Mini chocolate chip cheesecakes with a thick Oreo cookie crust and topped with homemade salted caramel sauce.
Today’s post is very special, so I hope you listen up. There are two parts:
- The recipe.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, let’s start with hunger.
Today a few bloggers and I got together and brought a Thanksgiving dish/dessert to the table. A Thanksgiving potluck. Our purpose? Feeding America. Raising awareness of the hunger epidemic sweeping our country (and well, our world). 15.9 million children live in homes where they cannot consistently access enough nutrition to sustain a healthy life.
During a time of the year when we are all focused on food and family, it’s important to take a step back and think about others who may not be as lucky as we are. Find volunteer opportunities in your area. Virtually volunteer by spreading the word. Donate food, get involved, and help the 1 in 6 Americans who aren’t able to eat.
Because of my job, I have plethora of food laying around. I certainly can’t eat it all, nor do I have a bakery in which to sell the food. I can, however, donate extras to our church. Our church then brings it to Our Daily Bread, a Baltimore-based food kitchen.
2. The Recipe.
My recipe to contribute to our combined effort to raise hunger awareness is cheesecake. But this isn’t your regular cheesecake. Nope, not at all. There’s homemade salted caramel + cheesecake + Oreo cookie crust + chocolate chips. They are mini, they’re cute, they’re decadent, and they’re simply divine.
The mini cheesecakes begin with a solid cheesecake base. You’ll need room temperature cream cheese, sugar, a dash of yogurt (or sour cream), 2 eggs, and vanilla. Just beat all of those basic ingredients together until smooth and add some mini chocolate chips. Regular sized chocolate chips would be fine as well.
The cheesecakes sit atop a simple Oreo cookie crust. The same Oreo cookie crust I always use, except slightly scaled down: crushed whole Oreos and melted butter. Press the mixture into 16-18 cupcake liners. Like so:
Top the crusts with the cheesecake batter and bake. Allow the cheesecakes to chill in the refrigerator to “set.” There! You just made mini cheesecakes. It’s pretty simple, right?
Here’s the fun part: homemade salted caramel. Salted caramel is like liquid candy. Sweet, sticky, salted, sugary candy. Having a standard salted caramel recipe under your belt is priceless. With my salted caramel recipe, you’ll be an expert in no time, I promise. (And you’ll want to pour the caramel on top of everything you eat, I promise.)
Drizzle the salted caramel on top of each cheesecake. Some of your cheesecakes may slightly sink down. There are a variety of reasons why the centers may sink. Over-mixing the eggs, not using a water bath, etc. That’s ok with these cheesecakes. You want a slight sink in the center so you have a place for the salted caramel. When it comes to full-sized cheesecakes, you want to be a little more aware of sinkage-prevention.
Enjoy your new favorite way to eat cheesecake!Print
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 28 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes
- Yield: 16-18 mini cheesecakes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Mini chocolate chip cheesecakes with a thick Oreo cookie crust and topped with homemade salted caramel sauce.
Oreo Cookie Crust
- 18 regular Oreo cookies (not Double-Stuf)
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted
- 16 oz (448g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt*
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (180g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (or regular size)
- homemade salted caramel
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two 12-count cupcake pans with 18 liners.
- For the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse the whole Oreos into a fine crumb. Stir the cookie crumbs and melted butter together in a medium sized bowl. Press 1 heaping Tablespoon of mixture into the bottom of each liner, see picture above for a visual. You should have enough for 16-18 cups. Bake in batches for 5 minutes and allow to slightly cool as you prepare the filling.
- For the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sugar and yogurt and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and mini chocolate chips.
- Spoon batter into the crusts until nearly full. Bake each pan for 20-23 minutes. The centers will still be slightly jiggly, that’s OK. The centers may also have risen up quite a bit, but they will deflate as the cheesecakes cool. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature, at least 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least two hours.
- Before serving, top each cheesecake with salted caramel and additional chocolate chips, if desired.
- Cover leftover cheesecakes tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezing Instructions: After the cheesecakes have cooled to room temperature, you can freeze them. I recommend freezing without caramel. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and top with salted caramel before serving.
- Yogurt: Sour cream OR nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, Greek or regular yogurt is OK.
Keywords: salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes, mini caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes
Reader Comments & Reviews
Absolutely love this recipe! These little minis are delicious. Just curious…can you use this recipe and bake a whole cheesecake (8 or 9″ springform pan)?
Sally I too would love your recommendations to make this recipe for a whole cheesecake?
Hi! Yes, of course. I would actually make this cheesecake recipe. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the batter, then top with salted caramel sauce before serving.
Hi Sally! Love the recipe! I’m bringing these to a party and was wondering…should I leave the liners on the cheesecakes or should I take them off? Thanks!
I’d maybe leave them on so they’re less messy at the party.
What would the oven temperature be for a fan forced oven?
I always recommend reducing by 25 degrees for fan-forced.
I was asked to find a recipe and bring to school.After searching for a while i stumbled upon your recipe which i just love. Anyways I was wondering if i had to store the caramel for a couple of days like stated or could i possibly Just make it and add it the same day?
You can make the caramel and pour it on the cheesecakes before serving (the same day).
Sally do you process the orees with the cream or not?
Yes the whole Oreo.
Dear, Dear Sally! I’ve always loved your recipes, right from the pizza to the death by chocolate cupcakes…but this recipe literally takes the (cheese) cake! I was terrified of cheesecakes, they just seem so daunting with their water baths and propensity towards cracking, but OhMyGod these were just the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had: far better than those we find at restaurants here, to be honest. And SO easy to bake, too! I had to make two batches in the same day, ran out of cream cheese and had to go buy more and then bake again, and the boyfriend had about 5 at one go. I didn’t even include the chocolate chips in the second, and they still turned out so perfect. Of course, I had a ton of salted caramel left from when I made the pie recipe…and I put it in pretty much everything now, from coffee to cupcakes! So, to conclude, thanks for another awesome and fail-proof recipe. You’re the best. <3
P.S. To anyone having a problem with a greasy cheesecake, you might want to make a 1:1 ratio of Oreos w/cream and Oreos w/o. Seemed to help with that in the second lot! Not that it affects the taste in any way, at all.
I made these last night and took to my daughters for her first home Thanksgiving. Her fiance’ doesn’t like chocolate (go figure! but, I like him anyway) so, I made three separate batches. One original, then original with peanut butter chips and for him, a graham cracker crust with mini toffees. You can really add anything in to the filling after it’s made. I also used the vanilla yogurt then found it a bit over sweet so I added 1/2 cup of sour cream to cut it some and it didn’t bother the texture. The salty caramel is divine. I will be making these again for our work Christmas get together. Thanks for the recipes! Next on the list is those decadent honey butter rolls!
Oooooh I love the sounds of these with peanut butter chips! I’ll have to try it. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks for reporting back, Samantha!
Hello Sally! Thank you so much for your recipe, I tried it last night. I doubled the recipe. I followed the instructions and measurement it was delicious & my husband loved it. However do you think I can adjust the sugar from 3/4 to 1/2 instead? (filling)
And yes! I felt like a pro after I made the Salted Caramel Sauce, it was amazing! thank you for sharing 🙂
Reducing the sugar shouldn’t be an issue!
I made these last night after seeing your post on Facebook! They were super easy and TO DIE FOR! Our friends loved them as dessert at our dinner party. I made enough to freeze so looking forward to seeing what they taste in the future when out of the freezer! Thank you for the WONDERFUL recipe! As my husband said, keep this one up front in the cookbook as they will be our “go-to” dessert!
The salted caramel sauce is AMAZING! So easy to make and unbelievably delicious! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!
Hi Sally, wonderful recipe you have here. If i were to half the recipe, how will that affect the total baking time? Thank you!
The baking time will be the same!
I’m have not made the cheesecakes but I am leaving a comment for the caramel because it was beyond incredible! I have had many failed attempts at caramel and finally decided to try your recipe, don’t ask me why I didn’t try this first, and I am just so thrilled! Honestly most of the batch has just been eaten with spoon 🙂 so good!
I made these today for Easter dessert tomorrow.. They are delicious and the recipe will be added to my “hot” dessert file folder.
hi I love these and bust attempted my first batch. but how should they look before you take them out? still white or turning golden?
Mine are a little more white than golden on the top– it sounds like you may have overbaked them. Some golden brown is OK and if you don’t mind the appearance, completely fine to eat.
Just to be sure, it’s okay to cool these in the muffin tins? They won’t continue cooking or anything by not removing them? Making these for a bachelorette party as the bride-to-be is a cheesecake lover 🙂
They can cool in the muffin pan, yes.
Will the caramel on the cheesecake harden after a few hours?
It doesn’t completely harden – it gets a little chewy.
I used your blog quite a bit during my “baking season” and I have to say that you have made a new fan. I made these for my new boyfriend’s family at our first Thanksgiving together and these people just destroyed these. I mean, you helped me impress 24 people; not one person disliked these. I keep getting requests to make them again and because of the demand, I think I’m going to keep this as a special-event-type recipe, that and the fact that these are very much an indulgence. *wink*
Hi Sally! Am I supposed to bake the Oreo crusts for 5 minutes first? The recipe box says to do that “in batches” while making the filling, but the long text recipe post jumps right to filling them and then baking. Thanks for clarifying! Jenny
Hey Jenny! Yes, pre-bake the crusts for 5 minutes before filling.
My friends think I’m a total baking superstar after bringing these to a party. I had left over caramel, and it is terrific in coffee! Always love your recipes, thanks!
I made those cheesecakes and they were AH-mazing! And then I made the caramel sauce…. Ohhh my goodness. Out of this world!!!!
Hi Sally, your recipes are amazing. For this particular recipe can i replace oreos with graham crackers and salted caramel sauce with dulce de leche, would it be a good idea? I have a dinner tomorrow and i wanted to utilize whatever i have in my pantry. would appreciate your feedback. Thanks.
Yes both substitutions will be just fine.
So good and so rich! I made these with gluten-free JoJo’s from Trader Joe’s to accommodate the dietary needs of a coworker and they were awesome. Everyone is now in a sugar coma 🙂
Served these today for my daughter’s grad party. Definitely the hit of the day. I will make these again. Thank you.
Made these! Love these!
I know you said “mini” so I’m assuming mini-muffin pan and not a regular cupcake pan, right?
These are mini cheesecakes, baked in a standard 12-count muffin pan. If you want a mini version of a mini cheesecake, then a 24 count pan would work too!
Can you make even smaller ones using mini-muffin cups, and if so, how long would you bake them?
You absolutely could! They would probably take about 12 minutes in the oven.
HI Sally-Love your recipes!! I’m wondering if you think this recipe will work with cherries instead of caramel? I’m definitely going to try the caramel, but I LOVE cherry cheesecake and would love to make this for Xmas eve dinner. thanks!
Yep, cherries would be wonderful on top instead of caramel. Enjoy!
What size cupcake tin are you using? Are they mini one bite size or regular cupcake/muffin tin? Can’t wait to make them, they look wonderful!
Standard 12-count muffin pan, not mini.
Made this for Thanksgiving and they were delicious! I also needed more cookies to have enough crust, and I think I added too much butter to the second batch of crust because it got kind of hard. But most of them were so delicious. And the CARAMEL! Oh, the CARAMEL! I may be slightly slow, but I had no idea that caramel was made of sugar and butter LOL. It came out so…WOW. Everyone raved. And I just happened to be making a Ritz-Carlton Pumpkin Cheesecake right after, and it called for caramel sauce. Wouldn’t you know, I already had some! And now I’ve had to eat ice cream the past two nights to use it all up. Can’t let it go to waste!
How perfect about the caramel Ashley! And yes, caramel is actually quite easy to make this way. Made from pure butter and sugar. So happy you enjoyed the cheesecakes! That pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sounds out of this world!
I made these for Thanksgiving dessert, along with the homemade salted caramel. So excited to serve these! I know they’ll be delicious! Thanks for sharing, Sally!