Mini Cheesecakes

These mini cheesecakes are one of the desserts I make the most often! They’re incredibly simple and the recipe makes one dozen perfect mini cheesecakes. The tops naturally indent as they cool, making them perfect for topping with anything you can imagine- salted caramel, chocolate, lemon curd, whipped cream, etc. My Mom made these easy mini cheesecakes every single 4th of July for as long as I can remember and always topped them with cherry and blueberry canned pie filling. I love them with fresh red white and blue berries as well- the options are endless!

mini cheesecakes on a platter

Ingredient Notes

  • Nilla Wafers – These little cookies make the perfect crust when dropped in the bottom of a cupcake liner. Brand name or generic will be just fine. In the details below, you’ll find two different ways you can do the crust- one involves simply a single Nilla wafer cookie, and the other is a quick crust.
  • Cupcake Liners – I find that foil cupcake liners work well. When you purchase foil liners, they come with paper dividers that can be discarded, or saved for a different use. These gold liners in my photos are from Walmart- they’re foil on the outside and paper on the inside and they worked great.
  • Cream Cheese – You will need softened full fat or Neufchatel/low fat cream cheese. Avoid fat free. I do find using full-fat cream cheese produces a richer, creamier cheesecake.
  • Toppings – The options are endless here! Pie filling makes a quick and easy topper. Ganache and a berry is always a good combo, as is caramel sauce or lemon curd. If you’re making these for the 4th of July, I recommend cherry and blueberry pie fillings or whipped cream with strawberries and blueberries. 

How To Make Cheesecake Tarts

  1. Preheat your oven to 375. Fill a muffin pan with 12 foil cupcake liners. Place a single Nilla wafer at the bottom of each one, OR scroll down for another quick crust option.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar.  Add in flour and baking powder and beat to combine. Then add in eggs, one at a time, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Beat to combine.
  3. Divide batter between 12 muffin papers, they will be filled up close to the top, that’s okay! Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  They’ll puff way up during baking, but they’ll settle after being chilled.
  4. When you take them out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack and let them cool completely. While they cool, they will sink down in the center. Don’t worry- that’s normal! It makes the perfect little well to fill up with the fruit filling. Before you top them, chill in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours or preferably over night. Then top and serve. You can be creative and top with whatever you like!

I’ve always made these by placing a single Nilla wafer at the bottom of each cheesecake like my mom did. It’s incredibly quick and easy! The texture of the cookie after baking is a bit softer than a traditional cheesecake crust. If you’d like a more traditional crust, it’s super simple- I’ll include this option in the recipe card as well.

crumbled cookie crust

How to Top Mini Cheescakes

The options are endless. Aside from fresh or canned fruit filling, another favorite of ours is chocolate ganache and a raspberry, or jarred caramel with a sprinkle of flakey salt.

These are great because you really can just eat them with your hands in a few bites, kind of like a cupcake. Try canned pie filling for a no-fuss option, or a little whipped cream or cool whip with your favorite fresh fruit.

mini cheesecake platter

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these ahead of time? Absolutely! Bake up your cheesecakes a day ahead of time and store, covered in cling wrap, in the refrigerator until ready to top and serve.

Looking for other Independence Day recipes? Consider these other Our Best Bites Favorites:

Oatmeal M&M Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Patriotic Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches
Layered Patriotic Punch
Layered Jell-O {4th of July Edition!}
White Texas Sheet Cake (Red, White, & Blue Edition)

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, then come back and give this recipe a rating!

mini cheesecake in foil wrapper

Mini Cheesecake Tarts

5 from 21 votes
A single cookie makes up the crust for each of these single-serve cheesecake tarts. You can top them with whatever you like, but they are especially perfect for the 4th of July with strawberries and blueberries, or cherry and blueberry pie filling.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings12 tarts

Ingredients

CHEESECAKE TARTS

  • 12 Nilla Wafer Cookies see below for more traditional cheesecake crust option
  • 2 8- ounce packages cream cheese softened or at room temp
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • foil cupcake liners

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • canned pie filling
  • fresh berries
  • whipped cream
  • chocolate sauce
  • caramel sauce
  • lemon curd

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 °F. Fill a muffin pan with 12 foil cupcake liners and place one Nilla Wafer at the bottom of each one. (*Or see below for simple traditional cheesecake crust recipe)
  • With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and free of lumps.  Add in flour and baking powder and beat to combine. Then add in eggs, one at a time, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat to combine.
  • Divide batter between 12 muffin papers, they will be quite full and that's okay! Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. They'll puff way up during baking, but they'll settle after being chilled.
  • When you take them out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack and let them cool completely. While they cool, they will sink down in the center. Don't worry- that's normal! It makes the perfect little well to fill up with the fruit filling. Before you top them, chill in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours or preferably over night.
  • Top and serve.
  • *Traditional Cheesecake Crust Option
  • Place 24 Nilla Wafer cookies in a blender or food processor (or simply place in a zip top bag and smash until crumbs).  Place crumbs in a small bowl and mix with 1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted, and ¾ teaspoon sugar.  Divide mixture evenly between muffin liners (should be about heaping tablespoon each) and gently press down.

Notes

You can be creative and top these with whatever you'd prefer; ganache & berry, whipped cream with your favorite fruit, chocolate, jarred caramel with flakey sea salt, and lemon curd are all great options!

Nutrition

Calories: 158kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 78mg, Sodium: 104mg, Potassium: 55mg, Fiber: 0.04g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 397IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 4th of July, Mini Cheesecakes
Calories: 158kcal
Author: Sara Wells
Cost: $10
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 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.

  2. 5 stars
    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.

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

  4. 5 stars
    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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

  7. 5 stars
    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!

  8. 5 stars
    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.

  9. 5 stars
    Turned out great! I think they’d all disappeared in about 15 minutes after we set them out.

  10. 5 stars
    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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!