Miniature-sized cheesecakes with a cinnamon-sugar swirl and a cream cheese topping. These mini desserts taste just like a cinnamon roll in a cheesecake form. (Photos updated 2/3/16).
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed my obsession with miniature desserts. Namely miniature cheesecakes. Not only have there been lemon-blueberry cheesecakes here, but red velvet ones have made their debut as well. And those were covered in oreos and a chocolate ganache. Mmmmmm.
Clearly, I love mini desserts. And cheesecake is on my mind way more than is probably normal.
These cheesecakes have swirls on cinnamon sugar goodness and are covered (drenched?) in a cream cheese frosting. Just how I love cinnamon rolls. The more frosting = the better.
These cheesecakes are super simple. No water bath is needed and they only bake for about 20-22 minutes. The only hard part is waiting for them to cool. 1 hour at room temperature + 2 hours in the fridge. But it will all be worth it!
You’ll want to start with a homemade graham cracker crust. And this recipe calls for a thick crust which I personally think is a requirement for cheesecakes. But if you aren’t into the whole half the cheesecake is crust then feel free to cut the ratios down a bit.
Next, the actual cheesecake. The cheesecake is pretty standard. The usual ingredients: lots of cream cheese, plenty of white sugar, a tad bit of flour, a few drops of vanilla extract, and one large egg.
And of course, there has to be a cinnamon swirl in these cinnamon roll cheesecakes — softened butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar are mixed to create the *perfect* cinnamon-sugar filling. That filling gets swirled into the cheesecake TWICE. First, on top of the graham cracker crust, you’ll spoon out a bit of the cheesecake filling, then some of the cinnamon-sugar filling gets swirled around. And next, you’ll layer a bit more cheesecake and top it off with more cinnamon-sugar swirled in.
The most important thing to note with this recipe is the mixing of the cheesecake. You want to mix only on low speed so you don’t whip air into the mixture. The more air that gets whipped into these cheesecakes, the more they will rise and then fall when being baked. It is normal for the cheesecakes to rise a bit in the oven, but once they are cooled, they deflate quite a bit. Mixing slowly and using room temperature ingredients will keep the fall to a minimum :). Enjoy!
Miniature cinnamon roll cheesecakes with a delicious cinnamon swirl and cream cheese frosting topping
- 4 full sheets of graham crackers
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter (unsalted or salted) melted
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons white flour
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter (unsalted or salted) softened, not melted
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon white flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk, only if needed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a regular sized muffin tin with 9 liners and fill up half of the other empty spaces with water. This ensures even baking. Spray the liners with non-stick spray. (Cinnamon sugar mixture gets sticky!)
In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers to crumbs. Stir in the sugar and melted butter. Press an even amount of graham cracker crust into the bottom of each muffin liner.
Press down the crust with a milk cap or the backside of a tablespoon measuring spoon and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the room temperature cream cheese and white sugar. Beat gently only on low speed until smooth and creamy. Do not vigorously mix at all (this beats in air and will cause the cheesecakes to rise and fall a lot) Add in the vanilla extract, flour, and a lightly beaten egg. Beat until just combined (again very gently mixing as little as possible).
In a small bowl, combine the softened (do not melt) butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Stir until completely combined to a thick paste.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the cheesecake filling into each of the prepared 9 cups. Then place 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar swirl on top. Swirl the cinnamon sugar into the cheesecake with a toothpick.
Top the rest of the cheesecake filling on top (about 1 more tablespoon per cheesecake) and then disperse the remaining cinnamon sugar (about 1/2 teaspoon) swirl evenly among the 9 cheesecakes.
Swirl the cinnamon sugar (again) on top of the cheesecake with a toothpick and bake for 20-22 minutes. The centers will still jiggle a little bit, but the edges should be a very light brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for 1 hour and then transfer to the fridge and let cool for at least 2 hours.
The cheesecakes will have risen in the oven and will deflate quite a bit while cooling.
Cream together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract and cream cheese. Slowly add in the heavy cream (if needed for a thinner frosting) until desired consistency is reached.
Spoon over the cooled cheesecakes and drizzle extra cream cheese frosting on top.
The total time does not account for the 3 hours of chilling time.