Mini Strawberry Swirl Cheesecakes Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Mini Strawberry Swirl Cheesecakes Recipe

mini strawberry cheesecakes

cheesecake ingredients

I’m squeezing in a recipe before Easter and even Passover (if you make some modifications.) These mini strawberry cheesecakes are a twist on a classic cheesecake recipe because I use cream cheese and Greek yogurt plus I am making MINIS!  I love an individual dessert. The strawberry swirl is easier than it looks and divine.  Let’s do it!

Why you’ll love these mini strawberry cheesecakes

  • perfect portion and lighter than traditional cheesecake;
  • adaptable for different flavor variations; 
  • can be made dairy-free, and even gluten-free or grain-free;
  • perfect for Spring holidays and entertaining.
  • you can make it ahead.  We love those recipes!

blending cooked strawberries with immersion blender

Ingredients

  • Strawberries – I use fresh strawberries to make the strawberry swirl, but you can also use frozen berries. A blueberry sauce would go well with this recipe as well. 
  • Sugar – you only need a little bit of sugar to sweeten the fruit sauce or you can use fruit preserves. 
  • Graham crackers – I use traditional graham crackers that I break into crumbs in a food processor. Use gluten-free crackers if necessary. 
  • Coconut oil – I like to use an unrefined coconut oil, which has a a slight coconut flavor compared to a refined oil. If you’re not a fan of coconut oil, feel free to use melted butter instead. 
  • Maple syrup – it’s my favorite sweetener and I like the flavor, but I only use pure maple syrup.
  • Greek yogurt – I use an unsweetened whole-milk Greek yogurt, but you can use firm tofu if you’re dairy free. 
  • Cream cheese – is traditional in a cheesecake recipe. I use regular plain cream cheese, but a vegan almond milk cream cheese works well here.
  • Eggs – I use two large eggs. 
  • Arrowroot – is a starchy flour that performs similar to cornstarch, but more natural. I use it a lot to thicken up sauces or in grain-free baking. 
  • Vanilla extract – use pure vanilla extract without any additives or artificial flavors for best result. 

muffins cups lined with parchment strips

muffin cups filled with graham cracker crumbs

How to make mini strawberry cheesecakes? 

  1. Prepare the strawberry swirl: Place the strawberries and 1 ½ tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the strawberries begin to soften, about 4 minutes. You can try to mash the strawberries with a potato masher to release some of their moisture. Add the maple syrup or preserves and simmer for another 3-4 minutes until the strawberries are very soft and it starts to look like a chunky sauce. Blend the strawberry mixture with an immersion blender or regular blender until smooth. Allow the sauce to cool while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Grease 12 to 14 standard muffin cups (depends how many you have) with unsalted butter or coconut oil. Cut six to seven (depending how many muffin cups you have) 2-inch wide, 12-inch long strips of unbleached parchment paper, and then cut each in half crosswise (14 strips). Line each greased muffin cup with a parchment strip, leaving a tab on either end for easy removal. This is the key step in this recipe and will allow for the cheesecakes to come out cleanly.
  3. Prepare the crust: In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they are finely ground. Add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt to the graham crackers and pulse until moist crumbs form like wet sand and the mixture is well combined.
  4. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the crumbs into each prepared muffin cup and press to form an even layer at the base, using the back of the tablespoon, if desired. Wipe out the food processor to use for the filling.
  5. Bake the crusts for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. The crusts can be made a day ahead. Lower the oven temperature to 325 F.
  6. Prepare the filling: combine the yogurt, cream cheese, and maple syrup in the food processor and process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, arrowroot, vanilla, and salt and continue to process until the batter is smooth and well mixed, about a minute more.
  7. Fill each muffin cup to the top with cheesecake filling. Add tiny dollops of strawberry sauce over each cheesecake. Swirl the sauce into the filling with the tip of a paring knife or toothpick. Don’t overdo it. Bake until the custard is lightly golden and set at the edges but still slightly jiggly in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. The key is not to overbake because the filling will continue to firm up as it cools.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. Run a thin knife around the edge and pull up on both ends of the parchment to remove. Serve with fresh berries or extra strawberry sauce.

filling muffin wells with cheesecake filling

strawberry swirl on a mini cheesecake

Tips 

  • These mini strawberry cheesecakes can be made several days ahead and kept refrigerated in the muffin tin, covered with plastic wrap. 
  • Don’t overcook the filling. You want the filling to be jiggly like jello. It will continue to firm up as it cools out of the oven. 
  • If you overcook it and the tops of your cheesecakes crack, don’t worry. They’ll still be delicious.
  • Use room temperature ingredients for best results.
  • Pack in the crust ingredients well so you don’t have a crumbly bottom.
  • The key step is using parchment paper tabs.  I tried these with muffin tin liners and they did not turn out well. They stuck to the liners and did not have a clean edge.
  • Run a thin knife around the edge of the cheesecake. No need to get the knife down to the bottom where the crust is. Gently pull up on the tabs to remove the cheesecakes.

baked mini strawberry cheesecakes

Substitutions

  • Strawberries – use fresh or frozen berries, or a thin strawberry preserves, or omit the strawberry swirl and use lemon zest in the filling or mini chocolate chips
  • Graham crackers – look for gluten-free if necessary or grain-free cookies. You need 2 cups of CRUMBS.
  • Coconut oil – melted butter or plant butter
  • Maple syrup – honey (sugar will probably work fine, but I have never tested it.)
  • Greek yogurt – equal amount of firm tofu
  • Cream cheese – vegan cream cheese, such as an almond milk cream cheese
  • Arrowroot – cornstarch

 

Other recipes you may like

*Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars 

*Dairy-Free Cashew Cheesecake

*Key Lime Pie 

 

If you give these mini strawberry cheesecakes a try, snap a pic and tag @pamelasalzman so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Subscribe for free to my site for the latest recipes,  updates and things I’m loving lately.  If you enjoy this recipe, I taught it last year in my online class!  Give me an hour a month, and I’ll make you a better, healthier cook!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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4.0 from 1 reviews
Mini Strawberry Swirl Cheesecakes
Serves: 12 to 14 2.75-inch cheesecakes
 
Ingredients
  • Unsalted butter or unrefined virgin coconut oil, for muffin tin
  • 1 12 x 14-inch piece of unbleached parchment paper, cut into 7 (2 x 12)-inch strips
  • For the Strawberry Swirl: (double this if you want extra sauce)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar or strawberry preserves
  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs* (about 14 standard crackers pulverized in a food processor)
  • 5 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 2½ Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • For the Filling:
  • 1⅓ cups unsweetened whole milk Greek yogurt**, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese or almond milk cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Prepare the strawberry swirl: Place the strawberries and 1 ½ tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the strawberries begin to soften, about 4 minutes. You can try to mash the strawberries with a potato masher to release some of their moisture. Add the maple syrup or preserves and simmer for another 3-4 minutes until the strawberries are very soft and it starts to look like a chunky sauce. Blend the strawberry mixture with an immersion blender or regular blender until smooth. Allow the sauce to cool while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Grease 12 to 14 standard muffin cups (depends how many you have) with unsalted butter or coconut oil. Cut six to seven (depending how many muffin cups you have) 2-inch wide, 12-inch long strips of unbleached parchment paper, and then cut each in half crosswise (14 strips). Line each greased muffin cup with a parchment strip, leaving a tab on either end for easy removal. This is the key step in this recipe and will allow for the cheesecakes to come out cleanly.
  3. Prepare the crust: In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they are finely ground. Add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt to the graham crackers and pulse until moist crumbs form like wet sand and the mixture is well combined.
  4. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the crumbs into each prepared muffin cup and press to form an even layer at the base, using the back of the tablespoon, if desired. Wipe out the food processor to use for the filling.
  5. Bake the crusts for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. The crusts can be made a day ahead. Lower the oven temperature to 325 F.
  6. Prepare the filling: combine the yogurt, cream cheese, and maple syrup in the food processor and process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, arrowroot, vanilla, and salt and continue to process until the batter is smooth and well mixed, about a minute more.
  7. Fill each muffin cup to the top with cheesecake filling. Add tiny dollops of strawberry sauce over each cheesecake. Swirl the sauce into the filling with the tip of a paring knife or toothpick. Don’t overdo it. Bake until the custard is lightly golden and set at the edges but still slightly jiggly in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. The key is not to overbake because the filling will continue to firm up as it cools.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. Run a thin knife around the edge and pull up on both ends of the parchment to remove. Serve with fresh berries or extra strawberry sauce.
Notes
*or cookie crumbs of choice, even gluten-free or grain-free (e.g. Simple Mills vanilla cookies)
**or firm tofu
these can be made several days ahead and kept refrigerated in the muffin cups, covered with plastic wrap.

 

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Comments

4 Comments

  1. hello! Made these and they turned out so good, I was wondering if you have baked it in traditional familiar size and if so how long would you bake it for? thank you

    • Yes! You can do it in an 8 x 8 or a 9-inch round and bake 47-55 minutes. 50-51 minutes is perfect in my oven.

  2. These are delicious- but I did think that the strawberry sauce needed some lemon juice to brighten it. Thanks again for another delicious recipe!

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Christy. Thrilled to hear they turned out great!


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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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