I can't even describe the deliciousness that are these cupcakes. I've made two different pumpkin cheesecakes before, and neither of them even come close to these minis. I'm pretty sure the perfect plain cheesecake infused with pumpkin and spice swirls that explode in your mouth, breaking up the delicious creaminess, is the way too go. Ok, I'm getting way too descriptive here, but I'm super enthusiastic about fall and pumpkin! I don't have to convince anyone to make these because I know cheesecake, pumpkin, and cupcake alone are enough to make people flock. From now on, I'm going to make these for every fall get together and holiday. They're definitely a new staple.
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes
yield: 12 mini cheesecakes
For the crust:
7 graham cracker sheets (or equivalent in gingersnaps)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
For the pumpkin swirl:
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners (double them up if using paper liners).
To make the crust: in a food processor, grind up the graham cracker sheets into fine crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, place the graham crackers in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Place the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl, and stir in the ground cinnamon and sugar. Add the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
Put about one tablespoon of the graham cracker crumb mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Press down the crumbs with your hand. Set aside.
To make the cheesecake: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (a handheld mixer works fine, too) mix the softened cream cheese on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes. The cream cheese should be smooth without any lumps. Add in the sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrap down the sides of the bowl and fully incorporate the ingredients. Add the sour cream and beat until the cheesecake mixture is smooth.
To make the pumpkin swirl: in a medium bowl mix together the pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground allspice, and flour. Add 2/3 cup of the cheesecake mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Stir with a spatula until the two batters are completely combined and there are no lumps.
Divide half the plain cheesecake batter evenly between the muffins tins. Scoop about one tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture on top and cover with the remaining cheesecake batter. Each cupcake liner should be filled almost to the top. Place three 1/4 teaspoon dots of pumpkin batter onto each of the cheesecakes. Use a toothpick or knife to swirl the batter into a pretty design.
Bake for 27-30 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the baking time. Once the cheesecakes are done baking, cool them completely in the refrigerator overnight (keep them in the cupcake baking pan). Enjoy!
slightly adapted from Gingerbread Bagels