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Our easy Mini Cheesecake Recipe is the perfect dessert option next time you’re having a gathering. These pretty individual cheesecakes are easily made a day or two ahead making them great for entertaining. Our cheesecakes are delicious, easy to make and so much fun to decorate!
Mini Cheesecake Recipe with a hint of lemon
Our foolproof recipe produces perfect-every-time mini cheesecakes with a hint of lemon and a creamy, smooth filling over a sweet graham cracker crust.
There’s no need to use a hot water bath for this recipe and no worries about cheesecake cracks! They bake quickly, keep well for days in the fridge and even freeze beautifully too.
These mini cheesecakes are baked right in a muffin tin which is the perfect option for home bakers that don’t own a springform pan.
Ingredients Needed For Mini Cheesecake Recipe
For the crust:
- graham cracker crumbs
- granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling:
- block style full-fat cream cheese at room temperature
- granulated sugar
- lemon zest (optional but highly recommended)
- all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- large eggs at room temperature
- milk or cream
- vanilla extract
- full fat sour cream
- a 12-well muffin pan
- paper cupcake liners
How to make our Mini Cheesecake Recipe
1. Prep the pan and preheat the oven:
Line a 12-well muffin pan with paper cupcake liners and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Prepare the graham cracker crust:
Combine the crushed graham crackers with the sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and mix until the mixture is evenly moistened and resembles wet sand.
Divide the crust mixture between the 12 prepared liners. Press down firmly to an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
3. Make the cheesecake batter:
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
In a separate small bowl combine the sugar with the lemon zest. Mash and stir with a fork until well blended and some of the zest is broken down and fragrant. Add the flour and salt to the lemon sugar and stir to combine.
With the mixer running on medium-low, slowly add the sugar mixture blending until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yolk disappears before adding the next. Don’t over-beat.
Pour in the milk, vanilla and sour cream and blend on low until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl then fold together a few times using the spatula to ensure the mixture is well blended.
Divide the creamy cheesecake filling between the 12 prepared liners. Each will be very full but this is okay. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 18 to 21 minutes or until the tops are just set.
4. Cool, Chill and Decorate:
Cool the cheesecakes on a rack for one hour. Carefully remove to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Top with your favorite sauces, berries, fruits or simply dust with powdered sugar.
Topping Options for our Mini Cheesecake Recipe
For this post I used six different toppings so there would be two of each. You can use all one topping or make twelve different cheesecakes. It’s all good! Just use our imagination or customize the toppings to your guests favorite flavors.
1. Blueberry Cheesecakes
For the first topping we used our homemade Blueberry Sauce recipe. This sauce is great on just about anything. It’s thick enough so it won’t slide off the top of the cheesecakes and is loaded with intense blueberry flavor. Always a favorite!
2. Peach Cobbler Cheesecakes
For two mini cheesecakes I peeled and cut up one large fresh peach. Combine the diced peach with a few teaspoons of granulated or brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch. Heat over medium-low until bubbly and thick. Cool then chill before topping the cheesecakes. Crumble a shortbread cookie over the peaches just before serving. Delish!
3. Fresh Berries Topping
For a simple topping use strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries. Sift powdered sugar over the top of the berries just before serving.
4. Caramel Cheesecake
Make your own caramel sauce or pick up a jar of store-bought. Our favorite brand is Stonewall Kitchen’s Sea Salt Caramel Sauce. Pipe a swirl of whipped cream over a layer of caramel then drizzle a little more caramel over the whipped cream. Enjoy sweet buttery caramel in every bite!
5. Lemon Cheesecakes
Our Lemon Cheesecake recipe has been a favorite with our readers for years. For this mini version I used the same 5-star Lemon Curd recipe for a topping. Add a dollop of whipped cream and decorate with a slice of fresh lemon. Good quality store-bought lemon curd is also a great choice. Pucker up!
6. Strawberry and Chocolate
Everybody loves this combo! Top each cheesecake with a dollop of chocolate sauce then a fresh strawberry. You can use homemade chocolate sauce or try our favorite store-bought: Stonewall Kitchen’s Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel.
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Other Topping Ideas and Add-Ins
- Whipped cream and chocolate shavings (omit the lemon zest in the batter)
- Fruit compote
- Strawberry sauce or any fresh fruit sauce
- Fold in mini chocolate chips before baking (omit the lemon zest)
- Add sprinkles to the batter before baking and over a whipped cream topping for birthday cheesecakes
- Caramel Apple Cheesecakes
- For the holidays try these mini cheesecakes topped with our Chocolate Peppermint Sauce. Omit the lemon zest in the batter and add crushed peppermints if desired.
- Pick up a can of store-bought pie filling in your favorite flavor.
- Make the crust with crushed shortbread cookies, digestive biscuits or any flavor of Oreos such as vanilla, chocolate or mint-chocolate.
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Mini Cheesecake Recipe
- 12 well muffin tin
- 12 paper cupcake liners
For the crust:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (113g or about 7 full sheets)
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar (23g)
- pinch of salt
- 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter melted
For the filling:
- 16 ounces block cream cheese room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar (135g)
- zest of 1 lemon (optional)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream (4oz or 113g)
Optional topping ideas:
- salted caramel sauce
- chocolate sauce with strawberries
- raspberries and powdered sugar
- blueberry sauce
- lemon curd
- whipped cream
To prepare the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-well muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a food processor, process the graham crackers to fine, even crumbs, about 30-seconds. Add the sugar and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture is evenly moistened and resembles wet sand.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 prepared liners. Press down firmly into an even layer. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool while preparing the filling.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
To prepare the filling:
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. In a small bowl combine the sugar and lemon zest. Press together with a fork to break down the zest. Add the flour and salt to the sugar and stir to combine.
- With the mixer running on medium-low, slowly add the sugar mixture mixing until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Add the eggs one at a time beating just until the yolk disappears before adding the next. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and blend again. Don’t over-beat.
- Add the milk, vanilla and sour cream and blend on low until combined. Scrape the bowl again then fold together using a spatula to ensure the mixture is well blended.
- Divide the mixture between the 12 liners in the prepared pan. Each liner will be full but this is okay. Bake at 325°F for 18 to 21 minutes or until the tops of the cheesecakes are just set. Cool the pan on a rack for one hour then carefully remove the cheesecakes from the pan. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to overnight before serving.
- Decorate with your favorite toppings and serve. See the full post for topping ideas.
More Great Cheesecake Recipes
If you adore raspberries I bet you’ll love these Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars. Such a pretty bar and easy to make too!