Creamy chocolate chip cheesecake on top of a homemade, from-scratch red velvet cookie crust. Red velvet lover or not, these mini cheesecakes are irresistible!
I’ve been thinking about this red velvet recipe for weeks. Thoughts of soft-baked red velvet crust with creamy cheesecake on top have been overtaking my dreams. What? You mean to tell me you don’t dream about desserts?
I keep a notepad next to my bed and when I wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning, I jot down recipe ideas that have crossed my mind. I usually don’t understand my sleepy chicken scratch the next morning, but there was no confusion here!
Mini red velvet cheesecakes for the win.
I made these scarlet red beauties yesterday morning. And when I say morning, I mean 6am. I’m an early bird, just like my mom. Well, actually… Jude’s an early bird. He demands a walk before the sun comes up. How can you say no to this face?!
I wasn’t able to snap in-process shots for you for this recipe, but there’s no need. The two layers are quite simple to make! I must admit that I was a tad nervous these little cheesecakes wouldn’t turn out. Would the cookie crust be too delicate? Would it get hard and crunchy? Chocolate chips? No chocolate chips?
Ha! Of course chocolate chips.
Well, it must have been my lucky morning because these cheesecake cups are mind blowing. Kevin, who “doesn’t even like red velvet or cheesecake”, had one immediately after getting home from the gym. Then another after breakfast. And I noticed another one missing after dinner. Huge recipe success!
I may or may not have had one for breakfast this morning with fruit and coffee. Instead of a bagel, have a red velvet cheesecake. Your day will start off on the right foot, I promise.
I made today’s cheesecakes exactly how I made these Funfetti Cheesecake Cookie Cups last year. If you’re a sprinkle lover like me, you gotta try ‘em! Cookies, funfetti, and cheesecake all in one.
The crust is made from my beloved homemade Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies, only without the chocolate chips because they’ll go into the cheesecake layer. The red velvet cookie layer is 100% from scratch. Soft, thick, chewy perfection. Did you get that? The crust is a red velvet cookie! Makes me weak at the knees just thinking about it.
You’ll make the cheesecakes in a muffin pan. Baking the cookies as cookie cups in a muffin pan ensures they’re even thicker. Mmm, sink your teeth into that.
So what goes perfectly with red velvet? Besides coffee, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and buttercream frosting – cheesecake may be the answer you’re looking for.
The cheesecake layer is practically the same recipe I use for my cookies ‘n cream cheesecake recipe (available in my cookbook). I simply downsized it for this particular recipe. Ultra rich, ultra creamy, ultra indulgent.
You’ll simply need 12 oz of softened cream cheese, a little yogurt, 1 egg, some sugar, and vanilla. 5 simple ingredients. Plus some chocolate chips for good measure. Beat it all together and spoon it on top of your pre-baked cookie cups. Bake for 20 minutes until set, chill, and EAT!
Baking cheesecake in muffin pans is so much easier than baking an entire cheesecake. Quicker, too! There are a million places we all have to be and slaving over an entire cheesecake in the kitchen isn’t one of them. Of course, it’s sometimes worth it.
Feel free to try this recipe as cheesecake bars: grab a 9×9 inch square baking pan, press the red velvet cokie dough into the pan, pre-bake for 10 minutes, pour the cheesecake on top and bake for about 35 minutes. Chill, slice, and fall in red velvet love.
Was that last line corny? Sorry, must be my breakfast talking.
I have these little cheesecakes chilling in the refrigerator right now and am sending off the rest with Kevin to work today. I have a feeling they’ll love them. They’re the same people who thought these cookies weren’t even healthy.
The recipe makes a big batch, so it’s the perfect dessert for a holiday party, birthday party, get together, girls night (send them home with extras!), Valentine’s day party, etc. ♥
Yield: 22-24 cheesecakes
Creamy chocolate chip cheesecake on top of a homemade, from-scratch red velvet cookie crust. Red velvet lover or not, these cheesecakes are irresistible!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes (includes chilling)
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two 12-count muffin pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Make the red velvet cookie layer: toss the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. Switch the mixer to medium speed and beat in the brown sugar and granulated sugar until combined. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Once mixed, add the food coloring and beat until combined. Turn the mixer off and pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until a very soft dough is formed. Beat in more food coloring if you'd like the dough to be redder. The dough will be sticky.
Press 1 scant Tablespoon of cookie dough into the bottom of each cupcake liner. I say "scant" because otherwise you won't have enough to make 22-24 mini cheesecakes. Bake each batch for 8 minutes to pre-bake the crust before layering the cheesecake on top.
Make the cheesecake layer: using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high until completely smooth. Add the yogurt and sugar, beating on high until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium until combined. Try not to overbeat, which will cause cheesecake cracks. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Dollop 1 Tablespoon of cheesecake batter on top of the pre-baked cookie, spreading it to make sure it completely covers the cookie.
Return the mini cheesecakes to the oven and continue to bake for about 20 more minutes, making sure the tops of the cheesecake does not get too brown. The cups are done in the oven when the cheesecake topping no longer jiggles when you shake the pan. Cover the cups with aluminum foil if the tops are getting too brown too soon. Allow to cool for 30 minutes on the counter, then in the refrigerator to set for another 1.5 hours.
Cookie cups stay fresh covered at room temperature for 12-24 hours, and then must be refrigerated after that for up to 3 more days.
*Room temperature eggs are preferred for both layers. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, simply place in a cup of warm water for 5 minutes. I usually set out my eggs when I set out my butter and cream cheese to soften about 1 hour before beginning.
*Recipe tested with 0% fat plain Greek yogurt. Use any yogurt, Greek or regular, that you prefer. Sour cream works as well.
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