No bake pumpkin cheesecake cups are super smooth and decadent individual desserts. Layers of indulgent graham cracker crust, pumpkin cheesecake and cream will make you fight for more!
Warning! This recipe is extremely easy to make which means you can satisfy your cheesecake craving at any moment. It may also become highly addictive. Whew, glad I got that out of the way!
Sometimes when I think about making cheesecake, I cringe. To make a cheesecake just right, it takes a lot of time and proper technique to nail the super decadent creamy texture. Not to mention you’ve got to fire up the oven, make a water bath, hope the top of your cheesecake doesn’t crack…urgh, the stress is unbearable at the moment.
I have seen a lot of great no-bake dessert recipe ideas lately, so I thought I would give these no-bake pumpkin cheesecake cups a try! This is an exceptionally clever technique to make when you run out of oven space during your holiday cooking marathon.
Learn how to make pumpkin puree on your own!
Not having to bake sounds like an excellent way to make a dessert! For these no-bake cheesecake cups, I wanted to keep the classic flavor combinations of a cheesecake together. I made a simple graham cracker crust, which is like peanut butter and jelly for cheesecakes.
However, you could use any cookie you enjoy, like gingersnaps, chocolate wafers or almond cookies for a twist. I was inspired by a pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sauce recipe featured on Cooking Classy, which incorporated whipped cream into the pumpkin cream cheese base to make it, even more, light and silky. I liked this texture, and it was more like a mousse than a typical cheesecake.
The flavor of this pumpkin cheesecake filling had just the right amount of sweetness and “tang” from the cream cheese. I noticed that the longer you let the cheesecake cups chill; the layers settle over time. Some of the lightness from the air incorporated into the filling is slightly removed, and the cheesecake becomes less like eating a cloud. I actually prefer this way, especially after eating one for dessert three days straight (I couldn’t resist, don’t tell on me, please!).
If you do like a more intense and creamy cheesecake filling, I would recommend skipping adding the Chantilly cream to the cheesecake layer, which gives you a stronger pumpkin flavor and more dense cheesecake filling.
The best part of this dessert is not only the luscious pumpkin mousse-like experience but also how easy it is to assemble! All you have to do is spoon in layers of crunchy graham cracker crust, creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling and light Chantilly cream into each cup. That’s it, and you’re done!
I made sure to do two layers of each, and it’s so much prettier and elegant looking that way. Your guests will think you spent all day making this dessert and attended the CIA for how fancy it looks!
So the individual serving sizes I used are VERY generous. The cups are a 15-ounce stemless wine glass, which I’ve layered about over 3/4 full, that’s a lavish treat! Who wants to go on a one-way ticket to dessert indulgence city? Yep, I do, and I was already on the train. You can indeed create smaller portions and even get 8 servings instead or just 4 using smaller cups.
If you’re looking for more festive pumpkin recipes, check out my pumpkin cream cookie sandwich recipe, or even a savory chicken enchilada with pumpkin sauce.
How do I make a Crumb Crust?
Crumb crusts are awesome because they are so versatile and easy to make, no rolling necessary! All you need to do is crumble, melt, mix and shape. You can use any crumb you want, like Oreo cookies, vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, any cookies or crackers really. Just remember the typical ratio of crust ingredients:
Crumb Crust: 1 part melted butter: 2 parts sugar: 4 parts crumb.
For example, 2 ounces melted butter, 4 ounces sugar, and 8 ounces graham crackers. I used this ratio to create the graham cracker crust for this no bake pumpkin cheesecake recipe. You can always add more butter if the crust is not holding together. Once you press the crumb crust into your pan, you can either bake or chill the crust depending on what your recipe recommends.
- 1 cup graham crackers , finely crushed (about 7 crackers)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar , packed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese , chilled
- 6 tablespoons light brown sugar , packed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon , ground
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg , ground
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger , ground
- 1 pinch cloves , ground
- 1 cup pumpkin puree , chilled, canned
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- In a medium sized bowl, combine crushed graham crackers and brown sugar. Stir in the melted butter, until cookies are moistened. Add 3 tablespoons of the crust mixture into 4 glasses, pressing gently into an even layer.
- In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar and beat until combined. Add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves; beat until combined. Fold in pumpkin puree until fully combined. Cover and refrigerate.
- In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk heavy whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks are formed.
- Gently fold in 1 cup of the Chantilly cream into the pumpkin cheesecake mixture. Reserve the rest of the Chantilly cream for assembling the cheesecake trifle.
- Pipe or spoon the pumpkin cheesecake mixture into the glass cups containing the crumb crust. Pipe or spoon a layer of Chantilly cream on top of the pumpkin cheesecake. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of the crumb crust over the Chantilly cream. Pipe another layer of the pumpkin cheesecake on top of the crumb crust. Pipe Chantilly cream on top of the pumpkin cheesecake. Chill pumpkin cheesecakes for at least an hour before serving. Cheesecakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Cheesecake filling recipe adapted from Cooking Classy