Individual Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Just when you thought I was done posting pumpkin recipes for the season…

I give you Mini Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecakes!

Considering that two of my favorite splurge-worthy desserts are pumpkin pie and cheesecake, I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to make lightened pumpkin cheesecake.

Perfect as a component of Thanksgiving dessert, these mini cheesecakes are similar in flavor to pumpkin pie – with the added kick of ginger. Each mini cheesecake starts with a gingersnap cookie, which softens in the oven underneath the luscious pumpkin cheesecake batter. The modest amount of brown sugar adds a caramel note to the spiced pumpkin cheesecake, and the cookie “crust” beautifully enhances the ginger flavor. The cheesecake is light, both in texture and (surprisingly!) in calories.

If you’re anything like me when it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, (and I have a hunch that many of you are!), then you’ll appreciate the individual portion size of these mini cheesecakes. I like to sample at least 2 or 3 desserts, but rarely have room for full-sized portions after a big turkey dinner. At around 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar per individual serving, (will vary depending on the nutritional content of the gingersnap cookies you use), these Individual Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecakes are sure to be one of the healthier options on any holiday dessert table.

If you’ve been combing the Internet for a Thanksgiving-inspired dessert that is easy to assemble and transport, tastes decadent without being overly indulgent, and will impress your guests or host/hostess… then search no longer!

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Individual Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecakes

yields 18 individual cheesecakes

Ingredients:

  • 18 homemade or store-bought gingersnap cookies, sized to fit standard muffin liners
  • 16 oz neufchatel (1/3-less-fat) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree* (see NOTE below)
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat or lightly packed brown sugar (I used golden, but either dark or light would suffice)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (If you’d like to make your own, here’s my recipe)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 cookie in the bottom of each of 18 lined cups.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the neufchatel and pumpkin puree at medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add in brown sugar and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Beat in one egg at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in yogurt, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and ground ginger.
  4. Spoon batter evenly among the 18 lined cups, filling each almost to the top. With the back of a spoon, smooth out the top of each filled cup.
  5. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until filling is set, 22-24 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Chill in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours before serving*.

*NOTE: I typically chill my cheesecakes overnight, but when I did so with these cakes, the gingersnap cookies turned soggy. I attribute this to the high water content of the pumpkin puree. If you’d like to make these cheesecakes a day in advance, I suggest cutting the amount of pumpkin puree down to 1/2 cup. I don’t think the flavor will be compromised, but the cheesecakes will most likely be drier. I also ascribe the “sunken” appearance of the cheesecakes (as is visible in the 2nd and 5th photos) to the heaviness of the pumpkin puree. When I make these again, I plan to use only 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree.

Other individual cheesecake recipes that you may enjoy:

Cookies & Cream


Maple


Peanut Butter


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