My favorite mini cheesecakes! All the flavors of traditional cheesecake – a brown sugar graham cracker crust, creamy and indulgent mascarpone cheesecake filling, and a sweet fruit topping – combine for an easy, delicious, and crowd-pleasing no-bake Summer treat.
When it comes to back pocket desserts, these no-bake mascarpone mini cheesecakes are an easy favorite.
These sweet cheesecake jars check off a lot of boxes: they’re a breeze to make (in advance), but still feel a little bit fancy thanks to ultra-creamy Italian mascarpone cheese. They can be adapted to the season with any number of different toppings – think macerated berries in Spring, stone fruit and syrupy figs in late-Summer, homemade caramel in the Fall… – and most important, are delicious, and can be counted on to please a crowd.
And these red, white, and blue babes would look real’ pretty as part of a Memorial Day or 4th of July barbecue spread.
(See also, these lemon buttermilk cupcakes!)
Because these mini cheesecakes are no bake, they’re perfect for those hot and languid Summer days where the last place you want to be is standing in front of an oven.
The mascarpone, an Italian cream cheese, while most commonly known as the key-ingredient in tiramisu, layered between ladyfingers and cocoa and espresso, is equally well-suited to cheesecake.
Incredibly creamy on its own, when combined with fragrant vanilla bean paste, fresh lemon zest, and folded into whipped cream, the lusciously fluffy results are pure decadence.
And yet, so easy. The method couldn’t be simpler. I kept the base for these mini cheesecakes traditional, and went for a tried-and-true, brown sugar-sweetened, cinnamon-kissed graham cracker crust.
Followed by the dreamy mascarpone cheesecake filling, and a spoonful of ambrosial, macerated cherries, strawberries, and blueberries floating on top, they’re all kinds of heavenly.
And on a final note, while these red, white, and blue mini cheesecakes may be oh, so festive for Memorial Day, I hope that you’ll join me in taking a few somber moments in the midst of enjoying your long weekend – and delicious eats – to remember what the day is about: those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.
As the wife of an Army Special Forces officer, we’ve had our share of those very real reminders over the last several years. I wrote a little more about that here and here – this one’s close to my heart. XoxoPrint
My favorite mini cheesecakes! This easy, no-bake recipe is a lovely choice for a fun and festive summer dessert. All the flavors of traditional cheesecake – a brown sugar graham cracker crust, creamy and indulgent mascarpone cheesecake filling, and a sweet fruit topping – combine for a delicious and crowd-pleasing Summer treat, without the fuss.
for the base:
1 cup finely crushed graham crackers
3 Tbsp (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
for the mascarpone cheesecake filling:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
8 oz mascarpone cheese, at room-temperature¹
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup pitted cherries
2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Make the base: Use a food-processor to pulse together the graham crumbs, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse a few times until combined.
Divide the base between your jars or serving dishes. Press down gently into an even layer. Set aside.
Make the mascarpone filling: Add the cold cream to the (chilled) bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment. Starting on low speed, and gradually increasing, beat the cream until soft, fluffy peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a separate bowl.
Add the softened mascarpone and sugar to the mixing bowl, and beat together until light and creamy and no lumps remain. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Use a spatula to gently and methodically fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until combined.
Divide the mascarpone cheesecake filling between the jars. It may be easier to fill a large pastry bag and pipe the filling into the cups. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Make the topping and assemble: Stir together the chopped fruit with the sugar and lemon juice. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. Top the cheesecake with the fruit and syrup shortly before serving.
¹ Mascarpone cheese can be found in most well-stocked grocery stores. If you cannot find it, traditional brick cream cheese is a perfectly good substitute.
Be sure your mascarpone cheese is fully softened to room-temperature for the creamiest, lump-free results.