Sweet and creamy Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cupcakes! Everything you love about lemon cheesecake, but in mini form. Made in a muffin tin, these Bite-Sized Lemon Cheesecakes are so easy and always a crowd-pleaser!
Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
Hello, friends. Hello, Saturday! What’s going on with you? Any fun Father’s Day plans in the works?
After I finish this post (and another cup of coffee!) I’m packing a bag, hopping in the car, and heading home to Philly for a few days. Graduation parties and a Phillies game are all on the agenda. Hallelujah for long Summer weekends!
But before all that, let’s share some dessert! Today I’m switching up the way we eat cheesecake via my newest obsession: Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake CUPCAKES. Tiny in size and huge in flavor… I seriously cannot get enough of these little cuties.
I’ve been a lover of all things lemon ricotta for ages now. You’ll find lemon ricotta pancakes, lemon ricotta cupcakes, and even a full-sized lemon ricotta cheesecake all hiding in the recipe archives.
Drawing inspiration from all of those fabulous recipes, I created these lemon ricotta cheesecake cupcakes as an option for those craving cheesecake without all the chaos. Cause let’s be real… sometimes we just don’t feel like busting out the springform pan and building a water bath. And that’s OK!
There are three parts to this recipe: the graham cracker crust, the lemon ricotta cheesecake filling, and the creamy lemon curd topping. You can make homemade lemon curd if you’re feeling adventurous, or buy a brand you know and trust. I love love love Tiptree Lemon Curd, in case you need a recommendation 😉
How to make Mini Lemon Cheesecakes:
- Your blocks of cream cheese MUST be very soft and at room temperature before you make the batter. I suggest placing them out on the counter for at least two hours before you plan on baking. If you attempt to blend cold cream cheese it will clump up and won’t develop into a smooth batter. It also may harm your blender or food processor, so don’t attempt to use cold cream cheese.
- You should also bring your eggs, egg yolk, and ricotta cheese to room temperature, as batters made with cold ingredients don’t come together smoothly.
- The lemon juice and zest adds a very subtle but lovely pop of citrus to the cheesecake bars. If you prefer, you may substitute an equal amount of orange juice and zest. The lemon (or orange) juice is essential to the texture of the cheesecake, however the zest may be left out completely, if desired.
- Be sure not to over bake your cheesecake cupcakes. While I’ve included a bake time in the recipe box below, all ovens run a little different, so keep an eye on your mini cheesecakes as they bake. You’ll know they’re done when the centers have puffed up but still have a slight wiggle. Also, don’t fret if a few crack. They deflate quite a bit after they cool, and any remaining cracks will be covered with lemon curd.
- Be sure to cool the cheesecake cupcakes completely before adding the lemon curd. If the cheesecake cupcakes are even a little hot, the curd will melt and make a mess.
For more Lemon Recipes, Check Out:
This recipe yields one dozen lemon ricotta cheesecake cupcakes, but doubles like a dream. You can also make this recipe up to 5 days in advance!!! Making it perfect for parties and celebrations. I made 5 dozen of them last week for a family event and let me just say being able to make them in advance was a life saver!
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day ♥
Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cupcakes
For the Crust:
- 1 cup Graham Crackers, pulsed into crumbs
- 3 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 3 and 1/2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
For the Ricotta Cheesecake Filling:
- 12 ounces Full-Fat Cream Cheese, very soft (use brick-style cream cheese for best results)
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 large Eggs plus 1 Egg Yolk, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Zest
- 1/2 cup lemon curd
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, lightly spray liners with non-stick spray and set aside.
For the Crust:
- In the body of a blender or food processor, combine graham crackers, sugar, and salt; pulse until the crackers have been completely transformed into fine crumbs. Add melted butter; stir well to combine. Add 1 heaping tablespoonful to each lined muffin cup. Press the crust firmly into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes then remove from oven and set aside to cool. In the meantime, make your filling.
For the Ricotta Cheesecake Filling:
- In the body of a high power blender, food processor, stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand held mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and Ricotta cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and beat smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add in the eggs and yolk and beat until combined. Turn the mixer off and, using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the flour, mixing just until combined. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, mixing just until it's incorporated in the batter. Divide the filling evenly among cups - pouring it on top of the prepared crust layer - adding about 1/3 cup to each mold. The molds will be very full. Gently wiggle the pan back and forth to level the cheesecake filling. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 24 minutes, or until cupcakes are puffed, set at the edges, and just a little jiggly in the center. Turn oven OFF and cool cheesecakes inside the oven, with the door cracked, for 5 minutes, before removing. Cool cheesecake cupcakes in the pan, placed on top of a cooling rack, completely, before transferring them to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours. Once cool, top each cheesecake cupcake with a teaspoon of lemon curd. Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, until needed. Cheesecakes will keep for 5 days.