Monday, October 22, 2012

Gluten Free Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake


It’s the one “baked sweet” that I’m actually pretty good at making. Cookies from scratch, layer cakes…not so much. Plus I’m a pretty lazy baker, so I don’t even attempt baking all that much. I love to cook: sauté, roast, chop. Baking – I could take it or leave it.

But cheesecake.

There’s just something about cheesecake that gets me every time.

Crunchy buttery crust – Creamy cake. Done and Done.

So when I was perusing Pinterest and saw a recipe for a Pumpkin Cheesecake I was inspired!

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Mini Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecakes with a Gingersnap Crust and Fresh Whipped Crème

It’s a mouthful to say but each layer is so important to the next! The gingersnap crust is sweet with a little spice. The pumpkin cheesecake is warm and creamy, and the whipped crème topping is just the right amount of fluffy sweet.

Even better, they’re SUPER easy to make!

I made mini size and bite size cheesecakes:

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I’m going to give you instructions for mini size (cupcake) but if you want directions for the bite size just email me!

Mini Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecakes with a Gingersnap Crust and Fresh Whipped Crème

adapted from Life Made Simple

You’ll need:

For the CRUST

22-25 Midel Gluten Free Gingersnap Cookies

2 tsp. brown sugar

2 tbsp. melted butter

cupcake liners and a cupcake/muffin pan**


1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese; room temperature (I use Organic Valley)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. heavy whipping crème

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract (be sure gluten free)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg


1 cup heavy whipping crème

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

**If you have a mini cheesecake pan then use that! Otherwise, cupcake liners will be needed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start with the crust. Using a food processor: process the gingersnap cookies and the brown sugar together until it is the consistency of sand. In a large bowl, combine the gingersnap sand and the melted butter. Stir until it is completely combined.

Line a muffin/cupcake pan with liners. Spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Each cup needs around 1/2 inch of a crust once you pat it down. So scoop the crust mixture into a cup (try two spoonfuls) then press down with your finger to pack it down and create a crust. Add more crust and pack it down until you get half an inch.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

While your crust is baking, in a mixer: whip together the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, and sugar. Scrape the sides and whip again until fully combined. Then add in the rest of the cheesecake ingredients: egg, heavy whipping crème, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whip on medium until fully combined.

Once your crust is out of the oven, spoon the cheesecake mixture onto the crust. You want to fill the liners to the top without overflowing. Using your spoon, smooth over the tops to get the cheesecake filling as even as possible.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Once finished, allow to cool for 30 minutes on the counter and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

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When you’re ready to serve, carefully peel the cupcake liners from the cheesecakes and make your fresh whipped crème!

In a mixer with the whisk attachment: whisk on medium-high 1 cup heavy whipping crème and 1 tbsp. sugar with 1 tsp. vanilla. Whisk until stiff peaks form. (You’ll know when the mixture has gone from liquid to whipped crème)

From there you can either dollop the whipped crème on with a spoon or spoon the whipped crème into a plastic storage bag. Cut off one tip from the bag and then use to pipe onto the cheesecakes. Refrigerate any leftover whipped crème.

Don’t have time? The spray can whipped crème will work too!

Sprinkle the top with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice!

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I really can’t say enough about these cheesecakes. The warmth from the gingersnaps with the creaminess of the cheesecake – so good!!

If you’re making these for kids, you might want to add in a few gluten free graham crackers in substitute for the gingersnap cookies. I love the spice that fresh ginger gives to this recipe BUT some kids may not!

AND be sure to taste test one before you serve them…

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pumpkin 067You want to be sure they’re good Winking smile


Happy Monday!

I’m off to Wilmington in a few hours. I have a reading in my Memoirs class from my own Memoir that I’m working on. I’m SO NERVOUS!! I hate doing public readings in general but especially on the topic I’ve chosen for my memoir.

Fingers crossed!!