Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake made mini in a muffin pan. Complete with salted caramel sauce and a crunchy gingersnap cookie crust!

Smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake made in a muffin pan! With salted caramel, toasted pecans, and a crunchy gingersnap crust!

Here I am, finally home, after a crazy quick yet completely unbelievable weekend in Chicago! In the short 48 hours there, I managed to meet at least 150 readers as well as cook two Sally’s Candy Addiction recipes for my wonderful crowds: my easy pretzel toffee and my beloved pumpkin spice toffee. Have you tried either of these cookbook recipes yet?!

I had cooking demo events on both Saturday and yesterday, grabbed dinner with friends on Saturday night (Mercadito— omg the sweet potato guacamole and crispy mahi mahi tacos!) AND took a SoulCycle class yesterday morning taught by my friend Ryan. I take spin classes here in Philly from time to time but nothing compares to a motivating and powerful SoulCycle. I’m hooked! And obviously a little sore today. A feel good pain of course!

Have I mentioned how much I love you all in Chicago?

Smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake made in a muffin pan! With salted caramel, toasted pecans, and a crunchy gingersnap crust!

Before even heading out on my book tour, I made these pumpkin cheesecakes. I’ve been keeping them from you for almost 2 months. 😳 Sorry?

I made the cheesecakes to share with a bunch of my friends one night, who all couldn’t get over the salted caramel sauce on top. Which is made from scratch! And I personally can’t get enough of the crunchy gingersnap crust. Gingersnap cookies, you have my heart forever. And not to mention the creamy pumpkin filling. Oh my gosh. I’ll get to that in a minute. I actually shared these salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes on Delish.com, who published the little cheesecakes last month. Did you see them there by chance? (I share new recipes on Delish every other Friday!)

Let’s pick apart these cheesecakes layer by layer real quick. First, that irresistible gingersnap cookie crust. It’s not the first time I use gingersnap cookies in a crust before. Remember my nutella pumpkin pie? I love pairing these spicy sweet cookies with pumpkin. And they’ve definitely found their home here in my salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes. I use store-bought. (Hey. At least the salted caramel is homemade!) I prefer Nabisco or Trader Joe’s brand. Make sure they are an extra crunchy variety. Just crush them up and mix them with a little sugar and melted butter to help bind.

A graham cracker crust works too.

Smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake made in a muffin pan! With salted caramel, toasted pecans, and a crunchy gingersnap crust!

Now that unbelievably rich, smooth, creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling. The perfect balance of pumpkin and cheesecake. Holy mama! Good enough to make me type something like “holy mama!” 😐 Just a few key ingredients here like brick-style cream cheese, pumpkin puree, egg, egg yolk, and some fabulous fall flavors like cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. That’s all you need for the filling. The extra egg yolk provides a little extra richness. Don’t leave that out. This is all beaten together and poured on top the crusts– which you have pressed into a 12-count muffin pan.

Want to make a full pumpkin cheesecake in a springform pan instead? Or even super mini size in a 24-count muffin pan? Check my recipe notes! So many ways to enjoy pumpkin cheesecake.

And the grand finale! We’ve got my beloved salted caramel sauce. (–> Find the recipe there!) Funny story– I had at least a dozen readers at both signings this weekend talk about their love for my homemade salted caramel sauce. And I know they aren’t alone! That recipe definitely wins the most popular award. And it’s surprisingly simple to make. Have you ever tried it? I encourage you to. I have plenty of step-by-step photos in the recipe for you just in case cooking sugar intimidates you. (It shouldn’t!) Visuals always help me learn.

And what better place for my homemade salted caramel sauce? Well, besides a spoon.

Smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake made in a muffin pan! With salted caramel, toasted pecans, and a crunchy gingersnap crust!

And I almost forgot the cheesecakes’ garnish: toasted pecans. My secret weapon in the kitchen. Feel free to leave them off if nuts aren’t your thing. But make toasted pecans your thing. Please.

Salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes: over the top in the best way possible. Make them part of your holiday meals or, you know, your regular Monday night.

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake made mini in a muffin pan. Complete with salted caramel sauce and a crunchy gingersnap cookie crust!

Ingredients:

Gingersnap Crust1

  • 1 and 1/4 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (use crunchy gingersnap cookies and grind in processor - I prefer Nabisco or Trader Joe's brand)
  • 2 Tablespoons (23g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted

Pumpkin Filling

  • 12 ounces (336g) brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature2
  • 1/2 cup (114g) pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice3
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup (240ml) store-bought or homemade caramel sauce 4
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (toast for 10 minutes at 300°F)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with liners and a second 12-count muffin pan with only 4 (this recipe makes 16). Set aside.
  2. Make the crust: Mix the cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter together in a medium bowl until combined. The mixture will be thick, coarse, and sandy. Press a heaping Tablespoon of mixture down into each liner, making sure the crust is tight and compact. You might have a little crust leftover. If so, press a little more into each liner—if desired! Pre-bake the crusts for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until completely smooth, about 1 minute. On medium-high speed, beat in pumpkin, egg and egg yolk, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. On high speed, beat in sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla until combined.
  4. Pour the filling evenly into each crust.
  5. Bake until centers of pies only slightly jiggle, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cheesecakes cool at room temperature in the pan set on a wire rack. Once completely cool, place cheesecakes in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. The cheesecakes will slightly sink in the middle- that's ok! It gives you room for the caramel.
  6. Once chilled, drizzle each with salted caramel sauce and garnish with toasted pecans. Store leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  7. Make ahead tip: Prepare the cheesecakes through step 4 up to 2-3 days in advance. Cover unbaked cheesecakes and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Continue with step 5. Freeze individual baked cheesecakes, without caramel topping, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  1. A graham cracker crust would be just as tasty with these tiny pumpkin cheesecakes. Click here for how to make the graham cracker crust recipe. You can even add 1/4 teaspoon each of ground ginger and ground cloves for extra flavor!
  2. Don't use cream cheese spread; use brick-style cream cheese. Full-fat preferred, though low fat works too. Don't use fat free.
  3. You can make your own 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice by blending a generous pinch each of ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice.
  4. If using my homemade caramel sauce, please keep in mind this is a salted caramel. If you prefer a sweeter caramel, reduce salt in the caramel sauce to 1/2 teaspoon. You can make the caramel sauce in advance-- see make ahead tip in the caramel recipe.

Want to make a full cheesecake instead? Double the filling ingredients (not the crust). Press the crust into a 9-inch springform pan. Pour filling on top. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for around 1 hour, give or take. Use a water bath to help prevent cracks in your cheesecake. Once the pumpkin cheesecake is cooled to room temperature, refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours before drizzling with caramel and serving. No need to double the caramel sauce recipe.

Want to make super mini cheesecakes in a 24-count mini muffin pan? Follow the recipe as written and press 1 teaspoon of crust into each mini muffin liner. Pour filling evenly into each. Bake time will be about 10 minutes, give or take. Yields about 40-50.

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

You have to try my chocolate chip version too!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes

And these pumpkin truffles too, of course.

Easy pumpkin spice truffles on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake made in a muffin pan! With salted caramel, toasted pecans, and a crunchy gingersnap crust!
Smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake made in a muffin pan! With salted caramel, toasted pecans, and a crunchy gingersnap crust!

78 Comments

Comments

  1. Patty on December 8, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Oh my goodness, Sally! You went over the top with this one…that crust, that filling, that topping!!! Pure indulgence! 

  2. Faye on December 17, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Sally, I intend to make this for Christmas Eve dessert. What are your thoughts on making this in a tart pan? I have different sizes and would love any tips you can throw out for baking this into a one-big cheesecake tart. I’d also love it if the middle still sank a bit so I can puddle the caramel sauce in there :). Thank you!

    • Sally on December 18, 2015 at 8:22 am

      The middle will likely sink. I’m unsure of the bake time for a large tart, though. You will likely be able to get two 9 inch tarts from all this batter!

      • Faye on December 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

        I made this for Xmas dessert! Used a 9-inch (deep) tart pan. The batter fit almost perfectly with a small bit left over – not a big deal! Baked it till it was just slightly jiggly in the center. It was delish, Sally! I topped it exactly like you have it here. I sliced it into thin slices cleanly and kept it refrigerated till an hour before serving. It was devoured! Thank you. 



  3. Vonnie on December 19, 2015 at 8:05 am

    These are excellent!  I made these 4 times in one week and so far these have been a huge hit at each event!  I use only 13 cupcake liners to make the cheesecakes a little taller. Perfect for a small,light dessert!  I also made them gluten free using gluten free ginger snaps!

  4. Taylor B on December 23, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Hey Sally!

    If I want to double the recipe to make a full cheesecake but only have two cream cheese bars (so 16 ounces), can I use 8 ounces of greek yogurt to make up for the other cream cheese or is that just not a substitution that could be made? I really wanted to make this but just can’t get to the store for a couple days so wanted to check what you thought. 

    Thanks!

    • Sally on December 24, 2015 at 6:17 am

      You really need the cream cheese. That’s slightly too much yogurt and the filling may not completely set.

  5. Krithika on January 8, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Only hours after planning on some healthier dessert options, I’ve decided that cheesecake will be the next big thing I want to try. And this pre-portioned recipe sounds perfect, especially since I’ve been planning to make that caramel sauce for a while now.
    I have a couple of newbie questions. I wanted to double check that I should use the whisk attachment on my stand mixer to beat the cream cheese? And continue using that for the whole filling mixing process? I’d’ve thought the paddle attachment is preferable for this sorta thing, but I’m sure there’s a reason for this.
    Also, how exactly can I check for doneness? I have a feeling my oven runs hot (despite TWO oven thermometers telling me otherwise), so I have to be extra careful not to overbake anything.

    • Sally on January 10, 2016 at 10:46 am

      A whisk attachment will really help break up the cream cheese. You can use it for the whole mixing process, yes. When the cheesecakes are no longer jiggly, they are done!

  6. Ashley on September 8, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Any suggestions on how I could make these with a chocolate crust? I’m not a fan of gingersnaps and I feel like I ALWAYS use graham crackers. Plus I just really like chocolate. I’m really looking for an excuse to make your salted caramel sauce again. I can’t believe how easy and delicious it is! 

    • Sally on September 8, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      I’m glad you enjoy the salted caramel sauce, Ashley! You can use Oreos for the crust– like I did for these salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes. Or use chocolate wafer cookies (like Oreos, without the cream filling).

  7. Rachel on October 17, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Sally! I made the caramel sauce last night, and plan to make the cheesecakes tonight. I don’t know what I did wrong with the caramel, but it was super thick and gummy. I’ve had great success with your caramel recipe before, so I’m sure it was user error. Do you think I could thin it out by heating it and adding more half and half? Or should I just make a new batch? Thanks!

    • Sally on October 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Did you use cream or half-and-half? Hopefully it was cream! Warming it up will thin it out 🙂

      • Rachel on October 17, 2016 at 3:56 pm

        Okay, thanks! I did use cream — I don’t know why I wrote “more” half and half.



      • Sally on October 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm

        No worries! Definitely warm it up though. 🙂



  8. Kim on October 31, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    I have made these and they were delicious. I would like to make a whole cheesecake but do not have a springform pan. Do you think I could put parchment paper in a 9×13 pan and make it in there?

    • Sally on November 1, 2016 at 9:08 am

      I’m sure you could make these more into bars– though I would use an 11×7 pan. I believe the 9×13 will be too large.

  9. Cheryl on November 14, 2016 at 10:08 am

    These cheesecakes are to die for! It’s a good thing I am limiting my sugar intake or I would probably eat the whole recipe! I am hosting an event and know I will have to make another batch because the folks in my crowd will eat one mini and go back for 4 more. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  10. Audrey on November 22, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Hey Sally, I unfortunately do not have a food processor. Would it work just as well to put the gingersnap cookies in a blender?

  11. Lindsay on December 15, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Can you make the crust with your gingersnap cookie recipe or should I use store bought gingersnaps instead?

  12. Raquel S. on September 11, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    These look delicious!! I can’t wait to make them!

    What kind of salt do you use in the salted caramel recipe? Kosher salt or table salt?

    • Sally on September 12, 2017 at 8:42 am

      I’ve used both in the past– either are great.

  13. Erika on October 23, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Hi Sally! I am dying to make these this weekend but I can’t seem to find pumpkin puree at my grocery store (Wegmans). Any suggestions on where I could find some? Thank you!

    • Sally on October 23, 2017 at 11:44 am

      That’s my regular grocery too– have you checked the baking aisle? Try another major grocery store. Target also carries it too. Maybe it’s just sold out temporarily?

  14. Erika on November 6, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Hi Sally! I am planning on making these tomorrow for some Fall Bake-Off fun at work. I would like to double the recipe for the mini cheesecakes; any tips on that or will I be good if I just double everything? I know I can always count on your website when I want to make something that people will love!

    • Sally on November 6, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      For this recipe you should be fine just doubling everything! Have fun!

      • Erika on November 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        Thank you!



  15. Kerry on November 7, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Sally,

    Do I need to pre-bake the crust for the mini version or just 10 minutes for everything?

    Thanks!

    • Sally on November 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      I would, yes. About 5 minutes.

  16. GRETCHEN FAHRINGER on November 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    I have extra mixture. What could I make with it? I was going to do a cheesecake but my pan is too big. I don’t need more muffins per se. Could I cook it and have a pudding?

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