Fair warning, I never tire of pumpkin. I’ve already made my 2nd pumpkin pie of the season and I’m sure there will be a 3rd involved at Thanksgiving. As pumpkin pie is equally good for breakfast as it is for dessert, I don’t mind having a whole one to myself and happily eat it for several days in a row. I greatly look forward to Operation: Eat Everything Pumpkin! (which takes place annually between October and December) and do my best to mix in some new recipes along with my old favorites. If you’re looking for a slightly less traditional pumpkin dessert to serve this Thanksgiving, look no further.
Traditional pumpkin and classic cheesecake come together in a wonderful dessert sure to please pumpkin lovers and cheesecakes fans alike. Even my boyfriend, who isn’t a huge fan of pumpkin, thinks these are pretty delicious. Smooth, creamy, and rich, it could very well become a new annual favorite. Even better, the mini size makes for ready to go individual servings and lets you enjoy the evening instead of attempting perfect slices with all eyes on you. These pop perfectly from the pan, and are excellent plain or with a swirl of whipped cream.
This recipe does require a specialty pan, of course, but if you have room in your cupboards you surely won’t regret the purchase. Mini cheesecakes are great for potlucks, large dinners, and dessert parties because they’re easy to transport, quick to serve, and require no utensils to eat (although I do prefer a fork, myself.) However, if all you have is a regular cheesecake pan, head over to the original recipe to see instructions for a standard 9″ cheesecake. I’ve not made the full version [yet], but I’m sure it’s equally amazing.
So whether you try some new recipes or stick with the tried and true favorites, have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. (Or a wonderful regular weekend, for my foreign readers.)
Adapted from Glorious Eats
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs1
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg2
pinch of ground cloves
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly spray a mini cheesecake pan.
- Using a fork or pastry blender, mix the crust ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add a rounded tablespoon of the mix to each well in the pan, and press firmly to form a crust, sealing the edges well.3
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and smooth.
- Beat in pumpkin, eggs, sour cream, sugar and spices, then add flour and vanilla and beat until completely combined.
- Divide batter among the wells, about 3 Tbsp of filling atop each crust.
- Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, and cool 15 minutes on the counter.
- Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until ready to eat.
- Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired, and serve to adoring fans.
1 About 6 graham crackers.
2 The original recipe calls for fresh, but dried works just fine.
3 A flat-bottomed shot glass works nicely for this, but use your fingers to make sure the edges are well sealed.
4 The cheesecakes keep well in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer for up to two months. They’re a great dessert to have on hand! Store in an airtight container.