These Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes feature an easy homemade graham cracker crust topped with a smooth and creamy cheesecake filling and strawberry sauce. Perfect for an easy spring or summer dessert!
Last week I shared my favorite recipe for homemade strawberry sauce and today I wanted to share a simple way to use it with these mini strawberry cheesecakes.
Since these mini cheesecakes need to chill in the refrigerator overnight, they’re a perfect treat to make ahead of time. You can also prep the strawberry sauce (or your favorite topping) in advance and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve them.
I typically use my mini cheesecake pan for recipes like this one, but I figure most people probably have a muffin pan on hand. If you have a mini cheesecake pan, you can use that too just see my baking tips section.
To make these mini cheesecakes, you’ll start with a homemade graham cracker crust. The crust is just a simple mixture of graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. You’ll press the mixture into a muffin pan lined with cupcakes liners and let the crusts bake for just a few minutes.
If you want to make the crust a little bit easier, you can buy a box of graham cracker crumbs instead of crushing your own. No one will ever be able to tell a difference and it saves a little time.
Once you bake the crusts, you’ll mix up the cheesecake filling which is just a simple mixture of cream cheese, sour cream, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and a couple of eggs. Be sure to set your ingredients out ahead of time so they are at room temperature. This will ensure a much smoother and creamier cheesecake filling.
While the cheesecakes are cooling, you can prep the strawberry sauce. One thing to note is that the strawberry sauce recipe will make about 1 and 1/4 cup of sauce, but you’ll only need about 3/4 cup. You can save any leftover strawberry sauce and use it on pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or stir it into some yogurt.
The strawberries will break down as the sauce cooks, but if you want your sauce a little thinner you can either mash the berries as they cook or puree some of the mixture. I blended about 1/4 of my strawberry sauce then mixed it all together so it was a little thinner, but still had chunks of strawberries.
Once the cheesecakes and strawberry sauce have chilled, you can top the mini cheesecakes with the sauce. I find that about 1 tablespoon of strawberry sauce is the perfect amount.
Baking Tips for Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes
- If you want to make this recipe a little easier, you can buy a box of graham cracker crumbs for the crust. If using graham crackers, you’ll need about 8 full-sheets.
- Be sure to set your cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs out ahead of time so they are at room temperature. This will ensure a much creamier and smoother cheesecake filling.
- I used a regular 12-count muffin pan for this recipe. You can also use a mini cheesecake pan and adjust the baking time for the cheesecake filling. If you do use a mini cheesecake pan, I would suggest making about 16 mini cheesecakes.
- You can serve these mini cheesecakes in the liners. If you prefer to remove them first, place the cheesecakes in the freezer for 30 minutes or so to make it easier to remove the liners.
- 1 cup (120 grams) graham cracker crumbs, about 8 full-sheet graham crackers
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter, melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup (75 grams) sour cream, room temperature
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, stems removed and sliced (or 2 and ¼ cups frozen sliced strawberries)
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line each cavity of a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
- If using full-sheets of graham crackers, add 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 muffin pan, making sure to press each one down firmly into one even layer. Bake at 325°F for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool.
- Keep oven temperature at 325°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract and continue mixing until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Evenly distribute the cheesecake filling between all 12 cavities of the 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 1 hour. Carefully remove the mini cheesecakes from the muffin pan, store in an airtight container, and chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- In a medium-sized sauce pan, stir together the strawberries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice until well combined.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries release their juices and the mixture starts to boil (about 5-8 minute for fresh berries and 8-10 minutes for frozen). Then, slightly reduce the heat to low-medium heat and allow the strawberries to continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened (about 15-20 minutes). If you prefer your sauce a little thinner, gently mash some of the strawberries as they're cooking or you can puree part of the mixture in a blender once it's cooled.
- Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and pour in a glass container and allow to cool completely, then cover tightly and refrigerate.
- Once the cheesecakes are chilled, top each cheesecake with 1 tablespoon of strawberry sauce. Serve and enjoy!
Store mini cheesecakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezing instructions: Mini cheesecakes will freeze well for up to 3 months. Store in a freezer bag or container, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Add the strawberry sauce topping once the cheesecakes have thawed.