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.
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 Sprinkle Cheesecake Cookie Cups last year. If you’re a sprinkle lover like me, you gotta try ’em! Cookies, funfetti, and cheesecake all in one. Today’s 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 (recipe is 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. 😉
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.
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.Print
Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 22-24 cheesecakes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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!
Red Velvet Cookie Layer
- 1 and 1/2 cups + 1 Tablespoon (196g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature*
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring*
- 12 ounces (336g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) yogurt*
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (90g) mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two 12-count muffin pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Make the red velvet cookie layer: Whisk 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.
- Make ahead tip: Cheesecakes can be frozen up to 2 months– thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk | 12-Count Muffin Pan | Muffin Liners
- Cheesecake Bars: Feel free to try this recipe as cheesecake bars. Grab a 9-inch square baking pan, press the red velvet cookie dough into the pan, pre-bake for 10 minutes, pour the cheesecake on top and bake for about 35 minutes. Chill, slice, and serve.
- Eggs: 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.
- Yogurt: Recipe tested with 0% fat plain Greek yogurt. Use any yogurt, Greek or regular, that you prefer. Sour cream works as well.
- Food Coloring: I prefer using gel food coloring, but liquid food coloring will work, too. If using liquid food coloring, increase to 1 Tablespoon.
Keywords: mini red velvet cheesecakes, red velvet cheesecake
Reader Comments & Reviews
Hey Sally! I saw someone asked this years ago but there wasn’t any follow up so just wondering if you’ve heard of anyone trying this out as a full cheesecake instead of individual muffin cakes?
Hi Kate, Unfortunately we still have not tested this recipe as a full size cake. It may work in an 8 or 9 inch round pan (or a square pan) but we are unsure of the bake time you would need (and you’d likely want to use a water bath to avoid cracks in the cheesecake layer). Let us know if you decide to try it!
Can I use white chocolate chips instead?
I had a craving for cheesecake & found this recipe I had saved! They came out great & everyone loved them. Adding the chocolate chips was the final touch! I think they look better as a regular cupcake, so I made them shallow so they were not so big. Next time I think I can get away with only one 8-oz cream cheese as I had quite a bit left over. Thanks for a fantastic recipe!
Love all of your recipes! 22-24 mini cheesecakes is a bit much for just my hubby and I, can I half this recipe and still achieve the same results? Thank you!
Hi Jessica! We don’t see why not. Our general rule for halving an egg is to crack it open, beat the yolk and white together with a fork, measure the volume (should be a few Tbsp), then use half.
I just bought a mini cheesecake pan with bottom that pop out. Do they work well or do I need to put liners in them anyway?
Hi Judy, I haven’t tested this recipe with that exact pan, but you should be able to skip liners.
Hi Sally! All I have on hand is Hershey’s Special Dark Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder. Will this work and/or should I make any other adjustments to the recipe if I use the special dark?
In a pinch, that would work in this recipe.
Can I cool in the freezer for time purposes or do I need to cool in the fridge?
Hi Rylee, I don’t recommend using the freezer. The cheesecake will not set properly and you’ll lose the velvet texture.
Hi Sally! Would you have coffee or mocha cheesecake recipe that would pair well with the red velvet base?
Thanks so much 🙂
By popular demand I am making your Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting cake for this years holiday party.
I was wondering if I can make it a Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake with the Cream cheese frosting? If yes, how do I do that? Bake the cake and cheesecake and layer it?
Hi Sue! I’m sure you could do it that way, but I haven’t tried it. However, I don’t see any issue. Let me know how it turns out.
I’d love to make these for a baby shower. I already bought everything to make them but just noticed this recipe is for the full 12 muffin size pan. I’m making the tiny (two bite) 24 to a pan cheesecakes. How can I make these in even smaller sizes?
Simply layer the crust + cheesecake filling into the mini muffin pan. The crust pre-bake time will be around 5-6 minutes. Then with the cheesecake filling– about 12-15 more minutes.
Could these be made in a mini muffin pan? Need a bunch for a cookie exchange!
Absolutely! The bake time will be slightly shorter.
Can I use a regular muffin pan instead of mini? If so what adjustments need made?
These are baked in a regular, standard 12-count muffin pan. I only call them mini because they are smaller than a giant cheesecake.
I tried them yesterday and it was so easy to put them into action. And they really are delicious! But, I was just wondering how you get the cookie layer to be velvet red. I added almost double the amount of red coloring but the cocoa powder made them only brown, there was not a bit of red in the result. Would be great to get a hint from you.
Hi Corinna! What brand of (1) cocoa powder and (2) food coloring are you using? I believe I used Hershey’s cocoa (which is lighter in color) when making the cheesecakes in the photo. Also, McCormick food coloring.
Hi Sally! Can’t wait to try these! These are regular size muffin tins right, not the minis?
Yep, regular size 12-count muffin pan– mini compared to a full cheesecake!
Hello, these looked lovely and I will be trying to bake these in the Christmas Holidays. Just one question, are the cupcake liners required? Or am I able to just grease the cupcake pans instead? I do not bake often so this might seem like a redundant question for you ! Thanks in advanced
Lin, it’s much easier to remove the cheesecakes when using liners. So, they make it easier for you!
Hi Sally! Im just new to baking. I tried your yellow cupcake recipe and it was perfect! I would be trying this next. Do you have to bake this with the water bath technique like in the recipes for cheesecakes?
No, since these are small size you really don’t have to worry about cracks.
If I make these tonight and refrigerate them all night will they still be as wonderful tomorrow?
Hi sally, I was wondering if I can substitute the yogurt for sour cream?
Sour cream is OK.
Hie Sally! Great recipe! Want to try it sometime soon. However, I’d prefer to make it as an actual cake. Would this be a good idea or this recipe only works as cupcakes? Thanks so much. 🙂
Hi Rue – I can’t say. I’ve never tried it. Let me know if you experiment!
Would it be okay if I used low-fat or fat-free cream cheese? I understand that the full-fat will give the cheesecake a richer taste/creamy texture but how much will using lower-fat affect it?
Lower fat would be “fine” but the texture will be slightly lacking creaminess and richness.
I’ve made these twice before, and I have my third batch in the oven now(: The last time I made them I did a Red White and Blue version for 4th of July by halving the amount of chocolate chips and marbling some blueberry preserves in the top. I can’t wait to have one tonight! They are simply delicious. Thanks so much for sharing!
Sally, I just finished baking these, and they turned out amazing. However, the recipe says to use a scant 1 tablespoon of cookie dough in each cup, or you may not have enough for all 24. I found that I had more than enough cookie dough, and not enough cheesecake to top them with. Not a problem though, I just made a second batch of cheesecake. Next time I will double that part of the recipe. I had enough cookie dough left over to make 16 (!!!!) cookies. Did I do something wrong when making the dough? Pretty sure I followed the recipe exactly as written, and I used a spoon to measure the flour, not just scooping it out of the container with the measuring cup. I used a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop when I put the dough in the cups and with the leftover cookies, so I know that wasn’t the issue.
Oh my! I’m glad you were able to double the cheesecake filling Shelby. I usually have a little extra filling, to be honest.Perhaps try 1.5 Tablespoons per cookie if you try them again (instead of doubling the filling).
Hi Sally, I always love your recipe and most of it contain the element i loved. ^^ But just now I went to try it out but was an unsuccessful one. My cheesecake sank in the middle while I cool it for 30 minutes… ): do you have any idea why is it so ?
It’s normal for the mini cheesecakes to sink in the middle!
I made these this morning for my family and they came out beautifully. I only had regular sized chocolate chips as I didn’t have the mini but think they would look pretty too. They recipe was so easy to follow and the end result tasted amazing. I just love your website Sally and can’t wait to try the next recipe. This is the 2nd one I’ve tried and both were great!
I made these for a PSO Event at school today. The teachers were raving about them. I didn’t have enough red food coloring, so they’re not so red velvet-y, but still delicious.
The only thing is that my crust was kind of crunchy, which I wasn’t expecting. I made two batches and baked the second batch’s crust for 5 minutes thinking I might have overdone the first banch, but it was still crunchier than what I was expecting. Are yours more cake-like? What should I do differently? Just curious!
Yep – its a cookie crust. Not supposed to be cakey at all. So glad that they were loved!
Hi Christine! You can try it, but you will lose the cocoa flavor.