The perfect mini dessert to satisfy your cheesecake craving! Plenty of pumpkin flavor, fewer calories and easy to make. Simply use a Gingersnap cookie for the crust!
There’s not much you can do to make cheesecake “lighter” because you really have to use the full-fat cream cheese, or it’s not cheesecake! (I’ve tried to make “healthier” versions and it’s just not the same.) All you can do is try to control your portion size. Share a slice if you order out. At home, make “Mini” cheesecakes and use less sugar!
In general, I love making “mini” desserts because they’re already portion-controlled. Mini cheesecakes are perfect because they’re just the right amount to satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard… unless, of course, you decide to have 2 or 3 (I understand)!
Mini Cheesecakes are also the perfect dessert for a gathering or party. In the fall, make these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes using spices, pure pumpkin and gingersnap cookies. They’re easy to make with either a mini cheesecake pan or a regular muffin pan.
The foundation of cheesecake generally consists of 4 basic ingredients: cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla. (Actually, my favorite type of cheesecake is plain with strawberries!) But, the possibilities are endless as you expand on the basic recipe and add just about any ingredient you can think of (hence, the 35-plus varieties at The Cheesecake Factory).
For Pumpkin Cheesecake you simply add 100% pure pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice… perfect for fall!
The Triple Ginger Snaps from Trader Joe’s are the perfect simple shortcut to making the crust! They’re just the right size for the cheesecake pan or muffin tin. If you do not have access to Trader Joe’s, then any small Ginger Snap cookie will work.
For an easy topping and a pretty presentation, use canned whipped topping and whole natural pecan halves.
As a bonus, pumpkin (high in potassium and beta-carotene), ginger (with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties), and pecans (great source of healthy fat, Vitamin E and Thiamin), all contain nutrients that are beneficial to your health.
I used to always make mini cheesecakes using a regular muffin pan. However, recently I decided to upgrade to a Mini Cheesecake Pan (affiliate link). The cheesecakes come out looking a little taller and “cuter”. Although, the cheesecake pan is a bit trickier to work with when it comes time to get the cheesecakes out of the pan. I find it’s a bit easier to remove the cheesecakes from the muffin tin, especially if you use muffin liners. Either way, they both taste the same!!
Gather 1 large mixing bowl, measuring spoons and cups, an electric beater (affiliate link), a small spoon, your pan of choice, propellant-free non-stick cooking spray, and you’re ready to go!
This dessert could not be any easier to prepare! Simply place a cookie in the bottom of each cup, mix the filling ingredients, pour, and bake. They’re a “make-ahead” dessert since they need at least two hours of refrigeration before serving. They freeze well too.
1. Spray pan, or muffin liners, with non-stick cooking spray. Place 1 cookie, flat side down, in each bottom.
Little cookies are the perfect shortcut for an easy cheesecake crust! I love how the cookie softens as it bakes and forms a sturdy crust that will not crumble and fall apart when you remove them from the pan.
2. Add the filling ingredients to a mixing bowl and beat on Medium until blended.
3. Pour filling evenly over each cookie in the pan.
4. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Cover pan with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Carefully remove cheesecakes from pan.
It’s important that the cheesecakes are totally cooled before attempting to remove them. Once cooled, run a butter knife around the edges to loosen. Push the cheesecakes up through the hole at the bottom of each cup. Take the disc off the bottom of each cheesecake using a butter knife. If using muffin liners, removal will be even easier.
5. Just before serving, top each cheesecake with whipped topping and a pecan halve. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.
My family enjoys these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes during the fall when pumpkin season is upon us! Because they are small and contain some healthy ingredients, I can feel good about serving them as a weeknight dessert!
These treats are fancy enough to serve at any fall gathering. Simply double or triple the recipe. They would be perfect for a dessert buffet!
What is your favorite type of cheesecake? Send me a comment… I’d love to hear from you!
MINI PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES WITH GINGERSNAP COOKIE CRUST
- non-stick cooking spray
- 12 regular-size muffin pan liners (not mini), (if using muffin pan)
- 12 Ginger Snap Cookies, (Trader Joe's fit perfectly!)
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 egg
- 1 can whipped topping
- 12 pecans halves (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 12-cup mini cheesecake pan with non-stick cooking spray. (Spray muffin liners if using a regular muffin pan.)
- Place 1 Ginger Snap cookie, flat side down, in each bottom.
- Add cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice to a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer on Medium speed until well blended. Add egg and beat until just blended.
- Pour cream cheese mixture evenly on top of Ginger Snap cookies.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until set. Remove from oven and let cool on countertop, in pan, for 30 minutes.
- Cover pan with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. *Carefully remove cheesecakes from pan.
- Just before serving, top each cheesecake with whipped topping and a pecan halve. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.