Easy Mini Cheesecakes feature a graham cracker crust and the creamiest cheesecake filling! Baked in a muffin pan, this recipe yields one dozen bite-sized cheesecakes that are perfect for parties… or portion control! We love topping them with a swirl of whipped cream and a cherry, but feel free to add fresh fruit or chocolate chips!
Mini Cheesecake Recipe
It’s no secret cheesecake is my FAVORITE dessert. And I don’t discriminate! I love chocolate cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, cheesecake bars, and even cheesecake cookies (which basically taste like cream cheese sugar cookies with oreos mixed in)! But between me and you, mini cheesecakes might just be my favorite! They’re so cute and way easier than baking a whole cheesecake. Plus, no water bath required!!! I know you guys love that as much as I do!
A few of our favorite Mini Cheesecake Recipes:
- Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
- Mini Ricotta Cheesecakes
- Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cupcakes
- Mini Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cheesecakes
- Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes
As you can see from the list above, I have a ton of mini cheesecake recipes! But with the holidays coming up, I wanted to provide you with a mini version of my internet famous New York-Style Cheesecake. It’s one of my most popular recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And with good reason: IT’S PERFECT! That said, it’s a bit time consuming and serves a ton of people! Which is great for larger groups and gatherings. But not so great for a baker looking to serve a smaller crowd. Which is where these mini cheesecakes come into the picture! This recipe yields exactly one dozen individual cheesecakes! And I can tell you from experience these are always a crowd-pleaser and perfect for smaller parties and celebrations!
P.S. Did you know you can bake cheesecake in a muffin pan?! Because you totally can! Just line the muffin tins with paper liners before adding the crust and filling! No mini cheesecake pans required! You could even use a mini muffin pan, just decrease the bake time by a few minutes.
Mini Cheesecake Ingredients
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: For the crust! You can use crushed graham cracker crumbs or buy the sleeves of graham crackers from the store and crush them yourself. The easiest way to do this is by placing them in a blender or food processor and pulsing until completely crushed. Then measure and use the amount called for.
- Granulated Sugar: Don’t sub brown sugar here, as it will change the taste, texture, and appearance.
- Salt: To balance the flavors.
- Unsalted Butter: Salted butter may be used if needed, but omit the salt called for.
- Cream Cheese: Always use full-fat cream cheese for the best taste and texture. Bring you cream cheese to room temperature before using it in this recipe; it should be very soft. Use brick-style cream cheese for best results.
- Sour Cream: Full-fat works best! You’ll also want this ingredient at room temperature.
- Vanilla Extract: Just a dash enhances all of the other flavors.
- Eggs: You’ll want to use large eggs, that are at room temperature. This recipe calls for 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk. Discard the remaining egg white, or save it for a later use.
- Lemon Juice: Just 1 teaspoon adds a burst of brightness to the flavor without tasting “lemony”. You may omit this is desired!
- Heavy cream: also known as whipping cream. This makes our mini cheesecakes extra rich and creamy, so don’t skip it! Note: heavy cream should not be replaced with milk!
How to make Mini Cheesecakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line muffin pan with muffin liners.
- In a large bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, salt, and melted butter. Use a spatula to stir everything together until evenly combined.
- Add 1 heaping tablespoonful to each lined muffin cup. Use the back of the spoon to press the crust firmly into an even layer.
- Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven and set aside to cool!
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees (F). Don’t forget to do this!!!
- Next use food processor to beat the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the side and bottom of the bowl in between pulsing, to ensure all of the batter blends and is silky smooth. You don’t want any large lumps!!!
- Toss in the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add in the eggs and yolk and beat until combined. Pro tip: Don’t over beat here! It’ll allow too much air into the batter, which will cause it to rise in the oven and then deflate when it’s removed from heat.
- Turn the mixer off and gently stir in the cream, mixing until evenly combined. The batter will look thin, but don’t worry! This is normal!
- Divide the cheesecake pie filling evenly among cups, pouring it on top of the prepared crust layer. The molds will be very full.
- Bake in preheated oven for 16 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the door closed for another 10 minutes. They’ll still look jiggly at this point, but they’ll firm up! Trust me!
- Remove the pan from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. About 45 minutes. Once cool to the touch, place the pan in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.
- Once the cheesecakes are cool, remove them from the pan and serve!
How to Store Cheesecake
Store mini cheesecake in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, until needed. Cheesecakes can be made ahead of time and will keep for 5 days. You may also freeze these cheesecakes for up to 2 months! Simply cool completely, wrap tightly in saran wrap, and freeze until solid. Then arrange the solid cheesecakes in a freezer bag and freeze until needed! Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Mini Cheesecake Toppings
If you try this recipe for Mini Cheesecakes, let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your kitchen creations makes my day
Easy Mini Cheesecakes
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 cup Graham Crackers Crumbs
- 3 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 3 and 1/2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Filling:
- 16 ounces Full-Fat Cream Cheese, very soft (use brick-style cream cheese for best results)
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2 large Eggs plus 1 Egg Yolk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Whipped cream, for topping, optional
- Cherries, for topping, optional
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 a large bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir well to evenly 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.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees (F).
For the 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 sour cream 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. Add in the lemon juice.
- Turn the mixer off and, using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the cream, mixing until evenly combined.
- Divide the filling evenly among cups, pouring it on top of the prepared crust layer. The molds will be very full.
- Bake in preheated oven for 16 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the door closed for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool to the touch, place the pan in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. Once the cheesecakes are completely cool, you can remove them from the pan.
- Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, until needed. Cheesecakes will keep for 5 days.