Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes in a Pecan Crust with Caramel Drizzle

I’m back with another pumpkin recipe! On my quest to use the rest of the giant container of pumpkin puree, I decided to try out mini pumpkin cheesecakes. I love pumpkin cheesecake and I love mini-sized things, so it sounded like a pretty great idea.

I’ve never baked cheesecake before and after my last failed experiment with pumpkin pie fudge I was nervous to try something new again – mainly because I didn’t follow a recipe on the filling and created my own version. In the end, I was very pleased with the result. This cheesecake filling recipe is pretty darn simple, which I always appreciate when baking.

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Just so you know…you can’t just make the cheesecake and be done with it. If you’re going to do this right, you have to top it with a caramel drizzle and whipped cream. Live your life and don’t ever let anyone tell you that plain, boring dessert is acceptable.

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I made a pecan crust for these, which is not only naturally gluten-free, but also really delicious. I did try out a few different crust versions; one with a graham cracker crust and another with a mixed nuts crust which also turned out well. If you’d like the recipe for those options you can comment below or send an email to kmbright2@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to share.

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Pecan crust ingredients:IMG_1584

  • 2 1/2 cups ground pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FillingIMG_1594

  • 10 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Topping:

  • Reddi Wip
  • Melted Caramel

Crust Instructions

  1. First, create and bake the crust. Grind the pecan pieces in a food processor until they are a fine, crumb consistency.
  2. Combine ground pecans with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Add the melted butter and mix together.
  4. Grease a muffin pan with non-stick spray and press the mixture into each tin. I used a spoon to press it up against the sides and then put some in the bottom of the tin and pressed down.
  5. Put the pan in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Cook the crusts in the oven for about 5 minutes and then remove and set aside.

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Filling Instructions:

  1. If your cream cheese is coming out of the refrigerator, soften in the microwave a little before blending it (but not too much to where it starts to melt).
  2. Blend the softened cream cheese with the egg and sugar.
  3. Add in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice and beat until smooth.
  4. Spoon the mixture into each pecan crust in the muffin pan.
  5. Bake for about 40 minutes or until it appears to have set. It will most likely start to crack on the top and brown a little on the sides.
  6. Let the mini cheesecakes cool for about 30 minutes.
  7. To remove from the pan, run a knife around the outside of the cheesecake and then flip the pan over onto a plate. Do this gently to avoid the cheesecakes breaking in the process.
  8. Place in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours.

Topping it off:

  1. Top the cheesecake with your choice of whipped topping (I used Reddi Wip).
  2. Drizzle with warm, melted caramel.

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Crust recipe adapted from AllRecipes.

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