mini-salted-caramel-pumpkin-cheesecakes

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Mini Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes

November 10, 2020

Move over pumpkin pie! These mini salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes are the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert. Full of delicious Fall flavors, […]

Move over pumpkin pie! These mini salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes are the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert. Full of delicious Fall flavors, these mini cheesecakes have a crunchy gingersnap crust and a smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling all drenched in a rich homemade salted caramel. Topped with a swirl of freshly whipped cream, these mini desserts will be the hit of your holiday dinner!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, tell me I’m not the only one that can’t stop thinking about dessert? Sure, I love turkey and mashed potatoes just as much as the next girl, but I’m the type that always saves extra room for dessert. And then I usually go back for seconds {and sometimes thirds}. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t love traditional pumpkin pie. But you better believe that only the very best desserts make it to my holiday table and these mini salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes definitely pass the test. They are out of this world delicious and I cannot wait to tell you how to make them!

These mini salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes are creamy and crunchy {hello gingersnap crust!} in all the right places and brimming with the most delicious pumpkin spice flavor. Drenched in a homemade salted caramel and topped with a swirl of freshly whipped cream, these mini desserts are as easy as they are delicious. Add these minis to your must bake list because they are the perfect decadent dessert for your Thanksgiving feast. And as if you needed another reason to make these up for turkey day, you should know they taste even better the second day…just like my Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies. Perfect for noshing on after you’ve enjoyed that leftover turkey sandwich!

WHY ARE THESE MINI SALTED CARAMEL PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES SO GOOD?

Lord knows I love a mini dessert, especially when there is cheesecake involved. For further proof, check out these Mini Triple Chocolate Cheesecakes or take a look at my all-time favorite Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes. These mini pumpkin cheesecakes are made in a standard muffin pan which means they take half the time to make than a full size cheesecake. And with less baking and chill time, you can have these pretty little individual desserts ready in a heartbeat. And did I mention there is no need to fuss with a fancy springform pan or a water bath? Sign me up!

These bite size treats are perfect for sharing and they feed a crowd nicely. You can make the homemade salted caramel a day ahead to save on time and there is even a gluten free option so that everyone at your holiday table can enjoy a a little something sweet after the turkey and stuffing is long gone. 

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED FOR MINI PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES

You only need a handful of simple ingredients to make these mini salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes and the only equipment you need is a hand mixer, a couple of bowls, and a standard muffin pan. Check the list below for the ingredients  you need and let’s get baking!

Gingersnap cookies. I love the combination of pumpkin cheesecake with a crunchy gingersnap crust. The flavors are a match made in heaven. For the perfect crust, simply pulse the gingersnap cookies in a food processor to create fine crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, place the cookies in a large ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to crush the cookies into bits.

Cream cheese. Can’t have cheesecake without cream cheese! Be sure to use the full fat version for the very best flavor and allow the cream cheese to reach room temperature before mixing the cheesecake filling. 

Butter. Just a handful of melted butter is all we need to combine with the gingersnap cookies for a delightfully crunchy crust. There is something so delicious about spicy gingersnaps paired with a creamy, pumpkin spice cheesecake. It’s SO GOOD!!

Sugar. We’ll use granulated sugar in the crust and light brown sugar in the cheesecake filling for the perfect amount of sweetness in every bite!

Pumpkin puree. Don’t mistake pumpkin pie filling for pure pumpkin puree. If you’re looking for a something to do with the left over pumpkin from this recipe, you’ll fall in love with these Chocolate Dipped Brown Butter Pumpkin Madeleines

Sour cream. Just a dollop of sour cream helps to thicken the cheesecake and keep that signature tangy flavor we all know and love. If you don’t have sour cream, use full fat Greek yogurt in a pinch.

Egg. The recipe calls for just one egg. Be sure it’s at room temperature for best results and whisk it just before adding to the cheesecake batter to keep mixing time to a minimum. 

Pumpkin spice. I like to use a blend of spices to create the perfect ratio of warm, fall flavors in these mini pumpkin cheesecakes. They have the perfect combination of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg while allowing the cheesecake flavor to still shine through. It’s magic!

Vanilla. Every delicious cheesecake has a dash of vanilla extract for the very best flavor. 

TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST MINI CHEESECAKES

These mini salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes could not be easier to make and I promise they will be the hit of your holiday dinner. Just follow the tips and tricks below to take all of the guesswork out of making the perfect mini cheesecakes. 

Use room temperature ingredients. For a smooth and creamy cheesecake, allow your cream cheese, sour cream, pumpkin and egg to sit out at room temperature for at least an hour before mixing the cheesecake filling. 

Prebake the crust. These mini cheesecakes taste best with a slightly crispy crust so take five minutes to prebake the crust before adding the filling. It’s worth the extra step. 

Fill the liners to the top.For the perfect crust to cheesecake ratio, fill the cupcake liners almost to the very top. 

Do not over bake. Tempting though it may be, try to resist opening the oven before the 18 minute mark. After 18 minutes, check the cheesecakes to see if the filling is set in the center. A little jiggle is a-okay! Do not be tempted to over bake the cheesecakes as they will continue to bake slightly once they are removed from the oven. All ovens run differently, but my cheesecakes were done after 20 minutes. 

Cool completely. Waiting for these mini cheesecakes to cool is rather torturous but it must be done. After about three hours in the refrigerator the cheesecakes will be chilled and ready to serve. 

Don’t skimp on the caramel {or the whipped cream!}. I don’t think I could dream up a more delicious combo than these pumpkin spice cheesecake topped with a luscious homemade salted caramel and a swirl of freshly whipped cream. Sure, you can use a store bought caramel but for a knock out dessert, make your salted caramel from scratch {try this recipe} and add a tablespoon or two of premium bourbon to the whipped cream. ohhmmmgggg…it’s lights out delicious!

Serve chilled. Cheesecake is best served cold so I recommend making these mini cheesecakes ahead of time and let your guests gobble them up straight from the fridge. Top with the salted caramel and freshly whipped cream just before serving. 

HOW TO MAKE THESE MINI PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES GLUTEN FREE

I love that these bite size cheesecakes are a lighter option to a full size cheesecake which seems a bit heavy for Thanksgiving dinner. After indulging in all the turkey, potatoes, stuffing and more, we need a dessert that feels decadent but not overly filling. That’s where these mini salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes come in. They are a real crowd pleaser if I ever saw one and the fact that they can be made gluten free makes them even better. The cheesecake filling, salted caramel and whipped cream are all naturally gluten free. For a fully g-free dessert, make the gingerbread cookie crust with gluten free gingersnap cookies {I like these} or gluten free graham crackers. It’s that easy and no one will guess they are gluten free. 

If you love these Mini Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes, you’ll also love these delicious Fall desserts….

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

The Ten Best Thanksgiving Desserts

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Easy Butterscotch Bundt Cake

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mini-salted-caramel-pumpkin-cheesecakes

Mini Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes

  • Author: Heather
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 18
  • Total Time: 43
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

Move over pumpkin pie! These mini salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes are the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert. Full of delicious Fall flavors, these mini cheesecakes have a crunchy gingersnap crust and a smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling all drenched in a rich homemade salted caramel. Topped with a swirl of freshly whipped cream, these mini desserts will be the hit of your holiday dinner!


Ingredients

Scale

Crust

1 ¼ cup crushed gingersnap cookies

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Cheesecake Filling

12 ounces (1.5 packages) cream cheese, room temperature

⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed

⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree, room temperature

¼ cup sour cream, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg, room temperature and whisked gently

 Salted Caramel

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of kosher salt

Whipping Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 TBSP confectioner’s sugar, sifted

12 TBSP premium bourbon (optional)


Instructions

Crust

Pull all of your ingredients and leave on the counter to come to room temperature. Cube the cream cheese and place in the mixing bowl to help speed up this process. Room temperature ingredients help reduce mixing time.

Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 325˚ F.

Place the gingersnap cookies in a food processor and pulse until the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Using a fork, mix together the gingersnap crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a medium bowl.

Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. I find the foil liners work best. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of gingersnap crust into each liner. Use a flat-bottomed bottle to press down the crumbs.

Bake crusts in a preheated oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before adding the cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Filling

Use a hand mixer on low to mix together cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl for one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, vanilla and spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt). Mix on low for another minute.

Add in the whisked egg– fully incorporating the egg before turning off the mixer. Use a sturdy spatula to make a final turn of the filling and make sure all the of the ingredients have been mixed in. Firmly tap the bowl on the counter at least 5 times to release any air bubbles. You will be able to see little bubbles pop at the surface of the batter.

Transfer 3-4 tablespoons of filling into each cupcake liner. This is enough filling to fill the cupcake liner just about to the top.

Place pan in the oven and bake for 18-21 minutes until the centers are set. Do not open the oven until around the 18-minute mark.

Let the cheesecakes cool on a wire rack at room temperature for one hour. After one hour, place the pan in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Once chilled, top with homemade salted caramel, freshly whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Salted Caramel

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

Add brown sugar and stir to combine.

Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Mixture will thicken as it cooks.

Add the heavy cream, vanilla and salt and stir to combine completely. Be careful as cream may splatter a bit when added.

Remove from heat and let cool before transferring to a bowl or jar to cool to room temperature.

Whipping Cream

Place whipping cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on low until combined and then increase speed to high, mixing until soft peaks form.

Remove the bowl from mixer and add bourbon if desired. Use a hand held whisk to continue mixing until cream forms firm peaks. Do not over beat.

Use a tablespoon to dollop whipped cream on top of cheesecakes. Or place the freshly whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a large star attachment and pipe swirls on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired.

 


Notes

Store in the refrigerator tightly covered for up to 4 days. Top with caramel and whipped cream just before serving.

  • Reply
    Donica smith
    October 2, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    This recipe sounds delicious. Do you reccomend a sub for the egg? I have a family member who has a allergy to egg?
    Thank you in advance !

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      October 2, 2022 at 9:38 pm

      I haven’t tried this recipe with an egg substitute but you could try using flax egg.

      • Tricia A. Noel
        November 7, 2022 at 2:08 am

        Hi ~ Am I using a standard muffin pan for this recipe? Had a mini prepped & ready to go ~ but waaayyy too much filling & gingersnap crust mixture. Thanks!

      • Heather Mubarak
        November 7, 2022 at 6:32 am

        Yes, use a standard muffin pan.

  • Reply
    shannon
    November 12, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    would this work in a 9x13in pan if we doubled the recipe?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      November 13, 2021 at 5:32 pm

      Hi!I would make the recipe as is and bake it in a 9 inch round springform pan instead of a 9 x 13.

  • Reply
    Akta
    November 13, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks for the reply! Do you have a substitute for the sour cream?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      November 13, 2020 at 7:29 pm

      I have only made this recipe using sour cream, but you could also try full fat greek yogurt.

  • Reply
    Akta
    November 10, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Do you know if you can use these same proportions for a whole cheesecake instead of minis?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      November 12, 2020 at 1:36 am

      Hi! I haven’t made this recipe as a full size cheesecake, mostly because minis are so fun to make and easy to share! I think the crust will work for a 9 inch springform but you may be a little short on filling.

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