Mini Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Mini Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes are creamy, mini pumpkin cheesecakes topped with salted caramel sauce and whipped cream!

 mini-salted-caramel-pumpkin-cheesecakes1 flavorthemoments.com

Two years ago today I hit the “Publish” button for the first time, creating a tiny, little speckle on the Internet.  It wasn’t even a recipe, it was merely a little post proclaiming my love for fall.  

I thought I knew what I was doing a little bit, having read an awesome book titled Will Write for Food, by Dianne Jacobs, but in the grand scheme of things, I new nothing.  I don’t claim to know everything about blogging now…I still have a lot to learn.

I’m happy where my blog is now for the most part, but there’s plenty of room for growth.  In the near future, I want to hit my first blogging conference, and attend photography and food writing workshops/classes.  

This blog thing is a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. πŸ™‚

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes 

Being that it’s my 2 year anniversary, something special is in order, and I wanted it to be something to celebrate fall as well!  

Last year I celebrated by kicking off pumpkin season with my Pumpkin Cupcakes,  so I decided to kick off pumpkin season on my anniversary this year too. πŸ™‚

I was torn between mini pumpkin cheesecakes, a pumpkin cake roll, and pumpkin donuts, so  I asked my Facebook readers which of the 3 they would choose.   And you’re looking at the winner!

I purchased mini cheesecake pans last year, and I finally got around to using them.  I’ve told you I don’t do cheesecake much because it’s so heavy, but little bite sized ones?   I definitely do those. 

These mini pumpkin cheesecakes are creamy, with the warm flavors of pumpkin spice, brown sugar.  And let’s not forget that salted caramel!

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How to make Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

These bite-sized cheesecakes come together quickly, and they’re very easy to make. 

The best thing is that you don’t have to worry about these mini cheesecakes cracking as they bake because they’re so small, they’re only in the oven for a short time. πŸ™‚

Prepare the crust:

  • Grease your mini pan and preheat the oven.
  • Combine the melted butter with the graham cracker crumbs, pecans and sugar.
  • Divide the mixture between the (12) cheesecake cavities and pack down into the bottom.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and cool while you prepare the filling.

Prepare the filling:

  • Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the sugar, pumpkin, egg, sour cream, vanilla and spices, and beat until well combined.
  • Fill each cavity with cheesecake filling up to 1/4″ from the top.  You may have a bit of filling leftover.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until set — the filling will be slightly wobbly.  
  • Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely.
  • Once cool, chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.

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Prepare the salted caramel sauce

I have to thank my dog for this caramel sauce, as strange as it sounds.  The caramel was bubbling away with a little color around the edges, and normally I’m so afraid it’s going to burn, I pull it off maybe a touch too soon for my taste. 

My dog needed to go out, and I took my time about it thinking the caramel wasn’t too close yet. When I got back, it was totally done, and I was afraid overly done.  I whisked in the cream, butter, and sea salt, and it was the most perfect caramel sauce I’ve ever made.  

My dog is getting extra treats tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  • Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small non-reactive saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar has melted, stirring gently just to combine.
  • Once the sugar has melted, increase the heat to high and cook without stirring.  The mixture will boil rapidly, then slowly, then the edges will begin to color.  Swirl gently, and cook until the caramel is a golden amber color.
  • Remove from heat and whisk the cream in a bit at a time as the mixture will bubble up.  Once all the cream has been added, whisk in the butter and sea salt. 

Prepare the whipped cream

Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Begin beating on medium speed, and add the sugar and vanilla.

Beat until the cream forms medium peaks.

When ready to serve, top the mini pumpkin cheesecakes with whipped cream and salted caramel sauce.

Recipe tips and substitutions

  • If you don’t have a mini cheesecake pan, just use a standard muffin or mini muffin pan lined with paper liners.  Just be sure to keep an eye on them in the oven because cooking time will vary.
  • Use store bought salted caramel sauce if desired.
  • Leftover cheesecakes keep in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

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More cheesecake recipes you’ll love:

Cherry cheesecake pops

Classic cheesecake recipe

Key lime cheesecake bars

Mini cookies ‘n cream pumpkin cheesecakes

Mini cranberry orange cheesecakes

Mini lemon cheesecakes

Strawberry cheesecake smoothie

Mini Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Mini Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes are creamy, mini pumpkin cheesecakes topped with salted caramel sauce and whipped cream!

Mini Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, toasted pecans
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • (1) 8 ounce package 1/3 less fat neufchΓ’tel cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream (I used full fat)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the salted caramel sauce:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 drops fresh lemon juice*
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or finishing salt (I used Maldon)

For the whipped cream:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ground cinnamon, for garnish (optional)
  • flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

    Prepare the crust:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the inserts into the bottom of each of the (12) cavities of a mini cheesecake pan, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
    2. Place the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and pinch of salt in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and stir until the mixture is well coated with butter.
    3. Drop 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the mixture into the each of the (12) cavities, and press down firmly with the back of a teaspoon.
    4. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.

    Prepare the filling:

    1. Beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar, pumpkin, sour cream, egg, vanilla, and spices, and beat until smooth and well combined.
    2. Fill each cavity with the filling, leaving about 1/4" of space at the top. You will have a bit of filling leftover.
    3. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until set. Begin checking for doneness after 10 minutes, as oven temperatures vary considerably.
    4. Cool 20 minutes on a wire rack, then using your finger, push up through the hole in the bottom of each cheesecake and remove each one. Use a knife to loosen the sides if necessary -- I didn't have to. Remove the metal insert if they're easy to remove at this point, and cool completely in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

    Prepare the salted caramel sauce:

    1. Place the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar has melted, stirring just a bit to combine the ingredients.
    2. Once the sugar has melted, increase the heat to high and do not stir. The mixture will bubble rapidly, then the bubbles will become bigger and slower, and it will begin to color. The edges will normally color first, and you can swirl the pan ever so gently to distribute the color so the mixture doesn't burn. When the caramel is a golden amber color, remove it from heat.
    3. Slowly whisk in the cream a bit at a time, as the mixture will bubble over if you add too much, then whisk in the butter and finishing salt. If the caramel has hardened, place it back over medium low heat and whisk until it's smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

    Prepare the whipped cream:

    1. Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the sugar, and beat at medium high speed until medium peaks form. Whisk a little more by hand if you'd like it a bit thicker.
    2. Place in a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice (I used 1M), and pipe the whipped cream over the chilled cheesecake.
    3. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the top, and drizzle the caramel sauce over that. Sprinkle with a bit more finishing salt, if desired, and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

    Notes

    • If you don't wish to use the pecans, substitute with an additional 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs.
    • If you don't have a mini cheesecake pan, just use a standard muffin or mini muffin pan lined with paper liners. Β Just be sure to keep an eye on them in the oven because cooking time will vary.
    • Use store bought salted caramel sauce if desired.
    • Leftover cheesecakes keep in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

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    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12

    Serving Size:

    1 cheesecake

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 56mg Sodium: 329mg Carbohydrates: 30g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 23g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g
    Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

     

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