I became a fan of pumpkin later in life. My family never had pumpkin desserts at our family gatherings. I still don’t love Pumpkin Pie, but give me a Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Bread, or these Pumpkin Swirl Mini Cheesecakes and I’m in heaven.
These Pumpkin Swirl Mini Cheesecakes were created a couple of years ago for our Thanksgiving feast with friends. I make so many side dishes and with having a turkey in the oven along with the sides, I needed to make a couple of desserts the day before Thanksgiving so that my oven would be free. I decided on these Pumpkin Swirl Mini Cheesecakes and my one pan Brownies.
When I tell you that we were licking our plates clean, it’s not an understatement. These beautiful Pumpkin Swirl Mini Cheesecakes are packed full of flavor and are less expensive and don’t include a drive across town to pick up a previously frozen cheesecake from that famous restaurant at the mall.
Speaking of freezing cheesecakes, these cheesecakes can be frozen after they have cooled completely. Place them in the freezer on a cookie sheet (without the whipped topping) and then once they are frozen, store them in a plastic freezer container. Thaw the mini cheesecakes in the refrigerator one day in advance of when you plan to eat them.
If you’re not a fan of pumpkin, the flavor isn’t super strong, but you could always leave it out and use this recipe as the base for a plain cheesecake that you top with pie filling or chocolate and caramel sauce. If you prefer a stronger pumpkin flavor then reduce the amount of sour cream and use more pumpkin pie filling in its place in the cheesecake filling. The flavor is just right for my taste buds.
I hope that you’ll try this recipe today and leave a comment below. Also, for daily updates follow @lifeabovethecafe on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest using the social media icons found on this page.
Using a food processor or a zippered bag and rolling pin, crush a pack of graham crackers (8 sheets) or if preferred use 24 gingersnap cookies. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and mix in the spices and sugar. If using ginger snap cookies you can leave out the spices. Pour in 3 Tbsp. of melted butter and stir until the crumbs resemble damp sand. If a less sweet crust is preferred omit the sugar.
Soften 2 blocks of cream cheese to room temperature. Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese in a bowl with the sugar and vanilla until fluffy. For a less sweet filling use 1/3 cup of sugar or use the full 2/3 cup. Add the sour cream and beat until incorporated. Mix the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the filling. Don’t over mix the filling once the eggs are added just incorporate the eggs. Scrape down the side of the bowl to ensure everything is mixed.
In a bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree (not pie filling), 2 heaping Tbsp. of the cheesecake filling, the pumpkin pie spice and 1 Tbsp. of All Purpose flour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 count muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Distribute about 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. of the crumb mixture to each liner. Use the back of the Tbsp. to pat the crumb mixture down firmly. If you have leftover crumbs evenly distribute it to each of the cupcake liners before patting down to form the crust. Bake the crust for 5 minutes and remove to cool.
Fill each muffin cup 1/2 way full with the cheesecake filling and then spoon 1 tsp of the pumpkin filling into each cup. Use a toothpick or knife to swirl the two batters together. Pour more cheesecake batter into each cupcake liner until it is almost filled to the top and then add another teaspoon of the pumpkin filling. Carefully swirl the two fillings together and then bake the mini cheesecakes for 25 – 30 minutes. My cheesecakes baked for 25 minutes in my gas oven.
The cheesecakes will be puffed up when removed from the oven and deflate as they cool. Allow them to cool on the counter for an hour and then place them into the refrigerator to finish cooling for 4 hours or overnight.
Top the cheesecakes with whipped cream and sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice if desired.
Note – the leftover canned pumpkin can be frozen or I use it for my Pumpkin Bread recipe. I serve one per person so my serving size is 12 but you may want to make more if more than one per person will be served.