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Author Notes: Mini Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes are creamy and decadent, with the warm flavors of fall. They're the ultimate fall dessert! —Flavorthemoments
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 8 ounces 1/3 less fat Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 egg (large)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 drops fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon finishing salt
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- cups finishing salt and ground cinnamon, for garnish
- 1/2 cup Pumpkin puree
- Prepare the crust. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Fill each cavity with the filling, leaving about 1/4" of space at the top. You will have a bit of filling leftover. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Place in a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice (I used 1M), and pipe the whipped cream over the chilled cheesecake. 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.