These rich, creamy Skinny Mini Cheesecakes are out of this world delicious! They are about half the calories of a regular slice of cheesecake and you'll never know from the flavor they have been slimmed down. Served with a tasty homemade Strawberry Topping.
When you are craving a rich slice of cheesecake but not all the calories these adorable mini cheesecakes are the way to go. Also called cheesecake cupcakes because they are baked in a muffin pan like cupcakes are.
There are so many things that are great about these cheesecakes. No water bath is required. Faster and easier than baking a full size traditional cheesecake. No special tools or springform pan required.
So many ways to top them (for any occasion or holiday). And all the things that make them skinny without TASTING skinny! Great to serve at parties with different toppings.
A classic cheesecake recipe transformed into delicious mini cheesecakes!
What makes this skinny?
- The main calorie savings with these mini cheesecakes is using lower fat cream cheese and lower fat sour cream. Full-fat cream cheese is about 100 calories for 1 ounce where reduced-fat cream cheese is 60 calories.
- Less sugar is used than in comparable recipe.
- Automatic portion control with individual cheesecakes
- Half the calories of a regular slice of cheesecake. These mini cheesecakes are about 200 calories each and a slice of cheesecake (1/12th of a cheesecake) is over 400 calories. Same with Weight Watchers points: the mini cheesecakes are half the points of a regular piece of cheesecake.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Graham cracker crumbs. You can use either regular or gluten-free graham cracker crumbs. If you can't find the crumbs place graham crackers in a food processor and process until crumbs form.
Unsalted butter. This is melted and mixed with the graham cracker crumbs to form the crust for the cheesecake cupcakes.
Light cream cheese. We used Philadelphia brand ⅓ less fat cream cheese. You can also use Neufchatel cheese which is also a fat reduced cream cheese equivalent. Be sure to start with room temperature or softened cream cheese. Otherwise you'll have lumps in your cheesecake.
Light sour cream. This adds a creamy texture with less fat.
Granulated sugar. You'll use ½ cup.
Vanilla extract. This provides a homey flavor.
Eggs. Use two large eggs at room temperature. If you forgot to bring them to room temperature you can place them in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes.
How to make these Mini Cheesecakes
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin cups in a 12-muffin pan with paper liners. Set it aside.
STEP 2. Make the crust
Combine the graham cracker crumbs with melted butter in a small bowl (photo 1). Stir to fully coat the crumbs with the butter (photo 2).
Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared lined muffin cavities (slightly over 1 tablespoons per cavity). Press down with clean fingers or the a small flat bottomed measuring cup to form a graham cracker crust in each cavity (photo 3). Set it aside.
STEP 3. Make the cheesecake filling
In a large mixing bowl using a hand held electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment beat the softened cream cheese on low speed until a creamy consistency (photo 4).
Add the light sour cream, vanilla extract, and sugar. Beat until smooth (photo 5).
Add both eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed (photos 6-7). Do not overmix.
STEP 4. Fill and Bake
Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the prepared crusts (photo 8). It will fill each cavity almost to the top. Shake the pan to level.
Bake mini cheesecakes for 20-22 minutes or until the center of the cupcakes is almost firm when shaken (there will still be some slight movement; it will fully set after being chilled)(photo 9).
STEP 5. Chill
Remove from oven. Allow to sit in the muffin tin at room temperature for 1 hour.
Place them on a cold baking sheet or in a small baking dish lines with a paper towel (to absorb any moisture). Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Top and serve (photo 12)!
The center of the cheesecakes will relax a bit so you'll have a perfect indentation to fill with some delicious toppings when serving.
The fun is in the topping! Here are some ideas for how to top your cheesecake cupcakes:
- Whipped cream. To save calories use a sugar reduced or fat reduced whipped topping.
- Fresh fruit or fresh berries. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or a mix.
- Preserves. Use fruit only or reduced sugar preserves. Our Cranberry Compote would be delicious or this bonus strawberry jam topping!
- Lemon zest or orange zest
- Sugar free cherry pie filling (or other pie filling)
Room temperature ingredients. Start with fully softened cream cheese and room temperature eggs. Otherwise you'll get lumps in the cheesecake batter that are impossible to get out before baking.
Don't overmix. This beats more air into the creamy cheesecake filling so it will rise when baking then sink more in the middle when it cools.
Don't peek! Leave the oven closed while the cheesecakes cook.
Don't overcook. The cheesecakes will still have some movement in the centers of the cheesecakes when baking is complete. They shouldn't look watery just some slight movement. This is normal and what you want. They will firm up as they are chilled. If baked until there is no movement they'll be overcooked.
Don't leave the cheesecakes in the muffin tin. If they are left in the muffin pan through the whole cooling process moisture will cause the liners to become damp and the crust as well.
Add toppings when serving (not before). Any moisture from topping can change the cheesecake texture. If using rinsed fresh fruit be sure it has been dried before adding.
Bonus Recipe: Strawberry Jam topping
A homemade strawberry jam topping is a delicious topping for this mini cheesecake recipe. You can also use it for topping other things (pancakes, toast, yogurt).
Fresh ripe strawberries, water in just a bit of sugar are combined and simmered for 20 minutes to break down and thicken the berries into a topping (photos 10-12). It makes about 1 cup and will thicken more when chilled.
How to Store
The mini cheesecakes can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to four days in an airtight container.
The strawberry topping can be stored in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator to up to 5 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Place in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving. The wrappers can be removed before or after freezing.
We don't use sugar substitutes in our recipes for multiple reasons however if you have one you use and are familiar with how it behaves during baking, go for it!
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