It was bound to happen. I jumped aboard the pumpkin train! I did manage to hold out until mid October. Things get a little crazy this time of year on food blogs with an abundance of recipes containing pumpkin and pumpkin spices. But I truly do love this time of year, and the smells and tastes associated with it. And these pumpkin cheesecakes are truly delicious. So here’s my obligatory fall pumpkin submission. Enjoy!
One of the great things about these mini cheesecakes is that they are significantly easier than making a big cheesecake. They are also easier to serve. No water bath, no wrapping your spring-form in foil so it doesn’t leak or let water in, no worried anticipation when you take the spring-form off wondering if it’s going to remain beautiful, no cracked top or slicing pieces for guests. Just mix, fill, bake, chill and enjoy. Guests serve themselves little cheesecake cupcakes, there’s less clean up and everyone is happy.
I really like the chocolate Oreo crust, but you could stick with graham crackers or use gingersnaps for some extra fall spice. Another variation would be to make these all pumpkin and add about 3/4 to 1 cup of pumpkin to the filling. Keep the spices the same.
This filling is going to make more than enough for a dozen cheesecakes by about 2 or 3, with more pumpkin than plain filling. I suggest either adding a couple extra Oreos and a tad more butter initially and baking up a few more cheesecakes OR put an entire whole Oreo in the extra baking cups and fill those with the remaining filling. Bake these after you bake the full tin and keep an eye on them, they will probably bake up a little quicker. Or you could do as this lazy woman does and just toss the extra. I’m sorry if wasting food appalls you. I typically don’t do it. But I had a crying baby on my hands and needed to finish as soon as possible!
These would make a great addition to a fall dessert table, the orange and black qualify them for Halloween and they would also be perfect for Thanksgiving. Since they have to be chilled you can make them ahead of time, up to but not more than 48 hours. After the initial chilling make sure to cover them if they will be kept more than a day in the fridge.
Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust
- 16 whole Oreo cookies
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 packages cream cheese, room temperature (full or low fat)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place cupcake liners in cupcake tin and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Crush Oreos (either in a food processor or in a plastic bag using a rolling pin and some muscle) to fine crumbs.
- Combine Oreo crumbs with butter and mix to combine evenly.
- Divide crumb mixture equally between muffin cups (about 2 rounded teaspoons per cup).
- Press down firmly and bake for about 6 minutes. Make filling while these bake.
- Beat cream cheese, sugar and sour cream together until fully combined. Add in eggs, vanilla and salt, then beat well. Scrape the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds or so.
- Remove a little less than half (about 1 1/4 cups) of this mixture to another bowl. Add in the pumpkin and spices and mix well.
- On top of each cooked crust spoon one spoonful of plain and one spoonful of pumpkin filling. Repeat with another spoonful of each, pumpkin on top of plain and plain on top of pumpkin, then swirl them together without mixing too much.
- Repeat with the rest of the cups. Each cup should be almost full, but you will probably have a little more filling left over. See above for how to deal with the excess.
- Reduce oven to 325°F and bake for 20 minutes, then increase oven to 350°F and bake 5 minutes more. When the centers of the cheesecakes jiggle just a bit when you shake the pan they’re done. If they seem really jiggly, bake a few minutes more. Remove from the oven, let cool for 30 minutes, then transfer entire pan to the fridge for a few hours. Serve up!