Summer is the best time to top desserts with fresh fruit and these easy mini cheesecakes are the perfect dessert to do that with. These are so good for summer, birthday parties, and other holidays as they are portioned for each individual person.
I always find miniature food it to be way more satisfying to make and eat than regular sized food. I’m not sure if it’s because of how cute small foods are, but they just continue to pique my interest. If you’re the same way and love mini foods, this is your sign to make these easy mini cheesecakes!
This post is all about how to make easy mini cheesecakes that are fail proof and delicious for any party or summertime gathering. They are light, refreshing and are a fun take on a classic cheesecake.Jump to Recipe
Everything You Need To Make These Easy Mini Cheesecakes
I really love when recipes only require a few ingredients that I already have on hand! I usually buy a bunch of cream cheese at once to keep in the fridge because I use it for so many different appetizers, dinners, and dessert recipes like these easy mini cheesecakes!
Here is everything you will need to successfully make these irresistibly cute classic mini cheesecakes:
- 12 cavity muffin pan
- Mixing bowls
- Hand mixer
For the crust
- Graham crackers
- Unsalted butter
For the cheesecake filling
- Two blocks of cream cheese. Philadelphia 1/3 less fat is what I use from Target
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- Vanilla extract
- Sour cream. Daisy Brand Light Sour Cream works great in these, also from Target
- Granulated sugar
Step By Step Process To Make This Recipe
To make these easy mini cheesecakes, you will start by preparing the crust. This crust is a little bit different than the classic crust as it’s made with both graham crackers and pretzels. The combination of these ingredients in the crust leaves you with a sweet and salty base that will go soooo well with the creamy cheesecake filling. I always opt for this crust style because it elevates the flavor and always stands out in a praiseworthy way from anyone who tries it.
- To make the crust, crush up your graham crackers and pretzels until they’re the size of crumbs. The pretzels will be a little bit more difficult to make into fine crumbs so it’s okay if you have some small pieces of pretzel left. You will then mix the crumbs with sugar and melted butter and add a two spoonfuls of the crust mixture to a lined 12 cup baking pan. Use the back of a small measuring cup or shot glass, firmly press the crust into an even layer at the bottom of each cavity.
- Next, you will pop the crust into a preheated 350ºF oven and bake for approximately 7 minutes. While the crust bakes, you will begin preparing the cheesecake filling.
- Using a hand mixer, combine the room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, vanilla extract, and sugar. Beat the egg yolk in on the lowest speed and stop mixing as soon as it is combined.
- Once the crusts are done, evenly add the cream cheese filling to each cavity until almost all the way full to the top.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake at 350ºF for 17-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely for at least an hour before transferring to an airtight container to let finish setting in the fridge for 3-4 hours, or overnight.
- Add you toppings after the cheesecakes have chilled in the fridge and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Modifications & Recommendations
One of the best things about classic cheesecake is that there are endless possibilities when it comes to toppings. My favorites include chocolate chips, fresh fruit, jams and other fruity spreads. During the summer, a fruity topped cheesecake is a must. If you’re looking for some fun topping ideas, check out the list below.
- Mini chocolate chips
- Whipped cream with chocolate, strawberry or caramel drizzle
- Fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries
- Jams or marmalades like strawberry, blueberry, orange, and more!
- Lemon curd
- Caramel or chocolate ganache with nuts
Here are some other ways to modify your cheesecakes if you’re looking for ideas outside of fun toppings.
- Add a swirl in the cheesecake batter of your favorite jam or sauce. You can add a dollop of jam or chocolate ganache on top of the cheesecake batter right before popping in the oven to bake. Using a toothpick, swirl the jam around to mix slightly with the cheesecake batter before baking. This will add a fun flavor twist to your mini cheesecakes!
- Add miniature chocolate chips to the cheesecake batter for a little added crunch in the filling. White chocolate chips would be an excellent choice!
- Make the crust out of Oreos instead of graham crackers and pretzels
- Like the point above, make the cheesecake filling a cookies n’ cream flavor by adding small crushed up pieces of Oreo cookies to the batter before baking.
Tips & Tricks For Making Mini Cheesecakes
Cheesecake can be a very intimidating dessert to tackle. If you’ve ever read a recipe on how to make a whole cheesecake (or actually made one before!), you are well aware of the science behind it. It can be challenging to balance the timing, temperature and ingredient incorporation in the cheesecake filling. There are certain steps that have to be followed in order for your cheesecake to not crack and not sink when cooling. I like to avoid all of those casualties as much as possible which is why I opt for miniature cheesecakes since they don’t run that risk as much as one large cheesecake does.
Regardless, you will want to keep a few things in mind when making these miniature cheesecakes.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Make sure you plan enough time to take the cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, and lemon out of the fridge to come to room temperature. This is key as the ingredients will incorporate with one another easier without being overmixed. It will also ensure a smooth and creamy texture when baking!
- Mix in the eggs with a hand mixer on low speed. Over mixing the filling will increase the chances of cracking in the oven and we don’t want that to happen. Be sure to gently mix your eggs in until just incorporated.
- Firmly pack the crust mixture into each liner. Using a shot glass or the bottom of a 1/3 cup measuring cup, firmly press the crust into the liners to ensure the crust creates a solid layer for the filling to sit on top of.
- Bake on a low to medium rack in the oven. Avoid placing the mini cheesecakes on a high rack in the oven as it may cause the tops/edges to brown much quicker than the inside can cook.
Why You’re Going To Love These Mini Cheesecakes
When it comes to dessert, there are so many classic favorites such as ice cream, brownies, and cake. Cheesecake comes off as a fancier dessert than those just mentioned but not fancy enough to where any person with a kitchen can’t pull it off. With that said, there are so many reasons to love these mini cheesecakes and I’m excited for you to give them a try and find out for yourself just how great they are!
- Homemade cheesecake is a sure way to impress guests. When you share these mini cheesecakes with others, I can guarantee they will be impressed simply by the fact that you made it from scratch. Impressing your guests, loved ones, and whoever else you may be sharing this treat with is a major win!
- They are easy to make! There’s not a lot of “rules” per say with making these mini cheesecakes compared to the list of guidelines that comes with making one large cheesecake.
- They don’t take very long to make! Aside from the chilling time that’s required for these to set, they aren’t very time consuming to make. In fact, they make for a perfect quick dessert to prepare the night before you are expecting guests or heading to a party.
- They are fun to customize! Everyone in my family likes different toppings on their cheesecakes and it works out perfectly that they can add these on top themselves once they’ve finished chilling in the fridge.
- They are SO much better than store bought cheesecake. This might be a personal opinion, but I think these taste much more fresh and are a little lighter in texture than store-bought cheesecakes. Plus, stores don’t make cheesecakes with this sweet and salty graham cracker pretzel crust like this recipe has!
Whether You Like Cheesecake Or Not, You Have To Try This Next
Some people are team cheesecake and other people are team anything else. For all the cheesecake fans out there (we still love you non-cheese cake lovers) what are your thoughts on no-bake cheesecake? Is it really considered cheesecake if it’s not baked? Maybe this is a discussion for another time.
Regardless of if you like cheesecake or not, this no-bake cheesecake recipe is still one of my most talked about recipes. People go nuts for these cool-whip based cheesecakes and I really can’t say I blame them. They are addicting af.
I hate to admit it, but one time when I served my easy mini cheesecakes with my no-bake mini cheesecakes at the same time, my family and friends were quick to snatch up the no-bake ones first. Now that’s not to say the classic mini cheesecakes weren’t shown any love, it was just clear that we had way more cool-whip lovers in the room than classic cheesecake lovers.
If you are looking for a no-bake cheesecake option, I would highly recommend checking the no-bake mini cheesecake recipe out! They’re easy to make and I swear even non-cheesecake lovers will want to eat every single one of these!
If you tried this recipe, let me know what you topped your mini cheesecakes with in the comments below! I’d love to know your thoughts on the crust as well! Are you in love with it like I am?
Easy Mini Cheesecakes
- 1 package graham crackers (1 heaping cup of crumbs)
- 1/2 heaping cup pretzel crumbs
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 16 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp lemon juice room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the crust
- Line a 12 cavity muffin pan with cupcake liners and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the pretzel crumbs and graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter.
- Evenly distribute the crust mixture to each of the 12 liners, approximately 1.5-2 tbsp per cup. Use the bottom of a shot glass or a 1/3 cup measuring cup to pack the crust into an even layer. Frimly press down on the crust to create a solid layer for the filling.
- Place in the oven and bake for 7 minutes at 350ºF.
For the cheesecake filling
- While the crusts bake, add the room temperature cream cheese and sour cream to a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice sugar and cornstarch and beat again until combined, making sure to scrape down the sides to incorproate all of the sugar.
- Mix in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time on low speed, mixing until just combined.
- Evenly distribute the filling between the 12 crust-filled liners, filling each cup almost all the way to the top. Do not overfill.
- Pop in the oven on a low/middle shelf and bake for 17-20 minutes on 350ºF until the edges turn slightly golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight for best results. *do not skip this step or the cheesecakes will not properly set.
- After chilling, top with your favorite fruit, chocolate, whip cream, or sauces. Enjoy!