What is it that makes anything in cupcake form THAT much cuter? Don’t get me wrong, I can always go for a slice of cheesecake, but these mini versions are pretty irresistible. And talk about portion control. There’s something more satisfying about having your own little cheesecake to yourself and since it is a pretty rich dessert to begin with, I found that I was perfectly satisfied with one of these (ok, maybe two).
As you can probably tell from the slew of photos, I was a bit obsessed with how photogenic these were. Is that a thing? Can cheesecake be photogenic? I had a very hard time deciding which photos to post. I made these in a cupcake pan and then peeled the cupcake wrappers off, which left a a fun little design around each cake and mirrored the “naked” look of a regular-sized cheesecake.
Not only are these more fun to eat, but they are also easier/quicker to make. I based this recipe off of my grandma’s cheesecake recipe, which was my favorite growing up. Her recipe for a full size cake requires an hour of baking time and then several more hours of allowing the cake to come to room temperature slowly within the oven after turning it off. The minis only take about 20 minutes to bake and then some fridge time to cool down. How can you beat that? Ready to eat cheesecake in 1/4 the time, for the win!
I totally intended to make homemade strawberry and blueberry topping for these, but time became an issue and I went for the pre-made cherry pie filling instead. No one at my friend’s dinner party seemed to mind because every last one was devoured within a few hours!
- 1 1/2 cups vanilla wafers (crushed)
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 lb. cream cheese (softened)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 lb. cottage cheese (1%)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 pint sour cream
- optional: homemade or store-bought fruit topping
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line cupcake tins.
- Pulse the vanilla wafers in a food processor until finely crushed. Then add 1 1/2 cups of the crushed wafers to a small bowl. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Add a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture to 18-20 muffin cups. Use a small spoon to press the mixture down, so it is compact.
- Clean the bowl of the food processor and add the cottage cheese to it. Blend until smooth. Add the cream cheese and then the sugar and eggs and blend again.
- In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, vanilla and cornstarch. Add to food processor. Add flour, then melted butter and finally the sour cream. Pulse until well combined.
- Fill each muffin cup a little more than 3/4 full. You can almost fill them to the top, but still leave just a little room. Bake 20-25 minutes, until set. Allow to cool to room temperature and then store in the fridge. It is normal for the cheesecakes to rise while baking and then sink a bit after you take them out. This creates the perfect indent for any sort of topping. (note: these do freeze well if you want to make them ahead for an event)