Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
The best mini chocolate cheesecakes only take 30 minutes to prep and bake in a muffin pan! These easy chocolate cheesecakes can be made with a graham cracker crust or oreo crust.
Everyone needs a classic chocolate cheesecake recipe that will feed a crowd, don’t you think? That’s where mini chocolate cheesecakes come into the spotlight!
They are the perfect handheld dessert to serve for any occasion. Plus cheesecake toppings are endless! Top them with any flavor whipped cream, chocolate ganache, caramel or fresh fruit!
Tools to Make Mini Cheesecakes in a Cupcake Pan
- standard size muffin pan
- paper muffin / cupcake liners
Making individual cheesecakes in a muffin pan is a great way to scale down a regular cheesecake recipe. Mini cheesecakes don’t require a water bath or any special tools, plus they bake faster than regular cheesecake.
Easy Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients
Our recipe for chocolate cheesecake cupcakes only calls for 5 ingredients!
- cream cheese: use two 8 oz packages. Be sure to use full fat, not low fat, cream cheese for best results.
- sugar: helps to balance the tanginess of the cream cheese.
- vanilla extract: just a teaspoon, but it enhances the classic cheesecake flavor.
- eggs: eggs are the last ingredient that get mixed into the cheesecake batter. Be sure to mix them in, one at a time, just until the yolk breaks. Over beating the eggs is the number one cause of air bubbles and cracking.
- semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted: I kept it very basic because I always have chocolate chips in my pantry but I don’t always have chocolate baking bars. Really any kind of chocolate will work.
How to Make Mini Cheesecakes
TO MAKE THE CRUST:
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350º F and line a standard-sized muffin pan with paper muffin liners.
Make the crust mixture. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oreo crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs) and melted butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
Form the crusts. Press 1 to 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture into each muffin cup using the bottom of a 1/3 cup (or similar) to create a flat, even surface.
Bake. Place the pan in the oven and bake the crust for 5 minutes. Let the crusts cool while you work on the rest of the recipe.
TO MAKE THE CHEESECAKES:
Cream the cheese and sugar. In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer for a minute or two, or until the mixture is smooth.
Finish the cheesecake batter. Beat in melted chocolate, vanilla extract, followed by the eggs.
Assemble. Divide the cheesecake batter among the muffin cups, filling the liners full.
Bake. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the centers of the cheesecakes are slightly jiggly.
Cool. Let the cheesecakes cool to room temperature, then refrigerate them for at least 4 hours before serving. Loosely cover the cheesecakes in plastic wrap if you’re chilling them overnight or longer.
Total Time Required
- 10 minutes to prep the crust and pre-bake
- 5 minutes to prep the cheesecake
- 20 ish minutes to bake cheesecake
- at least 4 hours to refrigerate the cheesecake before serving. I prefer to refrigerate mine overnight. Waiting is the hardest part, right?!
How to Tell When Mini Cheesecakes are Done Baking?
The best way to tell when the mini cheesecakes are done is the jiggle test. The center of the cheesecake should jiggle slightly when you shake the pan and the edges of the cheesecake will be slightly more puffy or airy.
How to Cool Mini Cheesecakes
Once the cheesecakes are done baking, remove the pan from the oven and place it on the counter until the cheesecakes have cooled to room temperature. Then loosely cover the muffin pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight to chill.
Why Did my Mini Cheesecakes Sink?
Over beating the eggs is the number one cause of air bubbles in cheesecake. Air bubbles cause the cheesecakes to sink in the middle as they cool. Be sure to mix the eggs in, one at a time, just until the yolk breaks. Once all the eggs have been added to the cheesecake batter, beat for only 30-60 seconds, until the eggs are fully incorporated.
Tips for Success
- Don’t over-mix the cheesecake batter. Once you add the eggs, beat them in just until the yolk breaks. Over-beating the eggs is the most common cause of air bubbles and cracking.
- Don’t over-bake either. When you (gently!) shake the baking pan back and forth, the centers should jiggle slightly. If, instead, the centers move like a liquid, they need more time in the oven.
- Allow enough time for chilling. Warm cheesecake is not very appetizing, so be sure to account for the chilling time needed when planning your baking.
- You do have a back-up plan. If the tops crack or have some bubbles, no worries! Once you add the toppings, no one will notice.
Here are some more mini cheesecake topping ideas to try:
- Mini chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate (you can mix these into the batter too!)
- Pie filling
- Strawberry sauce
- Chopped candy bars
- Salted caramel
- Fresh seasonal fruit (berries in the spring, sliced peaches or nectarines in the summer, pomegranate arils in the fall)
- Crushed Oreos
- Candied citrus peels
- One of my flavored whipped cream recipes: Coffee Whipped Cream, Peanut Butter Whipped Cream or Chocolate Whipped Cream are just a few options!
How to Freeze Mini Cheesecakes
- Cool the cheesecakes completely before freezing.
- Place the mini cheesecakes, without any garnishes, on a baking sheet, uncovered, and place in the freezer until frozen.
- Once frozen, wrap each cheesecake in aluminum foil and place them inside a ziplock bag in the freezer. They can be frozen for 4 months. To thaw, place them in the refrigerator overnight.
- Before serving add your desired toppings.
Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
- 1 ½ cups oreo crumbs (the whole cookie – cream & all!) about 16 oreos, Or use 1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (1/2 stick)
- 2 packages full fat cream cheese, room temperature, 8 oz each
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Line a regular sized muffin pan with 12 muffin liners.
- Blend the oreos until you have crumbs. In a mixing bowl, combine the oreo crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs) and melted butter until it resembles coarse sand.
- Put 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of the crumbs in each muffin cup.
- Use a 1/3 cup (or similar) to press the crumbs down firmly into the pan.
- Bake the crust for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool while prepping the cheesecake.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth, 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and melted chocolate until smooth.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Place a little more than 2 tbsp of cheesecake batter in each muffin cup.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is only slightly jiggly.
- Allow the cheesecakes to cool to room temperature then place them in the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill before serving. If refrigerating overnight, loosely cover the cheesecakes in plastic wrap. You can serve them without any additional toppings or you can add cool whip, strawberries, chocolate chips, chocolate ganache, strawberry puree, whatever you want!I topped my cheesecakes with chocolate ganache, chocolate whipped cream, ganache drizzle and chocolate shavings.