These cherry cheesecake cupcakes are a smaller version of traditional cheesecake with cherry sauce, but are a lot faster and easier to make than traditional cheesecake (and a lot easier to serve!) This recipe makes a relatively small batch, so it’s perfect for smaller crowds, or can be multiplied for a larger function. I like to make these in mini-muffin tins so that they are bite-sized (but they can also be made in standard-sized muffin tins).
Another great thing about these cherry cheesecake cupcakes is that they can be made ahead of time and frozen. Put the cooked and cooled cupcakes (without the cherry topping) into a closed container and freeze. When you are ready to serve, pull them out of the freezer a couple of hours ahead of time, allow to thaw, and add the topping.
You can also do variations on these cupcakes by choosing different toppings. To create the American Flag design for my 4th of July party, I used Cherry Pie Filling, Blueberry Pie Filling and Whipped Cream as the toppings…but pretty much any pie filling will work so you can come up with your own creations!
What You Need To Make Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes
1 cup vanilla wafers or graham crackers
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
8-ounce package of cream cheese
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 12-cup regular-size muffin tin, or 1 24-cup mini-size muffin tin
Baking cups to match the size of the muffin tin
Mixer and bowl
How to Put the Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes Together
1. Take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator and out of its packaging to allow it to warm up to room temperature. Although this step is not absolutely required, it is easier to mix room-temperature cream cheese without getting lumps than it is cold cream cheese.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
3. Line the muffin tins with the baking cups.
4. Put the vanilla wafers or graham crackers into a ziploc bag and close the top, removing as much air as possible.
5. Roll over the bag with the rolling pin until the wafers are crushed.
6. Mix the crushed wafers with the melted butter.
7. Spoon enough crushed wafers into the bottom of each baking cup to cover the bottom, and press it down to form a crust.
8. Mix the cream cheese with the mixer until it is smooth.
9. Add the sugar, egg, vanilla and lemon juice.
10. Mix again until smooth.
11. Spoon the mixture into each of the muffin tins so that each baking cup is almost full (cheesecake does not rise like regular cupcakes or muffins so you do not have to worry about leaving room for that).
12. Bake for 15 minutes.
13. Cool thoroughly. The cheesecake may fall in the middle…this is not unusual, so don’t be worried if it happens (and it gives an easy place for the topping to settle).
14. Top the cupcake with some cherry pie filling, and serve!
One recipe makes 12 regular-sized cupcakes, or 24 mini-sized cupcakes.
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