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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


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


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 All images and text ©

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  1. Sarah says:

    I just made these mini cheesecake for a party, they are chilling in the fridge :-p
    Can’t wait to taste them.
    Thank you for sharing this great and easy recipe =)

    1. Jamie says:

      I hope everyone at the party enjoys them, Sarah!

  2. Pat Kirkham says:

    Sounds delicious. Can these be frozen. I live alone and would like to eat one at a time.

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi, Pat! Yes, these can be frozen. You might want to consider freezing without the sauce and putting the sauce on before you enjoy. Take care!

  3. Christina says:

    Hi , I am wanting to make these for a baby shower in 3weeks.
    I want use Reynolds cupcake liners without the cupcake pan and I want to make more than 24. Can you please help me out.
    Thank you

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi, Christina! You can definitely use cupcake liners without the pan; just put them on a baking sheet. I would double the recipe just to make sure you have enough. I hope everyone at the shower enjoys them!

  4. Merle says:

    Is there a way you can measure the ingredients for me with grams and not with cups? I’m from Holland and I really want to make these but I find the cups so confusing to convert!

  5. Annie says:

    I didn’t make the sauce. I used: Maine wild blueberry sauce, black raspberries, cherry pie filling, and home made chocolate sauce. My husband went nuts and now I am making them again this week. Don’t know whether to thank you or curse you!

    Not only do they taste great and look very cute on my plate, they also are just the perfect size.

    1. Jamie says:


      Wow, those sound great! Thank you so much for stopping back and thank you for following MBA!


  6. Yvonne says:

    I just made your mini cheesecake for my 4th of July bbq tomorrow and they are amazing. We live in Italy so cranberries are not common but lucky for me cherries are in season plus were do not have graham crackers so I just used a breakfast biscotti from Esselunga. I did not us a water bath and they were perfect. Thank you again for the great recipe my italian in laws will surly love these tomorrow.

    1. Jamie says:


      Your substitutions sound delicious! Thank you so much for stopping back to let us know that you enjoyed the recipe. Have a wonderful day and thank you for following MBA!


  7. tracie says:

    what size muffin pan did you use? mini cupcake or regular

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Tracie,
      These were made in a regular muffin tin.
      – Jamie

  8. Fallon says:

    I put my cupcake cheesecakes in a water bath, is that ok?

    1. MBA says:

      That should be fine! I hope they worked out for you and have a great day!

  9. Amber Cook says:

    Could I use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean or will it really change the flavor of the recipe?

    1. MBA says:

      Although vanilla bean is recommended, using one teaspoon of vanilla extract in place of one vanilla bean shouldn’t change the flavor too much. Thanks for visiting and have a fantastic day!

  10. Teralyn Byrd says:

    What kind of liner do you use with the cheesecake cupcake? is it a standard paper liner?

    1. Jamie says:

      Yes, just standard cupcake liners.