These sweet and tasty mini lemon cheesecakes are the perfect dessert for spring and summer. Homemade graham cracker and almond crust is topped with a creamy mascarpone cheesecake filling and finished off with a light and tangy lemon curd on top. For a quick overview of this recipe, check out my web story for these tasty mini cheesecakes with lemon curd.
These decadent mini lemon cheesecakes have become a favorite dessert in our family. They are super creamy and rich but balanced perfectly with the fresh tang of lemon curd. Because these mini desserts are made in a muffin pan, they are both easy to serve and perfectly portioned.
🍋 Ingredient notes
- Crust - Graham crackers and sliced almonds are mixed with melted butter and a pinch of salt to make the crust. For a nut free version, substitute the sliced almonds for 2 more sheets of graham crackers.
- Filling - A 50/50 mix of both cream cheese and mascarpone cheese are whipped together to make the filling. Mascarpone cheese is an Italian cream cheese that is both buttery and rich and adds a delicious flavor and texture to this homemade filling.
- Lemon curd - My favorite curd recipe is from Ina Garten for her easy and delicious lemon curd. It's easy to make and it comes out perfect every time. If you aren't up to making your own curd, you can use store bought lemon curd as an alternative. You will need approximately 12 ounces or 1 - 1 ½ cups.
🥣 Step by step instructions
Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor or blender until they become fine crumbs. Then, add the melted butter, salt, and sliced almonds. Continue to pulse until the almonds are chopped and the mixture resembles wet sand.
Evenly divide the crumbs into a muffin pan with paper liners, gently pressing down with your fingers or the bottom of a glass. Pre-bake the crusts till lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Prepare the cheesecake filling while the crusts are cooking by mixing the mascarpone and cream cheeses together until creamy. Next, add the sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and continue to mix, scraping down the sides as necessary. Lastly, mix in the eggs until everything is well combined.
While the crusts are cooling, prepare the lemon curd by zesting both lemons and adding it to a bowl with the sugar and butter. Beat it until the mixture is light, fluffy, and creamed together. Add in the eggs and salt and mix until well combined.
Cook the mixture in a small pot over medium low heat while stirring constantly. This should take about 10-12 minutes and you want to make sure the mixture doesn't boil. If it starts to boil, lower the heat so the curd doesn't scramble. When it's done, you should be able to run your finger down the back of the spatula and the mixture should not run, but stay in place. Chill the curd in the fridge with plastic wrap laid right on top of it.
Next, evenly divide the cheesecake filling between all of the cooled crusts and bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are no longer shiny and the middles are only slightly jiggly. Don't worry if they brown or crack as they will be covered by the curd.
Let the cheesecakes cool completely before adding the curd to the top and then chill the finished cheesecakes for at least 2 hours or overnight for best results.
Serve the mini cheesecakes in the wrapper or remove and serve on a tray or platter.
⭐ Top tip
Bring your mascarpone, cream cheese, butter, and eggs all to room temperature before making both the cheesecake filling and the lemon curd. They will incorporate better when mixed together and make both a smoother cheesecake and curd.Print
- Fresh berries - Top with fresh blueberries, raspberries or diced strawberries
- Pie filling - Top with your favorite prepared pie filling. Cherry, blueberry or peach would be great!
- Chocolate - Sprinkle with chocolate chips or drizzle with melted chocolate
- Whipped cream - Add a dollop of whipped cream for some extra sweetness
💭 Frequently asked questions
Cheesecake needs to be refrigerated to prevent it from spoiling. Keep it in the refrigerator before serving and do not let it sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Lemon curd will last 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.
🧁 More dessert recipes
If you loved this recipe for my mini lemon cheesecakes, check out these other delicious dessert recipes.
Don't forget! If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and give it a rating. I love to hear from each and every one of you! Tag me on Facebook and Instagram as well! It makes my day to see all of your photos of the food you have made.