I have to post this recipe in honor of my mother since it’s 4th of July week. I think she’s made these every year on the 4th for as long as I can remember. We made them for lots of occasions, because they’re quick, easy, and yummy, but they’re especially fun on the 4th of July because they’re easy to decorate with red, white, and blue! They’re great for pot-lucks, block parties, baby and wedding showers, and things like that because they’re already packaged in nice single servings.  And the great thing is that you can top them with whatever you want.  After they’ve chilled they have a perfect well in the center.  Fill with lemon curd, chocolate, caramel, whipped cream and berries or any flavor of canned pie filling.  And see below for my secret “no crust” trick- a cookie!

Pie filling makes it quick and easy
or go for a little more decadent with ganacheand a strawberry

Or one of my favorites, sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries


  1. 1
    eve says:

    Awesome! I’m going to have to try this. Do you know of (or does anyone) know of a similar recipe but instead of Nilla Wafers, yellow cake mix is used? They were incredible and I want to find that recipe again. But I will have to try this one. Thanks! ps, the Brazilian lemonade, totally a hit!

  2. 2
    Sara says:

    eve, I’ve never made these with cake mix, but I do make crust with cake mix for another dessert. Basic cake mix crust is just one box cake mix with one cube of butter cut in. I bet you could do that, although you’d want to pre-bake the crust first before adding the cheesecake. I bet that would be super yummy!

  3. 3
    Eric says:

    very good, they seem to have perfect colors for the july 4th, maybe we should make them!

  4. 4
    Kate says:

    Those look seriously awesome!! I can’t wait to try them!

  5. 5
    Alisa says:

    Yummy! I might have to bring this to the family get together.

    How come i can’t vote on your polls? It wouldn’t work on the pizza one either.

  6. 6
    Jessie says:

    Yum! I totally know what I’m bringing to my family bbq on the 4th. And I have a feeling they’ll be the hit of the party.

  7. 7
    Sara says:

    Alisa, someone else just told me they couldn’t vote in our polls either. Hmmm…did you try it in a different browser? That’s weird.

    If you aren’t able to vote- post a comment here. I’m curious to know how big of a problem it is.

  8. 8
    Heather says:

    How many cheesecake tarts does this recipe make? They look soo good.

  9. 9
    Sara says:

    Oh thanks for the reminder Heather! I meant to write how many it made, but I was going to double check because I couldn’t remember (even though I’ve made these like a thousand times!) if it was 12 or 24. Just looking at the recipe ingredients, I *think* that it’s 12.

    If anyone makes them this week, come back and tell us! lol.

  10. 10
    becca says:

    Mmmm… Cheescake tarts… these DEFINITELY remind me of summer time and mom 🙂 They are SO good and so easy, the perfect combo!

  11. 11
    rubyjade says:

    I wasn’t either to vote either, but I’m here!

    Those tarts look SERIOUSLY delish. Too bad my hubbie doesn’t like cheesecake. Then again, I guess I could just eat all of them…

  12. 12
    ccmommy says:

    Could you use the mini wafers and use mini muffin tins? They looks so yummy, but I’d like to make them smaller for my kids.

  13. 13
    Sara says:

    ccmommy- you could totally make them in a mini tin. And let me just say that they would be SO so cute! I’m totally obsessed with mini-versions of food, lol. You’d just have to adjust the baking time a bit because they wouldn’t take as long to cook.

    If you try that, let us know how it goes!

  14. 14
    Sara says:

    Okay, scratch that. The recipe makes 24! Kate just made them and told me, lol. When I made them for the photos, I must have made a half-batch. Also, sorry I forgot to put the oven temp in there. That’s what I get for posting at the last minute! Thanks to Kate for editing all that for me, lol.

  15. 15
    Kate says:

    I think I’m a liar. This makes closer to 12. I’m looking at the ones I made last night and they’re a little…small.

  16. 16
    MollyE says:

    Sara I am making this tomorrow for a 4th of July BBQ, so excited. Also, I made your flank stk last night, to die for!!! Seriously, loving this blog.

  17. 17
    Katie Wells says:

    Look at this Sara

    My sister Molly has a food blog
    Your website is her post today!!

    She does the cooking group for her ward and was telling me that a lot of ladies who reference her cooking blog will be using yours!

  18. 18
    Jason Evans says:

    Made these for our Fourth of July festivities and they were a hit! Thanks for the great recipe, I’ll be using it a lot.

  19. 19
    Heather says:

    Turned out great! I think they’d all disappeared in about 15 minutes after we set them out.

  20. 20
    Meagan says:

    I made these this week, and they were so good I made them a second time! Super easy (love that they only have a few ingredients) and they looked really cute.

    I made one batch in the mini muffin tins, with mini nilla wafers. They still took 15+ minutes to cook, but they were really great.

  21. 21
    Courtney says:

    These were great! Huge hit and just too adorable!

    btw…I got 12.

  22. 22
    Heidi says:

    I have been trying to find a recipe for these for years. I made them for the 4th and they were great! (Even if I forgot to do the Nilla Wafers) Thanks for the great recipe!

  23. 23
    The Davis Family says:

    I made these last week and they just DID NOT turn out. Probably my lack of skill, I know. The flavor was really good, but the texture was..weird. I can’t explain it. They were a little mushy too. Do you think maybe I under cooked them? How do you tell if they are done? I cooked them for 20 minutes. Any suggestions?

  24. 24
    Sara says:

    Ya know, these *will* have a weird texture if the cooking time is off. If they’re overcooked they will be a little rubbery and kind of fall apart, and if they’re undercooked they’ll be kind of mushy and wet. So I’d say there’s a good chance it was just that. You want them to be set on the top, so you shouldn’t see jiggling. And while you don’t want them to really brown, the edges will start to turn golden when they’re done. I hope that helps a little. I hate it when I try something new (especially when other people say it’s good) and it doesn’t turn out! Hopefully it was just a fluke and they’ll be better next time!

  25. 25
    Lisa says:

    MollyE made these for us and YUM!! I had to make them again because they were so good!

  26. 26
    Cindy says:

    I made these for Valentine's Day in some cute heart shaped tins I found at Target. I put some raspberry and chocolate on top. Super cute and totally delicious! I took them to work and they were gone in 10 minutes!

  27. 27
    Dawn Trott-Keller says:

    Just wondering if it will make a difference if you use regular baking cups vs. foil. Any advice?

  28. 28
    eve says:

    Thanks for the help, Sara. Sorry, I thought I'd said thanks earlier.

  29. 29
    Adrien and Marty says:

    Just tried this recipe and it turned out great! I actually baked a chocolate chip cookie in the bottom instead of a wafer and drizzled chocolate on top. Yum!!! Thanks for the recipe.

  30. 30
    Meridee says:

    These look great. I can't wait to make them this weekend. I'm wondering when it calls for tin liners do you use the white one inside of the tin too? I wondered when I made the tres leche muffins also.

  31. 31
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Meridee- ditch the paper part. Well, I actually save them and use them for other muffins or cupcakes. But they just put them in there to help separate the foils.

  32. 32
    Natasha says:

    These look delicious and super easy! I'll have to try them this Sunday for our break the fast meal.

    (Also as a side note, my roommate was telling me that her sister, Tara S. and her husband Josh, are in your ward in Louisiana. Small world).

  33. 33
    Stefanie Graves says:

    Sorry if this is a ridiculous questions, but are these regular sized cupcakes or mini? I realize the title is mini, but I don't know that applies to the fact that they are miniature cakes. 😀 If they are mini cupcakes, does it matter if I make them regular sized or does that mess them up?

  34. 34
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Stefanie, I can see why you would question that, sorry if it wasn't clear! They are just normal sized muffin tins 🙂

  35. 35
    Barrie says:

    I made these last night for the 4th, and of course I had to try one to make sure they were good. OH MY GOD!! So good! I will use this recipe for cheesecake of all sizes. It was so simple, cheesecake is always daunting to me. I ran out of muffin papers so I have to go out and get more but I'm going to make another 1/2 of the recipe too!! I'm going to top them with fresh, homemade whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries. So delicious. Thanks!!

  36. 36
    finnchick says:

    Where can I find the little tins for this recipe?

  37. 37
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    finnchick- those are actually just foil cupcake liners. You can find them in the baking section of most grocery stores. Although every once and a while I find them in the section near the actual foil as well. Hope that helps!

  38. 38
    Bethany Dorn says:

    These were great! Topped them with the strawberry sauce and a little whipped cream!

  39. 39
    Natasha says:

    I've made these twice now and both times everyone loved them! There were 24 of them (I doubled the recipe) and they still were not enough! It's a keeper!

  40. 40
    maile says:

    I cannot wait to try these. I am the only one in my family who likes cheesecake, do they freexe well for the left overs?

  41. 41
    Ang says:

    I just modified this recipe to suit the season (and the ingredients I had on hand). In place of the Nilla Wafers I used TJ's Triple Ginger Snaps. I left out the lemon juice and instead folded mixed in about 1/4+ cup Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix (I accidentally opened a can instead of pure pumpkin and wanted to try these with the leftover mix). I also added 1/4 t. nutmeg. I cut in another 1/2-1 t. per tart of the pumpkin mix after I put the batter in the muffin tins. Despite some baking drama, they're really delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  42. 42
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    What a great idea Ang- I love it!

  43. 43
    Holly says:

    Hmmm, maybe these will work in the jars with a traditional crust. Think that's the game plan for tomorrow. 🙂

  44. 44
    Anna says:

    I’m a little late on this, but these are amazing! I love cheesecake and have been disappointed with the taste of other cupcake sized treats like this, but I decided to try these and they are amazing!! I ended up tasting a bit of the batter and could not wait for them to get out of the oven. I actually couldn’t wait for them to cool down either as i ate one with a spoon fresh out of the oven. I got the thumbs up from my husband too, who also was too impatient to wait for them to cool. I think these are my new go-to treat.

  45. 45
    Kristina says:

    I just made the mini version of these… It made 46 mini tarts and they baked for 12 minutes until they were done. Great recipe! Can’t wait to take them to the baby shower tomorrow. Thanks, gals!

  46. 46
    Laurie says:

    These look scrumptiously delicious! I am planning to make them for a 25th anniversary party so the silver foil will be perfect. I was wondering though, to make the tiny or bite-size ones (2″) how many will you get out of one batch?

  47. 47
    Laurie says:

    OMG! am I blind? I just saw Kristina’s post and she said it makes 46. DUH me! Thank you so much.

  48. 48
    Amy says:

    I just discovered your blog and love it. I made these last week for a friend’s birthday and they were delicious! I did have to cook them longer though, more like 25 min. Maybe my oven is weird? Anyway, we ate them plain but I really want to try the berries with whipped cream. However I want to make them in advance and am worried about the whipped cream collapsing. Do you have any tricks to avoid this?

  49. 49
    Lena says:

    These turned out great! I used pre-packaged mini tender flake tarts because I needed to whip up something fast, big hit!

  50. 50
    Melanie says:

    I just made this mini cheesecakes and OMG!!! they are delicious! i didnt wanted to bake them the batter by it self was delious! thank you for sharing!

  51. 51
    Melanie says:

    I made this recipe for Thanksgiving!! and it was a winner.. I couldnt stop eating them. Great recipe, Thanks for sharing!

  52. 52
    Kendra says:

    Is there a way to make a crust from grahm crackers instead of vanilla wafers

  53. 53
    Cassi says:

    I just made bite-size versions of these in my mini muffin tin. I used purple mini vanilla wafers for the crust and they were perfect for Valentine’s Day! I couldn’t find mini foil cupcake liners so I just used paper ones, but they worked great! Thanks!

  54. 54
    Anita Beil says:

    These sound awesome. Can I freeze these? I am hosting an engagement party, I would love to make these at least 4 days prior.

    • 54.1
      sara says:

      I’ve never frozen these, so I honestly don’t know. That being said, most cheesecakes freeze really well so I image it would work great. You might want to put a graham cracker crust in there though, if you freeze them, because the little nilla wafer might get to soggy.

      • Anita Beil says:

        Good idea. I think i will make them ahead of time… like tomorrow see how they turn out. party’s not till end of August!! Thanks

  55. 55
    Vanessa says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe! I just put these in the oven for my nephews 2nd birthday tomorrow. He loves cheesecake and what better way to serve them than as tarts for a two year old?! Thanks so much 🙂

  56. 56
    Sara says:

    Just made this last night. They are incredible. I did use a graham cracker crust because I may be freezing the leftovers (then this morning after having one for breakfast I realized there probably won’t be leftovers – Ha). Thanks for the easy and very yummy cheesecake recipe.

  57. 57
    Lynda P. says:

    I have used another recipe for mini cheesecakes for years and this one tops it! They are more like a real cheesecake and the lemon juice makes a nice flavor enhancer. Glad to have found it. They were a big hit.

  58. 58
    Alina Chapskaya says:

    Can I use regular cupcake holders or does it have to be the foil ones?:)

  59. 59
    Brianna says:

    Are you using a regular muffin tin or a mini muffin tin? I can’t tell from the pictures.

  60. 60
    Brianna says:

    Just kidding, I read the other comments. I swear I’ve made these before in my mini muffin tin, but I don’t remember how I adjusted the cook time. Any suggestions?

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