Mini Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecakes

Mini desserts are the perfect-sized treats. You can satisfy your sweet tooth and not feel guilty that you may have served yourself too much of your desired dessert. For today’s pumpkin recipe I am bringing you a Mini Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake. And the title says it all, you have pumpkin, cream cheese and a hint of coffee. I made a few slight changes to the original recipe to use up items I currently had in my pantry… Instead of speculoos cookies (a spiced shortbread cookie) I used graham crackers and instead of regular instant coffee I used Bustelo Instant Espresso. While I am not a coffee drinker, I always have this in my pantry to make tiramisu and to make coffee to use in lieu of water for box chocolate cake mix. If you didn’t know, coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate cake.

To begin I made the crust. After rolling graham crackers with a rolling pin to make crumbs, I combined them with sugar. I then placed a tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of cupcake liners I placed in a muffin tin.

Next, after making the cheesecake batter, I spooned about 1/4 cup of the batter over the graham cracker crumb mixture.

I then baked the cheesecakes in a 325 F preheated oven for about 30 minutes. I ended up leaving the cheesecakes in the oven for a minute or two too long and they ended up cracking on top…

But once they cooled the cheesecakes deflated a bit and the cracks were gone. After letting them cool in the pan for a few minutes I removed them and transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely before refrigerating them.

I ended up leaving them in the refrigerator for about a day before topping them with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and sprinkling them with pumpkin pie spice.

Final verdict… YUM!!! They were super creamy and overbaking them had no effect on the texture whatsoever. The combination of coffee and pumpkin is delicious and the dollop of whipped cream on top was the perfect topping.

Looking for another recipe that combines coffee and pumpkin?  Then check out my Pumpkin Tiramisu recipe from a few years ago.

 

Mini Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecakes

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (12 graham crackers)

3/4 plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3 8oz. packages of cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

2 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon instant coffee

1 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 325 F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of the mixture to the bottom of each of the cupcake liners.

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar with a hand mixer on medium until well blended. Add the pumpkin, 2 teaspoons of the pumpkin spice and vanilla extract, mix well. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition. Mix until just blended. Stir in the coffee granules until completely dissolved. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the cheesecake batter over the graham cracker crust.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the centers are just set. Cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Beat the whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar together until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large piping tip and pipe the whipped cream over the cheesecakes. Sprinkle with the remaining pumpkin spice.

Recipe slightly modified from Kraft Foods

Tiramisu

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts and I have tried making it quite a few times in the past and have always been unsuccessful. I think it was partly because I hadn’t honed in on my baking skills and whenever I would go to buy ladyfingers I could never find them. In case you were wondering, ladyfingers are an egg-based biscuit roughly shaped like a large finger. Well, this time I had the ladyfingers on hand after coming across them at the supermarket on sale and buying them in anticipation of making this dessert. I was determined to master this favorite dessert of time and not to toot my horn, but, I think it’s one of the best desserts I have ever made.

Before assembling the tiramisu I had some prep work to do. I began by whisking egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan until they were well blended. I then added in whole milk and cooked the mixture over medium heat until it began to boil. After removing it from the heat I let the mixture cool slightly and then covered and refrigerated it for an hour. After removing it from the refrigerator I blended in mascarpone cheese until it was smooth. In another bowl I beat whipped cream and vanilla extract until stiff peaks formed. And in a third bowl I combined room temperature coffee with Kahlua.

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Using an 8 x 11 inch dish I made the first layer of the tiramisu and then topped it with another. After arranging ladyfingers that I soaked in the coffee and Kahlua mixture I topped it with the mascarpone mixture…

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Then the whipped cream mixture…

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And finally dusted the top with unsweetened cocoa powder. I then covered it and refrigerated it overnight.

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And then the next day it was time to enjoy it and enjoy it I did! It was incredibly light and the ladyfingers while crisp beforehand absorbed the coffee/Kahlua perfectly as well as the mascarpone mixture that was directly spread on top of them. I have finally mastered one of my favorite desserts and will definitely be making it again sooner rather than later.

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Tiramisu

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup whole milk

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound mascarpone cheese

1 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature

1/4 cup Kahlua

2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies (24 cookies)

unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

 

Directions:

In a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined. Whisk in the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to boil. Boil for one minute then remove from the heat and cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for one hour. For best results transfer to a Tupperware with a tight fitted lid.

In a medium bowl combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form.

After one hour remove the egg mixture from the refrigerator and beat in the mascarpone until the mixture is smooth.

In a small bowl, one large enough to lay the ladyfingers in, combine the coffee and Kahlua. Dip the ladyfingers in the mixture for a few seconds and then arrange them in an 8 x 11 inch dish. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers and then half of the whipped cream over that. Repeat the layers with the remaining lady fingers, mascarpone mixture and whipped cream. Dust the top of the cocoa powder then cover with a sheet of parchment paper and then aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

 

Recipe slightly modified from Allrecipes