Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
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!
I have a serious thing for mini cheesecakes and these look downright heavenly! I love the citrus-berry combination — these are so perfect for spring and summer!
Glad I’m not alone on the mini cheesecake thing, Marcie! 🙂 Thank you!
I have made this recipe before using a muffin pan and it was so delicious! I was wondering if it would still taste the same if i made it in one big spring form pan instead of individual minis? How would i adjust the baking time? What size of spring form would you use?
So glad you liked the mini cheesecakes, Tara! Are you wanting to make a full sized cheesecake in a springform pan? If so, this wouldn’t be enough batter and it would be quite thin. You’d likely need to double the recipe, but I haven’t tried it before so it’s hard to say.
I also have this recipe for lemon raspberry cheesecake bars that’s similar to these mini cheesecakes (you can leave out the swirl), but baked in an 8-inch square pan instead.
Have you ever tried making the crust using the lemon Oreo cookies? They’re a vanilla cookie with a lemon cream filling. I am a lemon fanatic! Lemon bars, cakes, cookies, pies… you name it!
Making this recipe for Christmas dinner. Can’t wait to see how they come out!
I haven’t tried it with these yet, but I think it’s a great idea! You could just use the whole lemon Oreo cookie for the crust or make a crust with the Oreos and some butter. I have a mini oreo cheesecake recipe here: http://www.livewellbakeoften.com/mini-oreo-cheesecakes/. You can use that crust with this lemon cheesecake filling and use lemon Oreos instead of regular. Hope that helps!
For the Mini Lemon Cheesecakes – What size are the mini cheesecakes? Is there a certain brand of mini pan that you use? Also, about how full do you fill the pan? Half full? 3/4 full? To the top?
Hi, Karen! Here’s a link to the cheesecake pan I use, it shows the dimensions too: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006SJZJ8?selectObb=new. I fill each cavity almost all the way full, maybe between 3/4-top.
If I wanted to make these in a mini muffin pan how long would you recommend that I bake them?
I haven’t tried it before, so I’m honestly not sure. For a regular muffin pan, the baking time remains the same. For a mini muffin pan, I would guess maybe 3 minutes for the crust and 8-10 minutes for the filling. I would just keep an eye on them and take them out when the tops of the cheesecakes look set.
Would you have a no bake cheesecake recipe that you would share in a mini size as I have about 35 people for dessert
Hi, Helen! I have some no-bake cheesecake recipes on my site, but I don’t have a mini version. What kind of pan will you be using? A mini muffin pan, regular muffin pan, or mini cheesecake pan?
Why isn’t there any sour cream in this recipe, as it is very similar to the yummy mini key lime pie and Oreo cheesecakes I’ve already made and loved? Those recipes have sour cream.
Hi, Julie! I had a few readers mention that the mini key lime cheesecakes completely sunk for them. Although I’ve never had that issue with that recipe, I decided to re-work this one and not use sour cream in it. However, if you’ve had success with the key lime cheesecakes I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use lemon juice and zest in those!
Hi Danielle. I’ve tried 2 batches already of the mini lemon cheesecake and twice they sunk. The first time after 25 min till the top sets soon as came out of the oven they sunk and second batch while they were in the oven. I did double the recipe thinking this is piece of cake to make but I underestimated them. My batter was kinda runny can you please compare the batter to something so I know and for doubling the recipe I put 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks is that about right? I need to know what I did wrong or I’m going to keep on trying this recipe until I succeed but I don’t want to waste time and money ?
I’m so sorry to hear that, Jackie! I’ve never tried doubling this particular recipe, so I’m not quite sure if that’s why they’re sinking or not. This batter is a little thinner than regular cheesecake batter because of the lemon juice. Do the cheesecakes just sink slightly or are they sinking quite a bit? Are you using a muffin pan or mini cheesecake pan? Did you make sure to use the blocks of cream cheese and not cream cheese spread? And have you tried just baking a single batch of this recipe without doubling it?
Hi. They sunk quite a bit and that’s what I was going to try next a single batch. Yes I ordered the same mini pan as yours and used cream cheese blocks. Thank you for replying Danielle. I will update you on my next try .
Sometimes if you mix the eggs in a little too much it can incorporate more air into the cheesecake batter and cause it to fall. When you mix in the egg and egg yolk, make sure to mix them until just combined. Another reason that cheesecakes can fall is because of sudden temperature changes. You could cook them until the center is slightly jiggly, turn off the oven, and leave the door open slightly so they continue to cook and gradually cool at the same time.
Hi Danielle! I just made these using a muffin pan and the cheesecakes came out amazing! I love the strong lemon flavour! Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂
So glad you liked the mini cheesecakes, Ivy! 🙂
These were the most delicious cheesecakes I’ve ever had. Loved the tips and hints and they came out perfect! They didn’t last long at all. Thanks for sharing the recipe. ?
So glad you liked the cheesecakes, Hayley!
I made these last night and they were such a hit at Easter brunch today! Followed the recipe, though added a bit extra lemon zest for extra lemony flavour, and they came out great. We don’t have these cookies available in my country so I used a sweet neutral vanilla-ee cookie (tip to press the crust down firmly use the bottom of a glass). Baked the cheesecake at 160C for 21 mins and they didn’t sink or crack, came out just set and perfect. I made them in normal cupcake tray size with paper liners and they came out of the liners easily after sitting in the cold overnight. Topped mine with a homemade raspberry compote and fresh made whipped cream, these complimented the mini lemon cheesecakes wonderfully. Thank you for this recipe, will definitely make it again!
Can you overbeat the cream cheese/sugar/lemon mixture? Or is it just after adding the eggs that you need to mix slowly and carefully? I’ve made the recipe twie and both times they both sank and cracked. They taste good, but the filling is a smaller layer than the crust, and I filled the mini cheesecake pan almost to the top. Also, I had enough fililng left to make 12 more. Is that normal? So I made the crust recipe twice, but used a single batch of filling to make 24 filled to the top of the pan. I’m using the pan you have listed above. Could mixing too much have caused the filling to double in quantity?
I’m not sure that mixing too much would cause the filling to double in quantity. Did you double-check the measurements for the filling?
Hi Danielle! You’re recipe is absolutely amazing!
I was wondering if you knew the nutrition facts of the recipe?
Thanks so much! 🙂
So glad you like the mini cheesecakes, Jess! I’m not sure about the nutrition information, but you can plug it into an online calculator to get an estimate.
If I wanted to make a small batch, could I halve the recipe? Thanks Danielle.
That would be fine, but it may be a bit hard to do with the egg and egg yolk though. You can make the full batch and freeze any extras.
Hello Danielle, I made the mini’s this week, and the only change I made was changing to fresh lime juice, and added a total of approximately 8 tablespoons of juice (I really wanted a strong citrus flavor!). The consistency was thin, but adequate for the 12 cupcake liners. However, I also encountered the sinking of the cheesecake. It was very disappointing as they are intended for resale. The citrus flavor was fabulous!!! But they sink and were not presentable. Aside from the lemon to lime, and increase in juice amount, I followed the recipe exactly (brick cream cheese). Any suggestions? The taste and consistency is great, but they do not look good. Thanks so much, Leslie
Hi, Leslie. The reason they sunk is likely because you used too much juice in them. If you used almost 3x as much juice and didn’t adjust the other ingredients, they are more than likely not going to turn out right. I would recommend sticking with the 3 tablespoons of lemon/lime juice and just adding more zest for extra citrus flavor.
Hi! I just tried this recipe and my cheesecakes sank ? any clue what I can do different??
So sorry you had trouble with the recipe, Andrianna! There are a couple of reasons cheesecakes can sink. One could be that they were slightly under baked, you may check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer or increase the baking time by a few minutes. Another reason could be that the egg was over mixed into the batter, which incorporates more air and causes the cheesecakes to fall. If you make them again, I would recommend mixing in the egg on low speed until just combined. You also want to be sure to use the blocks/bricks of cream cheese and not the cream cheese in a tub. Hope that helps!
I want to try an eggless version of this cheesecake
Can you please help me out?
I’ve never tested this recipe or any of my other baked cheesecake recipes without eggs, so I can’t really give any suggestions. I wish I could be more help, but I’m really not sure how these would turn out without eggs.
Do you think this recipe would work if I added some fresh chopped cherries to the cream cheese mixture? I was planning to make these to bring to work but I got given a lot of cherries so I want to use them.
I would actually recommend adding a cherry swirl on top or making a cherry sauce and adding it on top.
I can’t wait to make these for this weekend! Is there a trick to piping the whipped cream on the top of the mini cakes to make it stiff enough to stay? Like beating in powdered sugar or something? I would love to give them the beautiful topping as well.
I just used my regular whipped cream recipe here and it holds up well. I do have a stabilized whipped cream recipe here if you want one that will hold up longer.
Mini Lemon Cheesecakes are delicious! I make them in regular cupcake pan with liners and they turn out perfect every time. I think they taste even better on the second or third day. Perfect summer time dessert.
For freezing, do I stick them in the freezer after they’ve been in the fridge overnight? I wanted to make this for Christmas and I usually make it the night before but because I have so much to do, I was thinking of making these 5 days ahead. I usually make two batches – my sister’s family always asks for extra so they can enjoy them 2-3 days later.
I have made this recipe so many times and are ALWAYS a big hit! Thanks for this amazing recipe!
Yes, I would wait until they’ve chilled in the refrigerator, then freeze them!
These mini cheesecakes are the best ever. I am asked to make them at every holiday and family gathering. Just the perfect amount of lemon.
Brilliant super easy very tasty. First time making cheesecake it was a big hit