These Mini Lemon Cheesecakes feature an easy homemade graham cracker crust topped with a smooth and creamy lemon cheesecake filling. Top them with some fresh whipped cream and berries for an easy dessert everyone will love!
I think it’s safe to say that the mini cheesecake obsession is still going strong! It started with these adorable mini Oreo cheesecakes, which so many of you loved. Since summer is almost here and the only thing I can think about is lemon desserts, I decided to make a mini lemon cheesecake version to share with you.
I took a batch of these to my sister’s housewarming party and they were the first thing to disappear. If you’re a lemon obsessed person like myself, I think you’ll absolutely adore these easy cheesecake bites! Plus, how cute are these with some fresh whipped cream and berries on top?
I really love these mini cheesecakes because they’re such an easy dessert and perfect for gatherings, potlucks, and so much more!
These are the perfect mini cheesecakes for a crowd! You don’t need many ingredients to make them, and they come together fairly quickly. Here’s what we’ll be using to make the best lemon cheesecake bites:
- Graham crackers: Either pulse full sheets of graham crackers in a food processor to make your own graham cracker crumbs, or purchase pre-made graham cracker crumbs.
- Butter: I always use unsalted butter, but salted butter should be fine in this recipe too.
- Granulated sugar: Used to sweeten both the crust and the cheesecake filling.
- Cream cheese: It’s best to use bricks of cream cheese and avoid cream cheese spread in a tub.
- Lemon juice and zest: Use fresh lemon juice in this recipe for the best results and taste. To get more juice out of your lemons, roll them firmly with your hand on the counter first. If you prefer a little less lemon flavor you can scale down a little on the lemon zest.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Egg and egg yolk: I usually only incorporate 1 egg into my mini cheesecakes, but I loved the extra richness that the extra yolk adds to these.
How to Make Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
To make these, you’ll start out with the simple homemade graham cracker crust: graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. You’ll mix it up and press it into your pan, then bake it for about 5 minutes while you make the filling. I actually used a mini cheesecake pan for these, here’s the same pan that I own and here’s another one that’s similar.
For the cheesecake filling, you’ll start by beating the cream cheese until it’s nice and smooth. Then, mix in the granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until fully combined. I suggest stopping to scrape down the sides of your bowl at this point and mixing it again to ensure that everything is well combined.
The last step is to mix in the egg and egg yolk on low-speed until just combined. You want to avoid over mixing the egg as this can incorporate more air into the cheesecake batter and cause them to collapse.
Simply spoon the lemon cheesecake filling into the pre-baked crusts and bake until the tops of the cheesecakes are set. These easy cheesecake bites will need to cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge for a few hours. And then you can eat them!
Can I Make Mini Cheesecakes in Muffin Tins?
Don’t have a mini cheesecake pan? That’s okay! You can use a muffin/cupcake pan, just make sure to line the pan with cupcake liners for easy removal. The baking time for the crust and filling all remain the same.
I’ve included a picture below of what these mini cheesecakes with a graham cracker crust look like when baked in a muffin pan. They do have some grooves from the cupcake liners, but they still look pretty and taste delicious!
Can I Prep Mini Cheesecakes in Advance?
Yes! These are such a perfect treat to make ahead of time. You can make these the night before and refrigerate them overnight so dessert is ready to go the next day.
Can I Use This Recipe to Make a Full-Sized Cheesecake?
If you want to make a full-sized cheesecake in a springform pan, this recipe wouldn’t make enough batter and it would be quite thin. You’d likely need to double the recipe for a full-sized cheesecake.
Note that I also have this recipe for lemon raspberry cheesecake bars that’s similar to these mini cheesecakes, but baked in an 8-inch square pan instead (you can leave out the swirl if desired).
- You want to make sure your cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature before getting started. This will ensure a super smooth and creamy cheesecake filling with no lumps.
- Beat the egg and egg yolk in at the very end on low speed until just combined. I always include this in my recipe, but it’s important not to over mix your eggs. Over mixing the eggs can incorporate air into the batter and cause your cheesecakes to fall quite a bit when you take them out of the oven.
- Don’t overbake your mini cheesecakes! You want to bake them for about 17 to 20 minutes or until the tops are set. The cheesecakes will continue to firm up as they cool and once they’re chilled.
- This recipe calls for an egg yolk. You can save the egg white and use it in these strawberry cream cheese turnovers or these candied pecans. Both are recipes I really love as well!
More Easy Cheesecake Recipes to Try!
- Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes
- Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes
- Classic Mini Cheesecakes
- Mini Lemon Blueberry Cheesecakes
- Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
For the crust:
- 6 full sheets (90 grams) graham crackers (or 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs)
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter , melted
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
For the lemon cheesecake filling:
- 12 ounces brick-style cream cheese , softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg , room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk , room temperature
To make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray each cavity of a 12-count mini cheesecake pan well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. If using a regular 12-count muffin pan, I suggest lining each cavity with cupcake liners for easier removal.
- Add the graham crackers to a blender or food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Scoop the crumbs into a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and sugar, and mix until everything is well combined. Evenly distribute the mixture between all 12 cavities in the mini cheesecake pan, making sure to press each one down firmly into one even layer.
- Bake at 325°F for 5 minutes, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool. Keep oven temperature at 325°F.
To make the cheesecake filling:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the granulated sugar and mix until well combined. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed, then mix in the egg and egg yolk on low speed until just combined.
- Evenly distribute the cheesecake filling between all 12 cavities of the mini cheesecake pan (or muffin pan) and return to the oven.
- Bake at 325°F for 17-20 minutes or until the tops of the cheesecakes are set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight. Once the cheesecakes are chilled, remove them from the pan. Top with whipped cream and fresh berries if desired, serve, and enjoy!