This mini heart-shaped cheesecake recipe ranks among my top picks for any special occasion dessert, but really…who needs an excuse to make this dish when it’s so darn good?!
I hope you’ll enjoying having a bite (or five) with this quick and easy recipe, just in time for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.
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Background: Why I love these mini cheesecakes so much
I grew up in a traditional family that expresses love in many ways, not the least of which is sharing good food. My mother, the eldest of six kids, learned to cook traditional Mexican-American cuisine at a very early age.
Cooking became her passion. We children became her earnest guinea pigs.
We always seemed to have homemade cakes, pies or cookies hanging around the house. (I had the love handles as a kid to prove it.) And every now and then…
…my mom would make these mini cheesecakes.
Forget the Cheesecake Factory…we had our own cheesecake manufacturing facility at home! Much like Lucille and Ethel, we gobbled these up as they came down the conveyor belt.
Bottom line: These little cheesy bites remind me of my childhood, which is why it’s my great pleasure to share them with you.
To begin making this cheesecake recipe, you’ll need the following supplies.
- Heart shaped pan or mini muffin pan
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Large bowl for mixing (if using hand mixer)
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
- 5 Eggs
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 pint sour cream
- 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling or seasonal fruit (optional)
- Graham cracker crumbs
For my special valentine cheesecake recipe, I purchased this heart muffin pan. (Click below to grab your own.)
If you don’t want your mini cheesecakes in the shape of a heart, you can also use these mini muffin tins. You’ll get all of the indulgence and less of the guilt.
Heart Shaped Cheesecake Recipe
1. Begin by beating the softened cream cheese and eggs until smooth.
2. Gradually mix in 1 cup of sugar and vanilla. Set aside remaining sugar for topping later.
3. Pour cheesecake batter into muffin pan until 3/4 full.
4. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until set.
The cakes should look firm and not jiggle when done.If using a mini muffin pan, the cheesecakes may take 30-40 minutes to bake.
Note: Most cheesecake recipes call for setting the pan in a water bath to bake. There’s no need for that in this version.
5. Mix sour cream and remaining sugar. Add a dollop of the mixture to each heart shaped cheesecake, and return pan to the oven for 6 minutes.
6. Cool the cheesecakes at room temperature 20-30 minutes.
Tip: If you chill the cheesecakes in the refrigerator, you may have an easier time removing them from the muffin pan, especially if you choose not to use any muffin cup liners.
7. Garnish with the fruit topping of your choice and add graham cracker sprinkles.
The recipe calls for cherry pie filling as the topping, which I highly recommend. However, you can also substitute fruit like raspberries, blueberries or strawberries, and then garnish with an herb like mint.
I love sprinkling graham cracker crumbs on top, like a deconstructed cheesecake.
Serving style for cheesecakes
You can display your finished heart shaped cheesecakes with a simple plate presentation, or you can try using a fancy three-tiered tray or platter. Below are a few of my favorite trays, all currently under $30.
Cheesecake storage tips
Now, let’s be real. You may not have any cheesecakes left over after you make these. However, you can easily store this dessert for later if you have enough self control to yield leftovers. 😉
- Store these cheesecakes in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Use a paper towel or plastic wrap under the lid to maintain maximum freshness.
- Did you know you can freeze cheesecake?! These mini cheesecakes will keep in the freezer for up to one month.
- For best results, store the cheesecakes far away from children who can see above the countertop. (For the safety of the cheesecake, that is.)
The best part of freezing these cheesecakes is you’re always ready to entertain at a moment’s notice. What an easy way to impress your guests!
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As always, I appreciate you pinning this and sharing it with friends.
- 3 packages cream cheese, (8 oz. per pkg.)
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 pint sour cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 8 oz cherry pie filling, (canned, optional)
- 4 oz graham cracker crumbs, (optional)
- Beat softened cream cheese and eggs together until very smooth.
- Beat in 1 cup sugar and add vanilla.
- Pour cheesecake batter into muffin tins, preferably with liners, until 3/4 full.
- Bake at 325° for 40-minutes for regular 12-count muffin tin. Note: The recipe may yield up to 20 cakes. Also, there is no need to use a hot water bath.
- Blend remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the sour cream.
- After baking the cheesecakes, add a dollop of sour cream-sugar blend in the center of the cakes and return to oven for 6 minutes.
Cool and serve
- Cool at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
- Before serving, add a spoonful of cherry pie filling on each cake and sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 20 people
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200