If there’s anything better than cheesecake for dessert, it might be having an entire cheesecake to yourself. You can indulge when you make cheesecake in a cupcake pan. Ounce for ounce, one cheesecake from a 12-piece cupcake pan rivals the size of one small slice of cheesecake from a springform pan. You can customize the toppings, from fruit to chocolate, and create a dazzling display so guests can feast their eyes on your creative and artful presentation.
Things You'll Need
Line the cups of a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper or foil baking cups, or spray each with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat your oven to between 300 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit; any higher and you run the risk of cracks in your cheesecake.
Prepare crusts for your individual cheesecakes with graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter just like you would prepare the crust for a full cheesecake. Try other creative approaches for a variation on the graham cracker crust: Position a cookie, such as a vanilla wafer, butter cookie or ginger snap, at the bottom of each baking cup, or parbake a slice of refrigerated cookie dough in each cup.
Break up lumps in the batter before you add egg to reduce the chance of cracks forming along the tops of the cheesecakes. Add some semi-sweet baking chips to the mix, especially if you plan to top some of the cheesecakes with chocolate, or personalize the filling, if you wish, with a crowning touch of sour cream or sweetened condensed milk.
Pour the cheesecake batter into each cup, filling them about three-quarters full. Top the cheesecakes with a piece of fruit, such as a pear or mandarin orange wedge, so that it bakes into the top, if you like. Place the cupcake pan on the center rack in your preheated oven. Check the cheesecakes after 15 minutes; the tops should be set but still a bit moist and soft. Bake them for no longer than 20 minutes.
Remove the cupcake pan from the oven and let it cool for about five minutes. Pop the cheesecakes out of the pan and cool them completely on a wire rack. Remove the baking cups. Arrange the cheesecakes on serving plates or a platter and top them with fruit or candy. Or drizzle the cheesecakes with chocolate or caramel. Pie filling and preserves make great toppers; simply scoop up a teaspoon-full and place it on top of a cheesecake. Small or broken candy and nut pieces stay in place better if they’re “anchored” by swirls of chocolate or caramel.
Run a knife around the edge of each cheesecake before you try to get them out of the pan if you didn’t use baking cups.
Refrigerate and cover leftover cheesecakes in the refrigerator. Cheesecake also freezes well, at least for up to a month.
The other fun element of making individual cheesecakes is that you can adjust the details based on the season. For example, in the fall, consider stirring a little canned pumpkin into the cream cheese mixture, along with some cinnamon and nutmeg. Top off the experience with a surprise at the base: a ginger snap cookie for the crust.
References and ResourcesJoy of Baking: Individual Cheesecakes Recipe and Video
Very Best Baking: Cheesecake Cookie Cups
Cooking for Engineers: Cheesecake Cupcakes
Betty Crocker: Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
ResourcesSouthern Living: To Die-For Cheesecake Recipes
Epicurious: New York Cheesecake
Ghiradelli: Chocolate Melting