This perfectly creamy, homemade Mini Cheesecake Recipe has a buttery graham cracker crust! Great for entertaining, parties, or when you just need a few bites of cheesecake! Made in a muffin tin, these cheesecake bites are totally irresistible.
Isn’t the first bite of cheesecake always the best? I mean, I always enjoy the whole slice, but my husband and I always fight over that first forkful. That’s why I love this recipe for mini cheesecakes so much – each bite-sized dessert will give you the joy of that first taste over and over again! Plus, forks are option here, and that’s always a plus!
Unlike a classic cheesecake, this mini cheesecake recipe doesn’t require as much fuss. No water-bath needed, no guesswork on when it’s actually done, no leaving in the oven to sit after being baked…there really isn’t a high margin for error on this, which makes it a great recipe to try if you have been nervous about baking a whole cheesecake!
Why These Are the Best
This Mini Cheesecake recipe is great for so many reasons!
Only 7 simple ingredients!
Totally open to adapting! This is a great base cheesecake recipe, perfect for those who like to keep things traditional or simple. But you can top these minis with fruit, candy, caramel, whipped cream…the list goes on and on!
Perfect for parties. This is a great dessert recipe for a crowd. They’re easy to eat and everyone loves cheesecake. Using different toppings on the cheesecakes make an impressive dessert platter!
They can be made in advance! This cheesecake recipe needs chill time, which is great when you want to prep ahead and not worry about dessert the day you are entertaining.
But Can’t You Just Make Any Cheesecake Recipe Into Minis?
Yes, you absolutely can, BUT I’ve done the leg work here for you, scaling the recipe perfectly to make 12 mini cheesecakes. There would be a little more guesswork involved in taking a full sized cheesecake recipe and altering it for minis. I want to make your life easier!
Mini Cheesecakes Recipe Ingredients
This is a pretty easy cheesecake recipe, so you’ll only need 7 ingredients total. Read over this quick list before you begin, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe and instructions.
For the Crust
Graham Crackers: To make the crumbs, use a food processor, or simply crush them by hand in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin. You can use honey grahams, cinnamon grahams, or even chocolate grahams. Totally up to you!
Granulated Sugar: This will add just a touch of sweetness to your crust.
Melted Butter: I like to use salted butter, in his recipe, as I find it balances the sweetness perfectly. Plus, you aren’t adding additional salt into the crust.
For the Creamy Cheesecake Filling
Cream Cheese: I used 2 (8- ounce) blocks of cream cheese totaling 16 ounces. Make sure your cream cheese is softened to room temperature. This ensures that you don’t have a lumpy cheesecake and everything mixes together smoothly.
Sour Cream: Make sure it’s room temperature also. When all your ingredients are room temp, your recipe will bake up evenly.
Granulated Sugar. I prefer granulated to brown sugar in classic cheesecake.
Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract pairs great with cream cheese, adding richness and depth of flavor. Vanilla beans are great in cheesecake too!
Eggs: Use large eggs when baking unless otherwise specified. Varying sizes of eggs can add too much (or too little) moisture to your recipe. Also make sure these are at room temperature!
How to Make Mini Cheesecakes
Enough discussion, let’s get started on these yummy cheesecakes! If you’re not planning to surprise your family or significant other with this dessert, getting help from little hands isn’t a bad idea. Especially if you need some assistance with deciding on toppings!
Make the Graham Cracker Crust
Prep Work: Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a standard size muffin pan with cupcake liners and set it aside. I definitely recommend using liners in this recipe as opposed to coating the pan and baking without. The liners make these no-mess, while being MUCH easier to remove from the pan and keeping intact.
Simply mix the Graham Cracker crumbs, sugar & butter together in a mixing bowl to combine, then just press the mixture firmly into the liners. Bake the crusts for 5 minutes just until they are lightly golden brown.
Make the Cheesecake Filling and Bake
The cheesecake filling comes together very easily. Like I stated above, make sure all the ingredients are room temperature and you’re all set! Just mix the cream cheese and sour cream together in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. When that’s smooth add in the sugar and vanilla. Finally add in the eggs one at a time until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. That’s it!
Bake them until the tops are set, about 20-ish minutes, and just let them cool for about an hour in the pan. Then remove them from the pan and pop them in the refrigerator for 3 to hours minimum, but overnight is great too!
But Why Don’t You Need a Water Bath?
The easy answer is the size! When you’re baking a full sized cheesecake you need it to bake evenly. The steam a water bath gives off in the oven aids in even baking as well as preventing cracks. The beauty of mini cheesecakes are they bake much quicker, and the edges and middle won’t take nearly as long to set as with a traditional cheesecake recipe.
Tips for the Best Mini Cheesecakes
Mini cheesecakes are the best because they sound super fancy, but they’re so simple to put together on relatively short notice! Here are some extra tips for guidance:
Don’t Over-Mix the Batter: Over-mixing can work too much air into the batter, causing extra air bubbles to form. This can cause the cheesecakes to crack, or puff up too much when baking.
How to Know if They’re Done: As mentioned above, the tops should look set, but it’s okay if the center is still a little jiggly. The cheesecakes will continue to firm up a little as they cool.
Firmly Press the Crust into the Liners: You can use a smaller measuring cup to help, or just your hand, but make sure the graham cracker crust is really packed in there so that it doesn’t crumble.
Keep these bite sized cheesecakes as simple as you would like, or get creative and jazz them up. Here are a few ideas:
Whipped Cream is ALWAYS an easy and delicious cheesecake topping!
Fresh Fruit – Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are delicious on top of cheesecake, while also making a super pretty presentation!
Pie Filling, specifically cherry pie filling is a classic on cheesecake!
Make them citrus: A tablespoon of lemon zest in the cheesecake filling and lemon curd spread on top after they are baked is so good!
Chocolate or Caramel Sauce. Both are delicious!
Caramel Sauce and chopped pecans make them Turtle Cheesecakes!
Any chopped nuts would work, even the ice cream topping wet walnuts are delish!
Mix in some mini chocolate chips into the cheesecake batter. a 1/2 cup should do it!
How to Store Mini Cheesecakes
Store this cheesecake in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days (if you need that long!). TIP – Store them before you top them. Whipped cream doesn’t hold up well!
Can I Freeze Mini Cheesecakes?
Yes! Freeze these bite-sized cheesecakes in an airtight container or tightly-sealed freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to eat them again.
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