So excited to share these Mini Pumpkin Spice Cheesecakes with you all! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is coming up in a couple of weeks. If I had to pick my favorite holiday, I just might say Thanksgiving. I really love the food – especially a leftover turkey and cranberry sandwich with allllll the fixings.
And truth be told, I kind of like that Thanksgiving has resisted the urge to become complicated. We don’t have to decorate a tree, uphold multiple traditions new and old, or fret about the perfect gift for everyone. We just make really good food, gather around a table, eat, and be thankful. In light of the expectations surrounding some other holidays… (cough, couch, CHRISTMAS), Thanksgiving feels pure, simple, and uncomplicated. And I just like that!
And yet somehow even without too much fuss, it still feels very meaningful and good for the soul. It is good to be thankful, isn’t it friends?
Speaking of uncomplicated, these Mini Pumpkin Spice Cheesecakes are just that! They are simple to make, and turn out silky smooth and creamy, with the perfect amount of spice! You can even make them ahead of time and freeze them. Thanksgiving dessert – already individually portioned out – DONE! Just add fresh whipped cream and cookies crumbs on top.
They are definitely a lovely cross between a cheesecake and a pumpkin pie. I used pumpkin spice biscotti from Trader Joes to make the crust and added a little sour cream to the filling to make them a little lighter than a typical cheesecake. Best of both worlds! And I like that they are just a mini dessert. Believe me, I only have a tiny bit of room left for dessert on Thanksgiving, and these are just the thing.
I’m planning on posting all of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes soon. Leave me a comment below and tell me your favorite part about Thanksgiving!Print
For the Crust
- 1 cup cookie crumbs (crispy pumpkin cookies, biscotti, Nilla Wafers, ginger snaps, or graham crackers)
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- pinch of salt
For the Filling
- 16 ounces room temperature (very soft) cream cheese
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg, plus one egg yolk (room temperature)
Whipped cream, and reserved cookies crumbles for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a standard size muffin tin by lining each well with a cupcake liner and spraying with nonstick baking spray.
Crush cookies and pecans with a food processor (or place in a plastic sealed bag and crush with rolling pin). Add melted butter and a pinch of salt and process until there is a sandy texture. Place about one tablespoon in the bottom of each lined muffin well and press firmly into the bottom of the well. I like to use the bottom of a 1/4 cup measuring cup.
Bake for 5 minutes, and then remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
In the meantime, add softened cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until creamy, and then add granulated sugar, brown sugar, sour cream, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, spices, and salt. Mix until well combined. Add eggs and whisk in on low speed until just combined.
Add about 1/4 cup of the cheesecake filling in each muffin well. They should be filled to the top of the muffin liner. Tap muffin tin on countertop to release air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes. The center should still have a slight jiggle. Allow the cheesecakes to cool, then refrigerate 24 hours. Serve with whipped cream, and additional cookie crumbles for garnish.
These can be made ahead of time and frozen.
For my crust layer, I used pumpkin spice mini biscotti from Trader Joes. Loved the extra pumpkin spice!
Cheesecake will be smooth and silky in texture if all of the ingredients are at room temperature. I usually leave the eggs, sour cream, and cream cheese on the countertop for a few hours.
Try not to incorporate too much air into the cheesecake batter once the eggs are added. Just mix until combined.
Cheesecake tastes better when it is fully set and refrigerated 24 hours. I like to take it out of the refrigerator 15-30 minutes before serving.