Pumpkin Cheesecake with Carrot Cake Mice!

I like to have a lot of fun with Halloween. That means all my recipes, both savory and sweet, have lots of spooktacular seasonal touches. Try out this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Carrot Cake Mice — not only is it delicious but it will get your entire family into the Halloween spirit.












Carrot Cake Mice

Makes 18 cakes

Prep: 10 minutes, Bake: 17 minutes, Cool: 20 minutes, Stand: 10 minutes


There’s nothing frightening about these cute, fun-to-eat mice.  Make them using an egg-shaped cakelet pan.


1 (18.25-ounce) box carrot cake mix, Betty Crocker®

1 cup whole buttermilk

1⁄2 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 (16-ounce) container white frosting, Pillsbury®

Mini chocolate morsels, Nestlé®

Orange Airheads® Xtremes bars or black licorice

Candy corn


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bottom of egg-shaped cakelet pan.*

2. In a large bowl, add cake mix, buttermilk, oil, and eggs.  Beat at low speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter into cups, filling half full. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove from pans, and trim bottoms to create a flat surface.

3. Place wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking pan. Place cakes on wire rack. Microwave frosting for 20 seconds, and stir; repeat at 20-second intervals until frosting is pouring consistency. Pour half of frosting evenly over cakes on wire rack. Let stand for 5 minutes or until set. Reheat frosting in microwave, if necessary. Pour remaining frosting evenly over cakes. Let stand for 5 minutes or until set.

4. Apply mini morsels for eyes and nose.  Peel orange layer of Airheads® bars away from black layer and reserve black layer for whiskers. Place orange Airheads® bars or licorice for tails, and candy corn for ears. Using a paring knife, cut black Airheads® layer into short strips. Arrange around nose for whiskers .


*Easter Egg Pan 9 Cup; $17.99;


Pumpkin Cheesecake

Makes 1 (9-inch) cheesecake

Prep: 25 minutes; Bake: 1 hour, 40 minutes; Cool: 1 hour, 40 minutes; Chill: 8 hours


1 3⁄4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs, Oreo®

1⁄4 cup melted butter

5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1⁄2 cup granulated sugar, Domino®

1⁄2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1⁄2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin, Libby’s®

2 tablespoons neon orange food coloring gel (optional)

1 (16-ounce) container sour cream

1⁄3 cup confectioners’ sugar, Domino®

Carrot Cake Mice (see recipe on this page)


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Firmly press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes; cool completely on a wire rack, about 40 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 325°.

4. In a large bowl, place cream cheese. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth. Add sugars, flour, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin, beating well. Add desired amount of food coloring, if desired.

5. Pour cheese mixture into prepared crust. Bake for 1 1⁄2 hours or until almost set. Remove from oven; run knife around edge of cheesecake. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.

6. Stir together sour cream and confectioners’ sugar. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Garnish with Carrot Cake Mice, if desired.


Cheers to a happy, healthy home.

– Sandra Lee


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