Mini cheesecakes with graham cracker crust are simple, elegant, and deliciously creamy! Top them with anything from fresh berries to chocolate sauce or your favorite jam and serve them as part of a mini dessert tray for holiday parties, showers, and potlucks!
Easy Mini Cheesecakes
Mini cheesecakes are so much fun to serve your guests! When they’re done just right, you’ve got the perfect ratio of smooth and creamy cheesecake topping to crunchy graham cracker crust that no one can resist.
I tend to leave some mini cheesecakes plain and some dressed with different toppings for the best kind of dessert sampling! These mini cheesecake cups are elegant enough for all kinds of parties, but simple enough to make entertaining easy!
If ever I’m hosting a wedding shower, baby shower, or need something for a potluck or 4th of July dessert, individual mini cheesecakes are my go-to. I always make a little extra because I know my kids will be asking if there are any leftovers the next day.
Graham Cracker Crust
- Crushed graham crackers – You can find graham cracker crumbs pre-packaged or you can buy the graham crackers and crush them yourself in a food processor.
- Melted butter – This is the fat and moisture that the crumbs need to become a crust.
- Granulated sugar – Graham crackers are cookies and do have some sweetness to them, but not enough!
- Cream cheese softened – Take your full-fat cream cheese out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature beforehand. If you’ve forgotten, as we’ve all done before, here are some tips on how to soften cream cheese quickly.
- Granulated sugar – Cream cheese is tangy and not sweet at all, so we need the sugar to balance it out and take it from cream cheese to cheesecake!
- Eggs – This is a baked cheesecake, so we need eggs for binding and to give it a light and creamy texture.
- Sour cream – Helps to lighten up the consistency of the thick cream cheese, while keeping it nice and creamy.
- Vanilla extract – A delicious flavor enhancer that delivers a wonderful hint of vanilla.
How to Make Mini Cheesecakes with a Graham Cracker Crust
This is an easy recipe for mini cheesecakes that delivers a slight tang with just the right amount of sweetness in every bite. Easily double or triple the recipe, or decide that you want to freeze them for later.
- Prep. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line the muffin pan with white cupcake liners. No need to spray with oil. The butter in the crust and the fat in the cheesecake will help it to prevent from sticking to the liners.
- Make the crust. Combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Mix until combined. You’ll notice the crumbs are no longer dry but will start to look like wet sand. This helps it to stick together. Add crumb mixture to each cup, giving each one an equal amount. Gently press down with your fingers.
- Combine ingredients for the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar. Beat until creamy, then add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Add the filling to the crust. Fill each cup with an even layer of cheesecake batter about 1/4″ from the top. We don’t need to leave too much room because there shouldn’t be very much rise to these cups.
- Bake. Place muffin tin in the oven to allow the mini cheesecake bites to bake for 15-18 minutes. Use a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the cheesecake. If it comes out clean, it’s ready.
- Chill. Although this is not a no-bake cheesecake, we still need to chill our mini cheesecakes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes until firm. Baked doesn’t mean it’s served warm!
- Add toppings. Once your mini cheesecakes are set, add any of your favorite toppings just before serving.
- Clean lines. For a cleaner look for mini cheesecakes with graham cracker crust and a tidy distinction between the crust and the cheesecake batter, you can use the bottom of a small measuring cup to press the crust down.
- White paper liners. If your muffin liners are fun and colorful or have a design on them, you may want to consider going out to pick up white paper liners instead. They’re neutral and don’t take away from the presentation.
- Room temperature cream cheese is key. Not just for an easier time getting it to a smooth consistency with no lumps, but also for even baking.
- Full-fat dairy. For the best texture, I always use full-fat cream cheese and sour cream.
- Don’t open the oven door. As tempting as it is to check on your mouthwatering mini cheesecakes, do not open that door! That’s how cracks on the tops of cheesecakes happen.
- Do not overbake. They will continue to set as they cool, so once that toothpick comes out clean, they’re done!
Add Something Extra To Your Cheesecake Batter
Take a bit of strawberry sauce, caramel sauce, crushed Oreos or mini chocolate chips and swirl them into your batter to jazz up your mini cheesecakes!
Toppings for Mini Cheesecakes
One of the best things about serving individual cheesecakes, instead of one big one, is that you can try a variety of different flavors on one plate!
Here are some of my favorites:
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate ganache
- Caramel sauce
- Lemon curd
- Strawberry sauce or blueberry sauce
- Caramelized bananas
- Apple pie filling
- Cherry pie filling
- Chopped nuts
- Coconut flakes
- Mini chocolate chips
- Fresh berries
- Gold flakes and edible flowers (for when I’m feeling extra fancy, usually for wedding showers!)
Other Types of Crusts to Use
A cheesecake with graham cracker crust is a classic choice, but there are also many other types of crust you can use!
For a gluten-free and refined sugar-free cheesecake crust, you can use crushed pecans or almonds, some maple syrup, coconut oil, and cinnamon.
The main difference is that baked cheesecake uses eggs. A no-bake cheesecake using chill time in the fridge to set, amongst other thickening agents. We are chilling our baked cheesecake as well, and it does continue to set in the fridge, however, the initial bake is what helps to set the eggs so we’re not eating them raw.
If you’re following the instructions as listed, you can rest assured they’ll be done at the 18-minute mark, if not at 15 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s ready!
It can be in the middle, and that’s ok. Cheesecake will continue to set once taken out of the oven and chilled in the fridge.
If you’re lucky enough to have any left, be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll be good for up to 4 days.
You can freeze mini cheesecakes for up to 3 months. If you can help it, freeze them without any toppings. Then, thaw in the fridge overnight and add the toppings just before serving.
More Mini Desserts
- Mini S’mores Cups – A fun twist on everyone’s favorite summer treat.
- Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse – Served in individual cups for entertaining.
- Brownie Truffles – Super simple, made with just 3 ingredients.
- Dessert Kabobs – A fun way to eat brownies, marshmallows, and fresh strawberries!
- Oreo Balls – A decadent little bite using everyone’s favorite cookie!
Mini Cheesecakes with Graham Cracker Crust
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 cup (125 g) crushed graham crackers , about 8 full sheets
- 3 Tablespoons (44 g) unsalted butter , melted
- 2 Tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar
- 16 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (90 g) sour cream , at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional toppings: Canned pie filling, fresh berries, whipped cream, chocolate or caramel sauce
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a 12-cup muffin pan with white cupcake liners.
- In a small bowl, mix the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and butter until combined. Evenly distribute the crumb mixture into the liners. Bake for 5 minutes and then remove from oven. Turn the oven down to 325°F.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer. Then mix in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
- Divide batter evenly between 12 liners, filling each cup up to about 1/4 inch from the top.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted the center comes out clean and the tops are set. Be careful not to open the oven too many times or they will collapse (it's normal for them to sink a little and provides a spot for the filling). Remove from oven and let them cool completely. You can also chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
- Once chilled, add your favorite toppings before serving.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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