Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Crunch Topping are bite sized treats that are perfect for entertaining because they look almost as good as they taste!
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Crunch Topping
These little mini-pumpkin cheesecakes are a crowd favorite because they look almost as good as they taste! These tasty treats get their sparkle from a little pre-made salted-caramel crunch. You can also top with your favorite caramel sauce or some chopped nuts before serving. For a more minimalist approach, simply sprinkle a bit of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon on top of the whipped cream.
Yield: 24 mini-cheesecakes
Total Prep Time: 30 minutes
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- 24-cup mini-muffin tin
- glass mixing bowls
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- immersion blender OR hand mixer
- meat tenderizer OR rolling pin
- 1 ½ cups crushed gingersnap cookies (approximately 25-30 cookies)
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 c. canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp real maple syrup
- salted caramel crunch
- caramel sauce
- chopped nuts
In a large glass bowl, blend 1 pint of heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract with a hand or immersion blender until it doubles in size and changes texture. Then, drizzle maple syrup into the bowl and continue blending until the mixture is light and fluffy. Set aside or place in refrigerator until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 24-cup mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Place the cookies in a large heavy-duty freezer bag and cover with a towel. Use a meat tenderizer or rolling pin to crush the cookies into very small pieces. (This can also be done in a food processor).
Transfer the crushed cookies into a glass bowl.
Add the melted butter to the bowl and stir with a fork until thoroughly combined. (If necessary, add a little more melted butter to hold the cookie crumb mixture together. Do not add too much or the butter will compete with the flavor of the gingersnap crust.)
Divide the cookie crumb mixture into 24 equal parts.
Press each portion of the cookie crumb mixture into the bottom of a muffin cup firmly with your fingers to form a crust.
Bake the crusts in for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Place the cream cheese, brown sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and combine with a hand-held mixer.
Add the pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt to the cream cheese mixture and continue beating until combined.
Open the egg in a separate bowl before adding to the cream cheese mixture. Then, blend in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Continue blending until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated into the batter.
Evenly divide the pumpkin cream cheese mixture between the 24 muffin-tin cups. Fill each cup slightly higher than the edge of the pan with the mixture.
Place the muffin tin on the center rack of the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the pumpkin mixture has set.
Remove the muffin tin from oven and let cool completely before removing mini-cheesecakes from the tin.
Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.
To serve, top with whipped cream and salted-caramel crunch or your favorite caramel sauce. If using homemade whipped cream, spoon it into a plastic sandwich bag and cut a small corner off one bottom side. Pipe onto individual mini-cheesecakes for greater control.