Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes in Mason Jars is a light, tangy and perfect single-serving dessert for Thanksgiving! Make-ahead and portable too.
This post sponsored by American Express. All opinions are my own.
Thanksgiving is in the air signaling the time for friends, family, travel and favorite soul-warming foods.
As much as we love all of this it can become too much, am I right? Today I have two things to make your holiday season easier and more enjoyable!
First, a spin on a Thanksgiving classic recipe changed up that can be made ahead of time and will delight your diners: Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes in Mason Jars. It’s a perfect unexpected individual dessert to cap off a holiday dinner.
Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes are portable too making them perfect if you are having Friendsgiving or dining elsewhere. Making these pumpkin pie cheesecakes the day before gives a break to all the hard-core cooking that happens on the holiday itself.
I am making my holiday season easier in another way too. For the past few months, I have been enjoying the new American Express Gold Card (in Rose Gold for me!), saving money on grocery shopping, dining out and travel. I know you’ll want to know more about this!
The American Express Gold Card is the perfect partner for all the food we’re making and enjoying, as well as any travel we’re planning for the season.
Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes
This little four-bite dessert is the perfect blend of pumpkin pie and cheesecake for a creamy, tangy seasonal dessert.
The pumpkin pie cheesecakes are a blend of cream cheese and mascarpone cheese making them familiarly tangy but also extra light and creamy thanks to the mascarpone.
If you are unfamiliar with mascarpone cheese, it is essentially a very thick cream that has the consistency similar to but a lighter than a cream cheese.
Creamy Mascarpone Cheese is the Secret Ingredient
Mascarpone’s flavor is subtle but it allows these cheesecakes to have their creamy consistency and light texture vs a heavier cheesecake consistency.
These bitty desserts have the familiar seasoning of pumpkin pie, with a spiced-up ginger snap crust and the rustic sensibilities we love about Thanksgiving.
Make these Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes Ahead!
If you are traveling for the holidays, these can be made the day before and chilled with a traditional Mason jar lid and delivered as single serving desserts.
How to Make Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes – Step by Step:
Easy to prepare, they can be made the day before and served chilled or at room temperature. Served in 4-ounce jelly jars they are not only cute but a good four big bites, just about the right amount to appreciate the luscious flavors but without overwhelming the already stuffed stomach.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray 4-ounce jelly jars with non-stick spray.
- In a mixing bowl combine the ginger snap crumbs (gluten-free or regular), sugar and butter. Stir to combine (will resemble moist sand in appearance).
- Spoon the crumbs equally into the 12 prepared jelly jars and tamp down (the bottom of a wine cork or back of a dining spoon work great).
- Beat together the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, pumpkin puree, remaining sugar and pumpkin pie spice until smooth.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is fluffy and smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Spoon the filling evenly into the prepared jars (fill to ½-inch below top of the jar).
- Bake in a water bath (place jars into a 13-inch by 9-inch baking pan, fill halfway up the jars with water) for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature.
Why Use a Water Bath for these Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes
Cooking the cheesecakes gently, on a slightly lower temperature and in a water bath, allows them to be creamier and not to crack!
American Express Gold Card – Great Rewards for Food and Travel Lovers!
This time of year is full of dining, entertaining and traveling and the new American Express Gold Card is a perfect partner for everything I’m doing.
I have it with me always and love the limited-edition metal design and rose gold color (also available in gold).
Here is what I’m loving about using the American Express (Rose) Gold Card:
- When I use the new American Express Gold Card, I can earn 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on purchases at US restaurants. This is great for all the holiday dining with friends and family that stacks up over the next few months.
- There is an annual $120 Dining Credit, which gives me a $10 per month in statement credit when I pay with the Gold Card at my favorite participating restaurants. What’s not to love about that!
- I also can earn 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar at US supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per year). I am constantly at the grocery store at this time of year between entertaining and creating recipes so am loving this benefit.
- For traveling, I earn 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with the airlines and on amextravel.com. Awesome, right?
This Card is perfect for food and travel lovers (especially at this time of year)!
The limited-edition Rose Gold Card is available for new and existing Card Members through January 9, 2019. Terms apply. For more details on the program and rewards, visit American Express.
If you’ve made this Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake recipe please RATE THE RECIPE below!
Are you an American Express Gold Card Member? Tell me what YOU love about using your Gold Card in a comment below!
Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes in Mason Jars
As an alternative for to a full pie, these mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes in Mason jelly jars provide a light, tangy version of the beloved traditional pie in moderate servings. May be made the day prior and served at room temperature or chilled.
If traveling for Thanksgiving, simply add Mason jar lids and bring them along.
- 1 cup Ginger Snap crumbs , gluten-free or regular (I used gluten-free Midel Ginger Snaps, ground in a blender to make crumbs)
- 1 tablespoon plus 3 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter , melted
- 3 tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 8- ounce package of Mascarpone Cheese , room temperature
- 6 ounces Cream Cheese (3/4 of an 8-ounce package), room temperature
- 3/4 cups Pumpkin Puree (canned or homemade)
- 2 Eggs , room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Supplies: 12 4-ounce jelly jars
- Optional topping: Chopped Candied Maple Pecans , whipped cream and/or fresh mint sprig
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray jelly jars inside with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the ginger snap crumbs, 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar and the melted butter; stir to fully combine.
- Spoon crust mixture evenly into the twelve prepared jars (approximately 1 tablespoon per jar). Tamp crust down with the back of a dining spoon or a wine cork (something with a flat bottom) to evenly distribute crust on the bottom of the jars.
- In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, beat together the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, pumpkin puree, remaining sugar (3 tablespoons each granulated and brown sugar) and pumpkin pie spice until smooth.
- Add the eggs, one at a time; beat on medium-high until incorporated and the mixture is fluffly and light. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Add the cheese mixture evenly to the jelly jars, filling to the lowest outer glass ring (approximately 1/2 inches from the top of the jar; refer to photos).
- Place jars in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Fill the pan with boiling water until the water level reaches halfway up the outside of the jelly jars.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove mini cheesecakes from the pan and allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. They may be served chilled or at room temperature.