As I’ve gotten older my tastes have evolved and I’m less interested in making the status quo and I’m more interested in shifting tradition slightly and improving upon it. While pumpkin pie is a classic, it has felt a little bland to me in recent years. So this year, while we have Thanksgiving at home with just the three of us, we are going to change the traditional pumpkin pie to pumpkin cheesecake and make it in individual sizes for extra appeal. I recommend topping each mini cheesecake with whipped cream and sugared pecans. Because, you know, calories don’t matter on Thanksgiving, right?!
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
- 2 packages 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar reserved for graham cracker crust
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 sleeve graham crackers, crumbled in a food processor
- 1/2 stick butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, reserved for graham cracker crust
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl or mixer and beat until smooth.
- Add in eggs one at a time until blended.
- Grease a muffin pan.
- Mix together graham cracker crumbs, reserved sugar and cinnamon until well blended.
- Press a layer of the graham cracker mixture into the bottom third of each muffin tin reservoir.
- Take out 1 cup of batter in the mixing bowl and spread it into the bottom of crust, filling it about halfway full.
- Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir until blended.
- Add the remaining batter to the top of each muffin tin.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until center is almost set.
- Let it cool and refrigerate overnight or for 3 hours.
- When serving, top with whipped cream and sugar pecans, if desired.
Photos by Michelle Smith Creative for Gather Goods Co