Mini Cheesecakes

New York City and cheesecake go together like tourists and Times Square. But what’s so special about this big city treat? While we will happily devour all types of cheesecake, New York–style cheesecake is particularly famous for its smooth, creamy texture. Normally the process of making cheesecake is a bit complicated and not the most kid friendly. But in true New York fashion, we’ve found a delicious shortcut! These tasty Mini Cheesecakes are fuss-free, fabulous, and a perfect recipe for beginners — no water bath required. Feel free to crumble fresh graham crackers on top, or use a whole vanilla wafer for a show-stopping finish. Are you ready for a sweet bite of the Big Apple? It’s time to get baking!


Makes 6

Hands-on time:

20 minutes

Start-to-eat time:

30 minutes


  • 8 ounces whipped cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 vanilla cookie wafers

Kids kitchen skills:

  • whisking
  • baking
  • creative presentation


  • measuring cups & spoons
  • large bowl & whisk or hand mixer
  • cupcake pan & liners
  • oven mitts


Grown-up steps
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Put 6 silicone or paper liners in a cupcake pan, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use a whisk or hand mixer to mix the the cream cheese until it's soft and creamy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice (if using), and salt. Continue to beat the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes, until it's well combined.
  4. Place a cookie wafer on the bottom of each cupcake liner. Scoop the cheesecake batter on top, filling each cup about 3/4 full. (Another option is to fill each liner halfway, add a cookie on top, and scoop a little more batter over the cookie, again only filling each cup only 3/4 full.)
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the middle of each cheesecake has set.
  6. Let the Mini Cheesecakes cool completely, and refrigerate them for at least 2 hours or overnight. Then enjoy a classic New York–style dessert!

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