Cheesecake is the ultimate rich, decadent dessert, best served in small portions. Rather than making a single large cheesecake, bake individual single-serving desserts in ramekins. Not only will this technique make serving easier, it also makes for an elegant presentation at the table.

Use your favorite cheesecake recipe to make the batter for mini cheesecakes. Decide whether you want to include a topping or mix-ins.

Spray the ramekins with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Decide whether you plan to unmold the mini cheesecakes or serve them in the ramekins. If you want to unmold them, spoon the topping into the bottom of the ramekin, then top it with cheesecake filling. If you plan to serve the mini cheesecakes in the ramekins, skip the topping for now. Fill the ramekins 3/4 full with cheesecake batter.

Place the ramekins in a deep roasting pan, leaving at least 1 inch of space between them. Put the roasting pan onto the oven rack in the preheated oven. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully slide the oven rack into the oven and close the door. Bake until the cheesecakes begin to pull away from the sides of the ramekins, about 40 minutes.

Use tongs to move the ramekins to a cooling rack. Leave the roasting pan with water in the oven until it is cool enough to move safely.

Cool the cheesecakes on a wire rack until they reach room temperature. Refrigerate for at least eight hours, or up to 3 days.

To unmold the mini cheesecakes, run a sharp knife around the edges of the ramekins to loosen the dessert, then quickly invert each one onto a plate. The topping will drizzle down over the top and sides of the cheesecake. Spoon graham cracker crumbs around the outside edge.

If you plan to serve the cheesecakes in the ramekins, press a ring of graham cracker crumbs along the rim of the dish then top it with a spoonful of your favorite topping.

Tips

If the cheesecake sticks during unmolding, dip the bottom of the ramekin in hot water for a few seconds then try again.