- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 20 minutes
- Makes 12
Easy Creamy Cheesecake Cupcakes. These are so very simple to make and I include my "Tasty Tip" for these Easy Cheesecake Cupcakes that makes them Creamy! —Noelle Saltzman
Test Kitchen Notes
These mini cheesecake cupcakes are not only adorable, but they’re also individually portioned and perfect for parties. Not only that, but they cook in a fraction of the time and erase a lot of the stress of baking a whole cheesecake. No more worrying about cracked tops, soggy bottoms from the water bath, or undercooked, too-jiggly centers. A simple graham cracker crust is pressed into muffin tins before being topped with a simple, sweet cream cheese filling. They bake until just set, then firm up in the fridge. A brilliant trick helps ensure they cook evenly without drying out: place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven while they bake. This plays a similar role to the traditional water bath (or bain marie) employed when making a full-size cheesecake. Since cheesecake is custard, you want to create an environment where the temperature of the filling can rise super slowly, allowing it to set without scalding or burning around the edges. The pan is often placed directly in a water bath with a full-sized cheesecake; with these mini versions, since they take much less time to set, you don’t need to submerge them in water fully. Keeping a pan of hot water (I usually use a 9 x 13 casserole dish) makes the oven a humid environment and allows the custard filling to steam as it bakes, ensuring the cakes moist.
A perfect way to serve these (and any cheesecake really) is with a simple berry compote to balance out some of the richness. A trick to the easiest, yet still impressive berry sauce? Warm frozen berries of your choice in a small saucepan over low heat. Once they’re fully defrosted, add some lemon zest, a pinch of salt, a few pinches of sugar to taste, and a splash of vanilla (or maybe a splash of brandy or bitters if you’re feeling frisky). Let cool slightly, then spoon over your un-molded cheesecakes. This may be possibly the easiest dessert that looks (and tastes!) straight off the menu of an upscale restaurant. —The Editors
- For the Graham Cracker Crust
- Cheesecake Filling
cream cheese, softened
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Place a pan filled with water in the oven while it preheats (and leave it throughout the baking process). Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs. Add the butter and process to completely combine.
- Place the cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until it's is soft and creamy. Beat in the eggs and sugar until thoroughly combined. Mix in the vanilla for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is super-creamy.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture into each cupcake liner. Press down on the mixture firmly with the tips of your fingers, until the crust is firm and level, and repeat with the rest of the mixture.
- Add 2 heaping tablespoons of cream cheese mixture into each cupcake liners. Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 18 minutes, or until the cheesecake batter is set.
- Cool completely, then chill the cupcakes for at least 2 hours. Core and slice the strawberries, then top each cupcake with a few slices before serving.