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Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

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pumpkin mousse cups recipe

We’re coming in hot with a very last-minute Thanksgiving dessert recipe! The idea came to me when I was exasperated by yet another failed attempt to make maple-sweetened pumpkin pie. I opened the refrigerator and spied some leftover pumpkin purée next to a block of cream cheese.

Here we are, with no-bake treats that taste like pumpkin pie and cheesecake had a baby. They work because we serve them in individual cups, so they don’t have to retain a sliceable shape.

ingredients (cream cheese, pumpkin puree, and maple syrup)

These pumpkin treats feature a mousse-like blend of pumpkin purée, Greek yogurt, and pumpkin spice. We top the pumpkin base with a creamy, tangy blend of cream cheese and Greek yogurt. Each layer is naturally sweetened with maple syrup.

Both mixtures will thicken up if you have time to chill these for an hour or more in the fridge. Top your cups off with a simple blend of toasted pecans and graham cracker crumbles, and you’re ready to go.

Happy Thanksgiving from Cookie and Kate! If you’re looking for more last-minute Thanksgiving recipes or the perfect gift, we have you covered.

how to make pumpkin cheesecake cups

Ingredient Recommendations

This recipe is best made with thick pumpkin purée (plain purée, not pumpkin pie blend). I recommend Whole Foods 365 or Libby’s brand of pumpkin purée. Don’t buy the Farmer’s Market brand, which is significantly more watery.

You’ll also want to use the thickest plain yogurt you can find. Siggi’s yogurt is my favorite for this purpose, since it’s even more thick than standard Greek yogurt (to the point that it could almost pass as labneh).

Serving Suggestions

You’ll need 8 very small cups, or shooters, for this recipe. Glass cups are fun because they show the layers. Ramekins will work, too. To yield 8 desserts, each cup will contain just over 3 ounces.

Here are options available at major retailers (these are affiliate links):

  • Crate and Barrel’s Bitty Bite Short Glasses (shown here)
  • 3.25-ounce Duralex Picardie Glass Tumblers, available at Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table or Amazon (you could use up to the 7.75-ounce glasses if you just don’t fill them to the top)

pumpkin cheesecake cups recipe

mini pumpkin cheesecake cups recipe

Please let me know how you like this simple dessert in the comments! I love hearing from you.

Looking for more Thanksgiving-worthy treats?

  • Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
  • Lemon, Rosemary and Olive Oil Shortbread
  • Naturally Sweetened Pecan Pie
  • Peanut Butter Oat Cookies
  • Pumpkin Pecan Polvorones
  • Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

You can find more Thanksgiving recipes here, from vegetarian main dishes to healthy sides and more.

easy Thanksgiving pumpkin dessert recipe

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Food processor
  • Cuisine: American

This easy no-bake pumpkin dessert recipe will be a hit at your Thanksgiving table! It’s made with real pumpkin, Greek yogurt, cream cheese (1 block total), and maple syrup. Recipe yields 8 small desserts, and you will need 8 small glasses to contain them.


Scale

Ingredients

Pecan & Graham Cracker Topping
  • ⅓ cup pecan halves
  • 2 graham crackers (1 sheet), broken into 1″ pieces*
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice blend
Cheesecake Mousse
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into 1” cubes
  • ½ cup thick, plain whole-milk yogurt (either Siggi’s brand or Greek yogurt)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pumpkin Mousse
  • 1 can (15 ounces or 1 ⅞ cups) pumpkin purée (I recommend Libby’s or Whole Foods 365 brand)
  • ½ cup thick, plain whole-milk yogurt (either Siggi’s brand or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. First, make the pecan and graham cracker topping: Toast the pecans in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 to 6 minutes. Transfer the pecans to a food processor and add the broken graham crackers and pumpkin spice blend.
  2. Process the mixture for about 10 seconds, until the pecans and grahams are broken into tiny pieces (you may need to break up a few persistent pieces between your fingers, to avoid  turning the mixture into nut butter). Transfer the mixture to a bowl and wipe out the food processor with a clean tea towel for the next step.
  3. To make the cheesecake mousse: In the food processor, combine the cream cheese (6 ounces of it), yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. It’s ok if a bit of it remains in the food processor for the next step.
  4. To make the pumpkin mousse: In the food processor, combine the pumpkin purée, yogurt, the remaining 2 ounces of cream cheese, maple syrup, pumpkin spice blend, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom as necessary.
  5. To assemble, transfer about 2 ounces (¼ cup) of the pumpkin purée to each of your 8 cups. Top each with about 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of the cream cheese mixture—you might have a bit leftover; just divide it between the cups. Top each with about 1 tablespoon of the pecan and graham cracker topping.
  6. Serve immediately, or better yet, cover and refrigerate for later (they’ll thicken up somewhat over time, which I like—they’ll keep for up to 2 days in the fridge).

Notes

If you don’t have a food processor: No problem. Just chop up the pecans and graham cracker, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the pumpkin spice blend. You can whip together the cream cheese and pumpkin mixtures with a hand mixer or a whisk.

*Make it gluten free: Buy certified gluten-free graham crackers, or use ½ cup pecans and omit the graham crackers entirely. (This is also a good trick if you don’t want to buy a box of graham crackers just to use 1 sheet.)

Make it nut free: I think toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) would be nice in place of the pecans. Or, omit the nuts and use 4 sheets of graham crackers instead.

▸ Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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