It’s no secret I love mini desserts. There is something about bite-size desserts that is so appealing. These simple bite-size mini pumpkin cheesecakes are no exception. Packed with familiar pumpkin spice flavors these mini cheesecakes are perfect for all fall get-togethers.
updated from 2015
HOW TO MAKE MINI PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
Usually, I make cheesecake crust using graham crackers, but since we moved to Spain I looked for a suitable substitute. I found that digestive biscuits are a perfect substitute. They taste great and are easy to source.
In a small chopper, crush cookies until they turn into fine crumbs (steps 1-2). Depending on how sweet are the cookies you use to make the crust, you can use less or more sugar. I use brown sugar, along with some melted butter. Process mixture until well combined, and when you press the cookie mixture between your fingers, it should hold together (steps 3-6).
In this next step I use a special muffin pan with removable bottom disks. No worries if you don’t have this pan you can use a regular muffin pan.
Place disks into the muffin pan, and spray the pan with a non-stick baking spray. Spoon 1 tablespoon of crust mixture into each cavity (steps 1-4). Press down the crust mixture with a small rolling pin or use a small shot glass (steps 5-7). Bake crust at 350F for 8 minutes and let cool before filling with pumpkin filling.
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE FILLING
Couple of things to remember when making cheesecake filling:
- It’s crucial that all the ingredients are at room temperature; otherwise, the filling can curdle.
- Don’t overmix the filling. Incorporating too much air can cause the cake to rise too much and then fall rapidly as it cools.
- More Cheesecake Baking Tips
In this recipe, I use full-fat cream cheese and sour cream. You can also use plain Greek yogurt if you don’t have sour cream. To sweeten the filling, you can use granulated or brown sugar. I use brown sugar because it has that yummy caramel, toffee-like flavor that we all love.
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and brown sugar until creamy, for about 3 minutes (steps 1-4). To give pumpkin cheesecakes their characteristic flavor use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. You can also use homemade pumpkin puree. Mix pumpkin puree and spices into the cream cheese mixture (steps 5-8).
Next, you need to add corn starch, vanilla and egg. Why do I use starch? Starch interacts with egg proteins preventing them from over-coagulating. And as a result, it creates a more appealing homogenous cheesecake texture. It also aids in keeping the cheesecake firm.
Into the pumpkin batter beat in starch, vanilla extract, and one whole egg. Beat just until combined (steps 1-7). With a tablespoon measure, spoon pumpkin cheesecake filling into a muffin pan with the crust on the bottom.
BAKE MINI CHEESECAKES
Spoon pumpkin batter into a prepared muffin pan and bake at 325F for 18-20 minutes. Don’t open the oven during baking.
How to tell if mini cheesecakes are done? Edges should be completely set and the center should still have a slight jiggle. If this is what you see you can remove the pan from the oven. Cheesecakes will continue to set up as they cool.
Don’t be tempted to remove mini cheesecake from the pan. Not yet. For the best results it is important to let cheesecakes cool. Place the pan with baked and cooled to room temperature cheesecakes into the fridge and let them cool for at least 4 hours and for the yummiest results overnight.
Once cool, gently push each mini cheesecake out from the bottom, using your fingers. Remove the metal disk and store cheesecakes in the fridge until ready to serve, up to 5-7 days (steps 1-4). Or you can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw cheesecakes at room temperature for 45 minutes before serving.
Cheesecakes pair nicely with soft, fluffy whipped cream. Make it from scratch or use a store-bought whipped cream.
To make whipped cream at home you only need basic ingredients.
In a chilled bowl beat cold heavy whipping cream on low speed until soft peaks are formed. Increase the speed to medium and beat in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until stiff peaks are formed but don’t overbeat (steps 1-5). Overmixed whipped cream is grainy and clumpy. Fit a large piping bag with a piping tip #1D and fill the bag with whipped cream (steps 6-8).
Immediately pipe whipped cream onto the cool cheesecakes. Pipe several stars on each cheesecake (steps 1-4). You can stop here, or for extra yumminess, sprinkle shaved chocolate, sprinkles, or drizzle caramel sauce onto the whipped cream (steps 5-8).
Aren’t these pretty? I love how whipped cream looks like flowers.
Another alternative is to use a piping tip #1M and pipe a pretty swirl onto the cheesecakes.
MINI CHEESECAKE BAKING TIPS
- Use pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling.
- Don’t overbeat pumpkin cheesecake filling. Too many air bubbles can cause cakes to rise and fall rapidly when cooling.
- Mini cheesecake lasts for up 5-7 days in the fridge.
- Undecorated cheesecakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let them defrost for 45 minutes.
- When using homemade pumpkin puree, cook it at low temperature to remove excess liquid. It makes it thick.
- You can use granulated sugar instead of brown sugar.
- I add corn starch to help stabilize cream cheese filling.
- Unstabilized whipped cream lasts for a day before it gets soft and watery.
- Stabilized whipped cream (with gelatin) lasts four days in the fridge.
- MORE PUMPKIN RECIPES
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Frosting
- Buttercream Pumpkin Sponge Cake
- Healthy Pumpkin Bread via Cookie and Kate
TO MAKE MINI PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES YOU NEED
- Get all the tools in my Amazon Shop
- Muffin Pan with Removable Bottom Disks
- Mixing Bowls
- Piping Tip #2D or #1m
- Piping Bags
- Hand Held Mixer
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
MINI PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES
- 3/4 cup cookie crumbs (use 9 graham crackers or 15 digestive cookies)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp melted butter
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- 8 oz cream cheese (1 block, 226grams)
- 2 tbsp sour cream of Greek yogurt
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup thick pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp corn starch or potato starch
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
MINI PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES
- Pulse cookies in a food processor to make fine cookie crumbs (3/4 cup cookie crumbs). Add brown sugar (2 tablespoons), and melted butter ( 2 tablespoons and 1/2 tablespoon). Pulse until cookie crumbs are well moistened and the mixture holds together when pressed with fingers.
Prepare Baking Pan
- Muffin Pan with Removable Bottom Disks – spray the pan with a non-stick spray before adding the crust mixture.Regular Muffin Pan – line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Fill each cavity in the muffin pan with 1 tablespoon of crust mix. Press it down with a small glass or rolling pin. Bake at 350F for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- In a large bowl, on low-speed beat room temperature cream cheese (8oz, 226grams, 1 block), sour cream (2 tablespoons), and brown sugar (1/3 to 1/2 cup). Cream for 30 seconds until smooth.
- Beat in room temperature pumpkin puree (3/4 cup), ground cinnamon (3/4 teaspoon), ground nutmeg (1/8teasspoon), and ground ginger (1/4 teaspoon).
- Beat in corn starch (1tablespoon), Vanilla Extract (1 teaspoon) and lastly beat in room temperature egg (1 whole egg).
Bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
- Divide pumpkin cheesecake filling into a muffin pan.
- Bake mini cheesecakes at 325F for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are baked, and the center jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature for 45 minutes and then cool in the fridge for a minimum of 4-8 hours.
Prepare Whipped Cream
- In a chilled bowl beat chilled heavy cream (1/2cup), on the low-speed beat until soft peaks are former. Beat in powdered sugar (1 tablespoon) and Vanilla Extract (1/2 teaspoon). Beat until stiff peaks are formed, don't overmix.
- Fit a piping bag with a piping tip #2D and fill the piping bag with whipped cream.
How to Serve Mini Cheesecakes
- Remove cheesecake from the muffin pan. Pipe freshly made whipped cream onto each cheesecake. Dust with chocolate shaving or ground cinnamon and serve.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @hanielas on Instagram and hashtag it #hanielas
This recipe was originally published on November 20th, 2015. On July 17th, 2022 I updated this recipe with new step-by-step photos and a written text.