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Pumpkin Desserts & Baked Goods

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Pumpkin cheesecake muffins are a pumpkin swirled cream cheese muffin with a spiced streusel crumb and pumpkin seed topping. They’re super moist and fluffy and taste like everything we love about the season!

pumpkin cream cheese muffins with crumb topping

Extra moist and fluffy with a spiced streusel topping, these pumpkin cheesecake muffins are truly the best muffin for fall! They pop out of the pan with a perfectly fluffy muffin top just like you would expect from a pumpkin muffin from a bakery, and will make your whole house smell amazing while they bake.

Typically on Once Upon a Pumpkin I make healthier versions of pumpkin recipes. I strive to bake up fun pumpkin treats with a little less sugar, perhaps made gluten free and or with just a few simple ingredients.

The thing about the fall is that it brings about a feeling of nostalgia that we look forward to all year. That comfort and coziness that comes from the smell of cinnamon, crisp air and golden hues. As a dietitian, I think I do a pretty good job of bringing that into my healthier pumpkin recipes, but sometimes you just can’t beat the real thing made with traditional ingredients.

That is the balance I preach through this site and on my Instagram page — nutrition that is about mindful choices that honor how you feel, are enjoyable and allow you to enjoy your life (and live your best fall life!).

These bakery-style pumpkin muffins will hopefully remind you of your love of all things fall, baking with your mom or grandma and taking in all the scents and flavors of the season.

This pumpkin recipe uses an entire can of pumpkin puree, and lots of fall spices that will have your whole house smelling amazing. The silky smooth cream cheese layer in between layers of fluffy pumpkin muffin is my favorite part!

So get out your cans of pumpkin, light a fall candle and let’s make these irresistible pumpkin cream cheese muffins!

Ingredients for Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins with Streusel Topping

  • Organic All-purpose Flour or White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • Pumpkin Pureethis muffin recipes uses an entire can of pumpkin puree! Make sure it’s 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix.
  • Coconut Oil
  • Eggs + egg yolk
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter
  • Pumpkin Seeds

Equipment / utensils

  • mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • wooden spoon
  • muffin pan
  • muffin liners

Tips for Making the Best Pumpkin Muffins

  1. Measure the flour correctly. Too much flour can definitely impact how these muffins turn out. Use a scoop to scoop flour into a measuring cup (don’t pack it in!) to ensure you don’t have too much.
  2. Don’t over mix the batter. Muffin batter shouldn’t be super smooth. You want there to be bumps. Just as soon as you don’t see any major streaks of flour, stop mixing.
  3. Make sure the baking soda and baking powder are fresh. This is a sneaky little thing I think a lot of us don’t think about. If your baking soda or baking powder has been sitting untouched since last fall when you baked something, this could be impacting your baked goods negatively. Check the date on the label!
pumpkin cream cheese muffins with crumb topping

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Pumpkin cheesecake muffins are super fluffy, spiced just right and taste like everything we love about fall. Enjoy one with a cup of coffee for all the fall feels!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings 12 muffins

Equipment

  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 1 Whisk
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 muffin pan
  • 12 muffin liners

Ingredients
  

For the pumpkin muffin batter

  • 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Streusel Topping

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter melted
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a muffin pan with muffin liners, lightly spraying the inside with baking spray or oil so that that the muffins don't stick to the liners.
  • Get out the cream cheese and butter to soften and bring to room temperature.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and salt. Set aside.
  • In another medium sized bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine using a wooden spoon careful not to over mix.
  • Make the cream cheese mixture by beating together softened cream cheese, egg yolk and vanilla extract.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the muffin batter into the muffin liner so that they're about 1/3 of the way filled. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese on top and then cover with remaining pumpkin batter (it's ok if the batter doesn't completely cover the cream cheese batter).
  • Make the streusel topping by combining the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt and and flour. Add melted butter and use a fork to mix it around into crumbs — it shouldn't be a super fine consistency.
  • Sprinkle the crumb topping and pumpkin seeds if desired over each. Bake for 23-25 minutes (checking at 23 minutes). Let cool and enjoy!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins with Spiced Streusel Topping and Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Desserts & Baked Goods

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

No bake pumpkin cheesecake bars are the perfect frozen pumpkin treat! Made gluten and dairy free, they’re sweetened naturally and are spiced to perfection with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice! The date nut crust is infused with espresso powder for that gives these bars pumpkin spice latte vibes.

no bake layered pumpkin cheesecake bars

If you follow me on Instagram, it should come as no surprise that once July 4th is over my mind becomes preoccupied with pumpkin season on the horizon! I don’t hate summer but if you’re on this site, it should come as no surprise to you that I’m all about those fall vibes!

It won’t be long now until pumpkin products start popping up all over and I say why wait?! These frozen layered pumpkin cheesecake bars are perfect for you if you’re starting to crave some pumpkin in your life but it’s still hot out. The cheesecake layers are made from cashews that give each bite a really nice smooth, creamy texture and keep these bars dairy free.

Dates and maple syrup naturally sweeten the crust and the cheesecake layers and pumpkin and pumpkin spice give each bite that quintessential fall flavor we all know and love!

Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin

Just like in all of my pumpkin recipes, I used Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin in this no bake pumpkin recipe. Libby’s knows what they’re doing when it comes to pumpkin as they have been the leading producer of canned pumpkin for generations. I always have a can (of 5!) in my pantry year round because I firmly believe pumpkin isn’t just for the fall! I love that Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin products contain nothing but 100% pure pumpkin – there’s no additives, chemicals, or preservatives used in the production or canning process.

I also recently learned more about the sustainability efforts Libby’s is taking on their farms that they’ve planted on for over 100 years.

Their factory in Morton, IL is 100% landfill-free. They are able to achieve this by recycling pumpkin by-products and incinerating remaining waste for energy recovery. Pumpkin waste, like rind and skin, finds new life as land applied fertilizer—except for the seeds—those are sold for wild squirrel food.

It’s nice knowing that the process of harvesting a vegetable that can be used in so many different ways is also finding many different ways to ensure as little waste from that process as possible.

health benefits of pumpkin

One of the reasons I’m so passionate about pumpkin not being just a fall food is that it’s packed with so much good nutrition! Pumpkin puree contains:

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E
  • fiber
  • potassium
  • iron

Pumpkin gets its orange color from beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body against free radicals.

dairy free no bake layered pumpkin cheesecake bars made with libbys pumpkin

no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars

I love the smell of pumpkin baked goods baking in the oven, but can also appreciate whipping up a delicious pumpkin treat with some help from my freezer, which is where these come in!

These frozen pumpkin cheesecake bars are creamy and smooth like a slice of cheesecake and “bake” in your freezer in about 2 hours. One bar makes for a good after lunch or after dinner treat!

ingredients for freezer pumpkin cheesecake bars

  • LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • raw almonds
  • pecans
  • unsweetened coconut flakes
  • pitted dates
  • pumpkin pie spice 
  • vanilla extract
  • espresso powder
  • coconut oil
  • cashews
  • unsweetened non-dairy milk 
  • maple syrup 

equipment / utensils:

date nut crust for frozen pumpkin cheesecake bars
no-bake-layered-pumpkin-cheesecake-bars

No Bake Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Bars

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
No bake pumpkin cheesecake bars are the perfect frozen pumpkin treat! Made gluten and dairy free,  the cashew cheesecake layers are smooth and creamy and infused with pumpkin and pumpkin spice! Stash these in your freezer for a fun pumpkin treat any time of year! 
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs 10 mins
Servings 16 bars

Ingredients
  

for the crust:

  • ¾ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil melted
  • for the filling:
  • 1 cup cashews soaked overnight
  • ¾ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil melted
  • ½ cup LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Soak the cashews overnight or pour boiling water on top and let sit for at least 20 minutes to soften.
  • Next prepare the crust. In the bowl of a food processor add the almonds and pulse until finely chopped. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and pulse until a sticky crust begins to form. About 1-2 minutes.
  • Line an 8X8 inch pan with parchment paper. Add the crust to the pan and use your hands or a spatula to press it evenly into the pan. Refrigerate while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
  • Add the cashews, non-dairy milk, maple syrup, and coconut oil to the blender. Blend on high until combined.
  • Pour half of the mixture over the crust and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
  • Add pumpkin puree and cinnamon to the remaining mixture in the blender and blend until combined.
  • Once the first layer has been in the freezer for about 20 minutes, pour the pumpkin layer on top and return to the freezer. Spread evenly with a spatula until smooth.
  • Freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight to set.
  • When ready to eat, soften at room temperature and cut into squares.
  • Store covered in the freezer and enjoy!
Keyword frozen pumpkin cheesecake bars; pumpkin cheesecake bars; dairy free pumpkin cheesecake bars

This recipe was proudly created in partnership with Libby’s. I hope you love it!

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how to make no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars
Pumpkin Desserts & Baked Goods

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

Pumpkin cheesecake bars with streusel topping are like a cross between pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin pie! Made with a graham cracker crust, two layers of cheesecake and a streusel topping.These cheesecake bars are easier to make than an entire cheesecake, and make for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert!

small batch pumpkin cheesecake bars

Gratitude is in the air and although thanksgiving and the holidays will look different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday flavors that bring bring cozy vibes and nostalgia. If you follow me on Instagram then you know pumpkin is definitely one of those flavors for me and this time of year is my favorite.

There’s nothing I won’t put pumpkin into — and for good reason! Not only is pumpkin puree delicious in treats, and savory dishes, but it also adds more vitamin A, C, E, fiber and potassium to anything that you put it in. That’s a major win!

Every year I’m in charge of dessert for thanksgiving and make a pumpkin cheesecake (the recipe is actually in my cookbook!). I love that cheesecake not only because it’s delicious, but because cooking it brings me joy too.

I felt the same joy making these pumpkin cheesecake bars and they are just as drop dead delicious as an entire cheesecake, but way easier to make! With an entire cheesecake you have to worry about the cooling it properly so that the top doesn’t crack, and then you have to worry about how to cover up the top when it does crack (berries and whipped cream!) — trust me, I’ve been there!

What’s also nice about these pumpkin bars is that they’re a smaller portion size than a slice of cheesecake, and this recipe makes a smaller batch (8X8 vs. 13X9) than traditional recipes.

ingredients for pumpkin cheesecake bars

Here is everything you will need to make these pumpkin cheesecake bars.

  • graham crackers or cinnamon cookies
  • pumpkin pureeI like Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin and use it in all my pumpkin recipes!
  • cream cheese
  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • butter
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • old-fashioned oats — you’ll use these for the streusel topping

equipment/ utensils:

  • 8X8 baking pan
  • parchment paper
  • stand or hand mixer
layered pumpkin cheesecake bar with streusel topping and graham cracker crust
best-pumpkin-cheesecake-bars

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Pumpkin cheesecake bars with streusel topping are like a cross between pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin pie that you will love! Easier to make than an entire cheesecake, they’re perfect as a fun treat in the fall or Thanksgiving dessert!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Servings 12 bars

Ingredients
  

for the crust:

  • 6 sheets of cinnamon graham cracker crumbs or 2 cups of cinnamon cookies
  • 2 tbsp. butter melted

for the bars:

  • 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese softened**
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • for the streusel topping:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. butter softened not melted
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8X8 baking pan with parchment paper (leave an overhang to be able to pull out these bars easily) and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham crackers or cookies, along with the butter. Pulse until a super fine consistency appears.  Press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 8 minutes, remove, and cool.
  • In another bowl, combine the room temperature cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat with hand mixers until completely smooth and creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing between each one. 
  • Pour half of the mixture on top of the crust. 
  • Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice to the remaining cheesecake mixture and stir until completely combined.
  • Pour the pumpkin layer on top of the first layer. Bake for 30 minutes. 
  • Stir together the brown sugar, flour, oats, and pumpkin pie spice. Cut the butter into small cubes. Add in the butter and mix together with a folk to get that “crumble” texture. Sprinkle this streusel topping evenly over the pumpkin cheesecake layer.
  • Place in the oven and bake for another 25 minutes. 
  • Turn the oven off and let the bars cool in the oven for about an hour. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours more before cutting. Enjoy! 

Notes

** It’s super important you soften your cream cheese before using. If it’s still hard you will not get that smooth cheesecake consistency. 
Keyword pumpkin cheesecake bars; pumpkin cheesecake bars with streusel topping

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Pumpkin Desserts & Baked Goods

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes With A Pumpkin Butter Swirl

Mini pumpkin cheesecakes with a pumpkin butter swirl are an easy holiday dessert that look fancy but are easy to make and delicious! They are easy made in a cupcake tin and swirled with pumpkin butter on top!

Every year I look forward to making the dessert for our Thanksgiving meal and these mini pumpkin cheesecakes with a pumpkin butter swirl will wow at your holiday table!

There’s something about having all of the food together and realizing that the biggest blessings of all are sitting right around you. Don’t you agree?!

There is so much to be thankful for and gratitude is something that I try to practice on a daily basis by using this 2 minute gratitude journal. Simply putting pen to paper on things I am thankful for lifts my mood and really starts the day off on the right foot! It’s the little things!

Ok, but back to these mini pumpkin cheesecakes! Not only do they look gorgeous on a dessert spread, they are easy to make in a muffin tin and are like little bites of fluffy pumpkin heaven!

I totally realize that making an entire cheesecake can be intimidating and time consuming, so why not make them mini like this instead?! They are also great because I feel like there are always a lot of different desserts at Thanksgiving so a small portion like these cheesecakes is better for getting to enjoy a couple other treats too!

Top these cuties with a dollop of whipped cream, fresh fruit like blueberries and raspberries, pecan pieces or leave them as is so you can see that beautiful swirl!

how to make mini pumpkin cheesecakes

Ingredients for Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

  • cream cheese
  • pumpkin puree
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • pumpkin butter — I’m a huge fan of this pumpkin butter from Trader Joes and stock up every year!
  • graham crackers or graham cracker crumbs
  • vanilla extract
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • muffin liners
  • muffin tin
pumpkin butter swirl

Tips for Making Pumpkin Cheesecakes

  1. Make sure your cream cheese is completely softened. It will not mix well if it’s even a little hard. I like to soften it by placing it on top of the oven at it’s preheating near the warmest part.
  2. Make sure your eggs are room temperature. I didn’t think this would matter, but again it really impacts the texture of the cheesecake mixture as you are beating it in a stand mixer.
  3. Let the cheesecakes cool in the warm oven. Turn the over off after 16 minutes and keep the cheesecakes in there to cool slowly. This will ensure they do not crack!
how to make mini pumpkin swirl cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with a Pumpkin Butter Swirl

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Light, fluffy and perfectly portioned, these mini pumpkin cheesecakes are a beautiful and delicious Thanksgiving dessert! 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 16 mins
Servings 12 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients
  

  • For the crust:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tbsp. melted grass-fed butter
  • For the cheesecakes:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened to room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extra
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners. 
  • In a small bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until combined. 
  • Use a tablespoon to portion out the graham cracker crumbs among the 12 muffin cups. Use the back of a spoon or bottom of a small jar to press the crust mixture firmly into the bottom of each muffin cup.
  • In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the softened cream cheese, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla, until smooth.* Do not over mix!
  • Use a cookie scoop to divide matter evenly over crusts.
  • Spoon a small portion of pumpkin butter on top of each mini cheesecake and use a toothpick to swirl it across the top.
  • Bake for 16 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecakes cool in the oven for about 20 minutes more. 
  • Cool completely and top whipped cream, pecans, fruit or leave as is! Store in the fridge for up to 4 days 

Notes

* It’s very important to let your cream cheese soften before you mix it. If you start mixing when the cream cheese is still very solid, you’ll end up over mixing the cheesecake batter and the cream cheese clumps will not go away! 
Keyword mini pumpkin cheesecake

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Love pumpkin as much as I do? Be sure to check out my list for the best healthy pumpkin foods!

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Pumpkin Desserts & Baked Goods

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops

Let’s make Thanksgiving pumpkin POP this year!

When it comes to Turkey Day at our house, I’m in charge of one thing–the dessert! You could even say that my love for pumpkin grew out of the fact that year after year I have made a pumpkin cheesecake no matter what. I’ve skipped countless night-before-thanksgiving parties to gladly ensure that the cheesecake is signed, sealed, and on its way to our table the next day. And while there have been some cracks in the cheesecake (the waterbath, I know!) I feel like the cheesecake has evolved throughout the years, just like I have.

Thanksgiving is at the top of my favorite holiday list. Sure the food makes the day, but the beauty of spending time with the ones you love reminds you that there should be thankfulness associated with everyday, not just this one. I’ll never forget the year I flew in from NYC for Thanksgiving. My dad picked me up from the airport on a snowy Chicago night, and the minute I saw him I started crying. Many emotions were at play, but realizing that you can always go home bubbled out of me and there was nothing I was more thankful for.

If you’re following my Instagram stories than you know sharing something I am thankful for every day this month. The 30 days of thankfulness! It has felt so great, especially now in the world I feel like finding the beauty in everyday is so, so needed.

Enough talk! Let’s POP some pumpkin! This year these pumpkin cheesecake pops will be accompanying my pumpkin cheesecake. Not only are they so delicious, but they can be whipped up in a hurry, and still look impressive. Perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, and any other holiday get together filled with pumpkin lovers. Made with whole-milk versus cream cheese, these pops are a lighter version of traditional cheesecake. And you can’t deny how fun foods on a stick are…an automatic party hit!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops

Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt I used siggi’s
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2-3 of your favorite cookies crushed

Instructions
 

  • In a medium sized bowl, mix yogurt with pumpkin puree & graham cracker crumbs. Mix until combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll pumpkin cheesecake mixture into small balls, insert sticks, and place on baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile heat the white chocolate chips over a double boiler until melted. Mix in coconut oil. Dip balls into chocolate and place back on parchment paper. While the chocolate is still hot sprinkle crushed cookies on top. Refrigerate and enjoy!
Keyword pumpkin cheesecake pops
xoxo,
Maggie

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