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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. Barbara Lauer says:

    How do you make the Lemon Curd?

  2. Anindita Mou says:

    These look amazingly delicious! Love it

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Amy @ Chew Out Loud says:

    These are super adorable! Lemons and raspberries…perfecto. And we are lemon curd fiends around here. I have some in the fridge as I type. Love the look of these lemony treats. :)

    1. Jamie says:

      Amy-
      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      -Jamie

  4. Susan says:

    What sort of wafers do you put in the bottom, do you need to cut them to fit?

    1. Jamie says:

      Any vanilla wafer, like you would use for banana pudding would work. You shouldn’t have to cut them. Thanks for stopping by.

      -Jamie

  5. JoJo says:

    We had problems with this recipe as soon as we started to beat the marscapone it separated
    I have made many baked cheesecakes and this has not happened before…anyone else have this problem?

    1. Jamie says:

      Jojo-
      This recipe calls for cream cheese, not mascarpone, so unfortunately, I am unable to problem solve with you since I have never attempted this substitution. Thanks for stopping by.
      -Jamie

  6. John B... says:

    I just made these a couple of days ago… I had a bunch of limes, so went with lime curd, blueberries and a touch of whipped cream instead… I made the vanilla wafers ’cause they are quick and easy… I also baked them in my large muffin pan which allowed them to spread out a bit more and sit a little lower… Quick, easy and well worth the effort! :)

  7. sabi says:

    hi. i want to try this recipe. can u pls tell me how much grams is 8 ounce cream cheesr or how much table spoon it wl be. thanks n looking forward to hear from you

    1. Jamie says:

      Sabi-
      According to Google, 8 ounces of cream cheese equals 250 grams.
      -Jamie

  8. Natalie J Vandenberghe says:

    My Mom loved lemon–especially with raspberries! #flavorstory

  9. Mary Trask says:

    My Mom developed my love of cinnamon very young. She always put a little extra in all her recipes . Esp. Doughnuts, pies, cookies etc. but my fondest memory was she always used her extra pie crust to butter and add sugar and cinnamon. A special treat I continue today.
    #flavorstory

  10. Sarah says:

    #flavorstory I grew up eating homemade dinners and I’m very blessed to have had the beautiful mother I did. I always remember one of my favorite things Mom made for tea time, a pound cake with a hint of saffron and orange. I can still smell it in the air when I think of her. Thank you Mom, my love for baking began with you and that pound cake. You’ll be forever in my heart. XOXO