These pumpkin cheesecake bites pair a buttery graham cracker crust with a layer of creamy spiced pumpkin cheesecake and a dollop of whipped cream. A Thanksgiving crowd-pleaser for sure!
I am all about “bites” for Thanksgiving, and especially when it’s time for dessert. After you’ve eaten focaccia fig and sausage stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, turkey, and and roasted parmesan broccoli, are you really going to have room for a whole slice of pie?
Well, okay, maybe. But at least with pumpkin cheesecake bites, you can take a single bite or grab a few if you’ve saved room for dessert. There’s none of that awkward, “Sure, I’ll have a slice, but can you just cut me a tiiiiiny sliver, maybe from that piece right there….”
You know how sometimes you get a pumpkin cheesecake and it’s all pumpkin? Well this one isn’t. It’s super creamy and dreamy, with just the right ratio of cheesecake-to-pumpkin flavor. These pumpkin cheesecake bites are going to disappear right off the dessert table. You must make them. Must must!
What You’ll Need
Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list! A lot of the items here are pantry staples that you probably already have on hand.
For the graham cracker crust:
- Graham crackers
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
For the filling:
- Pumpkin puree – Make sure you buy plain pumpkin puree, not pie filling.
- Dark brown sugar
- Heavy cream
- Vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar
- Cinnamon – As an alternative to the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, you can use 2 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
- Cream cheese – Take the cream cheese out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for about an hour before you’re ready to start the recipe.
For the whipped topping:
- Heavy whipping cream – A can of whipped topping will work if you’re short on time, but nothing compares to homemade!
Can I use graham cracker crumbs for the crust instead of whole graham crackers?
Absolutely! If you prefer to buy graham cracker crumbs instead of whole crackers, you’ll use about 2 1/2 to 3 cups. Start with 2 1/2 cups and add more if needed.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, it’s time to start baking! Here’s what you’ll need to do, step-by-step:
Prepare. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and coat an 8×8-inch baking pan and 9×9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Make the crust. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until they’re finely ground, then transfer them to a large bowl. Stir in the sugar, then add the melted butter and stir until the crumbs are wet. Press the crust mixture into both of the pans, then place them in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and golden brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF.
Make the filling. In another large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Then, in a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese, granulated sugar, cornstarch, spices, and salt until the mixture is light and fluffy. Pour in the pumpkin mixture and beat until no lumps remain.
Bake the pumpkin cheesecake bites. Divide the filling between the two pans, then bake for about 40 minutes, or until the filling pulls away from the sides. Cool completely.
Make the whipped cream. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large pastry tip.
Finish the bites. Use a round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut the cheesecake into circles, then top each with whipped cream.
Tips for Success
I’ve made this recipe many times, so I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way! Here are some hints and tips to try when making cheesecake bites:
- Cutting the bites. When you’re using your biscuit or cookie cutter, press it firmly into the cake, then give it a quarter-turn. Lift it out carefully, then place it over a plate or serving board and gently press the top of the cheesecake until it falls out of the cutter. (Don’t worry, you can hide your fingerprint with the whipped cream.) If you’re having trouble, dip the cutter in flour before cutting each piece. As an alternative, you can use a sharp knife to cut square bites instead.
- Use full-fat cream cheese. Seriously, cheesecake isn’t where you want to be cutting calories! Full-fat is the only way to nail that creamy, dreamy texture.
- There should be a jiggle in the middle. The center of a cheesecake should always have a bit of a jiggle, without being liquid-y. If you bake your cheesecake until it’s completely solid, it will be over-baked.
Can pumpkin cheesecake bites be made in advance?
Yes! If you’re prepping for a big Thanksgiving dinner, you can make these bites up to 3 days in advance and store them in the refrigerator. (You can even freeze them for up to 2 months.) I do recommend that you add the whipped cream right before serving, though.
Can I make this recipe in a muffin tin?
Many of my readers have successfully made this recipe in a muffin tin! You can make 36 bites in a mini muffin tin; bake them for about 15 minutes.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
For the graham cracker crust
- 18 graham crackers, about 2 sleeves
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
For the filling
- 1: 15- ounce can of pumpkin puree
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 20 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
For the whipped topping
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 8×8 baking pan and a 9×9 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a food processor, put the graham crackers in and pulse until finely ground. Pour out into a large bowl. Pour the granulated sugar on top and stir, then add the melted butter and stir until well incorporated and all the crumbs are moist.
- Divide the graham cracker mixture evenly amongst the 8×8 baking pan and the 9×9 baking pan. Press gently to the bottoms of the pans. Bake for 10 minutes, until slightly golden brown on top. Remove, set aside, and turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt until light and fluffy. Gently pour in the pumpkin mixture and beat until well incorporated. Continue beating until no lumps remain.
- Divide the batter evenly amongst the 8×8 pan and the 9×9 pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cheesecake starts to pull away from the sides.
- Let cool completely before cutting into circles.
- While the cheesecake cools, make your whipped cream.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk 1 cup of heavy cream until stiff peaks form. To pipe onto the individual circles, fill a piping bag with a large pastry tip (I used a closed star tip).
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.