These no-bake, bite size, pumpkin cheesecake balls are going to be your new favorite fall dessert. A great alternative to pumpkin pie and so much fun to decorate for Halloween.
Pumpkin cheesecake is an awesome fall dessert but it feels like such an indulgence to eat an entire slice. A mini version is needed and that’s what you’ll get with these pumpkin cheesecake balls. Dipping them in white chocolate turns them into finger food, so they’re great to take to almost any event and so much easier than making a pie or cheesecake.
Natalie and I played around with this recipe when she was home for fall break one year. I had to get them photographed right away because she wasn’t leaving any behind! Our thought was to make them look like pumpkins so we decided to use orange melting wafers. I have to say this just didn’t work. I’m not sure if the wafers were old but they just looked grainy.
Now I dip them in Ghirardelli white chocolate wafers which taste so much creamier than candy melts and it goes on smooth with a beautiful finish. You can add food coloring to it if you want to make pumpkins or monsters. You could also use white chocolate chips, but I don’t find them to melt quite as smooth as the wafers.
Pro tip: Use white chocolate wafers and not candy melts for a smooth and delicious coating.
Why you’ll love pumpkin balls
- You can make them elegant or fun
- You can decorate for fall, Christmas or Halloween
- They’re a great party dessert recipe because you can eat them with your fingers
- Amazing dessert, but just a few calories
- They are scrumptious ❤️
What do you need for pumpkin cheesecake balls
- cinnamon graham cracker crumbs – if you can only find the crackers, you will need a 14 oz box that you have processed in the food processor, or smashed in a ziplock.
- cream cheese – just 6 ounces, you’ll have some leftover for your bagel in the morning.
- pumpkin puree – just plain pumpkin in a can without any seasonings.
- pumpkin pie spice – you can find this already blended together in the spice section or make your own, here’s a great recipe.
- White chocolate wafers – Ghirardelli is the best for a creamy and smooth finish.
- Powdered sugar – for a little sweetness.
You might not think that these easy no-bake cheesecake balls could be so delicious. I gave some to a friend to try and this was her text:
Crazy for these cheesecake balls!!! I think it is my favorite dessert of all time!
Each fall when I make a batch of these, I ask myself why don’t I make these all year round? It’s not like you can’t get pumpkin any time of the year. I guess we just think of pumpkin as a fall treat. Since these are not sticky, they’re a great dessert for a party and the size lets people enjoy without eating a ton of calories.
Step by step directions
Step1: If you’re using whole graham crackers, process them first in a food processor until they are fine crumbs then add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.
Step 2: Use a 1 ½ to 2 tablespoon cookie scoop and roll into balls. Then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or freeze until ready to dip.
Step 3: If you’re going to add sprinkles or eyes, they will need to be added as soon as you have dipped the ball, so have them on hand. The white chocolate will get firm quickly.
Step 4: Heat up about ⅓ of the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power for about 1 minute until very smooth and runny. Place the pumpkin ball on the top of a fork and drop the fork into the chocolate. Once coated, lift out and let the excess chocolate drip off. With a sharp thin knife, slide the ball off the fork onto parchment paper. Immediately add sprinkles or eyes. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.
How to make monster eyes
If you’re looking for a Halloween recipe, these taste great and look spooky at the same time.
Immediately after dipping in chocolate, add an edible eye to the top of the ball. You could use a red M&M if you don’t have edible eyes. Once the white chocolate has cooled you can add the red streaks. To do this melt some more white chocolate and add red food coloring. Pipe lines down the ball.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a piping bag, use a plastic baggie and snip the corner off and pipe. It works great.
If you use red frosting instead, it will get soft and sticky as it comes to room temperature which makes the eyeballs look even more bloodshot. However, they are a bit more messy this way which is why I prefer using white chocolate for the red lines.
How to make mummies
For spooky mummies, you can use mini chocolate chips if you don’t have edible eyes. Once the white chocolate coating has set you can decorate.
For these photos, I used a powdered sugar and milk glaze which gets sticky when eaten but gives a nice contrast since it’s whiter than the white chocolate. If you don’t want it to be sticky, I would suggest warming up more white chocolate and piping the lines over the balls. Add the eyes or mini chocolate chips while the frosting is still soft.
FAQ’s and tips
Place the ball flat on a fork and drop the fork into the chocolate. Once coated, let the excess chocolate drip off and use a sharp thin knife to slide the coated ball off the fork onto parchment paper.
Pumpkin spice is mostly cinnamon with nutmeg, cloves, allspice and ginger.
First crush the graham crackers by putting in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin or wine bottle. Then use a hand mixer to combine.
I’ve had the best luck finding edible Halloween decorations on Amazon and in craft stores.
If you had fun making pumpkin cheesecake balls, you should try a chocolate version that uses Oreos and cream cheese. You can use the same decorations or coat them in milk chocolate for some cute Halloween bats or monsters. Or try making them into turkeys for Thanksgiving.
More pumpkin recipes you’ll love
More Fall party foods to try
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 3 cups Cinnamon graham cracker crumbs 14 oz box crushed
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 10 ounces White chocolate wafers
- If using whole graham cracker crumbs, process them in a food processor until finely ground.
- Add cream cheese, pumpkin, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice to the food processor and process until smooth.
- Line a pan with parchment paper. Scoop dough with a 11/2 tablespoon scoop and roll into balls. Place on parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave on medium power stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.
- Drop the pumpkin balls into the white chocolate one at a time and use a fork to lift them out. Tap the fork on the side of the bowl to remove the excess. Place on parchment paper and add decorations. Chill to set the chocolate.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- White chocolate wafers will give you the smoother finish and is easier to work with than candy melts.
- If decorating, have the decorations ready to place on the balls as soon as they’ve been dipped. The white chocolate will harden fairly quickly.
- You can use mini chocolate chips instead of edible eyes if making mummies.
- If making mummies or eyeballs, melt additional white chocolate to decorate or make frosting with powdered sugar and milk and add food coloring.
- You can make the pumpkin balls in advance and freeze until you are ready to dip in white chocolate and decorate.
- Keep the finished balls in the refrigerator.