These classic creamy and adorable mini cheesecake bites will satisfy your cheesecake sweet tooth one small bite at a time.
I used to dislike cheesecake because I had a hard time wrapping my head around cheese being used for dessert purposes, but it didn't take me long into my adult years to appreciate the change of pace from my normal, chocolate desserts (i.e., cake). I still prefer cheesecakes like this though -- in small doses. My favorite part of the cheesecake is the crust (gingersnap! graham cracker! chocolate! Oreo!), so the higher the crust to filling ratio, the better. That means these mini cheesecakes are perfect -- and can be eaten in just a couple of bites. Oh, heyyyyy you little cute things!
Equipment Needed for Cheesecake Bites
Here's the thing -- you don't NEED any special equipment unless you want to buy this mini cheesecake pan like I have. I make a lot of mini cheesecakes because I'm married to a cheesecake lover, and these are my go-to desserts for parties and other events because they're easy finger-food desserts and are always a huge hit.
If you don't want to invest, then just use a mini muffin pan and line with mini cupcake liners. Just note you'll get many more cheesecakes using a mini muffin pan than I get here. You'll have to lessen the amount of crust and filling you put in each cavity and will bake for a few minutes less because I'm using the ratios for a cheesecake pan in this recipe.
Ingredients You'll Need to Make These Cheesecake Bites
Here's what you'll need:
- graham crackers
- unsalted butter
- cream cheese
- granulated sugar
- sour cream
- pure vanilla extract
- lemon juice
- toppings (I used cherry pie filling on top but you could easily do a whipped cream with fresh berries)
How to Make the Graham Cracker Crust
While you will need to pre-bake the crust (for about 4-5 minutes), it's super simple to make. Pulse the full graham crackers, sugar, and melted unsalted butter together in a food processor until it's a sandy mixture. Then press about 1 Tablespoon of graham cracker crust into your cheesecake pan (or about 1 teaspoon if you're using a mini muffin pan). Use the top of a bottle (like soy sauce or worcestershire sauce will do nicely) to gently press the crumbs down a little bit and bake for 4-5 minutes at 350˚.
How to Make the Filling
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar together on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Then add sour cream, pure vanilla extract, and lemon juice and beat some more. Then you'll add an egg until mixture is creamy.
Divide the batter between all of the liners (a heaping tablespoon's worth if you're using a mini cheesecake pan and about 1 teaspoon if you're using mini cupcake liners).
Lower the oven temperature to 300˚ and bake until edges are set, about 12-15 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let them sit in the warm oven for 10 more minutes. This will allow the cheesecakes to set a little bit more but not dry out.
Let the mini cheesecakes cool before placing them in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours. Then you can pop them out of the cheesecake pan or muffin liners and put your desired toppings on.
A Note About Toppings
For topping these cheesecakes, I opted to use a can of cherry pie filling (and use the rest of the can to make Shauna Sever's cherry shortcake squares). It's a great combination of some added sweetness because the cheesecakes aren't overly sweet and I love the cherry/cheesecake combination.
I've also done this with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and some berries on top, and that is a beautiful presentation.
You WILL want some kind of topping for these though because the middle of these cheesecakes sinks a bit once they're cooled off, so it's just prettier to have something delicious covering the sinkhole.
Other Adorable, Mini Desserts
- Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes with Thin Mint Crusts
- Baked Mini Donuts with Chocolate Ganache
- Mini Triple Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes
- Poppyseed Mini Muffins
Cheesecake Bites (Mini Classic Cheesecakes)
For the crust:
- 5 graham crackers (full sheets, not halves)
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
For the cheesecakes:
- 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature room temperature
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice optional, but recommended
- 1 large egg
- 1 can cherry pie filling (or whatever topping you'd prefer)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a mini muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Pulse graham crackers, butter, and sugar together in a food processor until just combined. Mixture should be sandy. Place Tablespoon of graham cracker mixture into each liner. iPre-bake for 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar together on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice and beat until fully combined. Lower speed to medium and add egg. Divide the batter between all the liners.
- Lower the oven temperature to 300˚ and bake until edges are set, about 12-15 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let them sit in the warm oven for 10 minutes. The middle will still be a little jiggly -- but that's okay.
- Let cheesecakes cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before sticking them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to chill. Then top cheesecakes with your favorite toppings. Here, I added simple cheery pie filling cherries on top.