Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Pies have flaky, buttery pie dough piled high with a pillowy soft pumpkin cream cheese filling. These Pumpkin Cheesecakes may be bite-size, but this easy pumpkin recipe is packed with pumpkin spice flavor!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Pies
Every year around this time I glance at the date and ask myself the same question: How did we get here?! Weren’t we just eating strawberries and sporting tank tops?
Sometimes I wonder if we’re a second-grade science project on some alien planet, and an alien kid is spinning Earth for fun. We go from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Eve in the blink of an eye. Or maybe I’m just old and time goes faster when you’re old?
Anyway, flow with me… It’s pumpkin season! When in October… Break out pumpkin ‘all the things’. I dig apple season as much as the next chick, but there is something special about pumpkin. It makes the upcoming holiday season feel real, ya’ know? Like soon, pretty soon – Someone will have to roll me around till January.
So these mini pumpkin pies! These mini pies were one of two mini pies I was bringing to a pie gathering this past Saturday, but I got sick and couldn’t attend. I was so bummed. I had everything ready. The dough, the fillings, a happy disposition. Stretchy pants. Unfortunately, my immune system put on the mega breaks and I slept through the pie event. Slept.Through.Pie.
Who sleeps through pie?
At least I have this recipe for you and I think you’re going to like – no – Love it. Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Pies.
How do you make pumpkin cheesecake pie?
This easy pumpkin cheesecake mini pies recipe starts with my ever popular buttery pie dough. This dough has loads of butter. Major butter. When you read the recipe, don’t be scared. It’s the butter that makes this dough so flaky. I suggest you use a butter with a high fat content, like Kerrygold (not plugging, just spitting out truths).
The dough chills and you make a pumpkin cheesecake filling that is heavy on the spices and fluffy soft with the addition of cold heavy cream.
The dough is baked in mini muffin tins and makes 48 bite-sized pie shells; pie shells you pile high with that deliciously spicy pumpkin filling. Don’t let its diminutive size fool you – These mini pies are packed with fall flavor.
You’ll be hard pressed to have just one.
Just keep those stretchy pants on standby. You might need them after this.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Pies
For the pie crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour ,scooped then leveled
- 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces unsalted butter , very cold and cut into cubes
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 large beaten egg (for brushing the dough)
For the pumpkin pie filling:
- 1, 8- ounce package full-fat Kraft cream cheese cold
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 - 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream cold
Make the pie crust:
- In a bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the cubes of butter and pulse about 8-10 times until the flour is incorporated with the butter, and the butter is in pea sized pieces. It is totally cool if the butter pieces are larger than pea size.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the milk, and then add them all at once to your dry ingredients. Pulse a few times until the flour is moistened. This will take about 7-8 pulses and you'll be left with a very wet looking dough which will resemble sugar cookie dough. This is fine.
- Turn the dough over a lightly floured surface and gently knead a couple of times. Divide the dough in 2 and gather the dough pieces in a rough square. Lightly sprinkle flour over top of the dough and wrap in plastic wrap or place in a zip lock bag. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, make the filling.
Make the filling:
- In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer or a whisk and some serious arm strength), combine the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix over medium/high speed until combined. Turn off the mixer, scrape to combine, and add 3/4 cup of confectioners' sugar. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until the confectioner's sugar is mostly combined with the pumpkin puree/cheese mixture. Raise the speed to medium/high and mix until the ingredients are fully combined and the filling is light and fluffy. If you prefer a sweeter filling, feel free to add more confectioner's sugar. A good rule would be to add 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve desired sweetness. Add the heavy cream in three parts, allowing it to thicken slightly after each addition. Whip on high until thickened, about 15-20 more seconds. Turn off the mixer. Wrap the surface of the bowl in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Bake the pie shells:
- Lightly spray 2 24-cavity mini muffin tins with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove one piece of dough from the freezer. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out a 9x12 inch rectangle to about 1/8 of an inch in thickness. If you are unable to get a 9x12 inch rectangle get as close as you can. Trim the very edges of the dough with a pizza cutter or a knife to make a nice rectangle (If you end up with a square I won't judge you)
- Using a 2 inch fluted biscuit cutter or a round cutter, working quickly cut dough circles. Gather the excess dough into a rough square and freeze for a few minutes before you reroll and cut once more. Place the cut dough circles into the muffin cavities and press lightly to cover the entire cavity, lightly pressing on the bottom. It doesn't have to be perfect. This dough is very buttery, so you may not end up with pretty mini pie shells and that's OK. Plus they'll get filled later. Place the muffin tin in the freezer to chill. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Place the second muffin tin in the freezer to chill for at least 10 minutes.
- Remove both mini muffin tins from the freezer. Brush the surface of the dough with beaten egg and place in the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.
To fill the mini pie shells:
- Remove the filling from the refrigerator. Fill a piping bag fitted with a round or star tip with the pumpkin cream cheese filling and pipe those pie shells as high as you can. Alternatively, you can spoon the filling into the mini pie shells using a cookie scoop or a teaspoon. Top with crushed gingersnap cookies for garnish if desired.