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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