Pumpkin Cheesecake Balls Recipe – Each bite-sized treat is filled with a creamy, decadent pumpkin cheesecake center made with Dulce de Leche and flecked with toasted walnuts. Coated in semi-sweet chocolate with more nuts on top, these little dessert truffles are the perfect way to enjoy the fall flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon with a cheesecake twist!
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This recipe was made in partnership with the Boise Co-op. The Boise Co-op has been providing fresh, local and organic products since 1973. Learn more about the Boise Co-op here.
This recipe for pumpkin cheesecake balls is a special treat I like to make during the holidays! Inspired by the flavors homemade pumpkin pie and my love for bite-sized truffles!
I make cake pops for every occasion. I’ve made everything from Nutty Dulce de Leche Easter Cake pops to Hazelnut Pumpkin Cake Pops for Halloween, and Vanilla Cake Pops for wedding showers, baby showers, and everything in between!
For these pumpkin truffles, I combined a pumpkin cake with cream cheese, Dulce de Leche, and roasted walnuts and they turned out utterly amazing! They’re creamy, sweet, and crunchy on the inside and coated with hardened chocolate on the outside, and each bite is delightfully decadent and satisfying!
There are a few moving pieces to this recipe, but I promise you, it’s worth it! Make a batch for the upcoming holidays and wow your guests with the best pumpkin cream cheese cake balls they’ve ever had.
Serve them after Thanksgiving dinner or have them as part of your Christmas dessert tray!
For the Pumpkin Cake
- Large Eggs: These are used to bind the cake together once it’s baked up nicely.
- Sugar: Needed to sweeten the cake.
- Avocado Oil: To be used in the cake batter but also to grease the cake pan to prevent sticking.
- Pumpkin Purée: Use either canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin purée. Just as long as you’re not using pumpkin pie filling!
- All-Purpose flour: Remember to always measure the flour properly. Use a scale or spoon the flour into the measuring cup and scrape the excess off with the flat side of a knife.
- Baking Powder and baking Soda: Leavening agents that help the cake to rise up nice and fluffy.
- Ground Cinnamon: Gives a nice warm spice flavor to the pumpkin cake. Cinnamon and pumpkin always pair well together!
- Salt: To taste.
For the Cake Balls
- Cream Cheese: Bring it to room temperature 30 minutes ahead of time so it’s soft enough to cream easily.
- Dulce de Leche: This can be store-bought or homemade. This is a sweet condensed milk that’s cooked low and slow until it actually caramelizes.
- Cool Whip: Thawed from frozen so that it can fold into the mixture.
- Roasted Walnuts: Chopped walnuts are added into the center filling for a nice toasty crunch. Save some walnuts for sprinkling on the outside!
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: We’ll dip our pumpkin cheesecake balls into melted chocolate at the end.
How to Make Cheesecake Balls
Step 1: In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin purée until everything is combined.
Step 2: Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into the egg mixture. Whisk wet and dry ingredients until everything is blended.
Step 3: Pour the batter into a prepared 9 x 13 baking pan and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 40 minutes. Allow it to cool completely.
Step 4: While the cake is cooling, cream the cream cheese with a hand mixer until it is smooth and lump-free. Add the dulce de leche and cool whip and whisk until it’s combined.
Step 6: Take the cooled cake and break it up into pieces. Add the pieces to the bowl of the cream cheese mixture and mix everything to combine.
Step 7: Use a small ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough mixture and roll each scoop between your hands to form a ball. Place them all on a parchment-lined baking sheet. You should end up with about 60-65 pumpkin cheesecake balls. Flash freeze them for about 1 hour.
Step 8: Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute. Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds. Heat at 30-second intervals until all of the chocolate chips are melted.
Step 9: Use a fork to take each truffle and roll it around in the melted chocolate to make sure it’s coated entirely. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Gently use the fork to place the balls back onto the parchment-lined sheet and immediately sprinkle with chopped walnuts if desired.
Step 10: Repeat with remaining pumpkin cheesecake balls. Allow the coating to set for about 1 hour. Then, dig in!
How to make Cheesecake Cream for Pumpkin Balls?
First whisk cream cheese with a hand mixer until the cream has no lumps.
Then, add dulche de leche and cool whip, whisk until there is no lumps.
Finally stir in chopped walnuts.
Now, break the pumpkin cake into small pieces, add cheesecake cream and mix it all up.
After, using small ice cream scooper, roll the cake mixture between your hands to form a ball and place it on a plate lined with parchment paper. You should get roughly about 50 – 65 pumpkin balls. After cake balls are formed place them in the freezer for about 1 hour.
Recipe Tips & Variations
- To test if the cake is ready to come out of the oven, use a toothpick and insert it into the center of it. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s baked. If not, give it a few more minutes but do not turn up the heat!
- Instead of the microwave, you can use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. It’s also a great way to keep it warm even if you do use the microwave.
- Swap the chocolate chips with chocolate melting wafers if preferred.
- You can also play around with the coating. Use white chocolate instead or a mix of both!
- Orange melting wafers (or white chocolate with orange food coloring) would be a fun and festive way to decorate the pumpkin cheesecake balls.
- Instead of chopped walnuts, you could add a drizzle of melted chocolate, a caramel drizzle, toffee bits, you name it. Sprinkles, gold flakes, or no topping at all can also work!
- If you like a sweet and savory combination, you can also try sprinkling coarse sea salt or crunchy salty pretzels.
Can I turn these into cake pops?
Absolutely! Pour the melted chocolate into a tall, thin glass (it’s just easier for dipping). Dip the tip of each of the sticks into the chocolate and stick that end into the cake balls before placing them in the freezer.
Then, once they’re ready to be dipped, use the stick to dunk the balls into the melted chocolate and place them stick-side up on the parchment paper until they’re set.
How to store them?
Keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Do they freeze well?
Yes! They’ll keep frozen for up to 3 months. Transfer them to a freezer bag and enjoy them months later.
You can also wrap them up in cellophane with a little bow and give them away as gifts to friends and family!
Can I use a boxed cake mix?
You can! I do prefer the homemade cake route, but you can certainly keep it simple and convenient with a boxed mix. Use a pumpkin cake mix if possible! Otherwise, use a vanilla cake mix but add in pumpkin purée.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Balls
How do you make pumpkin cream cheese cake balls?
- Preheat the oven to 35oF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, spray with oil.
- In the mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, avocado oil and pumpkin puree. Whisk until everything is combined.
- In a different bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt, whisk.
- Sift into the egg mixture, whisk until everything is blend together.
- Now, pour the cake batter into the baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. Let it cool completely.
How to make Cheesecake Cream for Pumpkin Balls:
- Whisk cream cheese with a hand mixer until the cream has no lumps.
- Then, add dulche de leche and cool whip, whisk until combined.
- Finally stir in chopped walnuts until combined.
- Now, break the pumpkin cake into small pieces, add cheesecake cream and mix it all up until everything is combined.
- Using small ice cream scoop, roll the cake between your hands to form a ball and place it on a plate lined with parchment paper. You should get roughly about 60 - 65 pumpkin balls. After cake balls are formed place them in the freezer for about 1 hour.
Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Balls:
- To melt chocolate, place chocolate chips into the bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir with a spoon, microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat until all of the chocolate chips are melted. (Tip - keep the chocolate warm by placing it over the double boiler.)
- Using a fork or a spoon coat each cake ball with chocolate, place it back on a parchment paper and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top. Chocolate coating might take up to 1 hour to set.
- It is best to store the pumpkin cheesecake balls in the airtight container, inside the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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