Mini gingerbread cheesecakes pair ultra-creamy spiced cheesecake with a pecan and graham cracker crust for a festive and indulgent holiday treat that's picture perfect when topped with chopped pecans, whipped cream, and a dusting of nutmeg. Serve these perfectly-portioned mini desserts at Christmas to secure your spot at the top of the nice list!
When you transform the holiday season's most quintessential cookie into a mouth-watering and perfectly-portioned indulgent dessert, you know you've struck gold! My gingerbread snowflake cookies have been one of the most popular recipes here on ALWAYS EAT DESSERT for years - and for good reason - so I decided it was time for a new gingerbread treat. This time, we're swapping soft and chewy cookies for creamy and decadent cheesecake!
Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes
These mini gingerbread cheesecakes are what holiday dessert dreams are made of! A graham cracker crust made more flavorful with the addition of chopped pecans and a bit of brown sugar provides the base for the ultra-indulgent and perfectly spiced gingerbread cheesecake. A sprinkling of chopped pecans adds a welcome bit of crunch (I promise it complements rather than competes with the creaminess of the cheesecake!). Topped off with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg, these mini desserts will delight your friends and family when you serve them up on Christmas!
Easy Mini Cheesecakes
And unlike a traditional cheesecake, these mini cheesecakes don't require special equipment or tedious extra steps. Instead of a springform pan, we'll bake these in a standard muffin pan. And the water bath that's recommended when baking a full-size cheesecake? Not necessary! With mini cheesecakes we get all the benefits of a rich and creamy dessert but without the fuss!
One step that is necessary: letting the cream cheese (and other noted ingredients) come to room temperature before making the cheesecake. It will be impossible to beat the cream cheese smooth if it's cold, and you'll be left with lumps in your cheesecake. You can read more about baking with room temperature ingredients in this post.
Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes
- 1 standard muffin pan
- 12 muffin liners
- 1 food processor
- 1 electric hand mixer
- 3 ounces graham crackers (about 6 full graham cracker sheets)
- ¼ cup pecans
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 12 ounces full-fat block cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons plus 2 tsp. sour cream, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons plus 2 tsp. heavy cream, room temperature
- ⅜ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon molasses
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg plus large egg yolk room temperature
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup heavy cream, chilled
- 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
- ground nutmeg, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Place 12 muffin liners into a standard muffin pan and set aside.
Make the crust.
- Add graham crackers, pecans, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until there are fine crumbs with no large chunks remaining.
- Add melted butter and pulse until combined and the crumbs begin to stick together. Divide the crust among the 12 muffin liners and press the crumbs into a solid crust using the back of a spoon.
- Divide the crust among the 12 muffin liners and press the crumbs into a solid crust using the back of a spoon.
- Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven down to 325°F. Let the crusts cool while you prepare the cheesecake.
Make the cheesecake.
- In a large bowl, add cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, sugar, molasses, cornstarch, spices, and salt. Using an electric handheld mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
- Add egg and yolk and beat just until combined.
- Spoon cheesecake onto the crusts so that muffin liners are ¾ filled. (You'll use about 2.5 Tablespoons of cheesecake per liner, and you may have a little bit of cheesecake leftover.)
- Return the pan to the 325°F oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges of each cheesecake are set but the centers still wobble slightly when you jiggle the pan. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecakes sit in the warm oven with the door closed for 10 minutes. Then crack the oven door open and let the cheesecakes sit for another 10 minutes. Next transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the cheesecakes to cool completely (about 1 hour). Finally, transfer the pan to the fridge and chill the cheesecakes for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Garnish the cheesecakes.
- Once the cheesecakes have cooled, remove the cheesecakes from the muffin liners and prepare the toppings. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the cheesecakes.
- In a large bowl, add heavy cream and confectioners' sugar. Using an electric handheld mixer, whip until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream over the chopped pecans on each cheesecake. Sprinkle a bit of ground nutmeg over the whipped cream. Serve immediately.
Love these mini gingerbread cheesecakes? Leave a review and be sure to check out these other gingerbread recipes!