Mini Maple Pumpkin Cheesecakes – Low Carb and Gluten Free

Low Carb Pumpkin CheesecakeTechnically, so many things went wrong with this recipe, it’s amazing they turned out alright.  I must have been tired when I was making these little cakes, because I felt clumsy and stupid and like I was making error after error.  I had this new mini cheesecake pan from Norpro that I’d been dying to use for a while, and I had some fresh homemade cream cheese that was just screaming to be baked into a cheesecake.  I also had some fresh whole cream and some pumpkin puree that both needed using before they went bad, so I felt almost obligated to get make mini pumpkin cheesecakes.  But my heart wasn’t quite in the baking, I was overtired and distracted.  So let’s just say that these little guys turned out well in spite of me, rather than because of me.

The first thing that went awry was the pan.  I got it out of the box and washed all the pieces, but when I went to put the removable bottoms in, I found that there were only 11, instead of 12.  After cursing heartily for a moment, I decided to go ahead and make 11.  I figured if I had too much crust and too much filling, I would just eat it raw (yes, I have no shame).  The second thing that went awry was that I forgot to brush the sides of each cheesecake hole with butter before putting in the filling.  I’d spooned filling into two of the holes before I remembered, but scooping it back out again seemed like far too much work.  So I just shrugged and figured two of them would get stuck and I’d just have to eat it out of the pan with a spoon (see?  No shame whatsoever).  The third thing that went awry was that I didn’t even THINK to put the cheesecake pan on a bigger cookie sheet to catch any drips.  And drips there were aplenty, but I didn’t notice until I was baking something else a few days later and set off all the smoke alarms.  But that’s a story for another day…

Low Carb Cheesecake Recipe

So you can see how my brain was not quite functioning while making these.  I was just going through the motions, trying to use up ingredients before they went bad.  Which makes it all the more astonishing that I not only managed to get little mini pumpkin cheesecakes without completely ruining them, but that they were insanely delicious too.  I really wasn’t expecting much when I bit into my first one, but I was floored.  I somehow managed to achieve incredibly creamy, sweet pumpkin cakes with a lovely hint of maple.  I’m still in awe and I am not kidding when I say that.  I’d like to say it is my enormous talents that  pulled it off, but I have to chalk this one up to a fluke.  Like I said, these turned out in spite of me, not because of me!

And you want to hear the funny part?  There were actually 12 removable bottoms to my cheesecake pan.  I must have put two of them into one hole and never noticed.  And the other funny part?  On the two where I forgot to brush the pan with butter, they didn’t stick at all.  Now that’s a good non-stick pan!

Pumpkin Maple Cheesecake

Mini Maple Pumpkin Cheesecakes – Low Carb and Gluten Free

Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

Serving Size: 1 mini cheesecake

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 1 cup almond flour or almond meal
  • 2 tbsp Swerve Sweetener or granulated erythritol
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 tsp maple extract
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 8 oz cream cheese (homemade preferred!)
  • 1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener or granulated erythritol
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 15 drops stevia extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp melted butter for brushing pan

Instructions

  1. For the crust, preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour and erythritol. In a small bowl, stir melted butter and maple extract together. Add butter mixture to almond flour mixture until well combined.
  3. Divide mixture among the 12 holes of a mini cheesecake pan with removable bottoms, and press firmly into the bottom.
  4. Place cheesecake pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool.
  5. For the filling, spread pumpkin out on a plate lined with several paper towels. Top with another layer of paper towels and blot to remove as much moisture as possible.
  6. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in erythritol, maple extract and spices until incorporated. Beat in dried pumpkin puree and stevia extract, then beat in egg until fully incorporated. Beat in heavy cream. Scrape down beaters and sides of bowl as needed.
  7. Brush sides of each cheesecake hole with melted butter and divide filling between them.
  8. Bake at 325F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheesecakes are puffed and set. Remove from oven and let cool in pan.
  9. Remove cheesecakes from pan by pushing up on bottoms. Refrigerate until chilled (or eat still warm, they are pretty great that way!).

Notes

Serves 12. Each serving has 3.5 g of carbs and 1.1 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 2.4 g.

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Comments

  1. Hmmmm. I have a cup of canned pumpkin left in the fridge from another recipe, and this may just be the ticket to finish it up. I manage a kitchenware store; I own just about one of everything we sell, and I’ve got the version of this pan with little squares instead of rounds in it in the pantry. Unless it got borrowed by one of the kids. Am adding this to tomorrows cooking list. Carolyn, you amaze me with all these wonderful recipes! Thanks!

  2. These look great! I’m definitely going to try doing an almond meal crust.

  3. These look so great. Bummer you had so many issues, I hate when that happens, but you definitely got a beautiful result, anyways! You are the second person I saw post about those mini tart pans in so many weeks, and now I really want one.
    I created a vegan pumpkin mini tart recipe yesterday using my muffin tin, but I think that pan would have been so much better.

  4. I hate it when stuff like that happens. And it happens for me half the time I bake. I guess that’s what I get for constantly having movies playing on the kitchen laptop. I guess I’ve just got to pay more attention!

    Love the ingredients in these. I’ll have to try almond flour crust some time! And pumpkin… mmm. I said I’d wait until October 1 but you all are breaking me down!

  5. I have a hard time baking when I am not in the mood also. But, these do look fantastic!!

  6. I’ve had cooking days like that! Happens to all of us from time to time, but I’m so glad it all turned out well for you, because these mini cheesecakes look really fabulous!

  7. Those kind of days can be so frustrating! At least you have the delicious cheesecakes as a result! I love the pumpkin maple combination!

  8. Oh my, these are making me SO hungry! I was waiting for you to post this after you mentioned them in your cream cheese post. :D

  9. I love everything about this recipe! And wow what a crazy tale to tell about them!

  10. I have a lot of those days … I forget to think ;-)
    So glad everything worked out in the end. I want to bite into that crust first and work my way up…sounds so so good!

  11. Oh goodness I’ve had many days like that in the kitchen as well, looks like it all worked out beautifully in the end!

  12. perfect fall dessert Carolyn!!

  13. These look perfect!! I hate when everything goes wrong with baking, but some days things just happen. Glad they turned out in spite of everything!

  14. I don’t have a mini-cheesecake pan, and I have been told that I have too many pans to buy another. So… could this be made in a regular springform or tart pan? If so, any idea on how long to cook it? Looks perfect for Thanksgiving.

    • Hi Eric…For a regular springform pan, you’d want more crust and more filling. I’d say 1 1/2 times the crust recipe, and 2 times the filling. Otherwise, it would be a really small cheesecake. For baking, you’re looking at more like 35 to 40 minutes, at least, possibly longer. It’s done when it’s mostly set but a teensy bit jiggly still in the middle of the cake.

  15. Oh my, yum. Sometimes baking days just go that way…I love it when things turn out anyways! I have all these ingredients ready to go too!

  16. ha! ha! ha! Oh you sound like me… everyday! Those are too adorable and way to easy to pop one after another into your mouth!

  17. Do you think these would freeze decently? I live alone and don’t like having SO many tempting morsels around at one time.

    • I don’t think they’d freeze that well, actually. Cream cheese can get clumpy after it’s frozen, especially homemade cream cheese. why not just make a half-batch?

  18. I have never been able to find Maple extract in our local stores any idea where to get it?

  19. I definitely have those moments where mistakes are a plenty. Usually when I’m in a hurry and I end up slowing myself down with all of my mistakes. ;) These look like something that would be great to serve for a not so naughty Thanksgiving dessert!

  20. These are so cute Carolyn! Love the low-carb crust you came up with using almond flour.

  21. These are delightfully cute and look so tasty. I think they are going on the Thanksgiving dessert spread menu!

  22. Carolyn, these are so cute and look to die for!!

  23. love making mini cheesecakes – guests love them and they’re easy to make gluten-free!

  24. I could go for about 14 of these right now!!

  25. This looks like this weekend’s dessert to herald in the Fall baking season!!!..Question…Where oh where can I find/obtain the mini-cheesecake/tart pan?..I live in France and might need to order via internet…the presentation is astounding…and I wish to do your creation justice!…Brilliant photography by the way. New, big fan!

    • Thank you so much for your sweet words! I bought my pan through Amazon, it’s a brand called Norpro. I suspect several other bakeware companies make similar pans. King Arthur Flour definitely does, but I don’t have a clue whether they ship to France.

  26. These mini cheesecakes looks incredible! I love the almond meal crust! :)

  27. I’m pretty impressed! I have the same pan and I’ve never been able to achieve a good looking mini cheesecake out of it – no matter how I bake (low and slow temp, with or without water bath, etc) they always fall and crack, and look even worse after I try to push them out. I haven’t had success until I started making no-bake vegan cheesecakes and mousse cakes in it!

  28. made these yesterday, AWESOME!!! They were excellent and I will definitely be making them again! Thank you for all your wonderful low carb recipes!

  29. I am making these again today!! I am also trying the chocolate pecan pie muffins! I just love your recipes! Thanks so much for sharing!

  30. These look sooooo GOOD! Thank you for the recipe! :)

  31. I’m confused about the pumpkin and putting it on paper towels. Do you use canned pumpkin?

  32. Carolyn — I just pulled my second batch of these from the oven and just wanted to tell you that you are a genius!! The drying of the pumpkin puree is probably the best pumpkin tip I’ve ever heard – and the adding of the maple, again genius. I usually like to add the tiniest amount of black strap molasses with pumpkin but the maple gave an equal richness with NO carbs.

    Blessings!
    Gail

  33. I was planning on making these for Thanksgiving and made a test batch last night. They are absolutely amazing! I’m gluten free, my boyfriend eats low carb/no sugar… so it is great to make one dessert that works for both of us. And I’m sure everybody else will love them too!

    Did you roast the pecan halves before putting them on top?

  34. I just saw this recipe on Huffington post and I am planning to try it out and make these.

  35. I am catching up over at EA’s blog, and love your All-Star Recipe post! AND I also love these lovely mini pumpkin cheesecakes! I try so hard to keep up, but life gets to crazy for sure! I hope you had a lovely holiday, and have a very Happy New Year:-) Hugs, Terra

  36. I made these tonight and they were super nommy. I used a mini cupcake pan and it worked fine. I omitted the sugar (aside from stevia) in the cream cheese topping as I thought the base tasted sweet enough. SO NOMMY. Thank you for the amazing recipes!

  37. Amanda Butler says:

    I don’t have this pan either. I do have muffin pans, would it work in those? In muffin liners??

  38. This recipe seams totaly amazing! I’m a fan of cheesecake, I can’t even imagine how great it is with maple sirup! For sure, I’ll try it one day!

  39. I love that I am not the only one who does these things :) They look great, we’re not generally that big on pumpkin sweets here in Australia (at all in fact) but I loved a pumpkin bread I made one day so I am going to try these. Thanks :)

    • What? No love for the big orange gourd down under??? ;)

      • We do a lot savoury with pumpkin, it’s in lots of salads and quiches and stews and all sorts of delicious things, the sweet pumpkin trend just never made it here.
        I’m really keen to try some more sweet things with pumpkin, maybe I can make it take off here!

  40. Can I use stevia instead of swerve sweetener? I am in Korea and don’t want to wait and order some if I can make them now :)

    • Sure. You’ll need to calculate the stevia as how much you’d substitute for sugar. The Swerve measures cup for cup like sugar so make that assumption.

  41. My dh doesn’t think i need another pan either :( (what do men know?). anyway, all i have is 2 silicone muffin pans, one makes jumbo muffins but the other one makes tallish muffins i think would be perfect size for these. but i’m worried about springing them out. where he silicon is so flexible, maybe i can let them cool completely in these and gently pop them out? or turn the pan inside out..whatever needs to be done i’ll do it. son requested “lowcarb cheesecake” for dessert. what’s a mom to do? :)

    • I think the smaller muffin pan would work but make sure you run a sharp knife around the edge of each of the cakes before trying to get them out.

  42. Oh yummy! I have to try these. I love your site and found these while looking for a Maple Bacon Cheesecake recipe. Wanna tackle that one??? :) also. If I wanted to make this a full sized cheesecake, would I double or triple the recipe?

  43. These are my absolute favorite! I follow the directions directly. This recipe is what taught me the magic of maple extract. It gives the taste of brown sugar.

  44. Although it’s not pumpkin season (but it’s always maple season!) I made these to use up some canned pumpkin I found in my freezer when I was cleaning a couple days ago. I went through plenty of paper towels and then coffee filters to remove the moisture. I have a mini cheesecake pan and I laughed when you wrote about not having 12 discs because the same thing had happened to me: 2 of the discs stuck together and I thought I had somehow lost one. Nope, they are all there.

    The final product is excellent. I particularly like the almond crust.

    My comment, though, is this: these were expensive to make. I found Swerve sweetener in the natural foods section of my local supermarket for $9.99. Ordered online it would cost $16.00 ($10.99 + $5.00 shipping). And when I try a new recipe I make it as written. I had to find liquid stevia extract and the only place was the co-op in another town. That cost $16.00 for a 4 oz bottle. It will last a long time since it’s used by the drop. But is it necessary?

    I recently switched from Splenda to Truvia for beverages. I’ve never had any health or taste issues with Splenda but I wanted something natural. (I have some Splenda granular that I’m going to use up but I will not replace it when it’s gone.) I was looking at a Truvia packet and I never realized that it wasn’t just stevia; it’s erythritol and stevia extract (plus natural flavor). So, could Truvia granular be substituted for Swerve and liquid stevia extract? Then, there would be only one product to buy.

    I really want to make the Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies and the Maple Walnut Biscotti but my wallet won’t let me shell (pun not intended!) out for hazelnut oil and walnut oil, two more expensive things that will take up refrigerator space.

    My hope is that recipes like this will become more mainstream. I learned to bake gluten-free so that I could prepare desserts for my uncle who has celiac disease. It wasn’t all that long ago when I had to buy several different flours and mix them together myself. Now you can get decent GF baking mixes.

    Sorry so longwinded. Based on the mini cheesecakes I look forward to more recipes.

    • Carolyn says:

      Yes, feel free to use Truvia in place of Swerve where needed. You can always save 10% on Swerve with the code DREAM10 and if you order several bags at once, you get free shipping (over $30 I think). So that can help. I feel it’s a superior product to Truvia. Part of the reason I also use liquid stevia is that it cuts down on the cost of Swerve, since the stevia lasts a LONG time. It’s also cheaper purchased online on places like Amazon.

      • Thanks, Carolyn. I remember the sticker shock I suffered the first time I bought a bag of xanthum gum. That was a few years ago and I still have plenty of it left. And maybe I’ll break down and buy some walnut oil because those biscotti sound really good. Besides, I can use it in vinaigrette.

        • Carolyn says:

          I feel you! I completely understand the sticker shock. Swerve doesn’t last that long but the stevia drops can last months.

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