It’s pumpkin season in my part of the world. Pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones, pumpkin lattes… you get the point. Here’s my “little” contribution- mini pumpkin cardamom no bake cheesecake.
I do like the usual spices in pumpkin sweets- cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, etc. but I wanted something slightly different. Cardamom, which is used a lot in sweets in India, fits the bill. An interesting tidbit about cardamom is that India and Sweden both use cardamom equally. Apparently, the Vikings took cardamom from Constantinople (present day Istanbul) and completely fell in love with it.
Anyway, here it is. It’s a ridiculously easy dessert. The focus here is on flavor, presentation and scalability. A very simple, tasty and attractive dessert you can easily make ahead for a large holiday gathering.
Mini Pumpkin Cardamom No Bake Cheesecake
4 ounces graham crackers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 ounces whipped topping (like Cool Whip or Truwhip)
Add the graham crackers, 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar to a food processor bowl. Process until crumbly. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the 1/2 cup sugar.
Add the pumpkin puree and spices. Beat well.
Add the whipped topping. With the mixer on the lowest setting, gently blend in the topping.
To prepare for serving:
Add about 1 tablespoon of the crushed graham crackers in the bottom of a small glass cup. Press the graham crackers in tightly.
If using mini dessert cups, add 2 tablespoons of the cheesecake filling into the glass (depending on the size of your cup, the cheesecake should come just to the top but not overflow). Tap the cup lightly on the counter top to settle the filling in the cup. (Alternatively, use appetizer spoons (as shown in the first picture). For the spoons, just add a rounded teaspoon of the filling and sprinkle the crushed graham crackers on top.)
Repeat process with remaining filling and cups.
Put all the cups on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate a minimum of 2-3 hours.
Remove from fridge just before serving.
To serve, add whipped cream on top and sprinkle on the crushed graham crackers.