Mini Cheesecakes with Graham Cracker Crusts are the perfect dessert when you want a sweet bite after dinner or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Graham cracker crumbs are combined with melted butter and baked in a muffin tin to form the perfect crust. The decadent cheesecake filling is made from a mixture of cream cheese, yogurt, cinnamon sugar, vanilla extract and egg whites, making this sweet treat perfectly easy to work into your day.
What you’ll need to make Mini Cheesecakes with Graham Cracker Crusts
Believe it or not, I happen to always have these ingredients on hand. I am not the type of person with a huge pantry stockpile either; but a lot of these ingredients are kind of “staples” in the healthy eating community. So that makes this dessert even better; you can really whip these up whenever you are in the mood for them, just using stuff you have at home! So here’s what you’ll need:
- graham cracker crumbs – I use these
- If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs and only have whole graham crackers, you can definitely use a food processor to blend them up. I love having these graham cracker crumbs on hand, because they last forever (seriously, I think I’ve had this box for years now, it’s never ending) and they’re a great topping on yogurt when you want something a little extra.
- light butter – this is the brand I use
- reduced fat cream cheese
- plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- vanilla extract
- egg whites
- McCormick cinnamon sugar (if you can’t find this, you can make your own)
- cooking spray (I usually use PAM)
How to make Mini Cheesecakes with Graham Cracker Crust
Making the Graham Cracker Crust
First, preheat your oven to 325F. While that’s getting warm, let’s get started on the crust. Spray six openings of the muffin tin liberally with cooking spray. We do not want ANYTHING to stick! Next, place the butter in a small dish and microwave it for a minute so that it melts. Then, stir in your graham cracker crumbs.
The texture we are going for here is wet sand. It will not be pasty, more crumbly. Once the butter is fully incorporated, put approximately one tablespoon worth of the crumb mixture on the bottom of each of the sprayed muffin openings. Press the mixture down using your fingers. Make sure the entire bottom of each muffin opening is covered with the crumbs.
Once that’s done, place the muffin tin in the oven. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and set it aside while you prepare the filling. Once the crust is fully baked, it should look like this:
Making the Cheesecake Filling and Baking
To make the filling, simply combine all of the filing ingredients (the cream cheese, yogurt, cinnamon sugar, egg whites, and vanilla extract) together in a mixing bowl using a whisk to break down any lumps.
Spray the muffin tins (again) with more cooking spray, being sure to get the sides coated. Again, the last thing we want is for these beautiful mini cakes to stick to the pan! Once that’s done, add approximately 2 tablespoons of the mixture to each of the muffin openings. Then pop them in the oven to bake. These will take about 25 minutes to firm up. When they are done, pull them out of the oven and set them aside. They will look like this: Here’s the important part: do not try to remove them from the muffin tin yet. Once they have completely cooled to room temperature, place the entire muffin tin in the fridge. We want these to get nice and chilled before we try removing them from the muffin tin. If we don’t, they will absolutely crack and break apart. They are super delicate.
Removing the mini cheesecakes and serving
After about 20 minutes in the fridge, you can try and remove them from the muffin tin. Start by using a sharp knife, and running it along the perimeter of each muffin opening to loosen the edges. Then carefully lift each cheesecake out of the muffin opening and onto a dish. Sprinkle some cinnamon and powdered sugar on top for serving. These pair beautifully with fresh fruit and some whipped cream.
Mini Cheesecakes with Graham Cracker Crust
- muffin tin
Graham Cracker Crust
- 6 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
- 1.5 tablespoons light butter, melted
- cooking spray
- 6 tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese
- 3/4 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tsp McCormick brand cinnamon sugar
- 3 tablespoons liquid egg whites
- optional topping: powdered sugar and cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Place the butter in a small bowl, and melt it in the microwave.
- Stir in the graham cracker crumbs. The mixture should be crumbly, like wet sand.
- Spray six openings in the muffin tin generously with cooking spray.
- Divide the graham cracker crumb mixture evenly among each muffin tin (approximately 1 tablespoon each) and press it down with your fingers.
- Bake the crusts for 10 minutes.
- Remove the muffin tin from the oven.
- Combine the ingredients for the filling, and whisk together.
- Add more cooking spray to the tops and sides of the muffin tin openings with the cooked graham cracker crust. Again, be generous here.
- Add 2 tablespoons of filling on top of each cooked graham cracker crust.
- Return the muffin tin to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the tin from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Once at room temperature, place the entire muffin tin in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes before removing the cheesecakes.
- Using a knife, carefully move the knife along the perimeter of each muffin tin to loosen the cheesecakes. Then, carefully lift each cheesecake out of the muffin tin.
- Top with cinnamon and powdered sugar, if desired.
- Place the cheesecakes on a dish and put them back in the fridge until serving; best when served chilled.
- 3 WW points each (blue and purple plans)
- 4 WW points each (green plan)