Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheese Cakes in a Jar Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on October 23, 2013

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Why should kids have all the fun on Halloween? Let’s face it, they have it pretty good – they get to dress up in awesome costumes and go around the neighborhood collecting up bags of candy.

But what about the parents? They have to walk around for hours being on constant parental alert – keeping excited kids from running in the street, fixing fallen kitty cat ears, and confiscating sketchy candy. If those parents are anything like me they were also up all night the night before finishing up those awesome costumes.

Everything we do for those kiddos is in their best interest and yet it is often unappreciated if not down right scorned.

This got me thinking – what would make the walk through a dark and scary neighborhood with hyped up kids in costumes a little more like a party and a little less like drudgery? How about a portable luscious pumpkin cheesecake in a jar?

I am pretty much a sucker for anything in a jar but in this case, it’s not just fun, its practical. Grab a jar of cheesecake and a fork and you’re all set. And it looks a lot better to the neighbors than a gigantic glass of wine!

Recipe Notes: You can make this dairy free by substituting dairy free butter, cream cheese and whipped topping. I liked the contrast of the black cookie crumbs with the orange pumpkin so I use Kinnikinnick’s Chocolate Cookie Crumbs but the recipe would also be just as delish with gluten free graham style crumbs. I used organic canned pumpkin but you can use roasted pumpkin as well, use about 1¾ cups. I used 1 pint mason jars but you can also just layer into dessert or drinking glasses.

Sure, Halloween should be fun for the kids – but don’t we grown-ups deserve a little fun too?

Click here to see my cooking demonstration of this recipe on Daytime TV!


Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheese Cakes in a Jar Recipe


1½ cups gluten free chocolate cookie crumbs
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 cups heavy cream


Combine the cookie crumbs, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Put two tablespoons of the mixture into the bottom of 6 one-pint jars or glasses.

Beat the cream cheese in a mixer until soft and smooth. Add the remaining ½ cup sugar, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat until fully combined and smooth. Whip the cream with clean beaters until soft peaks form. Fold half of the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture. Spoon or pipe the mixture into the bottom of each of the jars or glasses. Reserve about a tablespoon of the remaining crumb mixture and divide the rest among the jars on top of the pumpkin mixture. Top with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle on a few of the remaining crumb mixture.

Refrigerate covered until ready to serve.


A gluten free recipe that serves 6.

Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Dessert

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Nadine October 25, 2013 at 2:57 am

Really can’t believe it’s halloween next week, and on that note this pumpkin cheesecake looks/sounds sooo yummy. Quick question though, could you use margarine instead of butter?



Maggie October 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm

I LOVE this recipe Carol! It’s totally the adult’s version of cupcakes :)


sjourneycake October 29, 2013 at 5:24 am

I Carol, I’ve just found your fantastic blog, These halloween jars are great! Thank you, simo


CarolKicinski October 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm

My pleasure! Enjoy.


CarolKicinski October 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Thanks Maggie!!!


CarolKicinski October 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Absolutely! You can swap it out for butter no problem. Enjoy!


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