March 17, 2011

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

mini strawberry cheesecakes

Remember that post I did on some of my recipe fails?? When I started making my own jam for the filling of these mini cheesecakes, I was super close to adding another entry to that list! Everything was going swimmingly until…..I decided to add more cornstarch! My jam wasn’t thickening fast enough and I was in a hurry because I had to bring these babies to my sister-in-law’s house. With just the slightest shake from the box, an avalanche of cornstarch clumps dumped into the hot strawberry slurry. I was left absolutely stunned. Crap crap CRAAAP!! I tried to push the jam through a fine mesh sieve to save it, but no dice. I learned a good lesson: Always measure/sift your cornstarch in advance. Have a little on the side or maybe even mix it with water so you have your thickening agent ready to go just in case you need it! I mean… I already knew that but…I get a little impatient in the kitchen sometimes.

What does one do in a such a desperate situation? QUICK! Time is limited and your strawberry supply has dwindled! Buy a dessert from the store? HELL to the NO! Run to the fridge and pull out some strawberry jam?! YES!! It will totally save your ass. It saved mine.

mini strawberry cheesecakes

As I took my first bite to test my improv, I closed my eyes and was instantly beamed onto the steps of my back porch. If I remember correctly, I was wearing a cute sundress from anthropologie paired with flip flops and freshly pedicured toes.  I was dipping a buttery graham cracker into a creamy sweet strawberry milkshake and it was hot outside.  Yes…these little cheesecakes brought that summery feeling I’ve been so desperate for. I’m sooo over thick winters sweaters and boots right now. Aren’t you? If you wanna go ahead and make your own jam for this recipe, DO IT.  You’ll totally get extra credit points…but then I might call you teacher’s pet. BTW! There’s something brown on your nose!

And we’re off!

It all begins with graham crackers….


And butter…

butter looking pretty

They both get whirled up to pieces in a food processor with some sugar.

butter, sugar, graham

Get your cupcake liners ready in a muffin tin…. your crumb mixture is done.


Drop a few spoon fulls into each wrapper.

polka polka

Press the crumbs into the wrappers and bake in the oven.


Start making the filling. It all starts with cream cheese.


Whip it with vanilla & confectioners sugar.


Add in your strawberry jam & whip it real good.


So pretty in pink.


Make your whipped cream…. and fold it into the cream cheese mixture!


Take about 6-8 strawberries and cut them up!


Fold the strawberries into the filling. You should cut them up smaller than I did.


And then fill the cooled graham cracker crusts. Smooth the tops with a knife or off-set spatula.


Place a strawberry on top….

mini strawberry cheesecakes

And get ready….

mini strawberry cheesecakes

Because flip flop weather is just around the corner and you are SOOO gonna be eating this all summer.

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

Makes 10 (I made 11, but I think it’s cuz I skimped on 1)

(recipe adapted from this one)

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker (from about 10-12 cookies)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon course salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used salted!)

For the filling:

  • 1 package cream cheese (8oz.) at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons strawberry jam (make them heaping tablespoons!)
  • 6-8 strawberries, cut into small chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 10 standard muffin cups with cupcake liners. In a food processor, pulse together the graham crackers and granulated sugar. Now add the salt & butter and pulse until combined. Divide crumb mixture among cupcake liners, firmly pressing into bottoms and up the sides. Baked until crusts are browned and fragrant, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely in a pan on a wire wrack at room temperature.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar, strawberry jam and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.  In another medium bowl, with clean beaters, beat the heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gently fold the whipped cream into the strawberry cream cheese mixture 1/3 at a time. Then carefully fold in the cut up strawberries. Divide mixture among the cooled crusts and refrigerate until set, 1 hour or up to overnight. To serve, top with a slice of strawberry.

  • Megan

    These make me so hungry, and I love that they brought you back to a summer memory!

  • cindy

    i can’t wait for flip-flop weather! i get impatient too and often have those “oh crap” moments…the worst part is that you can only blame yourself 😉 these are so cute and i love that they are nearly no-bake.

  • Sandra

    I love your summer description, I could almost feel the heat of the summer sun. But today was a beautiful (almost) spring day and I’ll settle for that. These look scrumptious, can’t wait to try them. I’m just a little concerned about finding good strawberries this time of year.

    • Tracy

      there’s currently a huge crop of them in my local Whole Foods and they’re delicious & decently priced!

  • jenny


    those look amazing and they’re so pretty!!!!!!! impossible to eat just one i am guessing???

  • Katrina

    Yum! These mini cheesecakes look so tasty. I especially love that they’re strawberry 🙂


    These look divine and so easy! My daughter is having a playdate this afternoon – seems like a good day to whip some up.

    I had a crap crap moment earlier this week with cornstarch. Was making a super yummy stir fry and thought I grabbed the cornstarch, opened it up and just poured it into the pan and it turned out to be baking powder. Good thing there was a Trader Joe’s frozen pizza in the freezer!

    • Tracy

      oh yikes! That sounds like something I would TOTALLY do. I always keep a TJ pizza in the freezer for this very purpose. Good call!

  • Annika

    I was craving strawberries today on the first really warm Spring day over here.
    Can’t wait to try your recipe. Looks so fresh and light!

  • Amanda

    These will be on my must-make list once I settle in to my new apartment. I love little cheesecakes, and strawberries are the best addition. Thanks Tracy!!

  • christine

    I’m so going to make these!

  • Anika

    Is there something you could recommend to use instead of graham crackers? I live in Australia and they don’t exist over here.

    • Tracy

      i bet ginger snaps would be super good!!! A regular biscuit or sugar cookie would do too!

    • ryan

      granita biscuts are very similar to graham crackers (im from canada but live in oz)

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  • Leah

    Oh baby! Hello!! I have had a cheesecake craving for far too long… must make these soon! 🙂 How many days would they stay good for?

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  • Melissa

    I just made these as a “goodbye” gift for some friends of mine who are, sadly, moving away tomorrow. They brightened my mood just putting them together, and I had some leftover jam that my Mom made when she was here visiting. Such happy little strawberry sunshine cheesecakes, thanks for sharing this recipe! 🙂

    Very much enjoy this blog.

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  • valina

    they are delicious! but my crusts are stuck to the baking cups 🙁 is it because i didn’t let them cool long enough? or because i packed them too tight before baking?

    • Tracy

      Oh no! Did you use enough butter? I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times and it’s never stuck. Not cooling it long enough might have been the culprit.

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