Made with cream cheese, cherry pie filling and a vanilla wafer crust, this mini cherry cheesecakes recipe is super easy to make and the perfect size to serve at a party. And it tastes just like a traditional cheesecake would without the hassle of making one!
These mini cherry cheesecake cupcakes are a smaller version of a traditional cheesecake recipe with cherry sauce. But they’re a lot faster and easier to make (and a lot easier to serve!)
This recipe makes a relatively small batch, so it’s perfect for smaller crowds, or it can be multiplied for a larger function.
I like to make these in mini-muffin tins so that they are bite-sized, but they can also be made in standard-sized muffin tins.
You can also do variations on these cupcakes by choosing different toppings.
To create the American Flag design for my 4th of July party, I used Cherry Pie Filling, Blueberry Pie Filling and Whipped Cream as the toppings. But pretty much any pie filling will work so you can come up with your own creations!
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Here is your cherry cheesecake tarts shopping list:
- Vanilla wafers – 1 cup
- Dairy – 3 Tablespoons butter, 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
- Eggs – 1 large
- Flavoring – ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh fruit – 1 lemon
- Baking supplies – 1/3 cup sugar
- Topping – 1 can cherry pie filling.
- You can use graham crackers instead of vanilla wafers if desired.
- If you have mini vanilla wafers, you can use one whole one as the crust and skip having to make your own crust. For regular-sized cupcakes, the regular-sized vanilla wafers will work.
- Any type of fruit flavored pie filling or whipped cream can be used for the topping.
How to make mini cherry cheesecakes
Take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator a couple of hours before you are going to begin. It is much easier to mix warm cream cheese.
Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
Make the vanilla wafer bottom crust
Line a 24-cup mini-muffin tin with mini baking cups. Or if you want bigger cheesecakes, use a 12-cup regular muffin tin with standard-sized liners.
Put 1 cup vanilla wafers in the Ziploc bag, push out as much air as possible, and zip it closed.
Roll over the vanilla wafers with a rolling pin until they are all crushed.
Melt 3 Tablespoons butter in the microwave or on the stove.
In a small bowl, mix the melted butter with the vanilla wafers.
Put a little bit of the crushed wafers mix in the bottom of each of the baking cups.
Tamp it down with your thumb or a spoon so it forms a compact crust.
Make the cheesecake
Beat 1 8-ounce package cream cheese with the mixer until it is smooth.
Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and mix until combined.
Spoon the mixture into each of the baking cups until they are almost full.
Cheesecake does not rise like regular cake mix does, so you don’t have to worry about it overflowing when it’s cooking.
Bake at 375ºF for 15 minutes.
Let cool completely in the muffin tin on a cooling rack.
The cupcakes may fall in the middle. Don’t worry if this happens…it’s normal. And gives you a great indent for the topping.
If you really want the tops to be flat, bake them at a lower temperature (such as 325ºF) for a longer time (about 25 minutes).
Just before serving, top the cupcakes with pie filling.
I like to use two spoons to do this.
One to scoop the cherries with a little bit of filling out of the can. And the other to push the filling onto the tops of the mini cheesecakes.
You can usually fit one to two cherries on the top of each one.
How to store mini cheesecakes
If you’re not serving the mini cheesecakes right away, store them without the pie filling on top.
They can be stored in the freezer for up to a month or in the refrigerator for a few days.
Let them warm to room temperature.
Then add the cherry pie filling before serving.
Don’t store for long periods of the time with the cherry filling on top. It will make the cheesecake soggy.
Other dessert recipes you might like
Mini Cherry Cheesecake Tarts
- 24-cup mini muffin tin or a 12-cup regular size muffin tin
- mini cupcake liners or regular cupcake liners
- ziploc bag
- rolling pin
- Small bowl
- mixer with mixing bowl
- wire cooling rack
- 1 cup vanilla wafers or graham crackers
- 3 Tablespoons butter melted
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 can cherry pie filling
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
- Line the muffin tins with the baking cups.
- Crush the vanilla wafers with a rolling pin.
- Melt the butter with low power in the microwave, usually about a minute. Or cook over low heat on the stove for about 5 minutes.
- Mix the crushed wafers with the melted butter in a small bowl.
- Spoon enough crushed wafers into the bottom of each baking cup to cover the bottom, and press it down to form a crust.
- Mix the cream cheese with the mixer until it is smooth.
- Add the sugar, egg, vanilla and lemon juice.
- Mix again until smooth.
- Spoon the mixture into each of the muffin tins so that each baking cup is almost full.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Cool completely in the muffin tin on a wire cooling rack.
- Top the mini cheesecakes with some cherry pie filling, and serve!
- Warming the cream cheese to room temperature before beating it will make it much easier to mix without getting lumps.
- The cheesecake may fall in the middle after baking. This is not unusual, so don’t be worried if it happens (and it gives an easy place for the topping to settle).
- These cupcakes can be put in the freezer after baking (before the topping goes on) and stored for up to a month. Take them out a couple of hours before serving to let them warm to room temperature. Then top with cherry pie filling.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
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This post was originally published on April 26, 2015 but was updated with new content on January 7, 2022.