Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, I’m sharing these adorable raspberry lemon cheesecakes with you, because what says love more than cheesecake? I originally developed this recipe for a pink-themed baby shower – they were such a hit. Valentine’s Day seemed to be the perfect excuse to reintroduce these cute, handheld, mini-desserts. Not only do they fit the Valentine’s Day colour scheme, they take a fraction of the time to cook versus making an entire cheesecake. I took my favourite cheesecake recipe, added some raspberry purée, fresh lemon zest to brighten up the flavour, and baked them into individual portions using muffin tins. I was pleasantly surprised that the recipe fit perfectly into 24 muffin cups – it was meant to be! Lining the muffin tins with paper liners makes for a quick cleanup and it is easy to get these cheesecakes out of the pan.
I used frozen raspberries in this recipe, because one; it’s winter, and two; it’s what I had on hand. Frozen berries are picked ripe and frozen right away, so often, they have a better flavour than buying fresh imported berries. I like to keep a stock of frozen berries in my freezer since they make a quick and easy breakfast when mixed with yogurt and homemade granola, or when added to muffins, pancakes, or smoothies. To make the raspberry purée, I cooked frozen raspberries with just a touch of sugar, puréed the mixture, then passed it through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the seeds. You can also make this recipe with blueberry or blackberry purée resulting in a lovely purple-coloured cheesecake.
I hope you get to spend this weekend with your loved ones and these adorable mini-cheesecakes ♥
- 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup raspberry purée (see recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature.
- 1 12-oz bag frozen raspberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.
- Combine graham crumbs and melted butter, divide evenly between all the paper liners (~2 tablespoons each). Using a small spoon press the graham cracker mixture down to form the base.
- Bake for 5-6 minutes, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Lower oven temp to 300F
- Prepare the filling: in a stand mixer beat the cream cheese, flour, and sugar together until very smooth, about 3 minutes – scraping down the sides often to ensure everything is evenly mixed and there are no lumps. Add the raspberry purée, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. You do not want to beat the mixture too much once the eggs are added, otherwise the cheesecake will rise too much and when it cools it may crack.
- Divide batter between the 24 muffin cups (~1/4 cup batter per muffin tin)
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, the cheesecake will be slightly puffed and will jiggle like Jell-O. Note: If making a full cheesecake it will take between 60-70 minutes
- Allow the cheesecake to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before removing.
- Keep in the fridge until ready to serve, or freeze for later. Serve with fresh berries or more raspberry purée.
- Combine frozen raspberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
- Cook the berries and sugar for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the berries are broken down and slightly thickened.
- Cool the mixture, then puree it in a blender.
- Using a fine mesh strainer and the back of a spoon, strain the sauce into a bowl to remove the seeds. Make sure that all that is left in the strainer is the seeds - it takes a little while to press all the puree through.