There’s one word that always gets me excited about a dessert: cheesecake.
Since I can remember, I’ve had a love for that creamy, rich dessert that can be combined with just about any other dessert (tiramisu cheesecake, anyone?) and taste amazing.
Mini cheesecakes were a staple of my mom’s dessert parties, and she always set a few aside for me in the fridge in case the party guests didn’t leave any left over – and that frequently happened, because they were just. so. good.
This week’s mini cheesecake recipe caught my eye because it resembled my mom’s recipe, but with a couple of twists: raspberry swirls and a chocolate crust.
The recipe comes from the blog Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom. Author Julie May is a working mother of four, and develops recipes that are enjoyable and easy to make and universally appealing, even to picky eaters and those with less-adventurous palates.
Julie’s Meet the Cook(s) page really resonates with me, as she describes the family origin of her love of baking. Julie naturally came to love cooking because she was surrounded by great food and great cooks growing up, and she now shows love to her family through food, much as I feel I do. And, like many of us, she simply enjoys eating things that taste good.
Thank you to Julie May of Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom for this week’s recipe!
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Minis, Step-by-Step Photos
First, set out all of the cold filling ingredients you will need (16 oz. cream cheese, 2 eggs, and 1/2 cup sour cream) to allow them to come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees, and prepare a muffin pan with paper or foil cupcake liners.
In a food processor, crumble 13 chocolate sandwich cookies.
Add 1 tablespoon sugar.
Add 5 tablespoons of melted butter, and blend.
The result should look like … well, wet dirt (appetizing, I know).
Press about 1 tablespoon of the cookie crust into each cupcake liner to make as uniform a base as possible.
Cover the pan using foil, parchment paper, plastic, wrap, etc., and place in the refrigerator to harden while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
For the sauce, add 6 oz. (1 heaping cup) of fresh raspberries to a small saucepan.
Add 3 tablespoons sugar.
Add 1 teaspoon cornstarch.
Mix until the sugar and cornstarch coat the raspberries.
Heat on medium until bubbles start to form, then continue to cook until the sauce thickens. While you are waiting for the sauce to heat and cook, break down the raspberries. Julie suggests a potato masher for this step, but I didn’t have one so I just worked at them with my wooden spoon.
When the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and store in a bowl in the fridge. I am strongly anti-seed, so I added an extra step in-between here, putting my sauce through a strainer before setting it aside to cool. Here was my result:
For the filling, add the 16 oz. of room-temperature cream cheese to a mixing bowl, and mix on low.
Break down the cream cheese before adding the other ingredients.
Then, add 2/3 cup sugar.
And 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Followed by 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Add ½ teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 small lemon).
And 2 large eggs, room temperature. I gave my filling a quick mix at this point to blend the eggs.
Finally, add ½ cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature, and mix until the ingredients are combined.
Like with last week’s pumpkin mix, I ended up with a few lumps in my filling, but it was a much milder case this time. Instead of a half hour, I allowed my cold ingredients a full hour to come to room temperature for this recipe. A little longer and I hope to solve the lump issue for good!
To make the cheesecakes, bring your muffin pan out of the fridge and fill each liner about 2/3 full. I made the mistake of filling my liners all the way, since the original recipe didn’t specify, and had a slight overflow problem during baking. I would recommend having a second cupcake pan handy in case you have extra filling.
Next, add three tiny spoonfuls, about ¼ teaspoon each, of the raspberry sauce to the top of each cheesecake.
Use a chopstick, knife, toothpick or fork to swirl the sauce. I only used about half of my sauce, so I think it could cover two dozen cheesecakes.
Bake the cheesecakes at 300 degrees for 18-22 minutes. The center of each cake should be jiggly and appear slightly wet. Remove the cheesecakes from the oven and allow them to cool before refrigerating them overnight.
You can leave your cheesecakes in the pan for refrigeration, but may run into the issue of the crusts getting stuck to the pan as the butter that seeps through the liner during baking hardens. This can be solved by soaking the bottom of the pan in warm water to loosen the crusts, but I chose to remove mine carefully from the pan (after cooling 30 minutes on a rack) using a fork and refrigerate them in a separate container.
Serve and enjoy!
This recipe is a hands-down keeper! Moist and creamy with a mix of sweetness and tang, this recipe is easy and appropriate for any occasion. I had wondered how the lemon zest would pair with chocolate in the crust, but the combination of flavors was perfect. And, unlike last week’s pumpkin cake, this full-sized recipe yielded plenty of leftovers – but they won’t be around for long.
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Minis Recipe
Yield: 1 dozen
For the crust:
- 13 chocolate sandwich cookies
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the sauce:
- 6 oz. (1 heaping cup) fresh raspberries
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the filling:
- 16 oz. full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a muffin pan. Take cold filling ingredients out of the fridge to allow to come to room temperature.
2. In a food processor, crumble the sandwich cookies. Add sugar and melted butter, and blend. Press about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.
3. Add the raspberries, sugar and cornstarch to a small, cold saucepan and stir. Heat over medium until bubbles appear, then cook until the sauce is thickened. (Optional: pour sauce through a strainer to remove seeds and raspberry pieces). Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Cream cream cheese in a mixing bowl at low speed. Add sugar, salt, vanilla, lemon zest and eggs and lightly mix. Add sour cream and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
5. Remove crusts from refrigerator and fill each liner about 2/3 full with cheesecake filling.
6. Add three ¼ teaspoonfuls of raspberry sauce to the top of each cake, then swirl.
7. Bake at 300 degrees for 18-22 minutes, then cool. Refrigerate overnight to set the cheesecake.
8. Serve and enjoy!