Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes

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!

This recipe is sponsored by PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, whose products I’ve always trusted in my baking.

mini no-bake cheesecakes

So, What Are Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes?

No-bake 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 and use the back of the spoon to pack it down into the liner.
  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. 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 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 buttery crust is difficult to bite.

By the way, if you’re looking for a baked variation, here are my regular mini cheesecakes. And I have plenty more cheesecake recipes, 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 topping sauce and fresh berries. Don’t have fresh berries? Top with a spoonful of lemon curd, 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

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 PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese. Do not use low fat cream cheese or cream cheese spread that’s sold in a tub.
  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!

mini no-bake 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: 0-5 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 mini cheesecakes
  • 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

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups (200g) graham cracker crumbs (about 1214 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons; 115g) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 1 cup (240ml) cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • two 8-ounce bricks (16 oz) full-fat PHILADELPHIA 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 necessary, 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 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 topping 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.)

Keywords: cheesecake, mini cheesecake, no-bake dessert

83 Comments

  1. yummy and easy.

    1. I played it safe and made only half a batch, which I now thoroughly regret.

      I have gestational diabetes, so I made mine low carb, sugar free (almond and coconut flour crust and sugar free sweetener). Pregnancy forced so many food restrictions on me and I am having a rough time sleeping, my skin is stretching and I am always tired… Then I had a bite… OMG!!! I was in heaven!!! I am so grateful this is available online. I love you!!!

  2. Does anybody in the UK know of an alternative to blocks of cream cheese?
    I can only find cream cheese in a tub.
    Thank you! x

    1. Just use standard Full Fat Philly in the tub, works just as well.

      1. Amanda Glancy says:

        Thank you! ♥️

  3. These look AMAZING! My sister is a big fan of cheesecake and I am so excited to make these for her! Thank you for a great recipe Sally!

    1. I hope she loves these, Marcela!

  4. Cheryl Stoelting says:

    Could you make these chocolate?

    1. Hi Cheryl! I’m sure you could with some cocoa powder. I haven’t tested anything. Let me know if you do.

  5. Hi Sally,
    Looks delish, can this recipe be halved for smaller gatherings, etc.? Thanx!

    1. Absolutely. Halve each ingredient. Instructions remain the same.

  6. I’ll be making these!
    I make a no bake chocolate cheesecake. For two blocks cheese I melt/cool slightly two cups semi sweet chocolate chips. I don’t add sugar to the mixture as we find it sweet enough using semi sweet chocolate chips. I use thin chocolate wafers instead of graham wafers.

  7. I’m a little confused. It says “mini” cheesecakes, but the pan size is standard 12 count. Should I use a mini muffin pan or a regular muffin pan. Sorry if this is a silly question.

    1. Hi Dee, mini as in a miniature version of a full size cheesecake. You are still using a standard muffin pan. Feel free to make them extra mini in a mini muffin pan, though!

  8. DUE TO A CITRUS ALLERGY, I WAS WONDERING IF I CAN OMIT THE LEMON JUICE ALL TOGETHER FOR THIS RECIPE? IF NOT, IS THERE SOMETHING TO SUBSTITUTE THE LEMON?

    1. Hi Pauline, you can simply leave it out.

  9. Hi Sally, What about making them ‘mini’ mini? In other words, in mini muffin tins. Too small for crust and filling?

    1. You can definitely make these extra mini using a 24 count mini muffin pan. Make the recipe as directed, but when it comes to assembly, use about half the amount of crust mixture and filling per cheesecake.

  10. Thank you! (and I swear the similar question before mine wasn’t posted yet when I sent mine! ) Take care, love your site, have told all my baking friends about you

  11. We just tried them, they are really good!

  12. I love these. I have also made them with a Pecan Sandi base instead of Graham Cracker. I got that idea from one of your earlier posts. So easy and everything on hand.

  13. Can you please tell me the brand of cupcake liners you use? Thank you!

    1. PaperChef!

  14. Sally, you might want to look at the ingredients list – formatting off.

    1. It looks normal to me! What are you seeing? Feel free to email me if you’d like to send a screen shot. [email protected]

  15. What modifications, if any, are necessary if I’d like to use a 9 – 10-inch springform pan, instead of muffin tins? The recipe looks delicious!

    1. Hi Sherry, here is my full size no bake cheesecake recipe.

  16. Just made these yesterday – exactly as written – and they were delicious!!!! I served them with a mixed berry sauce & berries, and they were so good!!! Not sure what the serving size is, but I may have eaten two… 😉

  17. Hi! My local grocery store sells 1.2 oz bags of freeze-dried strawberries. Will that be enough for this recipe?

    1. Hi Ayesha, this recipe doesn’t call for freeze-dried strawberries. Are you thinking of something else?

      1. Oh my bad! I thought I was posting this on your Strawberry and Cream Cake Roll recipe.

  18. These look amazing and easy to make – can’t wait to try them. I am thinking they would also be great using chocolate graham cracker crumbs — what are your thoughts and would you still use brown sugar in the crust or something else?

    1. Hi Karen! These would be so tasty with chocolate graham crackers. I recommend following the recipe as written but using chocolate graham crackers instead of regular.

  19. Hi Sally,
    I was wondering Could I use lime juice instead of lemon?

    1. Hi Carmen, The lemon juice is used here to brighten up the flavor – this cheesecake does not taste like lemon. If you wish them to tase like lime you can try following the instructions in the recipe notes for lemon flavor cheesecakes but use lime instead. You might also be interested in my Key Lime Cheesecake.

  20. Hi Sally! I just wanted to say that this recipe is amazing ! I made your no-bake regular cheesecake before and it was very good, but I really wanted to try mini versions of it too! I followed the recipe exactly, it was very easy to make 🙂 Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe ! ☺️

  21. Susan Weiss says:

    Sally,
    If this has been asked before, sorry.
    But can you use premade Graham cracker crusts?
    I have some.in the freezer and want to use.

    1. Mini pre-made crusts should be fine, but I haven’t tested it to be certain. Depending on the size of the crusts, you may not get 24.

      1. Still, a delicious chance I am willing to take.
        Will let you know how many I get.

  22. Hi!

    We made 12 muffins and then a smaller cheesecake as well. They were delish, I definitely enjoyed them in the cupcake form. I’m wondering if I’m able to freeze the other one and eat it at a different time? I don’t know much about cheesecake so I’m not sure if this would ruin the texture.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Hayley, After it has set in the refrigerator, no-bake cheesecake freezes wonderfully for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then slice and serve.

  23. Hi Sally
    Could I top these with this salted caramel and chocolate chips?

    1. Sure can! Yum!

  24. Hi, can I make this with Oreo cookie crumbs and gelatin instead + no sour cream/yoghurt? Thanks.

    1. Hi Jolene, you can use crushed Oreos instead of graham cracker crumbs. (I recommend the quick baking step if using Oreos though.) I haven’t tested this recipe with gelatin as a replacement for the sour cream/yogurt, so I can’t guarantee results. I recommend sticking with the recipe.

  25. I made these today! My first time making non-gelatin no-bake cheesecake. I’m a beginner in the kitchen, but if I can do it, I’m sure most people can!

    I’ll admit, I made some substitutions:
    * I used tub cream cheese
    * I skipped the lemon juice (didn’t have any)
    * Used biscoff instead of graham crackers
    * Used plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream

    Opinions:
    * The flavor was great, although I would definitely use the lemon juice next time if I can!
    * The texture was off for me. It was more “gooey” instead of firm-ish like the cheesecakes I’ve bought. I let it set for 4 hours in my fridge, but maybe this is due to the nature of no-bake cheesecakes, or because I used greek yogurt.

    Overall, this is a tasty and quick recipe for cheesecake! I made it because we accidentally bought the huge tub of cream cheese from Costco, and needed to find ways to use it up. we’ll definitely be snacking on these for the next few days… Thanks for the great recipe Sally!!

  26. Thank you for the recipe. I was wondering if the same recipe for these mini no bake cheesecakes can be used to make no bake cheesecake bars. Instead of individualizing the ingredients into muffin wells, would it be possible to place the ingredients into an 8 X8 or 9X9 pan and make bars instead? I have virtually no experience with cheesecakes and was wondering if this would work. Thank you again.

    1. Hi Beth, I haven’t personally tried it but I can’t see why not. I would pre-bake the crust for 5 minutes though.

      1. Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your response.

  27. Hi. Can I use frozen berries for the topping and if so how would I do this? I have a ton that I really need to use. Thank you!

    1. You can use frozen berries for the strawberry topping. Do not thaw.

  28. I am a big fan of silicone muffin cups, do you think they would work with this or should I stick w paper?

    1. I haven’t personally tried it but I don’t see why not!

  29. It was 97 degrees outside when I made these–I was so thankful to have a no bake recipe! I did bake the crusts, and I’m glad I did because the texture was perfect. I tried the filling before putting these in the refrigerator, and I was worried they might turn out a little too tart. But the flavors mellowed out in the fridge and were delicious–everyone loved them! This will definitely be my summer time cheesecake recipe. Easy to make and so good. Thanks for a great recipe!

  30. Maria Venegas says:

    Can I do this with store-bought cool whip?

    1. I haven’t tested it, but I 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 me know what you try!

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