These mini cheesecakes are smooth and creamy with a buttery graham cracker crust, topped with a dab of elderberry sweetness – talk about decadent!
Mini cheesecakes are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, making them perfect for entertaining!
They’re so much easier to make than baking an entire cheesecake but just as impressive and delicious. The crust is so simple to make, the cheesecake filling is smooth and velvety, and the elderberry sauce is sweet with a hint of tartness.
Want to know the best part about this recipe? It’s only sweetened with a touch of honey, and absolutely no added sugar — just like my organic elderberry syrup.
Plus, they only take 20 minutes in the oven so they bake up in no time. Baking a whole cheesecake takes three times that, at a minimum! You also get to skip out on the hot water bath. Way easier!
Also, in my opinion — there’s always too much cheesecake and not enough graham cracker crust.
Whether you prefer more/less crust, the cheesecake filling, or the topping… you’ll find your fix with these decadent treats. They’re a perfect balance of all three!
The Magic Is in the Elderberry Sauce
Mini cheesecakes on their own… absolutely delicious. Even plain!
I could indulge in them all day. But drizzle some elderberry sauce on top, and we’re taking it to a whole new level!
They instantly go from being, “I’ll just have one or two” good to — “I’m hiding this plate and I’m not sharing” good. Big difference!
Not to mention all the incredible health benefits elderberries have to offer, especially during cold and flu season (ahem… holiday season). Here are just a few:
- Boosts your immune system
- Helps prevent and ease cold & flu symptoms
- Tames heart inflammation
- Lessens stress
- Helps protect your heart
Elderberry syrup is part of my family’s daily regimen. It helps keep us healthy all year long with its powerful punch of antioxidants and vitamins. Check out my USDA Organic Elderberry Syrup here.
I’m always trying to find new ways to get even more elderberry into our diets, which is why I use elderberry syrup in a lot of my recipes. All that sweet goodness and immune support.
We achieve so much more when our bodies are strong and our health is top-notch!
So how do you make these Mini Elderberry Cheesecakes? Follow our recipe below to work some cheesecake magic.
- It’s best to have your ingredients at room temperature before starting. This helps your ingredients combine better which results in a creamy and smooth cheesecake. Give them at least 2 hours on the counter.
- Gluten-free? Just substitute the graham crackers for gluten-free graham crackers. Yes, there’s such a thing! And you can’t even taste the difference.
- Cracking happens during baking when air is trapped inside. As it escapes, your cheesecake cracks. You can help avoid this by gently tapping your filled muffin tin on the counter to help air bubbles come to the surface.
- Don’t open the oven while they’re baking. I know it’s tempting, but the cool air will affect how evenly they bake. Instead, turn on your oven light to keep an eye on the progress.
Now you’re ready to begin baking these decadent treats!
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (approximately 8 sheets)
- 4 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
For the cheesecake filling:
- 16 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the elderberry sauce:
- 1 cup organic elderberry syrup
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch (organic & non-GMO) or arrowroot powder
Tools You’ll Need
- 2 mixing bowls
- 2 standard-sized muffin tins
- Standard-sized muffin liners, paper works best
- Medium-sized pot
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line two standard-sized muffin pans with liners.
- In a bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and cinnamon.
- Pour 1 Tbsp of crumb mixture into each muffin liner. Press crumbs into an even compact layer. Try using the bottom of a small cup to do this.
- Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest while you make the cheesecake filling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer if preferred), whip cream cheese on medium until fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add in honey and mix until smooth.
- Add in eggs one at a time and beat until just combined.
- Add in lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and make sure all ingredients are combined and smooth.
- Divide cheesecake filling over each graham cracker crust, filling each one almost to the top.
- Bake at 350℉ for 18-20 minutes or until the tops of the cheesecakes are set.
- Remove from the oven and allow cheesecakes to cool in the pan for 1 hour.
Elderberry Sauce Topping
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, whisk together organic elderberry syrup and cornstarch.
- Allow it to slightly thicken, then place elderberry sauce on top of the cheesecakes where the little dip forms.
- Move cheesecakes to the fridge to chill for 2 to 4 hours.
This recipe makes 24 mini cheesecakes
Why Did My Cheesecake Crack?
Cheesecake usually cracks because of trapped air inside. Over-mixing can contribute to this. As the filling bakes, the air has to escape and this is where you get cracks.
In the tips above, I recommend tapping your muffin tin a few times to help air bubbles come to the surface. Sometimes, it still cracks!
Don’t worry about it though. You won’t even notice after you top them off with our epic elderberry sauce! Consider those cracks hidden for good.
Can You Make These Ahead of Time?
Yes, yes, yes! That’s why these are awesome. You can make them ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 3 days without your crust losing any of that buttery crunch.
My only suggestion is to hold off on topping them. Add your sauce topping when you’re ready to serve, or 1-2 hours beforehand.
Can You Freeze These?
These mini cheesecakes freeze beautifully. They’ll keep for two months in the freezer.
I suggest storing them in the cupcake liners without the topping for best results. Store cheesecakes in an airtight container.
Do yourself a favor and make a double batch because these mini pieces of bliss will be gone in no time.
Added bonus: no utensils or plates required which means... fewer dishes in your sink! Yes, please.
Once you try these Mini Elderberry Cheesecakes, they’re going to be your new go-to dessert. Creamy, smooth, sweet, tangy, buttery, and healthy all in one bite!
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