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These mini no-bake cheesecakes are formed in a muffin pan. Using only a few basic and delicious ingredients, these tiny cheesecakes set up in the refrigerator instead of the oven. They’re extra creamy and lightly sweetened just like my regular no-bake cheesecake!

mini no-bake cheesecakes

So, What Are Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes?

No-bake cheesecake, no-bake pumpkin cheesecake, and even my no-bake cheesecake jars are exactly that: cheesecake without the oven. I like to compare the filling to cheesecake mousse. It has a light and airy texture because it’s made with homemade whipped cream. When spooned over a graham cracker crust and refrigerated, the eggless cheesecake filling sets up beautifully.

It’s pure magic.

What it lacks in oven time, it makes up for in taste and texture:

  • Thick, buttery, and crunchy graham cracker crust
  • Light, creamy, and velvet-rich cheesecake filling

Though I already have a full no-bake cheesecake recipe on my website, sometimes I enjoy making it in individual muffin cups instead of a springform pan. And I figured you’d want to see how it’s done! These mini no-bake cheesecakes are simple, straightforward, and at only a few bites each, perfect for portion control.

mini no-bake cheesecakes

Overview: How to Make Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes

  1. Make room in your refrigerator. Two muffin pans need to squeeze in there!
  2. Line two standard 12-count muffin pans with liners. Cupcake liners are key—you won’t be able to remove the cheesecakes without them.
  3. Combine the crust ingredients. You need graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. Butter and moist brown sugar (as opposed to regular granulated sugar) help this crust set up properly. Spoon 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of the crust mixture into each liner and use the back of the spoon to pack it down tightly.
  4. The next step is optional. To really ensure that these tiny crusts set up properly, I recommend a quick 5 minutes in the oven. Now I know these are NO-BAKE—and the filling still is—I simply found that the crust is sturdier after 5 minutes of baking. But if you can’t use an oven, you can definitely skip it. The crust will just be a bit crumblier.
  5. Make the cheesecake filling. These no-bake cheesecakes set up because we add homemade whipped cream. This is the secret to a thick sturdy filling, and we also use this trick in strawberry cream cheese pie. First, whip heavy cream into stiff peaks and set it aside. Next, combine the rest of the filling ingredients including cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
  6. Add filling over crusts. I’ve made these countless times and prefer piping the cheesecake filling on top of the mini crusts. You can certainly spoon the filling onto the crusts instead, but piping isn’t quite as messy. Feel free to use a piping bag with a large tip (star or round), or you can snip the corner off of a zipped-top plastic bag.
  7. Refrigerate until set. The mini no-bake cheesecakes set up in about 3 hours. I don’t recommend using the freezer to speed this up because the graham cracker crust will quickly freeze before the filling does. A frozen crust is difficult to bite.

By the way, if you’re looking for a baked variation, here are my regular mini cheesecakes. I even have mini margarita cheesecakes (obviously!), plus plenty more cheesecake recipes and even an easy cheesecake pie too!

graham cracker crust in muffin pan

Below Left: Heavy cream whipped into stiff peaks. Below Right: Smooth cheesecake filling before adding the whipped cream.

no bake cheesecake filling in glass bowls

After you fold in the whipped cream, the no-bake cheesecake filling will be fluffy and airy—just like mousse. Here is a photo for a visual:

mini no bake cheesecakes filling
no bake cheesecake filling before chilling

Won’t the Filling Stick to the Wrappers?

I was skeptical at first, but they don’t. As long as you follow the recipe exactly and chill the mini no-bake cheesecakes for long enough, the wrappers will neatly pull away from the filling. The cheesecakes do begin to soften up when at room temperature, so as long as you unwrap them shortly after taking them out of the refrigerator, you’re fine.

Toppings for Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes

Though plain mini no-bake cheesecakes are flavorful on their own, they welcome all sorts of fun toppings. I love serving these with strawberry sauce and fresh berries. Don’t have fresh berries? Top with a spoonful of lemon curd, salted caramel, apple butter, or your favorite fruit preserves. You can also top with chocolate ganache. If using ganache, I recommend spooning a little over each mini cheesecake before refrigerating so the ganache can set up too.

mini no-bake cheesecakes with berries
mini no-bake cheesecake

3 Final Success Tips

  1. Whip the Heavy Cream: The most important step in this recipe is to beat cold heavy cream into peaks before folding it into the cheesecake filling. The whipped cream helps solidify the filling and its airiness creates an irresistible mousse-like consistency. (You’re basically making unsweetened, unflavored whipped cream!)
  2. Use Bricks of Cream Cheese: To guarantee the cheesecakes set up properly, use 8-ounce bricks of full-fat cream cheese. Do not use low-fat cream cheese or cream cheese spread that’s sold in a tub. Same success tip I recommend when making the icing for fruit pizza, too!
  3. Refrigerate, Don’t Freeze: You might be tempted to speed up the chilling process in the freezer, but the colder air won’t chill the cheesecakes evenly. The crust will firm up before the filling does. And trust me, you don’t want to bite into frozen crust underneath partially frozen cheesecake.
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no bake cheesecakes made in a muffin pan

Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 mini cheesecakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Whipping
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Follow this recipe for perfect mini no-bake cheesecakes that set in lined muffin pans. Before beginning, read through the recipe and recipe notes below and review the success tips in the blog post above. Step 3 is optional.


Ingredients

Scale

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups (240g) graham cracker crumbs (about 16 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons; 113g) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 1 cup (240ml) cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • two 8-ounce bricks (16 oz; 452g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: your desired toppings (see recipe Note)

Instructions

  1. Line two standard 12-count muffin pans with cupcake liners. Make sure you have room in your refrigerator for both pans. (You refrigerate them in step 6.)
  2. Prepare the crust: If your graham crackers aren’t crumbs yet, use a food processor to pulse them into fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into a medium bowl and stir in the brown sugar and melted butter until combined. Mixture will have the consistency of wet sand. Spoon 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of the crust mixture into each muffin liner and use the back of the spoon to pack it down tightly.
  3. The next step is optional. Though it’s not required, I recommend baking the crusts for a quick 5 minutes in a 350°F (177°C) oven. The crusts are a little sturdier this way. However, if you can’t use an oven or simply don’t want to, you can skip this step. The crust will just be a bit crumblier. If baking, let the warm crusts cool for 10 minutes before adding the filling on top.
  4. Make the filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cold heavy cream into stiff peaks on medium-high speed, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Make sure there are no large lumps of cream cheese. If there are lumps, keep beating until smooth. Using your mixer on low speed or a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling until combined. This takes several turns of your rubber spatula. Combine slowly as you don’t want to deflate all the air in the whipped cream.
  5. You can use a spoon or piping bag to transfer the filling on top of the crusts. Spoon or pipe about 2 Tablespoons of filling over each crust. I prefer piping the filling because it’s a little easier and neater. Fit your piping bag with a large star or round piping tip, then transfer the filling to the bag and pipe.  (You could also use a plastic zipped-top bag. Spoon the filling inside, snip an end off a corner, and pipe.) Use the back of a spoon to smooth the tops so they are flat.
  6. Refrigerate the mini cheesecakes in the pans for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days. If refrigerating for longer than 3 hours, I recommend covering with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  7. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve with optional toppings (see recipe Note). The cheesecakes begin to soften and stick to the liners after about 30–60 minutes at room temperature.
  8. Cover and store leftover mini cheesecakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The mini cheesecakes can be made 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated for up to 2 days before serving, as noted in step 6. Another way to prep these mini no-bake cheesecakes is to freeze them. Refrigerate them as directed in step 6, then remove them from the muffin pan (keep the liners on them) and line in a single layer in a large freezer-friendly container. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.
  2. Optional Toppings: Right before serving, you can add toppings to the mini cheesecakes. You can also add the following toppings after the cheesecakes have chilled in the refrigerator for just 1–2 hours (step 6), then store the topped cheesecakes in the refrigerator for the remaining time. Use 3/4 cup strawberry sauce divided over each chilled mini cheesecake. (Spoon about 1/2 Tablespoon over each.) And/or use 1 cup mixed berries, plus a few mint leaves, divided over each for additional garnish. Instead of strawberry sauce, try the same amount of lemon curd, apple butter, or your favorite fruit preserves. You can also top with chocolate ganache. I recommend spooning a little over each mini cheesecake before refrigerating so the ganache can set up too.
  3. Lemon Juice: Lemon juice brightens up the flavor. This cheesecake does not taste like lemon. For lemon flavored mini no-bake cheesecakes, replace the sour cream with 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (in addition to the 1 teaspoon lemon juice that it already calls for) and add 2 teaspoons lemon zest.
  4. Room Temperature Ingredients: Bring the cream cheese and sour cream to room temperature before beginning. Room temperature ingredients guarantee a smooth cheesecake filling. Beating cold ingredients together will result in a chunky cheesecake filling. (The heavy cream, however, MUST be cold in order to whip into stiff peaks.)
  5. Non-US Readers: ​​Don’t have graham crackers where you live? Use 2 cups (240g) ground digestive biscuits instead (about 16 biscuits), the same amount of butter, and add a bit more sugar (about 1/2 cup, or 100g). You may need to add a few extra minutes to the pre-baking time, as digestive biscuits are not quite as crispy-crunchy as graham crackers. And from what I understand, spreadable cream cheese sold in a tub in countries outside of the US is a little different from the spreadable cream cheese in the US. It’s thicker, sturdier, and more solid and should be OK to make cheesecake. I have no experience with it, but this is what I’ve heard from other non-US readers.

Keywords: cheesecake, mini cheesecake, no-bake dessert

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Would these work with mini cupcake liners/pans? I just realized I don’t have enough regular size liners. Oops!

    1. Hi Missy, we haven’t tested it but let us know if you do!

  2. I have used this recipe many times using pre-made Graham cracker mini crusts and then plated individually with a drizzle of honey and fresh blueberries. A perfect light dessert. We always receive compliments and there is never a crumb left on the plate.

    Today I used lemon cookies in the bottom of the cupcake liners – I can’t wait for them to set up (though I did sample with a little leftover filling). Very very yummy!

  3. Turned out delicious!! I used half the brown sugar in the crust and added the zest of 2 clementines into the filling. I also topped them with a few fruit gels I made by letting 1/2-1 tsp gelatin sit in 1/4C water for 5 min, then combining with about 12oz of berries, 1/4C. granulated sugar, and 2 Tbps of lemon juice, and simmering until everything was dissolved. I cooled it to room temperature and poured on top while the cakes chilled (enough for about 6 mini cheesecakes). I made raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, and cherry. Highly recommend!

    1. Hi Anu, we’re sure you could make a chocolate version, but we haven’t tried it. It would require some testing because we are torn if you would use melted and cooled chocolate or cocoa powder. Let us know if you test anything!

  4. Can these be refrigerated overnight or do they get soggy/separate if sitting for too long? ( I noticed in the full sized recipe its recommended to leave chilling for 12 hours/overnight)

    1. Hi Kourtnii, Refrigerate the mini cheesecakes in the pans for 3 hours and up to 2 days. If refrigerating for longer than 3 hours, we recommend covering with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

  5. Tastes great, but it all felt a little bit skimpy for two standard 12-count muffin pans. If I made this again, I’d either only use one pan, or double the ingredients

    1. Following your comment and basing the ratios on my usual mini-baked-cheesecake recipe: I halved the crust recipe and kept the batter the same: it fits perfectly into a 12-count muffin pan for nice, full cupcake liners.

  6. I made these as written except I substituted Biscoff cookie crumbs for Graham cracker crumbs (and baked for 5 minutes as suggested). This is one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. The cheesecake was light but creamy and not overly sweet.

  7. Absolutely delicious!! Super easy to make and definitely a crowd pleaser!

    1. Hi Paige, store leftover mini cheesecakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I mention 2 days for making ahead because after that, they aren’t quite as fresh. (Up to 5 days is fine for leftovers.)

    2. Recipe says up to 2 days preferably, covered after 3+ hours. It also says they are good up to 5 days, if you don’t mind them not being fresh.
      These easily last me a week or slightly more in the fridge, well covered and sealed in an airtight, watertight container, though they taste best at 2-3 day mark, they’re still pretty good at day 7 for me. I make sure my toppings are only on the cupcakes when being served, not in the fridge. That can contribute to them not lasting as long.

    1. Hi Shirley, we don’t recommend it. Half and half will not whip into the same consistency that we get with the heavy cream. Without it, the cheesecakes will not set properly.

    1. We haven’t personally tried it but I don’t see why they wouldn’t work!

  8. Would this recipe work in a mini cheesecakes pan with removable bottom for a cleaner look? Do you think they would release cleanly?

    1. Hi Susan, we haven’t personally tried a pan like that, but as long as the cheesecakes have set, then it should work just fine. Let us know how it goes!

    1. Hi Nicholas, full fat block cream cheese is the only cream cheese that works in this recipe, so that the cheesecakes will properly set. (Unless you are located outside of the US — We have been told by readers outside the U.S. that cream cheese in a tub is different from ours and can work, but we have not tested it. Please let us know if you try!)

      1. Hi Lexi , I live in Australia and made this recipe today, the cream cheese we get most commonly here works fine ,it is based on American cream cheese anyway I think and I’ve been making cheesecakes and cake icings with it for ever , love this recipe ,left out sour cream as I had none and put in juice of 1 whole lemon and zest ,will be the envy at work monday with my afters for lunch ,cheers Steve

  9. Could you add some lime zest and juice to flavor these with lime? Would that ruin the texture?

    1. Hi Elle! You could certainly add some lime zest to the filling, but we caution against adding too much lime juice as the added liquid could prevent the cheesecakes from properly setting. You might enjoy these mini key lime pies instead (they do require baking, though). Let us know what you try!

  10. These were absolutely delicious! I did them without the cupcake liners and they still came out perfectly; I also tried these as a large version in jumbo muffin pans, and those were great, too! This recipe is amazing!

  11. Hi there, looking forward to making these! I’ve never baked with whipping cream….makes me a little nervous….lol. Can I substitute full fat cool whip or would you not recommend.

    1. Hi Betty, we haven’t tested it, but can’t see why not! 1 cup of heavy cream whips into 2 cups, so you’ll need 2 cups of it. You may want to slightly reduce the sugar in the batter as well. Let us know what you try!

  12. These were delicious! Double the recipe and drizzled caramel sauce iver the top

  13. Hi Sally, I live in France and Graham crackers do not exist here. What can I use as a substitute ? What is the taste of Graham crackers ?

    Thanks !

    1. Hi Laurie, we recommend substituting Biscoff cookies or digestive biscuits for the graham crackers. Both are fairly close in flavor, though you may find you need to adjust the amount of sugar a bit, depending on what you use. Bon appetit!

  14. Hello! Just started making these today and the recipe calls for 1.5 TB of graham cracker crust mixture into each cup. However, when I measure that out, I have quite a bit of crust mixture leftover – almost a full cup. Should I just divide up the remaining crust crumbs into the cups evenly and use it all, or is there supposed to be a good bit left? I don’t want to end up with too thick a crust, but I also don’t want it to be too thin and then not have enough height for the overall cheesecake when I add the filling! Hmm… what to do!

    1. Hi Gwen, What size muffin pan are you using? This crust should fit evenly into 24 standard size muffin pans. Any chance you are using mini-muffin pans?

      1. Nope — I am using standard muffin tins. Maybe I was a little generous in my scoops of graham cracker crumbs when initially mixing the crust, but definitely not a cup more. I also didn’t pack the crust mixture into my measuring spoons — it was more of a loosely scooped 1.5 TB per cup — maybe I should have packed it more?? Hmm… I’ll add a little more of the crust mixture to each cup. Thanks for troubleshooting with me!! They’ll be delicious even with a little more crust!

  15. Looking for a no-bake cheesecake filling that I can pipe on top of alfajores for a bite sized dessert. Would I be able to make the filling ahead, store in a piping bag in the fridge, and then pipe onto the cookies before serving? Or will the filling stay too stiff after refrigeration?

    1. Hi Alesia, we’d recommend using our no-bake cheesecake jar filling for piping instead! You may want to store in a bowl, that way you can give it a good stir before adding to the piping bag.

      1. Thank you so much! I will give that a go and let you know how it turns out!

  16. I need to make 400 mini shot glass cheesecakes for an event I am doing. Would you recommend this recipe or the jar recipe for this? I would like to prep ahead of time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

      1. Thank you for your fast response! I am also looking for an stable chocolate mousse recipe for mini desserts as well. What do you recommend?

  17. Looking forward to making this. Before I do can I use low calorie cream cheese?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Carrie, we don’t recommend using low-fat or low-calorie cream cheese for these. Especially because they’re no bake, so they wouldn’t set up as well as the full-fat kind.

    1. Hi AK, that should work fine, just be sure to follow the recipe’s chilling times to ensure the cheesecake filling sets. Enjoy!

  18. I tried this recipe and it came out perfect. Like all of your recipes, delicious!

    I’m just wondering if it’s able to sit out on display for a couple hours at room temp? Will it hold its form without the wrapping?

    1. Hi Michelle, We find that the cheesecakes begin to soften and stick to the liners after about 30–60 minutes at room temperature, so it’s really best to refrigerate them until they are ready to be served.

  19. Hi, want to make these for Thanksgiving. Can I LIGHTLY spray the muffin cups with Pam baking spray before filling? Would if affect the final result? Can’t wait to make these, look delish!!

    1. Hi Sue, If you still want to give them a light spray we don’t recommend skipping the optional step of baking of the crust. We hope you enjoy them!

  20. The mini cheesecakes are delicious. I baked the graham cracker crust about five minutes. After I put the crumb mixture in the cupcake liners, I found a small glass that fit perfectly to press down the crust. The crust was beautifully even, not that it mattered so much after the filling goes in….but it looked great for a few moments. I used a piping bag (no tip) for the filling. I cut off the end and it was quick work. Using the zip lock bag didn’t work as well….the filling was harder to spread to the cut end. The little cakes lifted right out of the liners. I did not use any baking spray for the liners. Wasn’t needed. I did make a caramel sauce to drizzle over the cakes.

    1. Hi Susan, making these today – I want to double the cheesecake filling but not the crust ingredients. Do you think this will work? I have jumbo foil cakecake papers that I’ll be using & they are a little higher in the tin. Thanks!!!

  21. Yum! I halved the recipe since I didn’t need so many and customised the flavour of each cheesecake! My family and friends love it!

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