If you’re in the mood for a pumpkin dessert, allow us to introduce you to these mini pumpkin cheesecakes. These miniature desserts are just about the cutest thing you can bring to Thanksgiving dinner! And they’re much easier to make and serve than any full-sized cheesecake recipe. To shave a few minutes off of the prep time, grab a box of prepared graham cracker crumbs, or add a custom spin by swapping the graham crackers for another variety of cookie in the crust. Try pecan sandies, gingersnaps, or even Oreos! (You’ll need about 1 cup of crumbs.)
FOR THE CRUST:
- 7graham crackers (full sheets)
- 1 1/2 tbsp.packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp.kosher salt
- 5 tbsp.unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING:
- 8 oz.cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp.packed light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp.maple syrup
- 1large egg
- 1large egg yolk
- 1 c.pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp.vanilla extract
- 1/2 tbsp.cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp.ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp.ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp.ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp.kosher salt
- Whipped cream, for serving
- For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
- Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Add the brown sugar and salt and continue to pulse. Drizzle in the melted butter and process until the crumbs are moist.
- Scoop a heaping tablespoonful of the graham cracker crumb mixture into each muffin liner. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass, press the crumbs flat into the bottom of each cup. Bake the crusts until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool while you prepare the filling.
- For the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a large bowl at medium-high speed until combined and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Lower the mixer speed and beat in the egg and egg yolk just until incorporated. Beat in the pumpkin and vanilla until combined. Beat in the cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
- Divide the cheesecake filling evenly among the 12 cups, filling each about 3/4 of the way full. Bake until the edges are set and dry and centers are slightly jiggly, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Cool the cheesecakes in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator until cooled completely, at least 1 hour. To serve, remove the cheesecakes from the pan and peel away the liners. Arrange the cheesecakes on a serving platter and topped with whipped cream.
Tip: Make these up to two days in advance! Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.