Mini Holiday Cheesecakes

I hope everyone had a nice weekend! Brandon and I had a pretty laid back Christmas, we stayed in and watched movies and played video games all weekend. It even snowed a little bit on Saturday so we got the proverbial white Christmas. After going all out for Thanksgiving last month, I really wasn’t in the mood to kill myself making a big dinner again so instead we had a small ham and I made my favorite Pineapple Stuff to go with it. But it is Christmas, so I couldn’t resist having fun with dessert.

One of my presents this year was a set of mini springform pans. Cheesecake is most definitely our favorite dessert, and we agree that the recipe I use is the best cheesecake we’ve ever had (two years later I still get regular comments from people who love the recipe) but I only make it on special occasions for two reasons: 1) a 10″ cheesecake is A LOT for two people to eat and 2) we never ever agree on which flavor we like the best. I like to experiment with different flavors like Dark and White Chocolate or Pumpkin while Brandon just wants plain ol’ no frills cheesecake with a boring fruit topping. Well, these mini springform pans solve both problems, because now I can make half the amount of cheesecake I usually make and each mini-cheesecake can be a different flavor. Brandon gets his plain cheesecake, I get a fun one like peppermint bark or red velvet and then we can split the Oreo cheesecake, which we both like. Everyone wins!

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

When I was deciding which flavors I wanted to make, Peppermint Bark was at the top of my list because I’ve already had a bunch of questions from readers about making one. I’ve never eaten peppermint bark cheesecake before and I didn’t really look for a recipe, I just decided to have fun with it and come up with something that sounded good to me. It’s a white chocolate cheesecake marbled with white chocolate-peppermint flavored cheesecake (dyed pink for fun) and then topped with a peppermint-chocolate ganache and sprinkled with crushed peppermints. Let me tell you…it’s as good as it sounds. I was worried peppermint and cream cheese might be kind of weird together but adding the white chocolate makes it work perfectly. It honestly wasn’t even as minty as it you would think. I preferred keeping it subtle because I didn’t want to cover up the white chocolate flavor but you may want to increase the peppermint extract if you really like peppermint.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red Velvet is another cheesecake I’ve never had before, but it sounded good and I thought the beautiful red color would compliment the red of the peppermint and the red of the cherries in the other cheesecakes. It’s flavored with cocoa and topped with a layer of cream cheese frosting because why not add some more cream cheese to your cheesecake? It’s Christmas, go all out!!

Oreo Cheesecake

If you’re like Brandon and you prefer to keep your cheesecake simple, the other two are just as good as those crazy cheesecakes. The Oreo cheesecake has an Oreo crust, Oreos mixed in and more sprinkled on top. It’s pretty much your ultimate Oreo cheesecake.

Cherry-topped Cheesecake

Last but not least there’s the good ol’ basic cheesecake with a sweet cherry topping. And it’s not those weird fake looking cherries in a jar either, you can use fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries. Brandon said it was exactly what he wanted, so it will surely become a staple every time I make cheesecakes in the future.

Mini Springform Pans

I realize the most people won’t have these mini springform pans, so there are directions for making each of these cheesecakes full size and in smaller pans. But since it’s Christmas and these pans are so awesome I decided I want to give a set of four 4.5″ pans away to one lucky reader! This isn’t a sponsored giveaway, I just love these pans and I want to give something back to you guys for making this such a great year for Back to the Cutting Board.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. Next Monday, January 3rd, I will pick a winner at random and announce it on this post as well as on the Back to the Cutting Board Facebook page.

To get extra entries for the giveaway:

  1. “Like” Back to the Cutting Board on Facebook (it counts if you’re already a fan, too).
  2. Tweet a link to this post about the giveaway or the recipes in this post.

Just come back here and add a new comment after you’ve “liked” me to get another entry. If you tweet a link to this post, it should automatically appear here as a comment, but if not, then add a comment with a link to your tweet.

Good Luck!

UPDATE 1-3-11: The contest is now closed. The winner is Intisar:

Those look great! I would love to have a set of mini springform pans, I love cheesecake, but DH doesn’t so this would be perfect!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who commented and tweeted and liked Back to the Cutting Board on Facebook! I will definitely be doing more of these kinds of giveaways in the future!

Mini Holiday Cheesecakes

Skip down to the cheesecake recipe you want:

You might also like my previous cheesecake recipes:

Each recipe makes enough for a full-size 9 or 10 inch cheesecake or six 4.5 inch cheesecakes. If you want to half the recipe, use 3 blocks of cream cheese and 3 whole eggs instead of a combo of eggs and egg yolks.

If you have leftover cheesecake batter or you want to make even smaller cheesecakes, you can also make this recipe in cupcake tins with foil cupcake liners. Follow the small size baking instructions, but cut the baking time in half and immediately remove from oven to cool instead of leaving them in there for an hour. You don’t need to bake the crust for cupcake-sized cheesecakes.

Cherry-topped Cheesecake Supreme

from Back to the Cutting Board

Dessert | Servings: 10″ cheesecake (10-12 servings)
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 3 hour 15 min | Total time: 4 hour 35 min

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2-3 cups finely ground graham crackers*
  • 6-8 tbsp. of butter
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

*Note: 2 cups is fine if you only want crust on the bottom, but no sides. Use 2 1/2 – 3 cups if you want sides.

Cheesecake:

  • 5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Topping:
adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 20 oz. pitted dark sweet cherries, frozen (not thawed) or fresh**
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 4 tsp. water

**Note: If using fresh, unfrozen cherries, add 1/4 cup water in with the cherries and sugar.

Process

  1. Get out your cream cheese, eggs and cream and let sit while making the crust so that they are at or close to room temp by the time you need them.
  2. Grind up crackers in a blender or food processor if necessary. Mix crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl until combined and press into the bottom and if you want, about an inch or two up the sides of a 10″ springform pan. Place in a preheated 350 degree (F) oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out to cool. Turn off the oven.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla; mix until smooth.
  4. Add in the sugar, flour and heavy cream and blend until smooth. Do not over-mix as this will create more air bubbles which can contribute to your cake cracking.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and place in the oven and then turn it on to 400 degrees (F). Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200 degrees (F).

    Full size: Bake for 3 hours. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill for a full 24 hours.

    Small size: Bake for 2 hours. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill 12-24 hours.

  6. To make topping, combine 1/2 cup sugar and cherries in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until cherries are thawed and mixture is syrupy.
  7. In small bowl, whisk together juice, cornstarch, and water, until well blended.
  8. Stir cornstarch mixture into cherry mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened and shiny. If it becomes too thick, add a bit more water. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Remove springform pan and spoon room temperature or chilled cherry mixture over the cheesecake.

 

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake Supreme

from Back to the Cutting Board

Dessert | Servings: 10″ cheesecake (10-12 servings)
Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 3 hour 15 min | Total time: 4 hour 45 min

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 – 3 cups finely ground chocolate graham crackers*
  • 6 – 8 tbsp. of butter
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

*Note: 2 cups is fine if you only want crust on the bottom, but no sides. Use 2 1/2 – 3 cups if you want sides.

Cheesecake:

  • 5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 10 oz. white chocolate
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. (to taste) peppermint extract
  • Red food coloring

Chocolate Ganache:
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dori Greenspan

  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp. cold (important!), unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. (to taste) peppermint extract
  • Crushedpeppermints

Process

  1. Get out your cream cheese, eggs and cream and let sit while making the crust so that they are at or close to room temp by the time you need them.
  2. Grind up crackers in a blender or food processor if necessary. Mix crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl until combined and press into the bottom and if you want, about an inch or two up the sides of a 10″ springform pan. Place in a preheated 350 degree (F) oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out to cool. Turn off the oven.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla; mix until smooth.
  4. Add in the sugar, flour and heavy cream and blend until smooth. Do not over-mix as this will create more air bubbles which can contribute to your cake cracking.
  5. Melt white chocolate on the stove over low heat or in the microwave. Mix into cheesecake batter.
  6. Transfer 1/3 cheesecake batter into another bowl. Stir in peppermint extract and a few drops of food coloring.
  7. Pour 1/3 of the original batter into the prepared crust. Drop in spoonfuls of the peppermint mixture on top. Pour in the rest of the original batter over that. Finally, drop in spoonfuls of the rest of peppermint mixture and swirl it all around with a knife, but don’t overmix.
  8. Place in the oven and then turn it on to 400 degrees (F). Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200 degrees (F).

    Full size: Bake for 3 hours. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill for a full 24 hours.

    Small size: Bake for 2 hours. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill 12-24 hours. Remove springform pan.

  9. To make topping, melt chocolate on the stove over low heat or in the microwave. Remove from heat and let stand for 3 minutes.
  10. Using a small whisk, stir in powdered sugar, followed by the pieces of butter. Stir in peppermint extract. If the mixture is too thin to spread, place the bowl over ice water and stir for a few seconds or until it thickens.
  11. Quickly spread a thin layer of chocolate on top of the cheesecake (if it gets too firm, put it back on the stove over low heat for a minute or so). Sprinkle with crushed peppermints and gently press them into the chocolate. Let set at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving.

 

Oreo Cheesecake Supreme

from Back to the Cutting Board

Dessert | Servings: 10″ cheesecake (10-12 servings)
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 3 hour 15 min | Total time: 4 hour 35 min

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 – 3 cups finely ground Oreo cookies, cream centers removed*
  • 6 – 8 tbsp. of butter
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

*Note: 2 cups is fine if you only want crust on the bottom, but no sides. Use 2 1/2 – 3 cups if you want sides.

Cheesecake:

  • 5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups chopped Oreo cookies*

*Note – Feel free to add more or less Oreos, depending on how cookie-y you want it to be, but be careful not to go overboard. Brandon said mine was more Oreo than cheesecake, so I’ve reduced the amount I put in there originally. You may also want to remove the cream centers.

Process

  1. Get out your cream cheese, eggs and cream and let sit while making the crust so that they are at or close to room temp by the time you need them.
  2. Grind up cookies in a blender or food processor. Mix crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl until combined and press into the bottom and if you want, about an inch or two up the sides of a 10″ springform pan. Place in refrigerator to chill while you make the cheesecake.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla; mix until smooth.
  4. Add in the sugar, flour and heavy cream and blend until smooth. Do not over-mix as this will create more air bubbles which can contribute to your cake cracking.
  5. Gently fold about 2/3 of chopped Oreos into the cheesecake batter.
  6. Pour batter into your prepared Oreo crust. Sprinkle with remaining Oreos.
  7. Place in the oven and then turn it on to 400 degrees (F). Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200 degrees (F).

    Full size: Bake for 3 hours. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill for a full 24 hours.

    Small size: Bake for 2 hours. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill 12-24 hours.

    Remove springform pan and serve.

 

Red Velvet Cheesecake Supreme

from Back to the Cutting Board

Dessert | Servings: 10″ cheesecake (10-12 servings)
Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 3 hour 15 min | Total time: 4 hour 45 min

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 – 3 cups finely ground chocolate graham crackers*
  • 6 – 8 tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

*Note: 2 cups is fine if you only want crust on the bottom, but no sides. Use 2 1/2 – 3 cups if you want sides.

Cheesecake:

  • 5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • Bottle of red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting:
adapted from Southern Living

  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Process

  1. Get out your cream cheese, eggs and cream and let sit while making the crust so that they are at or close to room temp by the time you need them.
  2. Grind up crackers in a blender or food processor if necessary. Mix crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl until combined and press into the bottom and if you want, about an inch or two up the sides of a 10″ springform pan. Place in a preheated 350 degree (F) oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out to cool. Turn off the oven.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla; mix until smooth.
  4. Add in the sugar, flour and heavy cream and blend until smooth. Do not over-mix as this will create more air bubbles which can contribute to your cake cracking.
  5. Mix in cocoa and red food coloring.
  6. Pour batter into your prepared chocolate graham cracker crust.
  7. Place in the oven and then turn it on to 400 degrees (F). Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200 degrees (F).

    Full size: Bake for 3 hours. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill for a full 24 hours.

    Small size: Bake for 2 hours. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill 12-24 hours.

  8. To make topping, beat together cream cheese and butter. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Spread on top of cheesecake. Remove springform pan and serve.