These salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes combine a crunchy gingersnap cookie crust, a smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling, and drizzle of homemade salted caramel. Make these single serve cheesecakes in a standard muffin pan, or follow my recipe notes to bake as a regular size cheesecake. This fall dessert is over the top in the best way possible!
Fall is here and what better way to celebrate than with homemade salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes? I imagine your fall baking list is as long as mine, which includes pumpkin donuts, apple cake, pumpkin bars, and harvest spice bread, but I certainly hope you save time for these! Today’s mini pumpkin cheesecakes are simple, straightforward, and at only a few bites each, perfect for portion control.
Why You’ll Love These Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes
- Flavored with fall’s favorite spices and you can use homemade pumpkin pie spice
- Crunchy gingersnap crust
- Velvety smooth pumpkin cheesecake filling
- Made in a regular muffin pan, so each is a single serving
- Easy to eat, great for sharing, and portable for parties
- So much texture in each bite
- Topped with salted caramel and toasty pecans
We use a wonderfully crunchy gingersnap crust as the base of today’s pumpkin cheesecakes. It’s actually the same crust I use for my pumpkin swirl cheesecake—there’s something so delightful about sweet, spicy gingersnaps paired with cool, creamy pumpkin.
These cheesecakes are baked in a standard 12-count muffin pan. There’s no need for a springform pan and no need to mess with a water bath. Mini cheesecakes are not only easier than a full cheesecake, they take half the time to prepare. I typically use store-bought cookies for this crust, and prefer Nabisco or Trader Joe’s brand of gingersnap cookies. Make sure they’re an extra crunchy variety! We’ll crush up the cookies, mix them with a little sugar and melted butter, and press into each liner. Use about 1 heaping Tablespoon of mixture for each. When you press it down, make sure the crust is tight and compact. Pre-bake the crusts for 5 minutes—a quick, but necessary step.
A graham cracker crust works, too! Try using the graham cracker crust from my mini key lime pies recipe. You’ll have the perfect amount for these cheesecakes.
Here’s What You Need for the Filling
This filling is the perfect balance of pumpkin and cheesecake. It’s unbelievably rich, smooth, creamy, and flavorful. Made with a few key ingredients, each plays an important role:
- Cream Cheese: Brick-style cream cheese is the base of these cheesecakes.
- Pumpkin: Can’t have pumpkin cheesecake without pumpkin! Use any leftover pumpkin puree in these pumpkin recipes.
- Eggs: 1 egg and 1 egg yolk provide structure and richness.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens this filling.
- Spices: Use warm and cozy flavors like cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. If you can’t find pumpkin pie spice at the store, you can use my pumpkin pie spice recipe which includes ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice.
- Vanilla Extract: A splash of pure vanilla extract adds flavor.
Topping for Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes
My recipe for homemade salted caramel is one of the most loved recipes on my blog. It’s surprisingly simple to make and pairs with just about anything. And, we use it to top these salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes! You can even make a batch of salted caramel a day or 2 in advance so it’s all set to go when these cheesecakes are ready.
Drizzle a little salted caramel onto each chilled cheesecake and garnish with toasted pecans. While optional, the nuts add a welcome crunch and flavor—especially if you toast them first.
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Smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake made mini in a muffin pan. Complete with salted caramel sauce and a crunchy gingersnap cookie crust!
- 1 and 1/4 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (see note)
- 2 Tablespoons (23g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp; 56g) unsalted butter, melted
- 12 ounces (339g) full-fat brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature*
- 1/2 cup (115g) pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240ml) store-bought or homemade caramel sauce*
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour the filling evenly into each crust.
- 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. Feel free to toast the pecans for the topping as the cheesecakes cool. To toast, spread the chopped nuts on a lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 300°F (149°C).
- Once chilled, drizzle each with salted caramel sauce and garnish with pecans. Store leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
- Gingersnap Crust: Use crunchy gingersnap cookies and grind them in a food processor into a fine crumb. I prefer Nabisco or Trader Joe’s brand.
- Graham Cracker Crust: Would be just as tasty with these tiny pumpkin cheesecakes! Use the graham cracker crust from my mini key lime pies recipe. You can even add 1/4 teaspoon each of ground ginger and ground cloves for extra flavor.
- Cream Cheese: Don’t use cream cheese spread; use brick-style cream cheese. Full-fat preferred, though low fat works too. Don’t use fat free.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can find pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle of most grocery stores or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. This is in addition to the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon—you will still add that.
- Caramel Sauce: 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.
- Full Size Cheesecake: 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 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.
- Super Mini Cheesecakes: Use 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.
Keywords: salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes, mini pumpkin cheesecakes