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.

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Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 mini cheesecakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

Gingersnap Crust*

  • 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 temperature*
  • 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 spice*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Pumpkin Pie Spice: 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 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.
  7. 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: caramel pumpkin cheesecakes, mini pumpkin cheesecakes

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!

88 Comments

  1. Haha, “make toasted pecans your thing” 😉 I’ll try! These look so delicious, and I love individual cheesecakes…I think I once told you that my friend calls them cheesecakies when I make them 🙂 I hope your travels are going well!

  2. Chicago is just the best city. And they have the best pizza. I just want them to be a tad warmer in the wintertime!
    These should not have waited so many months for their big debut! They look really good. And that sauce on top…holy mama is right!

  3. This hits the sweet tooth for sure! I mean come on…. SALTED CARAMEL PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE! Perfect for  a simple dessert. Nice and small portion not to over stuff yourself!

  4. I am in looooove with gingersnap crusts for cheesecake, and can’t even imagine how incredible the salted caramel topping + crunchy, toasty pecans are with this cheesecake pairing. YUM! I’m planning on whipping up some gfree gingersnaps today, so these babies are on the menu soon for sure!

  5. Yes, I love that this recipe includes an extra egg yolk that I don’t have to toss aside and that it’s a mini bite-sized dessert! This looks so good. Now another reason to stop by Trader Joe’s to pick up some gingersnap cookies. Though I may use graham crackers like you suggested instead. Should I add a teaspoon of ground ginger to my crust if I don’t have gingersnap cookies?

    1. Linda, I’d add 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and another 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves for extra flavor in the graham cracker crust.

  6. Sally! I’m a student at Northwestern and wanted to make it to your book signing yesterday in Chicago but had a calc midterm today 🙁 ENJOY PITTSBURGH! It’s my hometown- right by the Williams Sonoma where you’re having your book signing is a Neapolitan pizza place called Mercurio’s AND they have gelato! Go, go, go!

  7. These sound and look simply amazing! A must try!! I made your salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes and they were scrumptious. I have never had good luck with cheesecake until that recipe – seriously! It intimidated me and was always blah, no matter the recipe. My family will love these, especially my hubby as he loves cheesecake. (and go figure – it’s one of the things I have trouble with, haha!) Oh! Also, the little tags are super easy to make! I had fun 🙂 Let me know if you want more!

  8. It was so great to meet you yesterday and experience your baking skills in person! 🙂

    These look amazing!  Who can resist pumpkin cheesecake?!  I wasn’t going to contribute any baked goods to my family’s Thanksgiving because I have a 3-hour journey home by bus and train that morning so I don’t have time to make anything.  But if I make these through step 4 on Wednesday night do you think they’d survive my journey on Thanksgiving morning?  (I could always try to transport them in a mini cooler I guess just to be safe.)

    1. Thank you so much for coming Rebecca! I had a blast cooking for everyone.

      These cheesecakes would survive! I’d definitely put them in a mini cooler for your trip. Safe travels! Thanks again!

  9. I can see why you kept those scrumptious beauties a secret till almost the last minute before Thanksgiving. Now I will be living in suspense till the week-end when I’ll have a chance to make them.  The combination of layers is perfect.  Which one will be my favorite? How about all four of them (including the pecans) at the same time in one perfect bite.

  10. After our drive from Iowa, and a fantastic visit with you, at the Shcaumburg baking show we decided to stop at Trader Joe’s. We do not have one anywhere close to us so it is a treat. But anyway, I purchased a whole cheesecake and frosted gingersnaps, so I think this recipe is right up my alley! Loved! Loved! The show and so did my friend. You are adorable and so personable(and of course a fabulous baker) we had a wonderful time thanks for being part of that. Such a fan…Noelle

    1. Thanks so much Noelle– it was wonderful meeting you! I’m so glad you made the trip to come see me. I had a BLAST on Saturday! If you try these pumpkin cheesecakes, let me know!

  11. I can’t believe something this good could happen on a Monday. I’m still getting over it. 🙂 Toasted pecans are already my thing, as are your pumpkin truffles. They come out perfect and delicious every time.

  12. Holy Moses!!!  I had every ingredient on hand and made these as soon as I read the recipe.  They are amazing!  Rich, creamy, dreamy…the kind of good that makes you enjoy it waaaay to loudly.  (Maybe that’s just me?)

    Anyway, I followed the recipe exactly, except I used Pamela’s gluten free ginger snaps for the crust to make it GF. The result was delicious! And the caramel?  I am going to dip everything I eat into that jar until it’s gone! Sooo good!  Loud good!!

  13. This recipe has my name all over it!  It has all of my dessert favorites wrapped up in one.  Thanks for sharing!

  14. Ok, my entire Thanksgiving menu is almost exclusively Sally recipes!!! And now this has been added for dessert! We did Friendsgiving on Saturday and every single Sally recipe I made was a KEEPER! Your salted caramel is so much easier than other recipes, no wonder it’s such a hit! Can’t wait to try this cute cheesecakes 🙂 

  15. Wow! these look and sound amazing Sally! These will make the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. Can’t wait to try them! 🙂 Pinned!

  16. These cheesecakes look absolutely delicious! 🙂 The combo of caramel and pumpkin cheesecake sounds incredible!

    Dani |

  17. Hi Sally! I am so excited to make these, my taste buds get all tingly every time I read over your recipe. I am making desert for a fairly large crowd and I want to make a double batch of these. Is it as simple as just doubling the ingredients or do I need to do something different? Thanks!! 🙂

    1. You can easily double the filling ingredients! I would only 1.5x the crust, though. You’ll have too much if you double it. And make 2 separate batches of caramel sauce instead of doubling it in 1 pot. Though you’d probably have enough caramel with only a single recipe! Depends how much you like caramel sauce.

  18. Sally, 

    If I wanted to use actual vanilla bean rather than the extract would the measurements be the same? 1 teaspoon? 

    Thank you!! 

  19. I made this in the full cheesecake version.  Haven’t tasted it yet but it looks and smells good.  My question…it didn’t rise very high and looks very dense.  Is that the way this recipe is supposed to be?

      1. This was cheesecake was incredible.  Even my husband, who pretty much looks down on cheesecake if it is not blueberry or cherry loved it.  Thanks for the great recipe.

  20. I made this this week, and it turned out GREAT! I used your regular graham cracker crust recipe and am planning to embellish it (I made the big, springform pan version) with whipped cream. #beautiful 

  21. Oh my goodness, these look like the best thing ever. Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cheesecake and that caramel on top!!

  22. When you measure the ground ginger cookies for the crust, do you press the cookie crumbs into the measuring cups, as you would brown sugar? Or just lightly measure them? I made these today (lightly measuring the crumbs) and when they were done, I noticed that the butter had seeped through the cupcake paper and the muffin tins were greasy, like there was too much butter to cookie. Then I got to thinking that perhaps I mis-measured my cookie crumbs, or maybe my papers were just thin? I used just shy of one whole tub of Trader Joe’s triple ginger snaps for a double batch of crust. Thanks!

    1. I pack the crumbs in, yes. It sounds like there wasn’t enough crumbs– AND the papers could be thin as well. How do they taste?

      1. The crust is thin, tastes greasy and is not nearly gingery enough. Overall, it’s okay, but not great, even though my cheesecake filling turned out really well.  I have enough stuff to make another batch so I’ll give it a whirl with packed crumbs.  Thanks for the quick reply!

  23. Sally, I made these over the Thanksgiving holiday, and they were a huge hit! I love the idea of a bite size cheesecake. With that said, are you doing anything like these for the Christmas holiday? I would love to do a Christmas version of these.

      1. That would be amazing! I would certainly appreciate if you took the time to create a holiday version. Like I said, and cannot say enough, they were a hit!!!. I also did you recipe for the pumpkin pie, and as expected completely amazing!!! 🙂 I am doing the gingerbread and peppermint mocha cupcakes for Christmas eve, I just need to get a list for Christmas Day. Any suggestions? Thanks again for all the recipes and great blog!

  24. Hi Sally. Is there a way to adapt this recipe to make cheesecake cookies with the salted caramel sauce? I need to take 4 dozen cookies to a cookie exchange. Thanks. I was imagining the deliciousness of biting into one!

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