This recipe truly is one of the simplest I’ve ever made. Perhaps that’s why it’s so good. It’s so easy, I’ve been wondering if I really should post on it. What’s changed my mind…? I found a recipe for mini baked cheesecakes that looked so darn cute, it made me think of this recipe that I’ve made since I was a teenager. I do believe someone from high school gave it to me…
Suffice it to say, I can make this from memory. I’ve made it so many times, feeding so many people over the years, and, there’s never been anyone, not one single person, who didn’t love it. Especially for those that find the traditional baked cheesecake too heavy, this no bake version truly is lighter, in every sense of the word.
If your muffin pan liners are small-ish (like mine were..) make extra portions in small glasses or pie dishes – with or without the graham base if you’ve run out. Some would call this the cook’s treat!
It does need to chill in the fridge for a couple hours to set, but will remain a soft & fluffy texture. Mousse like, really. It’s also not too sweet, allowing for different toppings and the lightness of the filling contrasts nicely with the graham crust. If gluten is an issue for you, you can buy graham crackers that are gluten free. In fact, you don’t need to limit the base to graham crackers. I’ve also used various cookies with success, just be sure to use a food processor to grind them, and that the flavour complements, rather than competes.
This is the first time I’ve made this recipe as minis, and it won’t be the last. I owe it to the photo of the baked mini recipe that’s been in the back of my mind for some time now.
Who doesn’t love a mini portion of dessert?? Always cute, adorable, easy to serve, and always makes a statement.
Having 12 individual instead of 1 large, while making more work, also gives more opportunity to use different toppings. And it’s fun! I used orange segments (very fresh!), cherry preserves and last but not least, a sprinkle of instant espresso powder and swirl of Nutella. The latter tasted like tiramisu. ‘Nuff said~
- 9 graham crackers (approx. 5 oz) (or use other cookie) Use gluten free if gluten is an issue.
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp sugar
- 340 gram container cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup icing/confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (Use gluten free extract if it's an issue)
- 1 tsp pure almond extract
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- fruit in season
- fruit preserves or quality jam
- dusting of espresso powder or cocoa powder
- candied nuts
- Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake/paper liners and set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse graham crackers (or other cookies) until finely ground.
- Add butter & sugar, pulse to combine.
- Press crumbs gently and evenly onto the bottom of each liner, not making it too thick (you may have extra).
- In a large bowl, using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy, 3 minutes.
- Add icing sugar & extracts, beat until smooth.
- Whip the heavy cream and gently fold it in, just until mixture is smooth.
- Using two soup spoons, add the mixture to each muffin liner, filling to the top.
- Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until they firm up somewhat, about 2 hours.
- Top with suggested toppings, or use some of your own!
- Handle gently, and carefully peel off the paper liners (or you could leave them on) and serve on pretty little plates.
- *If you use ready-made 'crumbs' there's no need for a food processor.
- **The filling will remain soft, so keep the cuties in the fridge until serving - they will keep for up to 2 days, if they last that long!