This fall create beautiful Cheesecake Leaves and Pumpkins to celebrate the season. Each individually sized dessert is colorfully decorated using brilliant autumn colors.
The sound of leaves crunching under my feet is music to my ears.
Every fall, I find myself purposefully walking through every pile of leaves I can find, as I did yesterday during a visit to Columbus, Ohio.
We drove to our state's capital to pick up some cases of chocolate yesterday but took the opportunity to do some sightseeing with our exchange student while we were there. I had no idea the waterfront in the city was so lovely.
It was really wonderful to stroll along the river watching the rippling water flowing quickly past us while crunching through leaves that had fallen from nearby trees which were still ablaze with ruby red, pumpkin orange, and sunshine yellow leaves.
Inspired by the beauty that is all around me this fall, I created these festive fall leaf and pumpkin cheesecakes for Thanksgiving.
They are nice individual-sized desserts that will certainly dress up any table.
Check out my tips and tricks for making the creamiest Classic Cheesecake ever!
Festive Fall Cheesecake Leaves and Pumpkins in Brilliant Autumn Colors
Special Supplies Needed:
food processor or a mixing spoon
2 or 3 Wilton leaf and pumpkin silicone mold (you'll get 8 cheesecakes, so if you want all leaves you'll need 3 molds, otherwise you can make a few pumpkins)
UPDATE: This Wilton Mold has been discontinued, but you can get a similar mold on Amazon.com (affiliate links)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Butter your leaf molds. For stability, I always set my silicone molds on a baking sheet before filling them.
Make cheesecake filling:
- Beat the cream cheese on low until smooth.
- Add sugar and beat until creamy.
- Add whipping cream, eggs, and vanilla and mix just until combined.
- DO NOT overmix the ingredients. You don't want a lot of air bubbles in this cheesecake batter.
- Divide cheesecake mixture into three or more bowls, depending on how many colors you'd like in your leaves.
- Color each small amount with food coloring.
- To create orange, make yellow then add a bit of red coloring.
- To deepen the red color, you can add one small drop of green food coloring.
- In a bowl, pour in about a ¼ cup of two of your cheesecake colors side by side, leaving room for the third color. Add the third color.
NOTE: You do not want to swirl your colors in the bowl nor do you want to fill one big bowl with all of the colored fillings. They will get swirled as you pour them into the leaf mold. If you were to swirl them while they were in the bowl, by the time you made a few leaves the colored would look muddy.
- Use a spoon to scoop out some of your cheesecake colors from the center of the bowl.
See how each of the colors is still pretty separate?
- As you spoon the filling into the silicone leaf molds, the colors will swirl.
- Tap the mold several times to remove excess air bubbles after each scoop of cheesecake filling you add.
- Fill the mold so that it isn't completely full, so there is room for the cheesecake leaves to expand while baking. I filled this one too full and ended up scooping some out.
- You can see that I don't have a lot of cheesecake filling left in the bowl and that is good, as it gets swirled as the spoon goes in and out of the bowl and will start to blend all together.
- Top it off with your three cheesecake colors and repeat the process.
If you have two molds and want to make some pumpkins with your excess cheesecake filling, mix what you have remaining together. You should get an orange color. Adjust the color using food coloring if desired.
Remove a teaspoonful and put in another bowl. Add a small drop of red and a small drop of green. Mix to get brown. Use a spoon to paint the brown cheesecake filling into the stem area of the pumpkin cavity. Pour the orange cheesecake filling into the pumpkin cavity.
You should have enough cheesecake filling to make 6 leaves and two pumpkins, or any combination, you choose.
- Bake your cheesecakes for 20-24 minutes until the top forms a smooth film and the center is still giggly but not wet.
- Allow your cheesecakes to cool for an hour then freeze for at least 3 hours.
- Carefully turn the silicone mold upside down and set it over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a cutting board and gently tug at the mold pulling it away from the cheesecake, allowing the cheesecake leaf to fall out of the mold.
- You will want the cheesecakes cold in order to move them onto dessert plates, so do it now, or refrigerate the tray of cheesecakes and plate them later.
NOTE: I made these leaf and pumpkin shaped cheesecakes twice while developing this project.
The picture above was my first batch of cheesecake leaves and pumpkins. I wasn't happy with all of the air bubbles and the texture of the cheesecakes were a bit dry, but I had taken all of my step-by-step pictures during this process, so I wanted you to see the first batch.
When I made the second batch, I added whipping cream to the recipe, which really made them much creamier, I intensified the colors a bit, I shortened the baking time, and I really tapped my molds to remove all the air bubbles.
They are ready to serve, but can be kept in the refrigerator for several days.
Place them in an airtight container.
To keep moisture from forming on your cheesecakes you can use this trick - place a piece of paper towel over the opening of your container and set the lid on top.
Seal the container leaving paper towel showing all around the outside edge. Don't lay the paper towel directly on the cheesecakes.
Allow cheesecakes to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
- butter to coat the inside of your leaf mold
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- red yellow, green food coloring (orange, optional) - you can use natural food coloring, if you prefer
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Butter leaf molds.
Combine cream cheese, sugar, heavy whipping cream, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor, pulse until smooth.
Divide cheesecake mixture into three or more bowls.
Color one bowl orange, red, and yellow.
Fill each leaf mold with a swirl of orange, red, and yellow filling.
Tap the mold several times to remove excess air bubbles after each scoop of cheesecake filling you add.
Bake your cheesecakes for 20-24 minutes until the top forms a smooth film and the center is still giggly but not wet.
Allow your cheesecakes to cool for an hour then freeze for at least 3 hours.
Un-mold cheesecakes directly onto a serving dish.
Allow to defrost in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
More Fall and Thanksgiving Recipes
Cheesecake Leaves and Pumpkins
- Homemade Chocolate Easter Bunnies - April 3, 2023
- Mini Basketball Cheeseburgers - February 15, 2023
- Snowman Popcorn Bucket - December 24, 2022
I made this last year for Thanksgiving and my family loved it! I'm making it again this year. The recipe was super easy to follow - the pictures really helped! I found the mold on amazon last November, but can't remember how much I got it for.
I'm so happy to hear you made these and they were a hit with your family. It's one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Have a wonderful holiday season.
i've been searching for hours to find a recipe for these molds! i bought the molds at salvation army for just .10 cents each!!
Wow, what a bargain! I've also made a savory recipe using the molds too - https://hungryhappenings.com/2013/11/Thanksgiving-leaf-and-pumpkin-dinner-rolls.html.
Wow! These cheesecakes are gorgeous!! Very clever idea, i love it!
Thanks, Bethany. I love it too!
Carrie This Home
These are almost too cute to eat! I love them! They really capture the essence of fall. Plus I love cheesecakes so this would be the perfect fall dessert project for me! I'm visiting from Moonlight and Mason Jars (my link ups were #10 and 12)
Thanks for stopping by, Carrie. Fall is my favorite time of year and I love creating desserts using the red, orange, and yellow hues of autumn.
Trish - Mom On Timeout
Featuring tonight Beth! Thanks for sharing at Mom On Timeout!
Thanks for the feature, Trish.
Jenn [With Luck]
These look so delicious. I'll be pinning them for later!
Thanks for the pin. I hope they inspire you!
Trish - Mom On Timeout
I just featured your delicious recipe in my Thanksgiving round up post Beth! Thank you so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!