You can make this easy recipe for Mini Cheesecakes in HALF the time a full-sized cheesecake takes! They’re creamy, super smooth, and perfectly portioned–great for parties! Recipe includes a how-to video.
Full-Sized Flavor in a Bite-Sized Treat
While most of us love a classic, full-sized cheesecake recipe, making one does have some drawbacks. They take a long time to bake (over an hour), sometimes require require a messy water bath (although mine does not!) and take a long time to cool (at least 6 hours!). You have to worry about cracks AND your springform pan leaking, and while I’d never say that it isn’t worth the effort, sometimes you just want something easier…like these mini cheesecakes.
Mini cheesecakes are the much simpler, muffin tin version of a regular cheesecake. They’re quick and easy, creamy, sweet and subtly tangy, and just all around delicious–just like the full-sized version! BUT they take less than half the time to make! 😲 Plus, they’re already portioned out into individual servings, so no one is on slicing duty. Win-win.
Why You’ll Love Mini Cheesecakes:
- So quick compared to a regular cheesecake: less than 20 minutes to bake and only a few hours to cool.
- Can be made on today’s graham cracker crust, or you can change things up and use a half batch of my Oreo crust instead.
- Can handle a few mini chocolate chips or broken Oreo pieces (for an Oreo cheesecake or chocolate cheesecake flair) in the batter, if you need a chocolate kick.
- Easily doubles to make 24 mini cheesecakes!
What You Need
Just a few simple ingredients come together to make these nice and easy mini cheesecakes. Here are the important ones:
- Cream cheese. As with my other cheesecake recipes, I don’t recommend using tub-style or low-fat cream cheese. Stick with the block-style, full-fat kind for best results!
- Sour cream. To me, you simply can’t make cheesecake without sour cream. It is an essential flavor element that adds a perfect richness. Full-fat Greek yogurt could also work in a pinch.
- Butter. Unlike most of my other recipes, I recommend using salted butter for today’s cheesecake crust. If you only have unsalted, that will work too; just remember to add ⅛ teaspoon of salt!
SAM’S TIP: While they’re great plain, these cheesecakes also taste wonderful topped with homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit, chocolate ganache (with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt for good measure!), hot fudge sauce, blueberry sauce (or just about any fruit sauce), or homemade caramel sauce.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Mini Cheesecakes
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar, then add the melted butter and stir until combined.
- Press crust into 12 lined cupcake tins and set aside.
- Stir the cream cheese until smooth, then add sugar and stir again.
- Add the sour cream, vanilla, and salt and mix until well combined, then add the eggs one at a time.
- Divide the batter among your cupcake liners and bake for 17-20 minutes.
- Let the cheesecakes cool to room temperature, then remove them from the pan and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving.
SAM’S TIP: Do NOT over-bake! Overbaking is the easiest way to ruin any cheesecake; if it spends too much time in the oven, the texture will be dry, mealy and even crumbly–not smooth and creamy! Watch your cheesecakes carefully, make sure your oven temperature is accurate (I keep two inexpensive oven thermometers in my oven at all times), and check your cheesecakes a few minutes before they’re supposed to be done.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just like a regular-sized cheesecake, the mini version also needs to cool slowly. Don’t bring them out of the oven and throw them right in the fridge; instead, let them cool in a warm place (preferably on top of your oven) until they reach room temperature, then chill them.
They’re done when the centers bounce back to the touch and the edges may be a light golden brown. I usually check mine at 17 minutes; remember, do NOT overbake or they could become mealy and dry!
They’ll keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If you’d like to freeze them, follow the instructions for cooling and chilling first, and then wrap in plastic and freeze in an airtight container for several months.
I’d love to hear how you top or decorate yours; let me know in the comments below!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Graham cracker crust:
- ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (85g)
- 1 ½ Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter melted
- 16 oz softened cream cheese (455g)
- ½ cup sugar (100g)
- ½ cup sour cream (80g)
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten, room temperature preferred
- Preheat oven to 325F (160C) and line a 12-count muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl stir together graham cracker crumbs and 1 ½ Tablespoons sugar. Add melted butter and stir again until ingredients are moistened and completely combined.
- Portion about 2-3 teaspoons of the crust mixture into each liner in your prepared muffin tin. Use a spoon or the (clean) bottom of a ¼ cup measuring cup to tamp down crumbs so they are evenly packed into the bottom of each liner. Set aside while you prepare your mini cheesecake filling.
- Place cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl and use an electric mixer) and stir on low speed until smooth and creamy (don’t whip the cream cheese or excessively beat it, you don’t want to incorporate too much air into the batter).
- Add sugar and stir again until well-combined.
- Add sour cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir until ingredients are well-combined, pausing occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so there are no lumps.
- Gradually add eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated. Keep the mixer on low-speed and do not over-beat. Once again scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and stir on low-speed once more to ensure ingredients are completely combined.
- Evenly divide batter into muffin tin liners (I like to use an ice cream scoop with a lever release to do this, just makes it easy!).
- Transfer to 325F (160C) oven and bake for 17-20 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn a very light golden brown and centers are set. Do not over-bake or the texture will be dry and mealy.
- Allow cheesecakes to cool completely to room temperature and then gently remove each mini cheesecake from muffin tin. Transfer to refrigerator and chill completely (about 2-3 hours) before serving.
- If desired, top with whipped cream, strawberry sauce, blueberry sauce, or chocolate ganache!
DoublingThis recipe can be doubled without issue or alteration.
StoringMini cheesecakes can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. These mini cheesecakes also freeze well and can be kept frozen (in an airtight container) for several months.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Fantastic flavor! If even I can cook these they must be easy! I am a trucker I live in a truck and I have only a convection microwave so I had to cook them a little longer about 35 minutes and I had to switch the top and bottom layers because the top ones cooked beautifully but the bottom one’s really didn’t. I also raised the temperature to 3:50 on the second go to see if they would cook more evenly but they didn’t. Love this recipe and love the recipe for the blueberry sauce amazing
Do you have any suggestions on how to make this into a mini oreo cheesecake? Can I mix crushed oreos into the batter without it drying out, separating or getting a gritty texture? And can I use oreo crumbs instead of Graham cracker crumbs?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Victoria! You can use a half batch of our Oreo crust and toss in some broken Oreo pieces into the batter without issue. Enjoy!
Hi. I baked them 20 minutes. Not browned at all but bounce back when touched. Shouted I consider them done?
If they are set, yes, I would pull them out. 🙂
I am planning on making these for an upcoming party. Can I mix in a tsp of jam into the top before baking to get a flavored cheesecake?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
That should work just fine. We hope they’re a hit, Charlotte!
I make regular cheesecake all the time. This was my first try with minis. they all stuck to the muffin pan When I tried to remove them the paper muffin cups tore on all but 4 and they aren’t baked through even after being in the oven 23-minutes. Advice please.
Hi Debra! I’m so sorry to hear this happened! It sounds like they may have just needed a little more time in the oven. 🙁
Just made these and they were in the oven 45 minutes before they set. Not sure if its because I used silicone cupcake pan?
Hi Cate! I have not used silicone before, but I would think it would take longer to bake. I hope you still loved them! 🙂
hello, would you be able to provide any specific information on how to thaw mini cheesecakes when taking them out from the freezer? i appreciate it!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Laura! You can just let them sit in the fridge overnight. We hope you love them!
Hi! I want to make these but i dont have any type of electric mixer… can i do it by hand?
It could be done by hand, it’s just going to be a bit more of a workout. 🙂
Can you add a small amount of lemon extract to cheesecake recipe?
Hi Becky! That should work just fine here. 🙂
Hello, getting ready to make these today! So, I don’t have a 1/8 teaspoon for the salt, can I just put a pinch with my fingers?? Thank you 😀
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Christina! That will work fine. Enjoy ❤️
Does the melted butter have to cool? Or can you add in the other ingredients to it right away? Thank you so much. 😃
Hi Mariah! You don’t want it to be scorching hot but it will be fine to use when it’s a little bit warm. 🙂
Hi! Great recipe that was easy to follow, especially for a beginner cook. I chose to microwave the ingredients that needs to be room temperature, but that was because I was on a time crunch. Turned out amazing!
I do have one question though. So I followed all of the instructions, and they turned out good, but I was left with liquid at the bottom of the cupcake liners. Is that excess oils? Is there a way to stop that from happening?
Hi Loren! The best way to prevent this is to let them cool 10-15 minutes in the pan and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. What you are experiencing here is condensation. 🙂
what would make them sink in the middle after they are cooled?
Hi Tenna! It could be from over-mixing or over or under baking. 🙁
Hello! Just confirming there is no chill time before baking? Thank you, can’t wait to make these! Also, do you have a link for where I can find the cupcake liners you are using?
Hi Julian! There is no chill time prior to baking. These are just plain white liners that I found at walmart. 🙂
Oh ok thank you!
This will be my forever cheesecake recipie! So simple & so delicious! I have tried so many cheesecake recipies (my husband’s favorite dessert) and they are so time consuming. I love that these are individually portioned!
These have become my staple dish to bring to birthday parties and celebrations! They are so easy to make and people love them! It’s so much easier to bake than a full size cheesecake and you don’t have to do the hassle of cutting a full size one into pieces. Thanks for the recipe!
Can you make more recipes with different flavors of these mini cheesecakes please! I would like to do mini chocolate cheesecakes, mini raspberry swirl cheesecakes, mini pumpkin cheesecakes….
Hi Miranda! You can bake my chocolate cheesecake and pumpkin cheesecake as minis following the directions in these mini cheesecakes. 🙂
They are delicious and am making some more today
going to add lemon from our tree and wonder how much to add
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Dave! Zest from one lemon should work fine. How lucky are you to have a lemon tree in your yard! 😍