Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes have a spiced graham cracker crust and a creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling in a bite-sized form that is perfect for parties!
I love all things pumpkin! Whether it’s a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Waffles, Pumpkin Scones, or Pumpkin Yeast Bread, fall is my favorite time of year to experiment with pumpkin. Although I already have Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars, and a Pumpkin Chocolate Tart on my blog, I wanted a traditional, classic, non-chocolate version of pumpkin cheesecake.
One of my most popular recipes is my Bailey’s Irish Cream Mini Cheesecakes. For years, I’ve wanted to expand my recipes for mini cheesecakes and then life got hectic and my plans got placed on the back burner. After unexpectedly having much more time at home courtesy of the pandemic, I decided it was time to follow through with this goal. You can expect to see several more varieties of mini cheesecakes in the coming months!
These mini pumpkin cheesecakes have a creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling and spiced graham cracker crust. Bob used to say he didn’t like pumpkin desserts, but we have since realized he doesn’t like the texture of pumpkin pie. I think pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect option because it has a sturdy, cheesecake texture but you still get the pumpkin spice flavors!
When I want a foolproof, guaranteed-to-be-good recipe, I always turn to my America’s Test Kitchen Complete TV Show Cookbook first to see if they have a version. Thankfully, they had tested a Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe, so I used this as my starting point.
As a side note: America’s Test Kitchen frequently publishes their “complete” cookbooks, and a new one is coming out this month that spans recipes from 2001-2021! Twenty years of recipes from the show! If you’re looking for a good gift for a foodie in your life this would be it!
Because I wanted to make these mini, I had to scale down the recipe and make some adjustments. I also swapped a little of the white sugar for brown sugar just to give extra flavor. My family’s pumpkin pie recipe uses brown sugar, so I always associate it with pumpkin.
Making the Crust
The crust for the mini cheesecakes is a spiced graham cracker crust that is super simple to make. The crust consists of graham crackers, butter, sugar, and some spices.
The graham crackers are processed to crumbs in a food processor. Alternatively, you may place the graham crackers in a resealable gallon sized bag and use a mallet to crush them to crumbs.
In a small bowl, combine the spices and sugar. Sprinkle the sugar mixture and melted butter over the crumbs, and pulse in the food processor to combine. If you do not have a food processor, you may just stir them together in a bowl.
The crust crumbs are then divided among the wells of a mini cheesecake pan. For this recipe, you’ll have some crust left over. If you have more than 1 mini cheesecake pan, you may just fill extra wells.
If you don’t have a mini cheesecake pan, don’t worry! You can make this recipe in a mini muffin or even a standard muffin sized pan. If you are using a muffin pan, you will use more crumbs per well than with the mini cheesecake pan. I just wanted to make 12 mini cheesecakes, so I put the leftover crumbs in the bottom on a small dish to bake separately.
The crumbs can be pressed down into each well by using your fingers or the bottom of a small cup. This is some vintage Tupperware my mom passed down to me! It’s the perfect size for the mini cheesecake wells.
The crust is baked until fragrant, for 8 to 10 minutes, then set aside to cool while you make the filling.
Making the Filling
The filling for these pumpkin cheesecakes consists of the typical cream cheese, white and brown sugars, salt, eggs, and vanilla, then some pumpkin puree, lemon juice for brightness, cream for richness, and a bunch of seasonal pumpkin spices.
In a small bowl, you’ll whisk the white sugar, brown sugar, spices, and salt together.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, you’ll beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add in half of the sugar mixture. Once that is well combined, the other half of the sugar mixture is added and beaten. Then the pumpkin, lemon juice, and vanilla are added, followed by the eggs, one at a time, and the heavy cream.
The filling is then ready to be poured into the wells of the mini cheesecake pan.
Assembling and Baking the Mini Cheesecakes
When I make mini cheesecakes, I like to pour the batter into a handled measuring cup to make pouring the batter into the wells easier. The wells should be filled 3/4 of the way. You will have extra filling if using a mini cheesecake pan. I poured my extra filling into the extra dish of crust I made earlier.
The mini cheesecakes are baked for 15 – 25 minutes, depending on the size of the pan, until set, then cooled and chilled until ready to serve. I like to serve them by adding some whipped cream and sprinkling them with cinnamon. You can also use nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice!
Gluten Free Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Use gluten free graham crackers in place of traditional ones to make these cheesecakes entirely gluten free!
Looking for More Mini Cheesecakes?
Looking for More Pumpkin Desserts?
Check out these other Pumpkin Desserts:
Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Pumpkin Chocolate Tart
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Fluffy Pumpkin Dip with Cinnamon Tortilla Cutouts
Pumpkin Spice Kiss Brownies
For the Crust:
- 4 whole graham crackers
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 7 1/2 ounces canned pumpkin puree (1/2 of a 15-ounce can)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 + 1/2 8-ounce packages)
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For Serving (optional):
- Whipped Cream
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice
Make the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Crush graham crackers to crumbs in a food processor or by placing in a resealable plastic bag and hitting with a meat tenderizer/mallet.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar with spices. Sprinkle sugar mixture and melted butter over crumbs and pulse to combine.
- Divide the crust crumbs evenly into 12 cups of a mini cheesecake pan or into the cups of a mini muffin tin or standard muffin tin. For the mini cheesecake pan, you may have extra crumbs, which can be pressed into a separate small dish.
- Press the crumbs down into each well to create an even layer.
- Bake crust for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Make the Filling:
- Pat the pumpkin puree dry with paper towels if there is excess moisture. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk sugars, spices, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat cream cheese for 1 minute.
- Add half of the sugar mixture and beat for 1 minute, then add the rest of the sugar mixture and beat an additional minute.
- Add the pumpkin puree, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat for 1 minute.
- Beat the eggs into the pumpkin mixture 1 at a time. Add the heavy cream and beat for a final 1 minute.
Assemble and Bake:
- Add the cheesecake filling batter to the wells of the pan. Fill to 3/4 full. You may have extra batter, which can be poured on top of the separate dish containing crust.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the pan, until the filling is set. Remove pan from oven and cool to room temperature.
- Place the pan in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Push mini cheesecakes up from the bottom and carefully remove the bottom pieces.
- If desired, top mini cheesecakes with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice.