Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes

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

48 Response to Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes

September 27, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Those just look sinful! I'll take two =o)

September 28, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Wow!! These look creamy and dreamy!! LOVE the fall flavors. Have a wonderful weekend. ~ Ramona

October 10, 2012 at 7:51 AM

I was thinking a lot regarding this topic, so thanks for bringing it up here. You certainly have a good writing style i like, so will be subscribing to your blog.
holy food
religious food

October 12, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Yummmmm! My whole life, I wasn't really into pumpkin....until last year, suddenly it became delicious! So I feel like I have a whole new pumpkiny world out there to discover, and these are definitely on my list now.

October 15, 2012 at 4:27 AM

Your beautiful photos really drew me to these beauties! I will be making them this week! I have been searching for a delicious-looking pumpkin cupcake recipe! Thank you for sharing!

October 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Looks yummy. Is there an easy way to print the recipes. I tried to but the print was so pale that it is unreadable?

October 16, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Hi Jean, I'm sorry about that. It's currently in the works. For now just copy and paste it into Word or Notepad. Check back soon, though!

October 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Is canned pumpkin the same as pumpkin purée? Would it be a good substitute?

October 24, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Oh absolutely! I used regular old Libby's canned pumpkin for these. =D

October 29, 2012 at 12:38 PM

These cupcakes are absolutely amazing! I'm delighted with them! I've featured this recipes on my blog! I hope you don't mind! If you don't agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.

November 12, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I made these a few weeks ago...wow they were so amazing! Now I'm being asked to make 2 of them for Thanksgiving in a springform pan. What temp and how long should I bake it for? I thought I would just double it to make enough, what do you think? Let me know, thank you!!

November 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Ashley, I'm glad you liked them! I've never made this recipe as a larger cheesecake so you'll have to play around with it to find out. I would try cooking it at a pretty low temp - 325 degrees - in a water bath until it's set. Let me know how it works out for you!!

November 15, 2012 at 10:25 AM

I made these last night for a pot luck and got rave reviews. I ended up with far more batter than crust, so I pureed more graham crackers and nearly doubled the 12 cupcakes to about 20. Note: Half the batter I used in my mini cupcake pan and baked them for about 19-20 minutes instead of 30.

November 19, 2012 at 1:52 AM

Is the baking time the same for regular sized cupcakes?

November 19, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Sarah- I bake my "big" cheesecake at 325 for 70 mins!! It turned out perfect and looked flawless. But for Thursday I'll have to add a little bit more crust and probably cut the pumpkin mix in half. I did double everything and the pumpkin flavor was kinda of overpowering the cheesecake flavor. I am a cheesecake FREAK...and this is my first cheesecake recipe I've ever tried. I'm definetly keeping it! :) Thank you!

November 19, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Yes, the baking time listed in the recipe is for regular sized cupcakes! :)

November 19, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Ashley - thanks for sharing! I'm so happy it baked up perfectly for you. Great idea with the pumpkin and crust components. =D

November 19, 2012 at 5:56 PM

These look amazing! Can I use a regular cupcake pan instead of the mini-cupcake pan? Thanks! Can't wait to make these!

November 19, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Actually, I made these with a regular cupcake pan, so yes! :)

November 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

wuhu! thank you!

November 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Made these for fellow middle school teachers last week. They were gone before home room started! Great recipe :) thanks

November 20, 2012 at 6:12 AM

Looks really yummy! I am wondering why there is no sugar in the pumpkin swirl? I think it would not taste right without the sugar. Thanks

November 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

someone sent me the link to this recipe! you better belive that I am going to make these! and yes, you have a new follower also!


November 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

The pumpkin swirl is actually mixed with some of the cheesecake mixture that contains sugar. It is plenty sweetened, but feel free to add more sugar to taste. :)

November 20, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Is it okay if I hand mixed the cream cheese and didn't use a mixer?

November 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

I've never tried it without a mixer, but it should be fine as long as the cream cheese is softened. :)

November 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Made these last night for Thanksgiving.. they turned out divine!! (& that's without tasting yet!) For me, the 3 mixes (graham, pumpkin, cheesecake) all perfectly made 12 cupcakes (I thought I might have extra as someone else stated but that wasn't the case). I only gave them the 27 mins, since my gas stove tends to cook on the quick side. The cream cheese had softened for a few hours on the counter, and I was able to get it extremely smooth with a fork (actually, I let my boyfriend do that part part since it seemed like it would be a pain without a mixer, but he had no problems). The cheesecake mix was PERFECT - I'll definitely use it as a base for future cheesecakes. When I initially took them out of the oven, a couple of them had slightly "cracked" as I've heard is possible cheesecake, but after sitting on the kitchen counter for several minutes, I think the cheesecake "settled" and the cracks had disappeared. I can't wait to try one!!

November 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

i tried these this afternoon and they all caved in. how do you keep them from doing that?

November 21, 2012 at 3:04 PM

I only have one cupcake pan and I wanted to make 24 in one night... is there anyway I can put them on a cookiesheet and put them in the fridge, while I use the cupcake pan again for the other ones? Thanks! :)

November 22, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Heather, I've never had them cave in on me, I'm sorry that happened! :( My only guess is that the crust wasn't pressed into the cupcake wrapper enough to keep its shape.

November 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM

You could definitely bake one batch and cool it on a cookie sheet while you make the other. The cheesecakes need to be cooled to room temperature before you take them out, but after that you can swing it if need be. :)

November 22, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Can you please tell me how much crushed graham cracker crumbs 7 graham cracker sheets yields? I want to try to make my own gluten-freen crust. Thanks!

November 22, 2012 at 11:10 PM

I need to know as well: How many cups of crumbs does 7 sheets (?) make? We don't have 'sheets' in B.C. and I would really like to try these mini cakes. Darlene

November 23, 2012 at 5:11 AM

It ends up being a little over 1 1/2 cups total. :)

November 27, 2012 at 7:28 AM

Could you make these ahead and put them in the freezer for Christmas? Do you think they would freeze well?

November 27, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Is the flour absolutely necessary? I'm trying to make them gluten-free. If it is, do you know of any gluten-free substitutes??

November 27, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Cheesecake freezes wonderfully, so I would imagine these would be a great candidate for freezing as long as they're wrapped well. :)

November 27, 2012 at 7:14 PM

The small amount of flour is there to give the pumpkin swirl a bit more stability. But since it's being mixed with the cheesecake mixture anyways, it's not essential. The swirl will probably be less firm than the original, but still delicious. :)

November 27, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Why is there no sugar in the pumpkin batter?

November 27, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I read the title of your recipe to my husband... in a really sexy voice, he said, "Oooh yeah...say it again!"
Hee hee :)

So...We are mostly gluten-free, here. We don't have gluten issues, but I think it's just healthier to include other grains in our diet, besides wheat!!

When a recipe calls for flour, I usually use Pamela's pancake mix.
Mariposa used to have the BEST flour mix, but they recently switched to Pamela's, too :(
As much as I love Bob's admirable business practices with Red Mill, I just don't like the standard "gluten-free taste," of his flour mix...not sure what it is, but I know it when I taste it!!

November 28, 2012 at 2:11 AM

These look scrumptious! I have a small amount of pumpkin sitting in the frig now that needs to be used up. This is the perfect recipe to do so!

December 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM

The sugar is the pumpkin batter comes from being mixed with the cheesecake batter further on in the recipe.

December 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Great recipe! I've made 4 batches of them since my husband posted them on my facebook wall a week ago! They are absolutely delicious...I made some for our family of 3, and were gone in one day! I made 2 dozen for my hubby's work & they were a big hit! I have 2 more batches in the oven now for my work! Freezing wikk definitely be a great option for me in the future! Thanks for sharing this awesome, wonderful, delicious-ness! ;)

January 5, 2013 at 9:38 PM

First let me say this recipe is spot on with the portions. Most of the time when I try to make some kind of cupcakes I either have too little or too much batter. This recipe made exactly 12 perfectly evenly sized cupcakes.

Now, I have to admit I didn't follow the exact recipe, I did a couple of substitutions.I didn't have any canned pumpkin, but I did have a butternut squash on hand. So I roasted my squash and then mashed it like pumpkin comes. It did great in the cheesecake cupcakes. I also substituted out allspice for clove. I love the spiciness of cloves and thought they would do well.

Jenna Cove
January 16, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Wow, it looks delicious and mouthwatering! My daughters will absolutely love this. I'm trying to practice healthy eating for kids though once in a while I let them indulge into sweets. But after seeing your recipe, I can actually make a healthy and a yummy dessert in one.

February 25, 2013 at 8:39 PM

just dropping by to say hello

March 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM

I made these and they taste great, however, while they were still baking they cracked and were really puffed up. Any suggestions or ideas what I may have done wrong? Thanks!! :)

March 18, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Thanks so much for this delicious recipe!!! I noticed some comments about the cheesecakes cracking or puffing up, and I've had similar problems with cheesecake recipes. What has worked best for me was baking the crust for 10mins at 350F and letting it cool before filling, which helped set the crust. Also, placing a roasting pan half filled with water on the rack below the cupcakes avoided the cracking in my situation. I hope this is helpful!

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