Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

We’re coming in hot with a very last-minute Thanksgiving dessert recipe! The idea came to me when I was exasperated by yet another failed attempt to make maple-sweetened pumpkin pie. I opened the refrigerator and spied some leftover pumpkin purée next to a block of cream cheese.

Here we are, with no-bake treats that taste like pumpkin pie and cheesecake had a baby. They work because we serve them in individual cups, so they don’t have to retain a sliceable shape.

These pumpkin treats feature a mousse-like blend of pumpkin purée, Greek yogurt, and pumpkin spice. We top the pumpkin base with a creamy, tangy blend of cream cheese and Greek yogurt. Each layer is naturally sweetened with maple syrup.

Both mixtures will thicken up if you have time to chill these for an hour or more in the fridge. Top your cups off with a simple blend of toasted pecans and graham cracker crumbles, and you’re ready to go.

This recipe is best made with thick pumpkin purée (plain purée, pumpkin pie blend). I recommend Whole Foods 365 or Libby’s brand of pumpkin purée. Don’t buy the Farmer’s Market brand, which is significantly more watery.

You’ll also want to use the thickest plain yogurt you can find. Siggi’s yogurt is my favorite for this purpose, since it’s even more thick than standard Greek yogurt (to the point that it could almost pass as labneh).

You’ll need 8 very small cups, or shooters, for this recipe. Glass cups are fun because they show the layers. Ramekins will work, too. To yield 8 desserts, each cup will contain just over 3 ounces.

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Please let me know how you like this simple dessert in the comments! I love hearing from you.

Looking for more Thanksgiving-worthy treats?

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This easy no-bake pumpkin dessert recipe will be a hit at your Thanksgiving table! It’s made with real pumpkin, Greek yogurt, cream cheese (1 block total), and maple syrup. Recipe yields 8 small desserts, and you will need 8 small glasses to contain them.

If you don’t have a food processor: No problem. Just chop up the pecans and graham cracker, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the pumpkin spice blend. You can whip together the cream cheese and pumpkin mixtures with a hand mixer or a whisk.

*Make it gluten free: Buy certified gluten-free graham crackers, or use ½ cup pecans and omit the graham crackers entirely. (This is also a good trick if you don’t want to buy a box of graham crackers just to use 1 sheet.)

Make it nut free: I think toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) would be nice in place of the pecans. Or, omit the nuts and use 4 sheets of graham crackers instead.

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