Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

A group of Mini Cherry Cheesecakes showing the base graham crumb layer, middle cheesecake layer and glossy cherry pie filling topping.

Perfectly sized, perfectly sweet, perfectly decadent Mini Cherry Cheesecakes are the perfect after dinner dessert. They make an equally lovely holiday or dinner party dessert and are the perfect baby shower or brunch treat. These bite size desserts are easy to make ahead and freeze well.

Everyone loves having their own individually portioned or ‘fun sized’ dessert or main dish. Dessert recipes, like Pumpkin Cheesecake, are easy to adapt to miniature sizes but some savoury recipes can be scaled down too. French Onion Soup is always served individually while Chicken Pot Pie can be the full pie or smaller single servings.

A group of Mini Cherry Cheesecakes showing the base graham crumb layer, middle cheesecake layer and glossy cherry pie filling topping.

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

These petite Cherry Cheesecakes have been a family favorite for over twenty years. Everyone loves cherry cheesecake but not everyone wants to have a big slice. From my experience, those same people will happily gobble 2-3 or even 4 of these little bites of cheesecake heaven.

What’s not to love about tiny portions of this irresistible classic dessert? They feature a buttery graham crumb base followed by a rich and creamy cheesecake layer. Cherry pie filling is the final touch, and it brings a tart, yet sweet flavour that perfectly compliments the cheesecake.

Of course, you can choose to finish the cheesecakes with your favourite type of pie filling. I suggest apple, blueberry, or peach. A drizzle of chocolate or caramel syrup or fresh fruit are also great topping options.

A group of Mini Cherry Cheesecakes on a white platter surrounded by cherry pie filling and fresh cherries.

Fair warning, these cheesecakes are also delicious frozen so if you think you can hide them in the freezer until Christmas, you may be surprised when you open the container lid to find them half gone!

The Original Petite Cheesecake Recipe

The original petite cherry cheesecakes recipe came from a cherished family cookbook. The recipe featured a base made from a single ‘Nilla Wafer (or vanilla wafer cookie). However, the ‘Nilla brand of wafer cookies (Made by Christie) are no longer available in Canada.

My first thought was to search for vanilla wafer cookie recipes and make my own. However, that would over complicate this mini cheesecake recipe. It’s meant to be quick and easy for Holiday baking and who has time or energy to add extra steps to a seemingly uncomplicated recipe? Not me!

Ingredients required to make mini Cherry Cheesecakes.

The solution is to make the base the same way as most other cheesecake recipes, using graham crumbs or crushed graham crackers. In fact, you can even turn this mini cheesecakes recipe into cheesecake bars by pressing the crumb mixture into a 9 x 9 inch pan (more on that later).

‘Nilla Wafers are readily available in the US, so if you prefer to use them instead of making a graham cracker crumb base, go for it.

Process images showing how to fill muffin tins to make mini cheesecakes.

Ingredients for Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

This cheesecake minis recipe is just like a regular size cheesecake recipe. In other words, there are no hidden special ingredients or surprises. If you can source gluten free graham or vanilla cookies this would make a great dessert for gluten free friends and family.

  • Graham Crackers
  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese softened
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Salt
  • Lemon Juice
  • Cherry Pie Filling
A muffin tin filled with mini cheesecakes topped with vibrant red cherry pie filling.

Both graham crackers and graham cracker crumbs are available in Canada and online. Other biscuits that make great cheesecake bases include Maria biscuits, Hobnobs or digestive biscuits.

Whole biscuits are easy to crush into crumbs. Simply place them in a heavy-duty freezer bag, close the bag (removing as much air as possible) and use a rolling pin to crush the biscuits into fine crumbs.

Use either salted or unsalted melted butter for the biscuit layer and large (at least 1.97 oz/56 grams) room temperature eggs for the filling mixture. Use only full fat (not reduced fat) blocks of cream cheese, real vanilla extract, and freshly squeezed lemon juice in this recipe.

One mini Cherry Cheesecake with oozing topping sits on a stack of white plates with a platter of cheesecakes in background.

Helpful Tools for Baking Mini Cheesecakes

You won’t need many extra tools for this recipe. However, a stand mixer (or electric hand mixer) is the easiest way to blend super smooth cheese cake filling. Alternatively, use a metal whisk and a lot of elbow grease!

Next, you’ll need a regular size muffin tin and liners for the muffin cups. To press the crumb mixture into a solid base layer, you’ll need a small glass, cocktail muddler, or end of a rolling pin. Finally, you’ll need a can opener for the pie filling!

Please note this section contains useful Amazon affiliate for this post and while I make a few pennies if you use the links to purchase, it is at no extra cost to you.

A group of Mini Cherry Cheesecakes on a white platter surrounded by fresh cherries.

How to Make Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

To begin, preheat oven to 350°F.

Measure the crushed graham crackers and melted butter into a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Next, line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Place 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture in each paper liner. Press crumb mixture down to create a solid even base layer using a small glass or appropriately sized object.

To make the filling, add two packages cream cheese (softened), 1/2 cup sugar, salt, lemon juice, vanilla and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer or medium mixing bowl. Beat cream cheese mixture on low speed until it is smooth with no remaining lumps.

One mini Cherry Cheesecake with oozing topping sits on a stack of white plates with a platter of cheesecakes in background.

Finally, spoon the cream cheese mixture over the crumb bases, filling almost to the top (they don’t rise too much). Bake in 350°F oven for 15-18 minutes. Do not allow the cheesecakes to brown on top. Alternatively, if you choose to make this recipe in a 9 x 9 inch pan, bake the bars for about 20 minutes, or until the temperature measured in the center is approximately 180-185 F.

Remove cheesecakes and allow to cool to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator to set for 2 hours. If you are serving the cheesecakes immediately, spoon cherry pie filling over the top of each mini cheesecake for serving.

One mini cherry cheesecake with vibrant cherry topping on a white plate with a fork.

Can You Make Mini Cherry Cheesecakes Ahead of Time?

Yes! You can make these Mini Cherry Cheesecakes ahead of time because they freeze well.

Bake the cheesecakes then allow them to cool to room temperature. Place them in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to three days or freeze them for up to three months. To serve, remove from the fridge/freezer before dinner and top them with cherries before serving.

Bite Sized Cheesecakes Close up of a cheesecake with berries on top.
Garnish with fresh fruit for a new look.
Pinterest image featuring bite sized mini cherry cheesecakes up close and on a white platter.

Hi! I’m Bernice Hill and I’ve been the sole recipe developer, photographer, and writer at Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen for the past eleven years. It is my pleasure to share easy to follow recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and approachable for the whole family.

If you make these Mini Cherry Cheesecakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section or in a recipe rating. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please share your photos and tag me on Instagram. I hope you like this recipe!

Yield: 15

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

A group of Mini Cherry Cheesecakes showing the base graham crumb layer, middle cheesecake layer and glossy cherry pie filling topping.

Perfectly sized, perfectly sweet, perfectly decadent Mini Cherry Cheesecakes are the perfect after dinner dessert. They make an equally lovely holiday or dinner party dessert and are the perfect baby shower or brunch treat. These bite size desserts are easy to make ahead and freeze well.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 33 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Crushed Graham Crackers*
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter; melted
  • 2 (8 oz) Packs Cream Cheese; softened
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 (21 oz) Can Cherry Pie Filling

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Add the crushed graham crackers and melted butter to a medium mixing bowl and mix well.
    3. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners then add 2 Tablespoons of the crumb mixture to each. Press well into the bottom, using a small glass or appropriately sized object to help do this evenly.
    4. Add the softened cream cheese, sugar, salt, lemon juice, vanilla and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer or medium mixing bowl.
    5. Mix on low until combined and mixture is smooth with no remaining lumps.
    6. Spoon cream cheese mixture over the crumb bases, filling almost to the top (they don’t rise too much).
    7. Bake in 350°F oven for 15-18 minutes.
    8. Remove cheesecakes and allow to cool to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator to set for 2 hours.
    9. Spoon cherry pie filling over the top of each mini cheesecake for serving.











Notes

*or 2 boxes 'Nilla wafers. If using wafers for the crust, simply omit the butter and place one 'Nilla wafer at the bottom of each muffin paper before adding the cheesecake filling. Bake as directed.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 113mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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36 comments

  1. Dee

    I love the idea of these mini cheesecakes. Everyone has a different favorite topping so its a great way to customize for your guests.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes!! What is your favourite topping Dee?

  2. Jenny

    These… should be illegal! I LOVE cheesecake like this. So much flavor in a bite! So perfect for the holiday season!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Haha, busted! I’m glad you like these Jenny.

  3. Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    These are just so addictive and not fair that I had to make these and also finish half of them myself. Not going to make this in advance at all as I am sure that they won’t last till the day of the party. So delicious and such a wonderful idea.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes! It’s true…also hiding them in the freezer doesn’t work because they are also delicious frozen!

  4. Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer

    These are so iconic and perfect for the holidays. Such a delicious and easy recipe that I swear my hubby can eat his weight in! It’s just not the holidays without this!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      That’s so great to hear Lori. They are such a beloved holiday treat.

  5. Loreto and Nicoletta

    Hi Bernice, we love the idea of having mini individual cheesecakes
    Love that you gave options for the crust and topping to make it your own. Never tried the Nilla wafers, may just have too!
    Great recipe, and looks delicious!
    Thanks for sharing! ❤️ 😍

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      The Nilla wafers certainly made the recipe a bit quicker but they taste the same with the crumb crust.

  6. Erin

    These cheesecakes look so perfect for Christmas! The crust looks especially irresistible. Can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes! The crust is my favourite part! Merry Christmas Erin.

  7. Carrie Robinson

    I just love little bite-sized dessert ideas like this for the holidays! 🙂 They are perfect for entertaining. And so pretty too!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      They really do light up the Christmas treat table! Thanks for stopping by Carrie.

  8. Sean

    These mini cheesecakes are a wonderful dessert for my holiday party this weekend. I love how easy they are to make.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I’m attending a holiday potluck this weekend too and I know they’ll be the first dessert to disappear! Happy baking!

  9. Elaine

    This is my favorite mini cheesecake recipe. I made it this past weekend and I’ll be making it again at the holidays!!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Your friends and family are very lucky indeed. Thanks for trying out these cheesecakes Elaine.

  10. Gloria

    My husband loves cherry cheesecake. This mini version of perfect for parties. I know he will love them.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      He definitely will…and PS your husband has great taste Gloria!

  11. Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes - Dish 'n' the Kitchen

    […] wafers. Unfortunately, they are no longer available in Canada so I have started making these and my Bite Sized Berry Cheesecakes with Graham Cracker Crumbs. I either crush the crackers or buy them crushed in a box, ready to […]

    Reply

  12. chefkreso

    Bite Size Berry Cheesecakes look so delicious and mouthwatering! 😃

    Reply

  13. Teresa

    I love community cookbooks! My mother has a very well loved one that she uses all year long, but especially at Christmastime. Those little cheesecakes are so cute and classic! It’s dangerous to know that they are good frozen, though – I’d be tempted to sample one or two before Christmas day.

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      That’s why I just made them yesterday!

  14. annika

    I love cheesecake and when they look as cute as this… it’s simply irresistible!

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      totally agree! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  15. Cassie @ Crumb Kitchen

    Cheesecake in portable form is simply the best idea. No longer are we stuck with eating cheesecake at dining room tables…now we can eat it all the time, anywhere. 😉 The best idea or the worst? Haha. Great recipe, Bernice!

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      The best….I think. Talk to me in a couple of weeks, lol.

  16. Isabelle @ Crumb

    These little cheesecakes look so adorable! Not to mention that there’s nothing better than a) a tasty dessert you can stash in the freezer for another day, and b) a tasty dessert that’s small enough for you to eat the whole thing (or, ummm… two whole ones) and not feel guilty.

    Reply

  17. Dr. Kimberley | Healthy Life Redesign

    These are so cute Bernice! My grandma used to make delicious mini cheesecakes that were similar to this and I loved them!

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      I just started putting the fresh berries on last year…we always used just pie filling previously but I kind of prefer the fresh berries.
      What did your grandma use as a topper?

  18. The FoodOlic

    Fruits and cheese makes the best desserts! I would so eat 3 of those beauties in one shot! Yum!

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      It’s been known to happen…

  19. Lenny

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It is a lost classic for me. We learned this recipe at a tupperware party!

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Really? wow, I haven’t been to one of those in ages. I wonder if they still happen?

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