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


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

61 Responses to “Individual Cheesecakes with Orange-Cranberry Sauce”

  1. Maria — December 19, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I love the topping. I am crazy for cranberries!


  2. Courtney — December 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Not sure I’d be able to stop at just one! :)


  3. AmyRuth — December 19, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Mmm Mmmm mm
    Looks beautifully scrummy.
    happy holidays


  4. Kristen — December 19, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    These look dangerously good, Jamie!


  5. Heather (Heather's Dish) — December 19, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    i had cheesecake bites over thanksgiving with cranberries on top – heaven!


  6. Blog is the New Black — December 19, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    These look gorgeous!


  7. Kerstin — December 19, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    What gorgeous little cheesecakes – I especially love the orange cranberry topping – yum!


  8. Tessa — December 19, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for the mention Jamie! I’m glad you liked the recipe :)


  9. Sukaina — December 20, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Wow, the colour combination of these make it look mouthwatering! And thanks again for your email. I’ve started shooting in RAW and am just in the middle of editing the pics. Your email was so helpful!


  10. Chele — December 20, 2010 at 3:53 am

    My Husband will love these! Might have to keep these in mind for New Years Eve dessert! Thanks for sharing the recipe ;0)


  11. LimeCake — December 20, 2010 at 5:12 am

    That looks so great! Love the individual portions. No mess. Happy holidays!


  12. Katrina — December 20, 2010 at 6:39 am

    I love mini cheesecakes! I find with regular cheesecake I go crazy and eat too much (and then get a tummy ache). Great recipe!


  13. The Blue-Eyed Bakers — December 20, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Gorgeous! We adore adore ADORE cheesecake and love the orange cranberry sauce! Makes it so festive!


  14. Strawberry CAKE — December 20, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Lovely! I recently had a mini pumpkin cheesecake dessert at a restraurant. Just the right size not too much!


  15. Rachel — December 20, 2010 at 9:49 am

    This is such a popular and wonderful combination of flavors! I’m not much of a cheesecake eater but I love to make them. Will have to save this to make for the Mr sometime.


  16. Kristine — December 20, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I love cheesecake, and these mini ones look perfect for a holiday get-together! The cranberry orange sauce on top makes them look so festive!


  17. DessertForTwo — December 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    These look gorgeous!

    Everytime I make cheesecakes in cupcake pans, the middle sinks slightly. Did this happen to you too? I’m not complaining–it’s perfect for adding a scoop of cranberries, but I’m just curious. Thanks :)


  18. Barbara Kiebel — December 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I admit to being a certifiable cranberryaholic; I love cranberry relish, sauce and for desserts like this. Our have to have holiday dessert is a cake with a cream cheese frosting topped with cranberries so I have a glimmer of how good this must be. Love the mini version too!


  19. Rhondi — December 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    These are very pretty and festive. They look delicious! Did your coworkers just love them? Great pictures too.


  20. Robyn | Add a Pinch — December 20, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I love having individual desserts and these are just gorgeous!


  21. Katie @ goodLife {eats} — December 21, 2010 at 1:06 am

    These look perfect! I love mini desserts and I bet the cranberry sauce tastes awesome with the cheesecake. YUM


  22. TidyMom — December 21, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Mini desserts are my new favorite love!! these sound and look PERFECT!!


  23. SMITH BITES — December 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

    individuals, minis or bite-sized – this is a great recipe! you just can’t go wrong w/the orange-cranberry combo!


  24. Cookbook QUeen — December 21, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    These look so pretty and festive!!


  25. leslie — December 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    WHat a beautiful presentation! I could eat a half dozen of these little suckers


  26. Monica H — December 24, 2010 at 1:37 am

    These are absolutely gorgeous! The contrast of the white and red is stunning. I can’t tell you how badly I want these right now. yummers.

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!



  27. sanz — December 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    thats a killer.
    absolute beauty,

    and you hv an awesome blog. been ure regular follower since long :)


  28. Sandy — December 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Oh, definitely trying this! So cute! Only thing I’d add is orange peel to the cranberry sauce for extra texture & tanginess.


  29. Val — December 26, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    These are stunning. :)


  30. Kendra — December 27, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Adorable, beautiful, and perfectly colored for the holidays!

    You seem like a true culinary artist that would appreciate my site as well- I would love it if you stopped by and checked it out :)


  31. Kori — December 27, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    These are adorable, and delicious I’m sure too! My grandma used to make mini cherry and blueberry cheesecakes, but these seem like a fancier, more decadent version! I’ll have to give them a try. Thanks for sharing!


  32. KitchenVixen — December 28, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I made and blogged Sweet Potato Pie Individual Cheesecakes, very much inspired by your recipe! They turned out wonderful!


  33. Amy @ Serve At Once — December 29, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    You have such BEAUTIFUL photography on your site–not to mention delicious recipes. I am inspired, and I’ll be back soon! :)


  34. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) — January 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I love mini anything! These cheesecakes look delicious, love the flavor combination!


  35. Elizabeth B — August 15, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Hey ! I absolutely love your blog and stalk it on regular bases :) what you make is soooo good and the photographs are incredible.
    Please check out my blog for baking recipes. View link –


  36. Yvonne Dippenaar — October 4, 2011 at 4:07 am

    What is Graham Cracker crumbs. Yvonne South Africa


  37. SherryS — November 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I made these yesterday for the family to have today (Thanksgiving). I had a sample and I LOVED every bite! Thanks for the easy, and wonderfully delicious recipe!


  38. Zehra — February 4, 2012 at 1:11 am

    I have made these 4 times already and every time they are a hit! Is there any way I can use this recipe to make a big cheesecake instead of mini ones? if so, what would change? I only ask because I specifically like this recipe, I’ve tried other ones and they just aren’t as good!


  39. Desiree — April 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    How many does this recipe make?


  40. Teralyn Byrd — July 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm

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


    • Jamie — August 1, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      Yes, just standard cupcake liners.

  41. Amber Cook — November 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm

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


    • MBA — November 18, 2012 at 9:38 am

      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!

  42. Fallon — February 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm

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


    • MBA — April 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm

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

  43. tracie — May 29, 2013 at 10:03 pm

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


    • Jamie — September 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

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

  44. Yvonne — July 3, 2013 at 8:24 am

    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.


    • Jamie — August 19, 2013 at 10:07 am


      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!


  45. Annie — July 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    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.


    • Jamie — August 13, 2013 at 9:52 pm


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


  46. Merle — October 4, 2015 at 10:54 am

    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!


  47. Christina — July 4, 2016 at 8:09 am

    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


    • Jamie — July 5, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      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!

  48. Pat Kirkham — July 17, 2016 at 3:24 pm

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


    • Jamie — July 17, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      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!

  49. Sarah — October 26, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    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 =)


    • Jamie — October 27, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      I hope everyone at the party enjoys them, Sarah!


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