These light and creamy mini cherry cheesecakes bake up in no time, have tons of cherry flavor, and are the perfect individual sized treat! Made with a crunchy vanilla wafer crust and topped with fruity cherry pie filling, these delicious little cakes are easy to make and will be gone in a flash.
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Mini cherry cheesecakes with vanilla wafers
Just like our big cherry cheesecake, these creamy small cherry cheesecakes are bursting with cherry flavor and taste so good! I love having them out on a dessert table at holidays, birthday celebrations, and parties, but they also make tasty little snacks to have as a sweet treat anytime.
Mini cherry cheesecakes are almost too good to be true! When decorated with cherry topping, they look so dazzling and have a perfectly sweet, creamy texture with a crunchy vanilla wafer base. They come together in a flash and will be a huge hit with your family!
For more bite-sized treats, try our Philadelphia no bake mini cheesecakes and baked Philadelphia mini cheesecakes.
Who knew that something as simple as cream cheese and cherries could make such a delicious treat? The other ingredients are basic pantry staples like sugar, flour, and eggs. Check out the recipe card for the exact measurements for these mini cherry cheesecakes.
- Vanilla wafer crumbs: When making the vanilla wafer crumbs, crush them up as small and evenly as possible to avoid large chunks in your crust.
- Butter is melted and holds the base together. I usually opt for salted butter, but unsalted is fine too.
- Granulated sugar sweetens both the base and the filling.
- Flour: A little all-purpose flour ensures that our miniature cherry cheesecakes set up properly.
- Cream cheese: I recommend using full-fat, brick-style cream cheese for the best flavor and texture. The spreadable type from a tub will not work here. Cold cream cheese results in a lumpy batter, so always bring your cream cheese to room temperature before using it.
- Sour cream: The cherry cheesecake filling is so much softer and moist when you add full-fat sour cream to the batter. You also get a lovely tangy flavor to your mini cheesecakes.
- Eggs help make the filling smooth and give a rich, tender texture. Set them out on the counter to warm up as well before baking.
- Vanilla extract makes these easy mini cherry cheesecakes more flavorful.
- Cherry pie filling is where the cherry part comes into play. Grab a can of your favorite store-bought cherry pie filling, or make your own homemade cherry pie filling from scratch.
How to make mini cherry cheesecakes
Cherry cheesecake bites are actually super easy to make, especially when you’re using a store-bought pie filling. It’s the perfect dessert for holidays, potlucks, and any occasion that calls for a special treat.
#1: Prepare vanilla wafer crust
- Add the vanilla wafer crumbs and granulated sugar to a medium bowl. Drizzle the melted butter and stir to mix the butter in completely.
- Fill about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a muffin pan lined with paper liners.
- Press the crust firmly down with a flat drinking glass or a measuring cup. Sweep away any stray crumbs from the sides for a cleaner look.
- Bake for 7 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool as you prepare the filling.
#2: Mix cream cheese mixture
- Place the room-temperature cream cheese, sugar, and flour into a large mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer on medium speed until thoroughly mixed, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. You can also do this with a stand mixer and the paddle attachment.
- Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, while mixing on medium speed waiting for each to be mixed in.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
#3: Bake & cool
- Use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin liners almost all the way up.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the top is set.
- Allow to rest in the oven with the door closed for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
#4: Chill & garnish
- Place the pan into the fridge for a couple of hours so the mini cheesecakes firm up and stay intact when you pull off the paper liners.
- Once cooled and fully set, peel away the paper liners and arrange the cheesecakes on a serving palter. Top each cheesecake bit with a dollop of cherry pie filling. Enjoy!
Tips for success
If you’re new to making homemade cheesecakes, here are a few tips to ensure your Philadelphia mini cherry cheesecakes turn out perfectly. You got this!
- Soften your cream cheese: If the cream cheese is too cold, the batter will not be smooth. So start off with room-temperature cream cheese. Leave it out on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour, or zap it in the microwave at 50% power for about 20 seconds.
- Mix until smooth. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until completely smooth, but be careful not to incorporate too much air into the mixture.
- Leave the oven door closed: I know it’s tempting, but please resist the urge to open the oven door. A rush of cold air into the oven could deflate your small cherry cheesecakes.
- The cheesecakes will set as they cool: Don’t worry if your mini cheesecakes seem underdone right after baking. They will firm up as they cool.
- Whipped cream & cherries: Pipe a tuff of whipped cream onto your cheesecakes and spoon the cherry mixture on top.
- Oreo crust: Try classic chocolate Oreos in place of vanilla wafers. They taste so delicious with the soft cream cheese filling and the juicy cherry topping! You can also use graham crackers, digestive biscuits, shortbread, and almost any cookie you like.
- Lemon cherry: Add 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon of finely grated lemon zest to the filling. After baking, smear a spoon of lemon curd on top and add the cherry pie filling.
- Chocolate cherry: Stir 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips into the cheesecake batter after adding the eggs and sour cream. Top each cheesecake with a dollop of chocolate ganache, followed by pie the cherry pie filling.
- Cinnamon cherry: For a touch of cozy holiday flavor, mix 1 heaping teaspoon of ground cinnamon into the filling before baking.
- Different pie filling: Mini cheesecakes look so good on a dessert table, especially when offering other toppings. So mix up your toppings and garnish some with blueberry, strawberry, and peach pie filling in addition to cherry.
- Gluten–free: Substitute the graham crackers for 1 1/2 cups of quick oats. Follow the recipe as outlined, but bake the crust for 18 minutes. Chill before adding the filling.
Store mini cherry cheesecakes
You can keep these mini cherry cheesecakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you make them ahead for a party, store the topping in a separate container and wait right before serving to garnish them.
Freeze mini cherry cheesecakes
For longer storage, freeze the cheesecake (without the cherry topping). They will last for 2 to 3 months. I like to flash-freeze them on a lined baking sheet and then transfer them into a freezer-friendly container or freezer bag.
Defrost the mini cheesecakes on a plate loosely covered with plastic wrap in the fridge overnight.
Reasons to love mini cherry cheesecakes
- Taste + texture: The classic combination of juicy cherries, creamy cheesecake, and a crunchy vanilla wafer crust is simply divine!
- Easy to make: These petite cherry cheesecakes look absolutely adorable and are much quicker and easier than a full-sized cheesecake.
- Amazing dessert: Individual cherry cheesecakes are the perfect bite-sized treat for any occasion and a total crowd-pleaser.
More cheesecake recipes
Here are a few more must-try cheesecake recipes! From classic vanilla to juicy strawberry and decadent chocolate, the possibilities are endless when it comes to homemade cheesecake. So pick a recipe and get ready to impress your family and friends!