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Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

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4.14 from 79 votes

These refreshing Mini Lemon Cheesecakes are made with a buttery shortbread cookie crust and a smooth and creamy lemon cheesecake filling. Made in less than 30 minutes and makes the perfect dessert for any occasion.

If you love lemon desserts, be sure to try my Lemon Pie, Lemon Crinkle Cookies, and Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.

PIN these Mini Lemon Cheesecakes to try later!

mini lemon cheesecakes on a white plate with raspberries on topPin

Welcome to #LemonWeek 2022, day 3! Hosted by Lynn from Fresh April Flours and Rebecca from Devour Dinner.  This week is sponsored by Rodelle and La Tourangelle. I may have received product samples from these sponsors to help in the creation of my recipes. All opinions are my own. Come join me and my fellow Lemon Week bloggers as we bring you recipes from appetizers to drinks to entrées and desserts!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I LOVE Mini Cheesecakes! I made these Cheesecake Bites years ago and they’ve been one of the most popular recipes on my blog ever since. Other mini cheesecake flavors I’ve made are Snickerdoodle, Funfetti, Oreo, Apple Pie, Chocolate Chip, and Pumpkin

These Mini Lemon Cheesecakes are creamy, easy, and have a hint of refreshing lemon flavor.

Made in a cupcake pan so they are the perfect-sized dessert and make the best dessert for birthday parties, pot lucks, gatherings, showers, holidays, or any time you’re craving cheesecake. Top with whipped cream, and fresh berries, or enjoy them just as they are. 

I love making cheesecake bites because they are SO much easier to make than a whole cheesecake. You don’t have to feel as guilty because they are made in a cupcake pan so they are perfectly portioned and make the best dessert for any occasion. 

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes with a bite mark and whipped creamPin

KEY INGREDIENTS

Cream cheese:  Cream cheese is the base for all cheesecake recipes! Full fat is best for the most decadent texture, but feel free to swap out a reduced-fat option. The cream cheese must be at room temperature and softened in order to get the perfect creamy texture. It will also help all of the ingredients come together. 

Granulated sugar: Sugar balances out the tart flavor of the cream cheese and will add sweetness.

Eggs: Make sure the eggs are at room temperature so it incorporates into the batter. The eggs will add richness and will give the cheesecakes a custard-like texture.

Sour cream: Adds just the perfect amount of tang to the cheesecake flavor. It also adds moisture and will make these bites extra soft. 

Vanilla extract: Adds a warm flavor and enhances the flavors. Pure vanilla extract is always best. 

Shortbread cookies: you can use your favorite shortbread cookies. The buttery flavor of the shortbread cookie compliments the lemon flavors of the cheesecakes. 

Lemons: fresh lemon juice is best for the most refreshing flavors. You will need both lemon zest and lemon juice. 

How to make Mini Lemon Cheesecakes step-by-stepPin

HOW TO MAKE MINI LEMON CHEESECAKES 

MAKE THE SHORTBREAD CRUST. In a food processor, combine the shortbread cookies, melted butter, and sugar. Process for a few minutes until the mixture turns into a crumb-like consistency. Line two REGULAR cupcake baking pans with paper or silicone liners and evenly divide the shortbread cookie crumb mixture among 16 cups. With a spice jar, firmly press onto the cookie mixture to form a crust. Set aside.
 

MAKE CHEESCAKE BATTER. In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. The cheesecake mixture will be smooth. Be sure not to overmix.

 
FILL. With a tablespoon, spoon the mixture evenly on top of the crusts. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the centers are set. Let cool completely, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Remove cupcake liners and top with whipped cream (optional).

RECIPE TIPS AND VARIATIONS

For vegan cheesecakes, use your dairy-free cream cheese, butter, and substitute the eggs with cornstarch and vinegar or lemon juice. For gluten-free cheesecake bites, use gluten-free shortbread cookies and gluten-free flour.

If you do not have a food processor, crush the shortbread cookies by sealing them in an airtight bag and smashing them with a rolling pin or another hard object. 

Top the cheesecake bites with lemon curd or drizzle with a light lemon icing to add even more lemon flavor. 

Use a graham cracker crust instead of a shortbread crust for a more traditional-style cheesecake. You can use this graham cracker crust recipe

mini cheesecakes stacked on top on white platePin

WHY DO MINI CHEESECAKES CRACK? 

If the cheesecake mixture is over mixed, then it can cause the batter to have too many air bubbles which will result in the mini cheesecakes to crack. Be sure not to overmix the cheesecake batter! 

LEFTOVERS AND STORAGE

To Store: Place any leftover cheesecake bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week

To Freeze: Individually wrap each cheesecake with plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or heavy-duty ziplock bag.  Be sure the cheesecake bites are completely cool before freezing. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to eat the frozen cheesecake bites, simply defrost on the counter until thawed completely. 

THESE MINI LEMON CHEESECAKES ARE

  • Perfect for summer! I love all things lemon, especially during the summer because it’s so refreshing and satisfying. 
  • Mini-sized and made in a cupcake or muffin pan. I love any dessert that’s mini because you don’t have to feel guilty for eating it since it’s a smaller portion. 
  • Easy to make and can be prepped the day before. These cheesecakes actually taste better the day before because they get more times to chill in the refrigerator and set. 
  • Bursting with sweet, tangy, and refreshing flavors. The shortbread crust makes a perfect combination with the creamy lemon cheesecake filling.

Mini Lemon CheesecakesPin

Wednesday #LemonWeek Recipes

lemon cheesecakes with lemon zest Pin

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Lemon Cheesecake Bites

These Mini Lemon Cheesecakes are made with a shortbread cookie crust and a smooth and creamy refreshing lemon cheesecake filling. Made in less than 30 minutes and makes the perfect dessert for any occasion.
4.14 from 79 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon cheesecake, lemon cheesecake bites, mini cheesecakes
Servings: 16 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients

Lemon Cheesecake Filling

  • 12 ounces softened cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Shortbread Cookie Crust

  • 1 cup shortbread cookies
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions

To make the shortbread cookie crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, combine the shortbread cookies, melted butter, and sugar. Process for a few minutes until the mixture turns into a crumb-like consistency.
  • Line two REGULAR cupcake baking pans with paper or silicone liners and evenly divide the shortbread cookie crumb mixture among 16 cups. With a spice jar, firmly press onto the cookie mixture to form a crust. Set aside.

To make the mini lemon cheesecakes

  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. The cheesecake mixture will be smooth. Be sure not to overmix.
  • With a tablespoon, spoon the mixture evenly on top of the crusts. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the centers are set. Let cool completely, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Remove cupcake liners and top with whipped cream (optional).
Find Kathryn's Kitchen Blog on Instagram!Mention @Kathryns.Kitchen.Blog or tag #kathrynskitchen!

Notes

Recipe Notes:
  • To Store Leftovers: Place any leftover cheesecake bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week
  • To Freeze: Individually wrap each cheesecake with plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or heavy-duty ziplock bag.  Be sure the cheesecake bites are completely cool before freezing. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to eat the frozen cheesecake bites, simply defrost on the counter until thawed completely. 
  • If you do not have a food processor, crush the shortbread cookies by sealing them in an airtight bag and smashing them with a rolling pin or another hard object. 
  • Use a graham cracker crust instead of a shortbread crust for a more traditional-style cheesecake. You can use this graham cracker crust recipe
  • Be sure not to overmix the cheesecake batter! 

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Recipe Rating




40 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    You had me at mini! I love mini anything, but mini lemon cheesecakes, I could eat a dozen! These will be perfect for a shower I am doing soon!

  2. I can’t wait to try these, they sound absolutely divine! Question though, in the recipe you say to use 1 cup of shortbread cookies, does that mean 1 cup of crumbs? Thanks!

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Aly, yes you will need 1 cup of actual shortbread cookie crumbs. You’ll need just a little more than a full cup of cookies to get the crumbs you need. I hope that helps and that you love these cheesecake bites. Thank you!

      1. 5 stars
        Yes, thank you so much! I made them with my dad last weekend and he’s not even a big lemon fan and loved them! Absolutely delicious.

  3. 5 stars
    This is a delicious recipe! I went to a picnic and when people saw I had cheesecake their eyes lit up. This was the first dessert to go. I add a bit of lemon extract for an extra kick and top with fresh whipped cream and blueberries.

  4. 5 stars
    I made these for Easter dinner and they were a huge hit! I used gluten free shortbread cookies (Walkers brand) and no one could tell the difference. I will definitely be making these again!

  5. Hi Kathryn, I made these for a baby shower and they were such a hit someone asked for the flavor as their birthday cake! Would the recipe be the same if I made one large cheesecake instead of bites? Thanks

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Anna! I’m so glad these Lemon Cheesecakes were a hit! I’ve actually never made this recipe into a large cheesecake but I would assume you could. I would definitely increase the baking time if you do. Please come back and let me know how it turns out 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to make the Oreo cheesecake bites for my daughter’s shower. I’d like to put whip cream on top. How long does real whipped cream stay fluffy if you make earlier in the day?!!!