Easy Mini Cherry Cheesecakes are a simple dessert that get rave reviews. They’re made in a muffin tin to create individual servings, and a vanilla wafer for the crust keeps the preparation extra easy!
Hello, 1990s potlucks! At least that’s when I remember these from, but perhaps you remember them from another decade? (If so, tell me in the comments!)
These Easy Mini Cherry Cheesecakes have stuck around for decades for good reason—they are seriously easy and seriously GOOD!
The base is a Nilla wafer, which is topped with a simple sweetened cream cheese mixture, then baked to perfection in a muffin tin.
After the cheesecakes have cooled, we’ll use another shortcut, canned cherry pie filling, for the top. (I also use cherry pie filling for my Cherry Coffee Cake, Cherry Dump Cake, Easy Punch Bowl Cake, and Cherry Salad—it’s such a great pantry staple for making sweet treats!).
For these cheesecakes, the end result is a delightful combination of sweet and tart, creamy and fruity—it’s a truly easy way to make cheesecake without the fuss. There’s no water bath and no springform pan required here!
I love that these make individual servings, too. They are great for potlucks, picnics, cookouts, dessert buffets, and even holiday desserts.
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- Make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature before starting. This ensures that the cheesecake will be creamy and not lumpy. The eggs should also be at room temperature.
- You make this recipe with any variety of pie filling that you like (blueberry would be really tasty!).
- Want extra crust? Place two vanilla wafers in the bottom instead of one.
- You’ll need two blocks of cream cheese for the cheesecake filling, which gets mixed with eggs, vanilla, and sugar.
- Lemon juice adds a nice acidity. Use fresh lemon juice if you prefer.
- Vanilla wafers create the crust.
- Cherry pie filling gets spooned on top.
How to make easy mini cherry cheesecakes
The trick to keeping this recipe extra easy is in the crust: vanilla wafers!
Place a cupcake liner in a 12-cup muffin tin, and then drop a vanilla wafer in each cupcake liner. If you want extra crust, feel free to add two vanilla wafers instead.
Tip: if you want to make this in a mini muffin tin, use mini vanilla wafers instead.
Then, place the softened cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
Then, spoon the cream cheese mixture over each vanilla wafer, filling each muffin cup ¾ of the way up. You may have some extra cream cheese mixture. If you have another muffin tin, you may be able to make 2–4 more mini cheesecakes from this recipe.
Bake the mini cheesecakes for 18–20 minutes, or until set. The cheesecakes will puff up in the oven and then deflate slightly as they cool. They may sink slightly in the center, and that’s ok—it’s where we’ll put the cherry pie filling!
Let the cheesecakes cool completely, then spoon canned or jarred cherry pie filling over the top. You may only need half of the 20-oz can.
I like serving these with the cupcake liners still on (just to keep things easy!), but you can carefully remove them if you prefer.
Can I make mini cherry cheesecakes ahead of time?
These little cheesecakes are a great make-ahead dessert! Make the cheesecakes, but leave off the cherry pie filling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.
When you’re ready to serve them, spoon the cherry pie filling over the top, and serve.
- Use your favorite pie filling in place of the cherry pie filling (try blueberry, raspberry, or strawberry!)
- Make these miniature by using mini Nilla wafers and making them in a mini muffin tin (it’ll make at least 36 mini cheesecakes)
- Want more crust? Use two Nilla wafers instead of one.
- Use a homemade graham cracker crust in place of the vanilla wafers
- Use an Oreo in place of the Nilla wafer for a chocolate crust!
Frequently Asked Questions
Jiggle the pan gently. The cheesecakes should be mostly set and the center will jiggle just a little. If most of the cheesecake moves when you jiggle it, give it several more minutes and check again.
Two reasons: the batter was overmixed OR the cheesecake isn’t cooked through. Either way, the cheesecake will taste the same, and the center is the perfect spot for the cherry pie filling anyway.
Yes. Cover and refrigerate the cheesecakes for up to 5 days.
Yes. Use mini Nilla wafers in place of the regular sized variety. Bake for 12–15 minutes. This recipe will make at least 36 mini cheesecakes.
You can freeze mini cherry cheesecakes with or without the cherry pie filling (they will hold up slightly better without the cherry pie filling). Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
More desserts with cherry pie filling
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Easy Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
- 12 vanilla wafers
- 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 (20 oz) can cherry pie filling (you will only need half)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Place one vanilla wafer into the bottom of each liner.
- In a large bowl, place the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat just until combined (batter may have a few small lumps—that's ok!).
- Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cups, filling each muffin cup about ¾ of the way full. Bake for 18–20 minutes, or until the center only moves slightly when you jiggle the pan.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Once cool, spoon the cherry pie filling over the top of each mini cheesecake. Refrigerate until chilled, and serve.