Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mini Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes

This past weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada. I knew I wanted to make something with pumpkin (shocking I know) and when I saw the Share Your Sweets theme for this week was cheesecake, I knew pumpkin cheesecake was it. I had never made any kind of pumpkin cheesecake before so I went looking for the perfect recipe. Turns out I couldn't find one that had all of the things I was looking for so I mashed a bunch of them together and came up with my own. 

I'm dying to make a "real" cheesecake but there are two main things stopping me: 1) they're really expensive to make because most call for at least three packages of cream cheese, and 2) I try to share my treats with as many people as possible and walking to work with a whole cheesecake seems daunting. Therefore, I made minis. A quick note - I actually made 12 super huge minis. I wrote the recipe below for 16 to 18 because there was more than enough crust and filling to make more than 12.

Mini Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecakes
makes 16 to 18

For the crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar (brown or white)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter (measured after melting)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put 18 liners into your muffin tins.
  • Mix together all ingredients and put about one tablespoon of crust mixture into each liner and pat down to compress.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.
  • Let the crust cool a bit while making the filling.
 For the filling:

8 oz cream cheese (I used light)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup caramel or dulce de leche
  • Using a stand or hand mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree until combined.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Fill prepared crust about 3/4 full.
  • Add about one teaspoon of  caramel to the top of the filled crusts and swirl through the batter with a toothpick or skewer. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes until just slightly jiggly in the middle.
  • Let cool on a rack and then refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. 
Dulce de leche from Costco - only $3.99! Find it near the peanut butter and jam

Adding the dulce de leche
After the swirl
Out of the oven

These were delicious. The crust was a bit too crunchy for my taste but otherwise, fantastic! I think that the crunchiness might have had something to do with the maple syrup and extra sugar in the crust. I haven't had anyone else taste test them yet but I anticipate they'll be a hit. These are a great alternative to pumpkin pie if you're not a huge fan. The texture is a bit firmer than pumpkin pie and I know that texture is an issue for some people. I'd never thought of combining pumpkin and caramel before but I'd certainly try it again.

Fellow Canadians, what did you have for dessert with your Thanksgiving dinner? 


  1. These look so tasty! How are you able to make those stars on top?? Very pretty little dessert and I'm sure they taste super!! :)


  2. The stars kind of happened by accident. It's just how it turned out when I was trying to swirl the caramel into the batter. I put the skewer into the middle of the caramel and pulled out into the batter and that's what happened.


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