The rich decadence of cheesecake meets the cute convenience of cupcakes, and it’s about time. These cheesecake minis make great party treats because they’re easy to make, everyone can help themselves, and plates and cutlery are completely optional. You can serve them naked or go all out and top them with a simple homemade berry jam – I made mine from wild blackberries, but you could use any you like. And as if you needed more incentive to make these, they’re only 160 calories apiece, and that’s with the topping!
I wasn’t making that up about these being great party treats. I recently made them for a party, and they were a big hit with everyone, including me. I like to make cheesecakes for get-togethers (cheesecake is one of my hallmarks of having a good time), but this was a barbecue in July…sliced cheesecake seemed a tad formal for a bunch of people playing daiquiri-fueled badminton in my backyard. If only you could make little hassle-free cheesecakes for people to munch as they pleased.
But wait, you can! I dug up a basic mini cheesecake recipe on allrecipes.com and made a few modifications to bring the fat, sugar and calories down and amp the flavor up. I’ll be darned, they were like fancy cheesecake, only cuter. I appreciated how easy they were to make, too: a few minutes of mixing, about 20 minutes of baking, and presto – cheesecake minis are ready, just waiting to cool down enough to pop into the fridge and chill.
Lemony Cheesecake Minis
makes 12 cupcake-sized mini cheesecakes
an 8 oz. package fat free cream cheese, at room temperature
an 8 oz. package Neufchatel cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup Stevia In The Raw®
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
the zest of a lemon, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Place one rack in the middle of the oven, and another near the bottom. Place a cookie sheet on the bottom rack and use a pitcher or bottle to fill it halfway with water. Fill a 12-muffin pan with paper liners, and place a gingersnap flat-side down in the bottom of each.
2. Use an electric mixer to beat the cheeses together until they’re light and creamy, about two minutes. Beat in the Stevia In The Raw® and sugar. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the eggs, one at a time, until they’re just combined. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest.
3. Fill each muffin liner to about 1/4″ from the top. Bake for 20-23 minutes. Take the cakes out when they just start to turn golden on the edges and still jiggle a bit when you shake the pan. Let cool completely, then refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
One great way to top your cheesecake minis is with homemade jam. Use any berries you like, but it may be most cost effective to go with something in season, or in my case, foraged from the back yard.
Homemade Berry Jam
makes about one cup of jam, plenty to top your cakes with
2 cups fresh berries
1/4 cup Stevia In The Raw® (count this as 1/4 cup sugar if you’d like to replace it with another sweetener)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Place the berries in a medium saucepan, and use a potato masher to crush them up. Stir in the Stevia In The Raw® and sugar. Transfer about a tablespoon of berry juice to a small bowl, and stir in the cornstarch. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the saucepan.
2 Cook the berries over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until they come to a boil. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Let the jam cool completely before spooning over your cakes. You can use the jam to anchor extra berries onto your cakes.
Per cake: 130 calories; 6.3g fat (3.3g sat); 45mg cholesterol; 244mg sodium; 11.4g carbohydrates; 6.0g protein
Per approx. tablespoon of blackberry jam: 29 calories; .1g fat (0g sat); 0mg cholesterol; 0mg sodium; 7.1g carbohydrates; .3g protein; 1.3g fiber