Mini No-Bake Cheesecake
At other times and in other places, we have proclaimed that all things mini are cute — and hard to resist. These cheesecakes prove the rule and then some because they’re not only small and positively scrumptious, they’re no-bake and deceptively quick and easy to make. Have 10, they’re tiny, and we can (and will!) always make more!
Well, they’re no-bake-ish. We press the graham cracker crust into the muffin liners and bake them for five minutes so they fully set and have a nice crunch. You don’t even have to do that if the dog days of summer have turned your kitchen into a sweat lodge.
The rest is so easy-peasy it could be a fun collab with the kiddos: The filling and sauce come together with a little bit of dumping, whipping, folding, and spooning. We made a very simple, very classic strawberry compote to go on top of our cheesecakes, but you can use any berry. Not feeling fruity? Try a drizzle of bittersweet chocolate or caramel sauce.
For all that ease, mini no-bake cheesecakes taste amazing. The filling has a wonderful, light tangy flavor and a super creamy texture — the perfect foil for its crunchy-sweet crust and jammy topping. Their compact, three-bite size makes them the perfect ending to any celebratory meal, but we think they’d make an especially sweet summer birthday dessert.
Our tip: If you’re not having a party, the mini cheesecakes and sauce will keep in the freezer for up to 30 days. Store them separately, defrost, and add the sauce before serving.
Yield: 12 cheesecakes
Mini No-Bake Cheesecake
To make the graham cracker crust: Preheat the oven to 350º and fill the muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Pour the graham cracker crumbs into a medium bowl. Add the brown sugar and melted butter, and stir until combined. The mixture will have the consistency of wet sand.
Spoon 2 ½ tablespoons of the graham cracker mixture into each muffin liner and then use the back of the spoon to pack it down tightly.
Bake the crusts for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool until needed. Note: You can skip this step, but we found baking makes the crusts a little sturdier.
To make the cream cheese filling: Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cold heavy cream on medium high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
In a clean stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Keep beating until the cream cheese is smooth — there should not be any lumps.
Using the rubber spatula, slowly fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling until combined.
Spoon or pipe about ¼ cup of filling over each crust. If piping, use a large star or round piping tip and pipe in a swirling motion.
Refrigerate the mini cheesecakes in the pan for 3 hours and up to 2 days. If refrigerating for longer than 3 hours, cover them with plastic wrap.
To make the strawberry sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until all the cornstarch has dissolved.
In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch slurry, strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar, and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture as it cooks, breaking up some of the strawberries to release their juices.
Allow the strawberry sauce to come up to a simmer over medium-low heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the strawberries are soft and have released their juices, stirring constantly. Allow the sauce to cool completely. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
Spoon the strawberry sauce over the cheesecakes you plan to serve and enjoy immediately. The leftover sauce and cheesecakes will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Recipe adapted from: Sally's Baking Addiction