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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

This mini pumpkin cheesecake recipe makes the perfect bite sized desserts! They’re made with a cinnamon graham cracker crust, the creamiest pumpkin cheesecake filling and are topped with a fluffy whipped cream.

image of a mini pumpkin cheesecake topped with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon

I wasn’t quite sure what to call these at first, because they kind of remind me of pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes, especially if you make them in a cupcake pan with liners!

They’re so small they almost feel like pumpkin cheesecake bites. But in the end I figured mini pumpkin cheesecake seemed the most fitting.

How to Make these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes Without Using a Water Bath

Water baths always seem like such a production, with sloshing water and the risk of water leaking into your cheesecake.

Thanks to a gradual cooking and cooling process, this mini cheesecake recipe doesn’t require a water bath!

The end result is a creamy, delicious cheesecake that’s crack-free!! The process is so easy and stress-free, you’ll wonder why you ever used a water bath in the first place.

image of a mini pumpkin cheesecake topped with whipped cream and dusted with cinnamon

Substitutions & Swaps – Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust

This recipe uses quite a few ingredients and I know you might not have all of them on hand.

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe.

  • Graham Cracker Crumbs – I like to crush my graham crackers in a food processor, but you can crush them in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin too. You can also use gingersnap or biscoff cookie crumbs in their place!
  • Granulated Sugar – Adding granulated sugar to the crust helps solidify the crust once it’s baked and makes a more stable crust. You can eliminate the sugar if you don’t mind a slightly more crumbly crust.
  • Salted Butter – To keep things simple I use salted butter to make the crust. If you only have unsalted butter, add about 1/4 tsp of salt into the crust mixture.
  • Ground Cinnamon – The cinnamon can be omitted, but it really adds to the flavor of the crust!
image of a cinnamon graham cracker crust being made in a muffin tin to make mini pumpkin cheesecake

Substitutions & Swaps – Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

  • Cream Cheese – This recipe tastes best with full-fat cream cheese. I find using cream cheese that comes in brick form works best! However, you can use low fat cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese in its place and the recipe will still bake up well.
  • Light Brown Sugar – I think this cheesecake has just the right amount of sweetness, but you can increase or decrease the amount of sugar by a teaspoon or two based on your preferences. You can also use granulated sugar in place of the brown sugar in the filling.
  • Vanilla Extract – Vanilla extract helps enhance the other flavors in this cheesecake! If you don’t have any on hand it can be omitted.
  • Heavy Cream – You can use heavy whipping cream or double cream if you can’t find heavy cream at your grocery store.
  • Cornstarch – This helps offset the moisture from the pumpkin in this recipe! If you don’t have cornstarch you can use all purpose flour in its place.
  • Egg – Sadly this recipe does not turn out with egg alternatives like applesauce or flax seed eggs. I highly recommend using a regular large egg.
  • Pumpkin Puree – Make sure you’re using unsweetened, plain ol’ pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Ground Spices – If you don’t have ground ginger or nutmeg on hand, you can use 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice in place of the ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in this recipe.
image of ingredients laid out to make mini pumpkin cheesecake

Baking These Mini Cheesecakes Without a Mini Cheesecake Pan

This recipe bakes up best in a mini cheesecake pan and makes 12 mini cheesecakes. However, you can also use a classic cupcake pan lined with paper liners if needed to make about 9 mini cheesecakes.

You can also turn this recipe into pumpkin cheesecake bars by doubling the recipe and baking it in an 8 inch x 8 inch pan for 25-30 minutes at 325 F / 165 C.

Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray to make it easier to cut and remove slices.

Making These Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes in Advance & Storage Tips

These mini cheesecakes can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store them in an airtight container or cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap to keep them fresh.

You can also freeze these mini cheesecakes for up to 2 weeks! After they’re baked and cooled, release them from the pan. Then either place them in an airtight container or wrap each cheesecake in a layer of plastic wrap and foil.

When you’re ready to enjoy one of the frozen mini cheesecakes, place it in the fridge overnight, then unwrap and enjoy it the following day.

Whether you’re freezing or refrigerating these mini cheesecakes, wait to add the whipped cream until you’re ready to enjoy it. The whipped cream will not freeze and thaw well.

image of mini pumpkin cheesecake on a plate showing how small they are

How to Make the Best Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. It helps them mix together better and ensures your cheesecake has a smooth texture once it’s baked.
  • Beat your cream cheese on a medium to medium high speed before adding the other ingredients! This helps to prevent lumps from forming in the cheesecake batter and helps the cheesecake bake up properly.
  • Mix on a low speed once you start mixing ingredients into the cream cheese. After you’ve fluffed up the cream cheese, you want to incorporate as little air as possible into the batter. Excess air in your batter can cause your cheesecake to crack!
image of pumpkin cheesecake batter being mixed together
  • Beat your egg in a separate bowl then slowly mix them into your cheesecake batter. This will make it easier to incorporate and help you avoid over-mixing your batter.
  • Use a cookie scoop to easily fill your pan and evenly divide your batter.
  • Make room in your fridge ahead of time so you can easily chill the cheesecake once it reaches room temperature.
  • Wait to add the whipped cream until right before serving! Otherwise it can lose its shape and start to deflate.
image of a mini cheesecake pan being filled with pumpkin cheesecake batter

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this mini pumpkin cheesecake recipe, I’d love to hear what you think of it!

Please leave a rating and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment.

image of a pumpkin cheesecake cupcake that's been cut open to show it's cream inside

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Yield: 12

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

image of a mini pumpkin cheesecake topped with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon

This mini pumpkin cheesecake recipe makes the perfect bite sized dessert! They're made with a cinnamon graham cracker crust, the creamiest pumpkin cheesecake filling and are topped with a dollop of whipped cream!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs - about 4 full graham cracker sheets (50g)
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (26g)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salted butter, melted (22g)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (3g)

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

  • 1 cup or 8 oz. package full-fat cream cheese, room temperature (226g)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (100g)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (56g)
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream or heavy whipping cream (15g)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch (7g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4g)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (3g)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (<1g)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (<1g)
  • orange gel food coloring - optional
  • 1 large egg, room temperature (56g)

Optional Topping

  • Whipped cream
  • Ground cinnamon

Equipment / Tools Needed

Instructions

Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C. Spray a mini springform pan with non-stick baking spray or line a cupcake / muffin tin with 9 liners.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, melted butter and ground cinnamon until the mixture looks like sand.
  3. Scoop about 1 1/2 Tbsp of the cookie mixture into each cavity. Use the back of a spoon or the bottom of a flat, small glass (I used a shot glass) to press down firmly and create a compact, even crust covering the bottom of each little cavity. If you're using a muffin pan, make 9 crusts by adding 2 Tbsp into each liner.
  4. Bake for 6 minutes then remove from the oven. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. Keep your oven on but lower the temperature to 325 F / 162 C.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

  1. While the crusts bake and cool make the cheesecake filling.
  2. Place the room temperature cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment on a medium to medium-high speed for about a minute until creamy and smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  3. Add in the light brown sugar, pumpkin puree, heavy cream, cornstarch, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a squirt of orange gel food coloring if desired. Mix on a low speed until the ingredients come together, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter should be smooth and completely free of any lumps.
  4. In a separate container, beat the egg, then mix it into the batter on a low speed. Mix until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly, trying to fill each cavity to roughly the same height. For reference, I add about 2 Tbsp of filling on top of each crust. If you're using a muffin pan, you will add about 2 1/2 Tbsp to each liner.
  6. Place the mini cheesecake pan on a large cookie sheet to catch any potential leaks, then bake at 325 F / 162 C for 5 minutes. Without opening the oven door, lower the temperature to 300 F / 150 C and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the tops of the mini cheesecakes are set. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake pan sit in the oven for 30 minutes before removing. This gradual baking and cooling process helps prevent them from sinking in the center and cracking as they cool.
  7. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes. As they cool the sides should start to pull away from the edges of the pan. Once they've reached room temperature, cover the top of the pan and refrigerate the cheesecake for an additional 2 hours or overnight.
  8. When you're ready to enjoy these mini cheesecakes, remove them from the fridge and carefully release them from the pan.
  9. Top with a swirl of whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon and enjoy!

Notes

Making these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes in Advance & Storage Tips

These mini cheesecakes can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store them in an airtight container or cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap to keep them fresh.

You can also freeze these mini cheesecakes for up to 2 weeks! After they're baked and cooled, release them from the pan then either place them in an airtight container or wrap each cheesecake in a layer of plastic wrap and foil.

When you're ready to enjoy one of these frozen mini cheesecakes, place it in the fridge overnight, then unwrap and enjoy it the following day.

Whether you're freezing or refrigerating these mini cheesecakes, wait to add the whipped cream until you're ready to enjoy it.

Tips for Making the Best Pumpkin Cheesecakes

  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. It helps them mix together better and ensure your cheesecake has a smooth texture once it's baked.
  • Beat your cream cheese on a medium to medium high speed before adding the other ingredients! This helps to prevent lumps from forming in the cheesecake batter and helps the cheesecake bake up properly.
  • Mix on a low speed once you start mixing ingredients into the cream cheese. After you've fluffed up the cream cheese, you want to incorporate as little air as possible into the batter. Excess air in your batter can cause your cheesecake to crack or sink in the middle.
  • Mix your egg in a separate bowl then slowly mix it into your cheesecake batter. This makes it easier to mix into cheesecake batter.
  • Make room in your fridge ahead of time so you can easily chill the cheesecake once it reaches room temperature.
  • Don't overfill your cheesecake pan! Make sure you have about 1 cm between the batter and the top of your pan.
  • Wait to add the whipped cream until right before serving! Otherwise it can lose its shape and start to deflate.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 254Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 52mgSodium 197mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 1gSugar 19gProtein 4g

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