or place mini cheesecakes in airtight container) and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- To serve, remove cheesecakes from muffin tin. Pipe whipped cream on each cheesecake and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired.
*Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix - 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon each of ground allspice and ground nutmeg with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 63Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.