These mini Christmas cheesecake treats are a perfect way to spread the joy of holiday season. Baked with swirled red and green creamy cheesecake filling on decadent Oreo cookie crust, these little delights are topped with a fluffy cloud of luscious whipped cream and adorned with pretty sprinkles in merry colors, making them a perfect addition to your holiday dessert table.
These pretty festive treats are adapted from my New York Cheesecake recipe and baked in cupcake casings instead of a large springform pan.
I gave these pretty cheesecakes a chocolate Oreo crust and filled them with marbled red and green cheesecake batter. Once done, I peeled off the cupcake casings and topped each mini Christmas cheesecake with a generous topping of whipped cream and decorated them with festive colored sprinkles.
If you like, you can even make this cheesecake into a single large cake in a 7 inches round springform pan.
❤️Why you will love this recipe
- Baked in mini sizes, these mini Christmas cheesecakes make perfect bite-sized treat for the holiday party. They are easy to serve and no hassle or mess of having to cut a large cake.
- These are baked cheesecakes, which means no need to use gelatine or other gelling agents to set them.
- The recipe makes irresistibly decadent cheesecake with creamy cheesecake filling in bright festive colors and holiday flavor, perfect for the holiday table.
- These bite-sized treats make great idea for gifts during the holiday season.
Mini cheesecakes take a slightly longer time to prepare than a full, larger cheesecake. This is mainly because the crust has to be individually prepared for each mini cake and the batter divided into many smaller casings. The plus point though, is that mini cheesecakes are in individual serving sizes which means there is less hassle of having to cut the cake.
- Oreo cookies - Use whole cookies, including the filling.
- Butter - I use salted butter. Unsalted butter will work just fine.
- Cream cheese - use the block cheese and not the spreadable ones. I use Philadelphia cream cheese. Make sure the cheese is at room temperature.
- Granulated sugar (caster sugar) - fine sugar works best as it dissolves well in the batter as compared to coarse sugar.
- All purpose flour - best to be sifted before using to break any lumps.
- Vanilla extract - adds flavor and aroma to the mini cheesecakes.
- Lemon zest - adds a lovely tangy taste to the filling, almost like lemon cheesecake.
- Heavy cream - the is to be added in liquid form, so no need to whip it first.
- Eggs - use large eggs (large sized)
- Red & green food coloring - to color the batter.
Topping & Garnish
- Whipped cream - use dairy whipping cream with at least 35% fat for best taste.
- Sprinkles - choose a combination of Christmas colors.
*Refer to the recipe card below for full list of ingredients and exact quantities. For best results, use a digital kitchen scale where applicable*
🧾Substitution and variations
- Oreo cookies crust can be replaced with the traditional graham cracker crust. You can also use nilla wafer cookies. I did not add any sugar in my Oreo crust because the cookie filling was sufficiently sweet. If you are using graham crackers, process them into fine crumbs and add 15g of granulated sugar to it.
- Heavy cream in the cheesecake batter can be replaced with sour cream. Use exact same quantity as the heavy cream.
- To make mini orange Christmas cheesecakes, replace the lemon rind with add one tablespoon of grated orange zest. Add to the cheesecake batter after adding the cream. Mix well and bake as usual.
- Instead of the sprinkles topping, you can use chopped fresh strawberries or homemade strawberry filling on the whipped cream. Other options include crushed candy cane, chopped peppermint bark, mini marshmallows or chocolate chips. Top these with a generous drizzle of caramel sauce and add a mini gingerbread man cookie (use a mini gingerbread man cookie cutter) on each cheesecake for cute and adorable mini cheesecakes.
- If you wish to make a full large cheesecake (full-size cheesecake) instead of mini cheesecakes, this recipe can be prepared in a 7 inches round springform pan. Line the pan with parchment paper. Bake cheesecake for 55 to 60 minutes. For 9 inches round cheesecake, double the recipe and increase the time to about 65 to 70 minutes until the sides are firm and the center still wobbly.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you do try, please let me know in the comments section below!
👩🏻🍳How to make
Making the crust
- To begin making the mini Christmas cheesecakes, start by preparing the crust. I used Oreo cookies and melted butter. Since the cookies were processed (in a food processor) along with their filling, there is no need for additional sugar in the crust. Mix the crumbs and melted butter until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened.
- Divide the crumbs equally into 12 cupcake liners. I used about one tablespoon of crumbs in each of the paper liners.
- Press the cookie crumbs down firmly with the sides of a small rolling pin. You can use any other tool that is small and flat to press the crumbs down into an even layer.
- Set aside.
Making the cheesecake filling
- Next is the filling for the mini Christmas cheesecakes. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft (about 30 to 60 seconds the most), scraping the sides of the bowl constantly.
- Add the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and salt all together at once into the cheese and beat again for another 20 seconds, scraping the bowl at every 10 seconds interval.
- Add both the eggs and vanilla extract and beat again for 10 seconds. Scrape the bowl and beat for another 10 seconds until the mixture is all smooth. Tiny specks of cheese in the mini Christmas cheesecake batter at this point is fine. Do not over mix to avoid air bubbles in the batter.
- Fold in the heavy cream with a spatula.
- Transfer one-third of the batter into 2 bowls. Mix red food color into one bowl. I used Americolor Crimson for the red.
- Add green food coloring into the other bowl. I used Americolor Forest Green for the green.
The marbled effect
- Spoon the batter into the prepared crusts, starting with the plain batter and then a scoop of green batter.
- Add the red batter.
- Top with plain batter.
- Continue with the final scoops of red and green batter.
- And finally, top with the remaining plain batter.
- Fill each casing until they are almost full. Use a skewer to cut through the batter in a circular motion, carefully avoiding cutting through the cookie crust at the bottom.
Decorating the festive cheesecakes
- Bake the mini Christmas cheesecake at 150 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Once done, let them rest in the oven for about 10 minutes before removing them. Let them cool to room temperature. Chill the cheesecakes for at least 4 hours (overnight is preferred) before peeling the cupcake casings off.
- When peeling the casings, do it slowly by pulling the sides away all-around before attempting to remove the bottom.
- Top each of the mini Christmas cheesecake with piped whipped cream (whip until stiff peaks form). I used tip 1M for the swirls.
- Add the sprinkles just before serving. My sprinkles were from Fancy Sprinkles.
🍽️Serving & storage
- These cheesecakes are best decorated right before serving. While it is still ok to have the whipped cream on slightly early (keep the cakes refrigerated), the sprinkles tend to bleed when you leave them too long on the whipped cream. Hence they are best put on right before serving.
- Keep the cheesecakes refrigerated all the time in an airtight container. They are best consumed within 5 days of baking.
Use a slightly reduced baking temperature
- The rule of thumb when baking cheesecakes is to reduce the temperature by at least 10 degrees of your normal cake baking temperature. I always use 160 to 170 degrees Celsius for normal cakes and cheesecakes are therefore baked at 150 degrees. Low temperature ensures the cakes do not crack.
Do not overmix the batter
- Over mixing causes too much air to be incorporated into the batter. While this is good for normal cakes, it is not preferred for cheesecakes. Too many air bubbles in the batter will leave your mini Christmas cheesecakes with an unsightly bubbly surface.
Place the cake on the lowest rack in the oven when baking
- This helps prevent cracks in the mini cheesecakes due to close proximity to the heat. It also helps to make sure the top of the cheesecakes does not get over browned.
Do not use the 'fan' function in your oven
- While the 'fan' function works best for normal cakes, it is the contrary for cheesecakes. For best results, disable the fan function to prevent cracks in your cheesecakes.
- Bake the cheesecakes in a water bath. A water bath or bain-marie is a baking method where a dish of water is placed in the oven while baking. The water helps keep the interior of the oven moist and for cheesecakes, this moisture helps prevent cracks in the cake.
- For a typical 7 inches or 9 inches round cake, you can wrap the sides of your tin in foil and place it in a baking dish filled with water. Or you can place your springform pan in a slightly larger, empty baking tin and place both the tins in a water-filled baking dish.
- For these mini Christmas cheesecake, you can simply place a water-filled baking dish on the oven floor without having to wrap each individually with foil and placing them directly in the water.
Do not over bake the cakes
- Over baked cheesecakes have the tendency to crack and the texture turning rubbery. Always keep to the baking time indicated in the recipe. These mini Christmas cheesecakes are done as soon as the sides are firm to the touch. The center can still be wobbly.
- Since these Christmas cheesecakes are small, the center cooks pretty quickly too so it is important to keep a tab of the baking time.
These mini cheesecakes will puff slightly as they bake. If they are removed from the oven underbaked, the center of the cakes will fall.
To avoid this from happening, check that the sides of the cakes is firm. You can do this by shaking the tray slightly. If the sides are firm but the centers wobbly, you can stop the baking. If the sides are also wobbly, let the cakes bake further.
Yes, you can. However, it can only be done without the whipped cream topping. Pack the cakes in a ziplock bag or airtight freezer safe container and freeze them for up to 1 month.
To serve, thaw them in the refrigerator. If you are in a hurry, you can thaw them at room temperature, but do note that the cheesecakes are best served slightly chill.
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Mini Christmas Cheesecake
For best results, use the metrics measurements. US customary measurements have not been tested and are only meant for guide.
- 100 g Oreo Cookies Crushed with the filling
- 30 g butter melted
- 450 g cream cheese
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 20 g all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 60 g heavy cream
- 2 eggs
- red & green food coloring
Topping & Garnish
- Whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 150°Celsius. Place cupcake casings into a cupcake tray.
- Process the Oreo cookies into fine crumbs together with the filling in a food processor or by pressing them with a rolling pin (in a zip lock bag). Transfer the cookie crumbs into a bowl. Add melted butter and mix until the crumbs are all moistened with the butter.
- Place one tablespoon cookie crumbs into each cupcake casing. Use the sides of a small rolling pin to pack the crumbs down firmly. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth for approximately 30 to 60 seconds, scraping the bowl often.
- Add the sugar, flour, and lemon zest and beat again for 20 seconds.
- Scrape the bowl. Add both eggs at once and the vanilla extract. Beat for about 10 seconds until the eggs are well combined. Scrape the bowl and continue beating for another 10 seconds until the batter is all smooth and creamy. Do not overbeat to avoid the batter from incorporating too much air.
- Fold in the heavy cream.
- Transfer out ⅓ of the batter into 2 smaller bowls. Add some green food coloring into one bowl and red coloring into the other bowl. Mix well.
- Pour the batter into prepared cupcake casings, starting with the plain batter and alternating between the green and red batter. Use a skewer to cut through the batter in a circular motion to create a marbled pattern in the batter. Make sure the skewer does not touch the crust.
- Bake the mini cheesecakes at 150°Celsius for 20 minutes. Place a baking dish filled with water in the oven to keep the oven interior moist while baking.
- Once baked, leave the cakes in the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let them cool for another 15 minutes.
- Place the cakes in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Once the cakes are thoroughly chilled, carefully peel the cupcakes casings off.
- Top the cheesecakes with whipped cream and sprinkles before serving.
- Keep leftovers refrigerated.
- For a full large cake, prepare the above and pour into a 7 inches round cake tin. Bake the cake for 55 to 60 minutes.
- For a 9 inches round cake, double the recipe above and bake for about 65 to 70 minutes until the sides are firm and the center still wobbly.