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Mini lemon cheesecakes are topped with lemon curd and fresh berries for a bright addition to any summer menu.

Unwrapped mini lemon cheesecake next to a wrapped mini lemon cheesecake on a white plate.

I come from a cheesecake obsessed family. Whether it’s mini cheesecakes for a spring birthday party or a pumpkin cheesecake on Thanksgiving, a cheesecake of some variety graces our table for almost every occasion. 

It’s one of those desserts that immediately takes me back to being a kid and baking with my Nana.

Perched up on a kitchen stool, I’d help her every step of the way. From sifting cups of flour and cutting shapes into pie dough to rolling up the perfect pumpkin roll, I was always her right hand girl. 

Many times, we’d bake the day away and then deliver our sweet treats to neighbors, church friends, and family. I loved every minute of it. In that kitchen is where my love for baking began.

So of course, any time I make cheesecake, whether it’s Nana’s easy cheesecake or these mini lemon cheesecakes, I always think of her.

Mini lemon cheesecakes topped with lemon curd and fresh raspberries on a wire rack.
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My adorable and easy mini lemon cheesecakes

I’ve always been a fan of individual desserts. They’re super cute and come with built-in portion control, which is definitely a good thing for this cheesecake loving girl! 

And as much as I love full-sized cheesecakes, they do take a while to bake and cool. These mini lemon cheesecakes, on the other hand, are pretty quick to make.

You can have these cute little cheesecakes in the oven in 10-15 minutes, and they take less than 30 minutes to bake. They also only need to chill in the fridge for 4 hours before serving.

So while I usually have to plan to make a traditional cheesecake the day before I want to serve it, you can make this recipe in the morning and they’ll be ready for dessert that night!

And for a summer party or cookout, you won’t have to worry about people trying to cut a slice of cheesecake for themselves. They can easily take one of these mini lemon cheesecakes and be on their way.

Two mini lemon cheesecakes on a white plate next to a jar of lemon curd.

How to make mini lemon cheesecakes

If you’ve been wanting to try my cheesecake recipes but have been intimidated by the idea of making a large one, this mini lemon cheesecake recipe is the perfect place to start.

Ingredients you’ll need

One of the things that makes this recipe so quick and easy is that you don’t need to make a graham cracker crust for the cheesecakes. Instead, we’ll use vanilla wafers as the crust!

To make these mini cheesecakes, you will need:

  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks room-temperature cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 2 large room-temperature eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 vanilla wafer cookies
Mini lemon cheesecake ingredients arranged on a countertop.

The eggs and cream cheese should both be at room temperature before you start baking. This will help you get a smoother cheesecake filling.

If you forget to set them out ahead of time, I have some tips for softening cream cheese and bringing eggs to room temperature quickly.

Since you only need 12 vanilla wafers for this recipe, you will have a lot of the box leftover. Try using the rest to make homemade banana pudding!

Making this recipe

This recipe makes 12 mini lemon cheesecakes in 12 standard muffin cups. To get started, line a standard muffin tin with paper baking liners. Set the pan aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer and a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese for about 2 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest until the sugar becomes moist and fragrant. I use this trick a lot to help infuse the aroma and flavor of the lemon zest into every single bite of a recipe.

Add the lemon sugar to the cream cheese. Beat until light and fluffy, then add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix until smooth.

To assemble the cheesecakes, place a vanilla wafer, flat-side down, in the bottom of each muffin cup. Use a large cookie scoop to divide the cheesecake filling into each cup; they should each be about ⅔ full. 

Bake the cheesecakes at 325°F for 22-24 minutes or until the centers are almost set. Let the cheesecakes cool in the pan, then refrigerate them for at least 4 hours before serving.

As the cheesecakes cool, the centers will deflate a bit. Don’t worry – this is normal and gives us the perfect spot to hold some toppings!

baked and cooled mini lemon cheesecakes in a muffin pan.

Serving suggestions

My favorite way to serve these mini lemon cheesecakes is by topping them with homemade lemon curd and fresh raspberries, but the options don’t stop there!

The lemon in these cheesecakes pairs well with so many fruits, especially summer berries. Some other toppings to try include:

And of course you can never go wrong with some whipped cream and fresh berries! 

Bite taken from a mini lemon cheesecake on a white plate.

Storage and freezing

Store these mini lemon cheesecakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I recommend waiting to add any toppings until just before serving.

You can also freeze the cheesecakes for longer-term storage or for whenever you get a lemon cheesecake craving.

To freeze, wrap the cheesecakes in plastic wrap and place them in a zip-top bag, or use a vacuum sealer to seal them. Freeze for up to a month.

Let the cheesecakes thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for 1-2 hours before enjoying.

Mini lemon cheesecakes lined up on a wire cooling rack.
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Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

By: Jamie
No ratings yet
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes
Cooling and Chilling Time: 5 hours
Total: 5 hours 37 minutes
Servings: 12 mini cheesecakes
Mini lemon cheesecakes are topped with lemon curd and fresh berries for a bright addition to any summer menu.

Ingredients

For the cheesecake:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • cup granulated sugar
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 vanilla wafer cookies

For the topping:

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking liners.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese for about two minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Mix with your fingertips until sugar becomes moist and fragrant. Add lemon sugar to cream cheese and mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice and mix until smooth.
  • Place a wafer (flat side down) in the bottom of each muffin cup. Spoon batter into each cup, filling each 2/3 full.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 24 minutes or until the centers are almost set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Note: The mini cheesecakes will deflate in the centers upon cooling. This is expected and leaves a nice spot to hold any toppings you choose to add.
  • Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  • Just before serving, garnish cheesecakes with lemon curd and fresh raspberries, or any other toppings you like such as homemade blueberry sauce, homemade raspberry sauce, strawberry pie filling, etc.

Video

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Wait to add toppings until just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cheesecake, Calories: 279kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 210mg, Potassium: 68mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 547IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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39 Comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    My mom made these mini cheesecakes all time growing up. Now they are my sis’s “signature” dish. #flavorstory

  2. Jess @ whatjessicabakednext says:

    These cheesecakes look so good! I love the colours!

  3. Jeanne says:

    My Mom made peanut squares at Christmas time. These little cake squares with a vanilla frosting and finely ground peanuts embedded on top of the frosting – my absolute favorite. So – I am in my 60’s and back 50 years ago I still remember the McCormick vanilla. I think it was the only vanilla you could buy back then at the grocery store. That is my #flavorstory !!!

  4. Annette says:

    # flavorstory MY absolute favorite cake when I was little was pineapple and coconut. I looked forward to not only the exquisite taste, but delicious smells wafting through the house. It is still a favorite of mine today. #flavorstory

  5. wendy says:

    I stumbled upon your blog and cannot wait to make the vanilla cupcakes. I have a question though, will I need to spray the cupcake liners with pam to keep the cupcakes from sticking to the wrapper? I made some cupcakes earlier this week (different recipe) and they stuck quite a bit…and wondered if it was because I did not spray the cupcake liners. Thanks!

    1. Jamie says:

      Wendy, I always spray my liners lightly with cooking spray to prevent sticking. It’s become a habit.
      – Jamie

  6. Lisa says:

    Need to add #flavorstory to the above post

  7. Lisa says:

    Christmas fudge! My mother-in-law would make the most amazing flavors of fudge every Christmas. About twenty different kinds.

  8. Shiran @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet. says:

    Wow, these photos are amazing! Love the colors and the shiny lemon curd :)
    I’m also a fan of individual desserts. I don’t like to share my desserts ;)

  9. Rena says:

    My #flavorstory has to be cinnamon. Its my favorite spice and one my mom used a lot of in her banana cake that I love so much! She once brought me a warm one when she picked me up from the airport after summer camp!

  10. Katie says:

    I remember that when I was little, I used to “help” my mom bake cookies. Before she put in the McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract, she’d always let me smell it, because I insisted that it was the GREATEST smell in the world (I distinctly remember spreading my arms wide and twirling as I said it). When I asked to taste it too, my mom told me that it’s best when it’s all mixed up with everything else…but I still wanted to try it. So one time, when her back was turned, I took a little taste. And found out what I should have known all along…mom’s always right! Even now when I bake, I always sniff the vanilla extract before I use it and smile, remembering all the great times baking with my mom. #flavorstory