Mini Cheesecakes are an easy dessert to make from scratch. These single serving cheesecake cupcakes are rich and creamy, with a graham cracker crust.
Mini cheesecakes are an instant crowd pleaser. They make a fantastic party dessert because they are ready to grab and go - no slicing needed!
These single-serve cheesecakes are rich, creamy, and smooth, with a crunchy graham cracker crust. Customize your cheesecakes with a variety of toppings, like strawberry or caramel sauce.
Serve these mini cheesecakes at your next picnic, birthday, or holiday like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or New Year's Eve.
What size pan to use
For this recipe, you'll need a standard size cupcake or muffin pan. Here is the exact cupcake pan I use for this recipe (and in the video below).
The term "mini" simply refers to the size compared to a regular sized cheesecake (like one you'd slice into pieces). The measurements in this recipe are meant for a standard sized cupcake pan, not a "mini cupcake pan".
Ingredients and substitutions
Graham cracker crumbs can be substituted with chocolate graham cracker crumbs or crushed cookies, like vanilla wafers or oreo cookies.
The entire graham cracker crust can also be substituted with whole oreo cookies. Simply place an oreo cookie in the bottom of each cupcake liner, then top with your cheesecake batter.
Vanilla extract can be substituted with a different extract to give your cheesecakes a different flavor. Try lemon extract, maple extract, or peppermint extract!
How To prevent lumpy cheesecake batter
First - you absolutely must use room temperature ingredients. The cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream all need to be at room temperature before mixing them together.
If even one ingredient is cold, the cream cheese will get clumpy when the cold ingredient is mixed in. Room temperature ingredients cream together easily and will prevent lumps.
Second, I have always had luck mixing my ingredients in a particular order.
- cream cheese
- granulated sugar
- sour cream
- vanilla extract
First, mix the cream cheese alone to make sure it's creamy. Next, add the granulated sugar and mix. Then, add eggs and mix. Then, add sour cream and mix. Last, add the vanilla extract and mix.
It's also important to not over-mix your batter. Add each ingredient and mix on low speed just until incorporated, then stop and add your next ingredient.
How to prevent mini cheesecakes from sinking
Your mini cheesecakes will sink slightly in the center as they cool. This is normal. It also makes a perfect vessel for toppings like strawberry and caramel sauces!
However, if you'd like to prevent your cheesecakes from sinking as much as possible, here are a few tips.
Extra air can be whipped into the batter when it is overmixed. When baked and cooled, this air is released, causing your cheesecake to sink. To prevent this, mix each ingredient in until just combined, then turn off the mixer.
Room temperature ingredients are easier to mix together, which is another reason to warm up all of your ingredients before beginning. If you start with cold ingredients, your batter will not only be lumpy, but will take more mixing to blend together - which adds more air.
Sometimes, cheesecake will sink when it is taken out of the oven quickly, due to the shock of cold air. When your cheesecakes are done, turn the oven off and crack the door open a few inches. Allow them to set for a few minutes before removing them from the oven. This will allow them to begin cooling without being 'shocked' by cold air.
Looking for ideas to top your cheesecakes? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake
- Fresh fruits dusted in sugar
- Chocolate ganache
- Homemade Whipped Cream
- Pineapple Jam
- Homemade Cherry Pie Filling
- Salted Caramel Sauce
- Lemon curd
Easy Mini Cheesecakes
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard-sized cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar. Stir to combine. Add melted butter and stir until fully incorporated. Divide crust mixture between your 18 cupcake liners. Using the back of a measuring cup, press graham cracker mixture firmly into the bottom of each cup. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Add granulated sugar, then mix until smooth. Next, add eggs and mix until incorporated. Add sour cream and mix until incorporated. Last, add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Be sure not to over-mix, just mix until each ingredient is incorporated into the batter.
- Distribute batter evenly between cups. Gently tap pan onto counter top a few times to level filling and remove any excess air bubbles.
- Bake for 17-19 minutes, or until cheesecake is no longer jiggly in the center. Tops may crack slightly, this is normal. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing cheesecakes from the pan. Your cheesecakes may sink in the middle slightly when cooling.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Optionally, top with strawberries, cherries, or whipped cream.
- This recipe makes 18 cupcake/muffin sized cheesecakes. "Mini" refers to the size compared to a regular cheesecake, and does not refer to a mini muffin tin. You are welcome to use mini muffin tins for this recipe, but it has not been tested, so baking times and quantities will vary.
- Room temperature ingredients are important for making a creamy cheesecake filling. If one, or all, of your ingredients are cold, this will cause your batter to be lumpy.
- If you have a lumpy batter, try pressing it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lumps.