Individual Cheesecakes with Orange-Cranberry Sauce

I think I may have mentioned once or… 50 times that I love cheesecake. I am also a big fan of all things miniature. If you follow MBA, you may have noticed that the lovely Katie from GoodLife Eats and I have been hosting a Holiday Recipe Exchange.

Many of the recipes that have been posted look outstanding, but there is one particular creation that immediately caught my eye. That recipe was for mini cheesecakes with cranberry topping from Tessa of the blog, Handle the Heat. I thought Tessa’s recipe for creamy vanilla flecked individual cheesecakes topped with cranberry sauce would be the perfect festive dessert to make for our holiday potluck at work.

If you have never made mini cheesecakes before, don’t be intimidated because they are pretty simple. Not to mention, they are a great addition to any potluck or holiday spread because they’re quite portable if you keep them in the cupcake liners. I hope you enjoy this recipe for mini cheesecakes as much as I did, have a great start to the week and thanks so much for stopping by!

Individual Cheesecakes with Orange-Cranberry Sauce

Yield: 24 mini cheesecakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

For the Filling:

  • 3 (8 ounce) bricks of cream cheese; softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds scraped
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

For the Orange-Cranberry Topping:

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice

Directions:

For the Cheesecake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with 24 paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Stir together with a fork until well blended and all dry ingredients are moistened and look like wet sand. Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake until just set, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
  3. In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed with an electric mixer just until smooth. Beat in sugar until well incorporated. Mix in the salt and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, add in the heavy cream. Be careful not to over-mix.
  4. Spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter over the crust in each cupcake liner using an ice cream scoop or two spoons.
  5. Bake until the filling is just set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours before topping and serving, preferably overnight.

For the Sauce

  1. In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
  2. Before serving, top refrigerated cheesecakes with the cooled cranberry sauce.
adapted from Handle the Heat