Feeling intimidated by full-sized cheesecakes? No worries! Now you can enjoy all of the creamy, silky richness of a whole classic cheesecake in miniature form! These Easy Mini Cheesecakes are truly a gift of dessert perfection. They bake up far quicker than a full cheesecake and are made in a cupcake pan, making them the perfect individual portions!
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3 years and 15 mini cheesecake recipes later, and I’m finally sharing a simple classic recipe for mini vanilla cheesecakes! Today’s post won’t just be about the flavour of the cheesecakes, though. Instead I’ll be teaching you everything you need to know on how to make the perfect little bite-sized cheesecakes!
What You’ll Love About These Mini Cheesecakes
Here’s why these mini vanilla cheesecakes are a MUST MAKE!
- Easier to make than a full-sized cheesecake
- Baking time is less than 30 minutes
- No water-bath required
- Can be made in a cupcake pan
- Individual serving size (perfect for parties!)
- Can be eaten with your hands
- Incredibly creamy, rich and smooth
3 Parts to These Cheesecakes
There are 3 simple components to this recipe:
- Crust: a simple 3-ingredient crust. You can use graham crackers, vanilla wafer cookies or even Oreos!
- Cheesecake Filling: the creamiest, silkiest vanilla cheesecake ever! My family said this is the best they’ve ever had.
- Whipped Cream Topping: you don’t HAVE to top the cheesecakes with whipped cream, but I highly recommend it! The fresh, fluffy whipped cream just emphasizes the thick, creaminess of the cheesecake filling below.
Graham Cracker Crust
This is the easiest part of the recipe! If using graham crackers, you can either buy a pack of graham cracker crumbs, or pulse 7-8 whole graham cracker squares in a food processor. If using Vanilla Wafers (Nilla Wafers), you’ll need to crush around 25-27 cookies to get 1 cup of crumbs.
Once you’ve got the crumbs, use a fork to combine them with a bit of sugar and melted butter (you could even add a pinch of cinnamon for extra flavour!). You want all of the crumbs to be completely coated until they resemble wet sand.
What Kind of Pan You Should Use/ Baking the Crust
Just like a full-sized cheesecake, we’ll need to pre-bake the crusts of these mini cheesecakes. But first, we’ve gotta prepare our pan! A long time ago, I received an angry email from a reader who insisted my Mini Strawberry Cheesecake recipe was all wrong because it did NOT work in her mini muffin pan.
After a good chuckle, I had to explain to her that these are called “mini cheesecakes” because they’re smaller than a full-sized cheesecake. Not because they’re literally miniature. So please don’t make the same mistake of using a mini cupcake pan. Mini cheesecakes are usually baked in your regular-sized 12-cup cupcake pans.
So it’s just like making cupcakes! You’ll need to line your cupcake pan with paper liners, no need to grease with cooking spray. I should also mention that I’ve had some readers say that they’ve gotten about 22 cheesecakes when my recipe only calls for 12.
Let me be clear, this, and all of my mini cheesecake recipes do in fact yield 12 cheesecakes. This is because each liner should be filled all the way to the top, since we don’t have to worry about them overflowing. However, you CAN make more than 12 if you don’t mind having less cheesecake in each serving.
Back to the Crust
To divide the crust between the liners, I like to use a small cookie scoop. This keeps everything nice and even so you don’t have 1 cheesecake with too much crust and one with barely any.
Scoop the crust crumbs into each liner, then use that scoop to press and pack the crumbs down flat into the bottom, just like we’d do for a whole cheesecake! Once crumbs are packed, bake the crusts for 5 minutes, then let them cool while you prepare the easy cheesecake batter!
The Creamiest Vanilla Cheesecake
Believe me when I tell you this is the creamiest vanilla cheesecake I have ever tasted! I think without any of the added flavours like Nutella, pumpkin purée, melted chocolate etc. The ingredients that give cheesecake the creamiest texture possible have been given the opportunity to truly shine!
Let me walk you through how easy it is to make the cheesecake filling.
- Blend the 1 and ½ packs of cream cheese until smooth.
- Beat in the sugar and cornstarch until combined.
- Add in the fresh lemon juice and vanilla for flavour.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time.
That’s it! Super simple and delicious cheesecake batter. Don’t leave out the lemon juice, it brightens up the flavours in the cheesecake!
Once again, when dividing the cheesecake, use a large cookie or ice cream scoop. I used to use a ¼ measuring cup, but I switched to the ice cream scoop because it’s much easier to scoop and pour it into the liners.
Gently tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove the air-bubbles, then bake for 18-20 minutes. Yes, you read that right! Mini cheesecakes don’t need to bake for over an hour like a whole cheesecake does, of course. They’re done in only 20 minutes!
The cheesecakes will be puffed up and the tops will be dry (and maybe a bit cracked, but that’s not a problem). While they’re cooling on the rack, the tops will slowly sink back down. They only need to chill in the refrigerator for about 3 hours, but I usually let them chill overnight.
Fluffy Whipped Cream and Fresh Fruit Topping
I would normally say the toppings are optional, but certainly not in this case. I mean, you can definitely top these cheesecakes with ganache, salted caramel, lemon curd, strawberry or raspberry sauce etc.
I, however, highly recommend you top these cheesecakes with two things: whipped cream and fresh fruit! You only need 3 ingredients to make the whipped cream: heavy whipping cream + powdered sugar + vanilla. Just whip those up in a chilled bowl until fluffy.
The light and airy texture of the whipped cream pairs perfectly with the ultra creamy cheesecake and the fresh fruits tie everything together so well. These bite-sized treats are a huge crowd pleaser and summertime delight! They would definitely make a great addition to your Fourth of July celebrations!
The recipe can also be doubled with no problems to make 24 cheesecakes, incase anyone asks for seconds (which they undoubtedly will!).
More Mini Cheesecake Recipes
- Mini Triple Chocolate Cheesecakes
- Mini Ferrero Rocher Stuffed Nutella Cheesecakes
- Mini Oreo Cheesecakes
- Mini Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cheesecakes
- Mini Piña Colada Cheesecakes
- Mini Guinness Chocolate Cheesecakes
- Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecakes
- Mini Lemon Meringue Cheesecakes
- Mini Creme Brûlée Cheesecakes
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Let’s get baking!
- 1 cup vanilla wafer or graham cracker cookie crumbs
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ cup Salted Butter, melted
- 1 and ½ (8-ounce) packages (12 oz) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 and ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
- ½ cup heavy cream, chilled
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Fresh fruit, for topping
For the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Set aside.
- Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar to a mixing bowl and mix together using a fork. Stir in melted butter until crumbs are completely coated.
- Place 1 heaping tablespoon of crumbs into each liner and flatten using the back of the tablespoon or a small glass.
- Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Lower oven temperature to 325°F.
For the Vanilla Cheesecake:
- In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the granulated sugar and cornstarch and continue to beat until combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla and continue beating until smooth.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating slowly until just combined, do not overbeat. Batter will be thin.
- Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is fully combined. Forcefully tap bowl on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
- Fill each liner with ¼ cup of batter. You may have some batter left, so scoop an extra tablespoon of batter into each liner until it’s finished. These cheesecakes can be filled all the way to the top.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until the tops are puffed and look dry.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm and chilled, about 2-3 hours or overnight.
For the Sweetened Whipped Cream:
- In a chilled stainless steel or glass bowl, whip the chilled cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until it reaches stiff peaks, about 3-4 minutes.
- In a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe a swirl of whipped cream onto each cheesecake. Garnish with fresh fruit, if desired. Enjoy!
- Storage: Store the cheesecakes covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Double the recipe: Feeding a crowd? This recipe can easily be doubled to make 24 mini cheesecakes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 96mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 19gProtein: 2g
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