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!
for the pecan and graham cracker crust:
- 3 oz. graham crackers (about 6 full graham cracker sheets)
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1 tsp. dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
for the gingerbread cheesecake:
- 12 oz. full-fat cream cheese (use block cream cheese, not the tubs), room temperature
- 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. sour cream, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. heavy cream, room temperature
- 3/8 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. molasses
- 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 large egg plus large egg yolk, room temperature
for the topping:
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 2 tsp. 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.
- 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 3/4 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.
Cheesecakes can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, though they'll taste best when they're fresh.
*The cheesecakes may crack as they finish baking. They also will sink a bit in the center as they cool. This is perfectly fine, and these imperfections will be covered up by the toppings.
- Category: Dessert, Cake
Keywords: gingerbread, cheesecake, Christmas dessert, holiday dessert, mini dessert, mini cheesecake