These Mini Lemon Cheesecakes have a graham cracker crust, lemon cheesecake filling, lemon curd topping and whipped cream! So refreshing and the perfect mini cheesecakes for summer gatherings.
Easy Mini Cheesecakes
Mini cheesecakes are so fun because you get all of the best parts of a cheesecake with a lot less work and they’re already perfectly portioned, ready to be shared.
I’ve made several mini cheesecakes before (a few of my favorites are Cinnamon Roll, Bailey’s, and Banana Pudding) and I’ve even made a few cheesecakes with lemon flavor ( Lemon, Lemon Blueberry and Lemon Raspberry) so today I’m sharing a mini lemon cheesecake. It’s a bit of a combination of the lemon base of my lemon blueberry cheesecake that I love and my original lemon cheesecake.
These mini cheesecakes are packed with lemon flavor, making them refreshing and perfect for summer. If you love lemon, you’re going to LOVE these. They’re made with lemon juice and lemon zest in the filling, plus egg yolks in place of whole eggs which actually amplifies the lemon flavors. And then, to top it all off, there’s a lovely lemon curd topping!
All that lemony goodness, sandwiched between an easy graham cracker crust and homemade whipped cream! These mini lemon cheesecakes are like bite-sized pieces of bliss and the best part is, they’re super simple to make – even though all 4 layers are made from scratch!
What You’ll Need
This ingredient list may look like a lot but remember, there are 4 layers to these mini lemon cheesecakes! A handful of ingredients appear on more than one list and almost all of them are basic baking ingredients.
For the Crust
- Graham cracker crumbs – I make my own by crushing graham crackers, but you can buy crumbs as well.
- Sugar – Just enough to add some sweetness.
- Butter – I like to use salted butter for the crust but you can use unsalted as well. It should be melted to combine easily with the graham cracker crumbs.
For the Lemon Filling
- Cream cheese – Cream cheese should always be at room temperature when using it in a cheesecake.
- Sugar – Only a half a cup of sugar.
- Flour – For a creamier cheesecake.
- Sour cream – Also for a nice, cream cheesecake.
- Lemon – Both fresh lemon juice and lemon zest are used in this lemon cheesecake.
- Eggs – Eggs and egg yolks should be at room temperature for this recipe.
For the Lemon Curd
- Lemon – More fresh lemon juice and lemon zest are added to the lemon curd topping.
- Sugar – Sugar adds just enough sweetness to balance the tart.
- Egg yolks – The base of the curd.
- Butter – Salted or unsalted butter is fine.
For the Whipped Cream
- Heavy whipping cream – Do not use a low fat or light substitute.
- Powdered sugar – Stabilizes the whipped cream so it won’t wilt.
- Vanilla extract – For flavor.
How to Make Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
Even though there are multiple layers to these cheesecakes, they are surprisingly easy to make! Even better, there’s no water bath required! Since they’re tiny, they come together in a fraction of the bake time of a traditional cheesecake.
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F and add cupcake liners to the cupcake pan.
- Make the graham cracker crust. Combine all crust ingredients, then divide and press into the bottoms of the cupcake liners. Bake for 5 minutes then allow to cook.
- Make the lemon cheesecake filling. Reduce the oven to 300°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar and flour until combined. Add sour cream, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, combining after each addition.
- Bake. Divide the filling between the cupcake liners. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Cool. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 10 minutes, then crack the door and allow the cheesecakes to cool in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Transfer to the fridge to finish cooling.
- Make the lemon curd. Combine all lemon curd ingredients in a double boiler. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees or coats the back of the spoon. Add one tablespoon of lemon curd to each cheesecake then return to the fridge.
- Make the whipped cream. Whip all three ingredients on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Garnish and serve. Pipe the whipped cream onto the mini cheesecakes and top with a lemon slice. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tips for Success
Since these mini cheesecakes are so easy to make, there are not as many things to be aware of when baking them as there are with traditional cheesecakes. That said, here are a few tips to ensure you get a smooth, creamy texture and avoid cracks.
- Beat ingredients on low speed. Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks.
- Make the curd without a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make the lemon curd in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water.
- Bring ingredients to room temperature. To avoid clumps in the cream cheese mixture, be sure to allow it to come to room temperature before starting the recipe. Eggs and yolks should also be at room temperature.
- Don’t rush the cooling process. It’s important to let cheesecake slowly cook in the oven, with the door closed and opened, before transferring it to the fridge. Taking cheesecake directly from a hot oven to the fridge can cause it to crack.
- Spray the liners with baking spray. If you don’t want them to stick, spray them with baking spray on the liners right after baking the crusts. The spray can get a little messy, so I’ve also used a basting brush or something similar to spread the spray on the liner.
These are a great grab-and-go, shareable snack. Since they’re individually portioned, they’re great for groups or to keep a few in your freezer for yourself, whenever the craving strikes. You can serve them in the cupcake wrappers or remove them and place them on a serving tray.
I top my mini cheesecakes with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and a slice of lemon for garnish. The sweet whipped cream balances the tart lemon flavor and really brings it all together!
How to Store
Store these lemon cheesecakes in the fridge, well-covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. You can store them with the whipped cream in the fridge.
Can I Freeze Mini Cheesecakes?
Yes, you can freeze these mini cheesecakes, though I recommend doing so without the lemon curd and whipped topping.
Before freezing, allow the mini cheesecakes to cool properly and set in the fridge. Then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer-burn. Cheesecakes will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. Allow to thaw in the fridge before enjoying.Print
Refreshing lemon flavor infuses every bite of these Mini Lemon Cheesecakes! With a graham cracker crust, lemon cheesecake filling, lemon curd topping and whipped cream, these mini cheesecakes are perfect for summer gatherings.
- 1 cup (134g) graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbsp (26g) sugar
- 4 tbsp (56g) butter, melted
- 12 ounces (339g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (16g) flour
- 6 tbsp (86g) sour cream
- 3 tbsp (45ml) lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice (about 1–2 lemons)
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup (69g) sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp (42g) salted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325°F (162°C). Add cupcake liners to a cupcake pan.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Divide the mixture between the cupcake liners (about 2 tablespoons per cup) and press into the bottoms.
- Bake the crusts for 5 minutes then remove from oven. Allow to cool while you make the filling. If you want to help keep the liners from sticking to the cheesecakes, you can spray some non-stick spray on them.
- To make the filling, reduce oven to 300°F (148°C). In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until combined (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the sour cream, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat on low speed until well combined.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Divide the filling between the cheesecake cups until the cups are mostly full.
- Bake the cheesecakes for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the door closed for another 10 minutes.
- Crack the oven door and allow cheesecakes to cool for 15-20 minutes, then put in the fridge to finish cooling.
- To make the lemon curd, combine all the ingredients in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). Heat while whisking constantly until mixture thickens and reaches 160 degrees, or coats the back of a spoon.
- Spread about 1 tablespoon of lemon curd onto the top of each cheesecake, then place back into the fridge to finish cooling.
- When cheesecakes are cooled, remove them from the pan.
- To make the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Pipe the whipped cream onto the tops of the cheesecakes and top with a quarter of a lemon slice.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Keywords: easy lemon cheesecake, individual cheesecakes, mini cheesecakes for a crowd