The first time I had pumpkin cheesecake I was in love. I still remember my old high school friend’s holiday party. As much as I adore pumpkin pie, these mini pumpkin cheesecakes are tough competition. The warm spices in the cakes are complemented perfectly by the gingerbread crust.
Now these pumpkin cheesecakes would be great as is, but the sour whipped cream topping makes them even better. I combined the idea of a sour cream topping with whipped cream to get the best of both worlds. It’s light and fluffy and provides a great tangy contrast to the cakes.
I went a little rustic with the decorations here. Yes, ‘rustic’ might just be a euphemism for sloppy in this case. Try to understand…this was my second food photo shoot of the day. I just couldn’t muster up the energy to whip out my piping bags. The gingerbread crumbles make it a little more forgiving though, no?
These little guys are just the perfect size for a fall dinner party, but would also be fantastic for Thanksgiving dinner. I know they’re making an appearance on my holiday table again this year, so I hope they make it on your table, as well.
- ¾ C gingersnap cookies
- 2T unsalted butter, melted
- Pinch of salt
- 8oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1/3 C light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- ½ C pumpkin puree
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch allspice
- Pinch ground cloves
- Pinch salt
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- ½ C sour cream
- ¼ C heavy cream
- 2T powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- Dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9 muffin cups. For the crust, grind cookies into fine crumbs using a food processor or blender. Set aside 1-2 tablespoons of crumbs for the garnish. Add butter and salt to food processor and pulse to combine with crumbs. Fill each muffin cup with a heaping teaspoon of the cookie crumbs and press down evenly. Place pan in the center of the oven and pre-bake crust 5-6 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool while preparing the filling.
- For the filling, combine cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and whip over medium to medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and incorporate over medium speed until mixture is smooth. Stir in pumpkin, spices and vanilla until combined. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Tap muffin pan on counter several times to pop any air bubbles.
- Bake in the center rack of the oven for about 16-20 minutes, or until set with a slight jiggle, rotating pan half way through. Allow cheesecake to cool in pan for 15 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and cool for an additional 30 minutes. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2-3hrs.
- For the topping, chill mixing bowl and whip attachment for 5 minutes in the freezer. Whip all ingredients together for about 2 minutes on high speed, or until stiff peaks are formed. To serve, remove liners from cheesecakes, spoon over topping or pipe using a pastry bag, and sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Enjoy.