Life without cheesecake sounds bleak indeed. I honestly believe I could eat cheesecake every single day of my life, but my better judgement gets the best of me and I remember I am not immune to the results of insane caloric intake, so I try to find creative ways to keep the cheesecake coming without it completely destroying my diet.
In addition to being a *huge* cheesecake fan, I am also a believer in year-round pumpkin flavored things. It’s such a delicious flavor it seems absurd to limit it’s enjoyment to October 1st – Thanksgiving. Pumpkin reminds me of the holidays, of course, but who doesn’t want that sensory pick-me-up in March or July?
Introducing… mini pumpkin cheesecakes. My personal harmony between wanting cheesecake all the time but not having too much of it in front of me, mixed with the cozy scents and tastes of pumpkin spice.
This recipe yields 9 mini cheesecakes if you follow my recommended portions. One (or maybe two if you’re feeling dangerous) make for a perfect sized dessert which means you can enjoy these for about 1 week – unless you’re one of those really nice, generous people who shares with others.
Baked in a cupcake pan, these can also be upgraded to a muffin tin to double the size (and halve the yield), and are delicious with a dollop of whipped cream and drizzle of caramel on top.
Break away from the pumpkin-flavored stigma and enjoy these great cheesecakes any time of year!
1 sleeve graham crackers (9 crackers)
3 tbsp melted butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ c. canned pumpkin (I use Libby’s)
½ c. sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
Yields 9 individual cheesecakes
Preheat oven to 350º
Using a food processor, grind graham crackers to a dust.
In a microwavable bowl, melt butter and combine graham cracker crumbs. Mix until crumbly.
Spray a cupcake pan with cooking spray and press ~2 tbsp of graham cracker crumb into 9 cupcake tins, pressing firmly to smooth out to edges.
Bake graham cracker crusts for 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and spices with mixer. Mix until smooth, then add egg and beat well.
Spoon ¼ c. cheesecake batter into each cupcake tin.
Bake 20-25 minutes (until center is firm). Cool in pan 30 minutes and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.
Recommended toppings: Whip cream/cool whip and caramel sauce!
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