Who doesn’t love cheesecakes? Well, my son doesn’t. But that’s another story. His food habits deserve an entirely different category of posts. I shall digress no further. Let’s leave it at that.
I am sure every pro, amateur or even a once-in-a-blue-moon baker-mom appreciates the magic that is a well-made cheesecake. Smooth, rich and dense. Which is exactly its downfall, if you know what I mean! So what’s a girl to do when the craving hits? Make tiny single-serve cheesecakes of course!
Cheesecakes have been on my mind a lot. As part of the great fridge purging exercise I mentioned here, I had to use up a bar of cream cheese. Then there were the frozen strawberries and some leftover dulce de leche. The only logical solution was to make cheesecakes, of course. Ahem!
Since I was using a cupcake pan, I used a whole saltine cracker as the base or crust. You can very well take the trouble of crushing them and binding with butter. But a round cracker fits a cupcake liner perfectly. The filling is pretty straight forward. All you need is cream cheese, sugar and an egg. You can add other flavorings like citrus zest, chocolate and more.
Don’t worry if the top cracks or sinks a little. You can cover it with some kind of topping and no one will even notice it! I topped a few cupcakes with a sweet strawberry compote and a few with dulce de leche. And yes, I ate the 12th cupcake before taking the photographs. What can I say? I love my cheesecake!
You will need: (Makes 8 regular or 12 mini-sized cupcakes)
- Round saltine crackers – 12 (one for each cupcake)
- Butter – 2 tbsp, melted
- Cream cheese – 8 oz, softened
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Egg – 1
- Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Ideas for the topping,
- Strawberry compote – made by cooking chopped berries with a little sugar and lemon juice
- Dulce de leche or thick caramel
- Fruit preserve or slightly runny jam
- Melted chocolate or shaved chocolate
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Lightly brush each cracker with melted butter and place in the liners. Alternately, crumble the crackers and mix with melted butter till they just come together and tightly pack a spoonful in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and lemon juice together till creamy. Spoon into the cupcake liners and bake for 10-13 minutes. The edges should be set and the centers slightly jiggly.
- Cool completely on a wire rack, then chill in the refrigerator for some time. Add desired toppings right before serving.
The amount of filling in the above recipe fills 12 regular cupcakes only 2/3 of the way. I am sure it can comfortably fill 8 mini-sized ones. Now that I know cheesecakes are so easy to make, it’s going to be tough curbing those late night cravings!
Heavenly bite-sized cheesecakes. What’s not to love?
Tell me, are you a cheesecake fan? Did you know you can easily bake them in a cupcake pan?