Mini strawberry cheesecakes that come together in just minutes. The crust is simply a cookie that you drop in place, and everything bakes in a muffin pan. The recipe makes just 4 individual cheesecakes, but you can scale it up as you need.
Mini strawberry cheesecakes
You're looking at the fastest way to cure a cheesecake craving. Well, we have no bake chocolate cheesecake and no bake blueberry cheesecake options here on this site, but if you want the REAL DEAL CHEESECAKE, this is it. Four small two-bite mini strawberry cheesecakes in a muffin pan is your key to cheesecake bliss. Plus, when you bake mini cheesecakes in a muffin pan, they don't need a water bath. This recipe is so easy like that! It's based on my recipe for mini cheesecakes, but with the addition of a fresh strawberry topping.
I have a little trick for making the easiest cheesecake crust ever: just a drop a cookie in there! There's no need to crush the graham crackers, mix them with melted butter and sugar, and then press them into the pan. The reason we make cheesecake crust like that is because graham crackers are too dry and not very sweet. However, if we use a Nilla wafer cookie, we can skip that step entirely. You're 10 minutes closer to cheesecake, and that's a good thing for me!
- vanilla wafer cookies: You're looking for the ones in the yellow box that spell vanilla wrong. You get me?
- cream cheese: Softened full-fat cream cheese, please.
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- lemon juice
- strawberries: Fresh or frozen whole strawberries are fine here.
How to make mini strawberry cheesecakes:
- Gather the ingredients: cookies, cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and strawberries. Ensure your cream cheese and egg are at room temperature for the creamiest cheesecake without lumps!
- First, preheat the oven to 375-degrees Fahrenheit, and place 4 cupcake liners in 4 spaces of a muffin pan. Drop each cookie into the muffin liners with the flat side facing down.
- In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the softened cream cheese, egg, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until creamy and combined very well. The mixture shouldn't contain any lumps. If it does, your cream cheese or egg is too cold. Divide the mixture between the cupcake liners evenly.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Let them cool in the pan, and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- While the cheesecakes cool, make the strawberry topping. Combine the whole strawberries in a small sauce pan with a small splash of water with the granulated sugar. Cook them over low heat until they're soft and syrupy. Be careful when you're stirring them so they don't break up too much. Mostly whole berries is what we're going for.
- Let the strawberries cool, and then stir in the vanilla extract. Spoon them over the chilled mini cheesecakes before serving.
Why are my mini cheesecakes falling in?
When your mini cheesecakes come out of the oven, they will be puffed and may have some very small cracks on the edges. However, they are going to sink slightly in the center as they cool. This is totally normal, and perfect for adding the strawberry filling (or any filling, really!). When they're cool, they won't have any cracks, however. The slight sinking is because we're baking them in a smaller pan than typically required of a cheesecake. Most New York style cheesecakes have a slight dip in the center, leaving room for a sour cream sauce. A slight dent or slight falling in isn't a flaw, it's desirable to hold toppings.
Can mini cheesecakes be frozen?
Yes, absolutely! I think these mini strawberry cheesecakes are delicious eaten frozen, right out of the freezer, too! Do not freeze them with strawberry topping, keep that separate until serving. My cheesecake in a loaf pan is easy to freeze, defrost, and serve later, too.
How can you tell if mini cheesecakes are done?
Mini cheesecakes are puffy and are dry to the touch when they're done. Pull them out of the oven before they start to obtain golden brown spots. They will continue cooking and setting in the pan as they cool, and the fridge will help them firm up, too. This recipe is baked at a high temperature (375-degrees F) so the cook time is only 15 minutes with at least 4 hours of chilling time.
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 Nilla wafers (or other small cookies)
For the strawberry topping:
- ½ cup whole strawberries (about 10 berries)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon of water
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375, and line 4 cups in a muffin pan with paper liners. Gather all ingredients.
- Drop a cookie in each liner, with the flat side down.
- In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat very well until combined. Divide the mixture between the cups and bake for 15 minutes.
- Let cakes cool, then refrigerate at least 4 hours. Make the topping: place the strawberries, sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Cook the strawberries while stirring frequently, but being careful not to break them up too much over low heat until syrupy and soft, about 10 minutes. The water should evaporate and the juices around the strawberries should thicken. If they threaten to burn, lower the heat and continue at a gentle simmer.
- Remove the berries from the heat and let them cool slightly. Stir the vanilla extract into the strawberries.
- Serve each chilled cheesecake with a few strawberries on top, letting the strawberry syrup fall down the sides.
vanilla wafer cookies: You're looking for the ones in the yellow box that spell vanilla wrong. You get me?
cream cheese: Softened full-fat cream cheese, please.
strawberries: Fresh or frozen whole strawberries are fine here.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 167mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 4g