Small Batch Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes with a gingersnap crust are easy cheesecake bites baked in a cupcake pan. Serve as a Christmas dessert for two.
“Deck the halls with lots of cheesecake. Fa la la la la la la la la”
Let’s face it – Christmas season is usually filled with trays of handheld treats, such as cookies and candies.
Even if you only bake for 1-2 people on a normal basis, sometimes you have guests visit.
Or maybe you’re hosting a Christmas dinner for two and need a small Christmas dessert to serve.
That’s why I wanted to make small batch Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes, not only to fit onto your snack plate but also for portion control.
You can’t argue against consuming extra calories during the holiday because of the abundance of food, but that doesn’t mean you have to skip this mini gingerbread cheesecake recipe.
Never skip the cheesecake.
Of course gingerbread cheesecake is almost synonymous with Christmas, so I like to think of them as mini Christmas cheesecakes.
They remind me of cheesecake cupcakes because they’re baked in a muffin pan. Top them with homemade whipped cream and gingersnap cookie crumbs.
Looking for more flavors? Check out my Easy Mini Cheesecake Recipes post where I list all of my recipes for mini cheesecakes in one spot.
What pan do you use to bake mini cheesecakes?
Good news – you don’t need a special pan to bake cheesecake! All you need is a muffin pan (Amazon affiliate link), which I bet you already own.
Sure, there are special mini cheesecake pans but it isn’t necessary for this recipe.
How do you get a cheesecake out of a muffin tin?
Because you don’t use a springform pan, you have to gently remove the cheesecake bites from the cupcake pan.
I use paper liners so they don’t stick. It’s up to you whether you want to remove the liners before serving or let whoever is eating remove their own.
Can I make mini cheesecakes without liners?
Don’t have paper liners? Lightly grease the pan so they don’t stick then use an offset spatula or knife to gently pop them out.
If they’re really sticking, try refrigerating the pan to firm them up and try again.
Ingredients for Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes
This mini gingerbread cheesecake recipe is made up of a few easy ingredients:
- Gingersnap crumbs: I used crushed gingersnaps to emphasize the ginger flavor even more. Make sure you crush them up finely (food processor preferred) and not leave little chunks behind. That makes it easier to bind a crust.
- Butter: Needed to bind the crust
- Cream cheese: It’s not cheesecake without cream cheese! Make sure you’re using full-fat cream cheese. The low fat and fat free versions have more water in them and may be too watery after baking.
- Granulated sugar: Adds a bit of sweetness to balance out the tanginess of the cream cheese
- Egg: As with all baking recipes, use a large egg.
- Molasses: Can’t have gingerbread without molasses!
- Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove: Nothing screams holiday like these iconic spices
- Vanilla: Adds flavor to the batter
Which cream cheese should I use for cheesecake?
Baking cheesecake is one of the few times where the brand of cream cheese you buy matters.
For the smoothest cheesecake possible, you want a cream cheese without xanthan gum or guar gum. Both are stabilizers, which help cream cheese keep its shape.
This means no matter how much you beat the batter, tiny bits of cream cheese will remain. This is especially noticeable when you add the molasses because of the color contrast.
Now if you discover your cream cheese in your fridge does have these ingredients, don’t panic! Your cheesecake will still taste delicious. It just may have tiny white specks and not look as smooth.
How To Make Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes
First, start with your crust.
Mix together your gingersnap crumbs and melted butter. Then add roughly 2 tablespoons to each paper liner and press down to form a bottom crust.
Bake for about 5-8 minutes or until the crust no longer looks wet. This will help crisp up the crust before the filling is added.
Make the cheesecake filing while the crust cools.
Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Then beat in the egg, being careful not to overbeat the batter.
Finally, add the molasses, spices, and vanilla for flavor.
Transfer the batter to your crust. Bake at 325F degrees for 22-25 minutes.
How do you know when a mini cheesecake is done?
Mini cheesecakes are done baking when the edges are set, the center doesn’t look wet and is mostly set with some wiggling, and internal temperature reaches 150F degrees.
They’ll puff up a bit but will deflate and flatten when cooling.
Do you need a water bath for mini cheesecakes?
Mini cheesecakes do not need a water bath because they’re small enough to evenly bake in the middle without overbaking the top.
How do you serve gingerbread cheesecake?
The best way to serve these mini Christmas cheesecakes is with small batch homemade whipped cream.
How long do mini cheesecakes last in the fridge?
Cheesecake can last up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze homemade mini cheesecakes?
Yes, mini cheesecakes can be frozen before you garnish them.
First place them in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate then freeze until firm, about 1 hour. This prevents them from sticking to the plastic wrap and to each other.
Next wrap each cheesecake individually in plastic wrap then place in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 1-2 months.
Why do mini cheesecakes sink in the middle?
Chances are if your mini cheesecakes sunk in the middle after cooling, the middle is underbaked. When it’s underbaked, it’s not strong enough to support the top.
Another possible reason is you overbeat the batter especially after adding the egg, incorporating more air than needed.
This air will cause the batter to rise too much then sink as it cools.
How do you keep mini cheesecakes from sinking?
As mentioned, sinking likely happened if your cheesecake is underbaked. Make sure the edges are set, the center doesn’t look wet and is mostly set with some wiggling, and internal temperature reaches 150F degrees.
Why is my cheesecake lumpy?
If your cheesecake batter is lumpy, chances are your cream cheese and egg are too cold.
Make sure they sit out at room temperature until no longer cold to the touch. I let my ingredients sit out about 2 hours or so, but it’ll depend on how cold your kitchen is especially during winter.
If your cream cheese is still too cold, microwave (without the foil wrappers!) in 5-10 second increments until no longer cold to the touch. Be careful you don’t accidentally melt it!
To warm up the egg, place it in a warm bowl of water and let sit for about 15 minutes or until no longer cold to the touch.
What to do if my cheesecake batter is lumpy
Unfortunately no amount of beating will smooth out the lumps. And the lumps certainly won’t melt while baking.
Sometimes you can use a blender to smooth out the lumps. This method may incorporate too much air, which could cause the cheesecake to crack. However, you can cover the cracks with a garnish.
Sometimes you can run the batter through a strainer. You may lose some of the batter in the process, but at least it’ll be smooth.
More Mini Cheesecake Recipes
Here are more small cheesecake recipes for two:
- 3/4 cup gingersnap crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 8 ounces (1 block or 8 tablespoons) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature and not cold to the touch (do not sub fat free)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature and not cold to the touch
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 recipe Small Batch Homemade Whipped Cream, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line a muffin pan with 6 paper liners. If not using paper liners, grease with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, mix together the gingersnap crumbs and melted butter until moistened and clumpy.
- Press roughly 2 tablespoons crumbs into the bottom of each paper liner. Bake 5-8 minutes or until set and no longer looks wet. Cool while you make the filling.
- In a large mixing bowl on high speed, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Beat in the egg for 1 minute or until smooth (do not overbeat). Beat in the molasses, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
- Divide the filling among the paper liners. They should be filled to the top. Bake 22-25 minutes or until tops and edges are firm, the center slightly jiggles when moved, and internal temperature is 150F.
- Cool for 1 hour at room temperature then cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before garnishing
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.