Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes

September 01st, 2009  | Category: Cheesecake, Muffins and Cupcakes

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

Why haven’t I thought of this before? Individual servings of creamy and tangy lemon cheesecake. But most importantly, why haven’t I seen these before? Someone must have discovered cheesecake cupcakes decades ago, right? So, even though I have zillion cookbooks, flip through jillion food magazines and read gazillion food blogs, why don’t I remember seeing cheesecake cupcakes before?

Has the time come? Am I so over saturated with images of food that I don’t really see what I’m looking at anymore?

Or is it just about turning the right page (or clicking the right link) at the right time?

When I saw the individual cheesecakes recipe in delicious. magazine’s June 2009 issue, I didn’t just mark the page and continued reading. I opened the fridge door and checked if I had cream cheese. Luckily, I did. I also had fresh mulberries from my father’s garden. Perfect!

The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t need to go through the process of a water bath, which is quite scary especially for cheesecake virgins.

Believe me, it is very hard to screw up with this recipe. And even if you do, don’t forget: Combination of berries and powdered sugar is the best concealer known to the home baker.


I love it when I get to salvage leftovers from a previous baking adventure. Once in a while, I bake more cookies than I can eat.

OK, all the time. Since I am against trashing anything edible, I always freeze them and wait for a recipe to come by.

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

Thanks to this lemon cheesecake cupcakes, there opened some space to be filled in my freezer. Maybe a batch of pomegranate frozen yogurt? Oh yeah.

If you liked this recipe, then you’ll definitely like these, too:

Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes Recipe

Recipe adapted from delicious. magazine’s June 2009 issue

Makes 12 lemon cheesecake cupcakes


Cookie base:

  • 3+1/2 oz (100 gr) gingersnap (or shortbread) cookies
  • 2 oz (55 gr) ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted


Important: For a creamy consistency, make sure that all the ingredients below are at room temperature.

  • 1 lb. cream cheese
  • 3+1/2 oz heavy cream (or sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 oz mulberries (or any kind of berry)
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 325F.
  2. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases and set aside.
  3. Crush the cookies to fine crumbs and mix with ground almonds, sugar and melted butter.
  4. Press 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture into the base of each muffin case and place in the refrigerator to chill.
  5. Beat the cream cheese, heavy cream and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest, beating well after each addition.
  7. Rap the mixer bowl hard on your counter to knock out the air bubbles trapped inside the filling.
  8. Spoon the mixture over the cookie bases 3/4 full.
  9. Press three mulberries into the filling and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheesecakes are puffed and starting to color.
  10. Cool, then chill until ready to eat.
  11. Decorate each cheesecake with more mulberries and dust with powdered sugar to serve.
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  1. 1 - The Purple Foodie on September 1st, 2009

    Cheesecake is something very hard for me to share. And to add to that, home grown mulberries? That just makes this so much more endearing.

  2. 2 - Tony on September 1st, 2009

    they look wonderful, Cenk! I make similar tiny cheesecakes flavored with orange zest & orange liquor on a chocolate cookie crust and freeze them for an ice cream-like dessert.
    btw, I’m already starting to see pomegranates in the markets around here – I can’t wait to see what you make with them this year!

  3. 3 - The Hungry Mouse on September 1st, 2009

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    This is brilliant. And there’s something to be said for a well-stocked larder. Cheesecake on demand? Yes, please!


  4. 4 - Phoo-D on September 1st, 2009

    The combination of lemons and ginger cookies has me swooning! This looks divine.

  5. 5 - Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy on September 1st, 2009

    Dang, that IS a good idea. I guess the rest of us are sleeping on the job 🙂 I want to try this, if for anything because it doesn’t call for a graham cracker crust which is difficult to come by in Italy! I love mini!

  6. 6 - Irene on September 1st, 2009

    It’s genius! I’m totally drooling. I want one (two… five…) right now! This looks gorgeous for a dessert table.

  7. 7 - rose on September 1st, 2009

    Nicely done! I’ve found this is the best way to do cheesecakes as a whole one is messy to serve sometimes. 🙂 I use a small glass spice jar to press the crust into the cupcake papers!

  8. 8 - lululu on September 1st, 2009

    i’ve made cheesecake a lot, but never tried cheesecake cupcake.
    it might sound a bit too much for breakfast, but i’d definitely hv 1 maybe 2 for my breakfast!

  9. 9 - lisa (dandysugar) on September 2nd, 2009

    Cheesecake cupcakes are a fantastic idea. Desserts that come in small sizes always seem to taste even better! The mulberries sound absolutely delicious.

  10. 10 - patsyk on September 2nd, 2009

    I’ve seen them before, but couldn’t tell you where! Fabulous way to enjoy cheesecake. This recipe looks doable no matter your baking experience.

  11. 11 - Dorothy T on September 2nd, 2009

    I’m surprised that you haven’t seen individual cheesecakes before. Paula Deen, Pampered Chef & others have recipes in cupcake & mini-muffin sizes. Try putting a whole vanilla wafer in the bottom for your crust – so easy! Happy baking.

  12. 12 - Patricia Scarpin on September 2nd, 2009

    Cenk, these are fantastic. Nothing gets my attention like lemon, and if it’s paired with berries, I’m in heaven.

  13. 13 - Soma on September 2nd, 2009

    I belong to that uncommon group who is not fond of cheese cakes. But I haven’t seen anything as pretty as these before. Love the cookie base & the berries.

  14. 14 - Britta on September 2nd, 2009

    These are beautiful and remind me of one of my favorite treats to bake when I was about 10…early 1980’s. I used Nilla wafers for the crust, made cheesecake base with almond extract and topped them with (Gasp!) canned cherry pie filling! They were so red and glossy and utterly beautiful-oh delicious too! I think my adult palatte would much prefer the taste of yours. Especially the mulberries.

  15. 15 - Rachel on September 2nd, 2009

    Yes, individual cheesecakes were incredibly popular (at least in the US) in the late 1980s and early-to-mid 1990s. they were everywhere! I think the trend got so huge, then burnt itself out, and that’s why you don’t see them in your current crop of books, or in the blogosphere.
    But that doesn’t change the fact that they are tasty and practical (they were popular for a reason!) and I have never tried them with mulberries!

  16. 16 - rebeccasubbiah on September 3rd, 2009

    wow these look fab I love your site

  17. 17 - HoneyB on September 3rd, 2009

    These are gorgeous!

  18. 18 - heidileon on September 3rd, 2009

    one of the most beautiful individual cheesecakes that I’ve seen lately

  19. 19 - Cakelaw on September 3rd, 2009

    These look delightful!

  20. 20 - doodles on September 3rd, 2009

    first time visitor here and will surely return……..we do a lot of brunches for lazy Sundays so individual anything is perfect and these jewels will be making a Sunday appearance soon……thanks

  21. 21 - Bakerybookery on September 3rd, 2009

    If only I had cream cheese in the fridge!! Individual cheesecakes certainly seem to be having a resurgence in Sydney cafes of late but I love your home baked variety – and especially your way with left over biscuits! Ginger and lemon, together at last!

  22. 22 - Sam@BingeNYC on September 3rd, 2009

    Ahhh, lemon cheesecake, swoon. These are gorgeous!!!

  23. 23 - Glenn on September 3rd, 2009

    Another winner. Thanks Cafe “F”.

  24. 24 - Matt on September 3rd, 2009

    These were delicious !

    I already had 3 going for another =)

    Great recipe !


  25. 25 - Joumana on September 4th, 2009

    Great photo! Hey, do you guys in Turkey make mulberry syrup?
    I sure wish I had brought mine from Lebanon this summer!

  26. 26 - lirit on September 4th, 2009

    I’m with Soma…I don’t usually like cheesecake at all–far too heavy for my taste. But I LOVE lemon and I LOVE berries, so I feel that despite my anti-cheesecake stance, these look lovely!

  27. 27 - ABowlOfMush on September 5th, 2009

    These are the most attractive little cheesecakes I’ve ever seen! Wow!

  28. 28 - Lucy on September 5th, 2009

    Oh my these look beautiful! What pretty little treats – plus I love the simplicity of the recipe 🙂

  29. 29 - joey on September 9th, 2009

    Oh these look just perfect Cenk! I can never have a whole big slice of cheesecake and these cupcakes (with the fresh berries!) are calling my name!

  30. 30 - pigpigscorner on September 10th, 2009

    Great idea! They look so cute!

  31. 31 - Roxbury23 on September 14th, 2009

    I don’t know if I did it right exactly (I’m pretty amateur in the kitchen, but I’m working on it!) but I had twice as much filling as I did crust… I was able to make almost 2 dozen with the filling this recipe calls for… any tips?

  32. 32 - Cenk on September 14th, 2009

    Roxbury23 – I really don’t know why that happened. Maybe your muffin cases were smaller?

  33. 33 - Mrs Ergül on September 18th, 2009

    These are absolutely adorable!

    Is it a Turkish thing about not trashing anything edible? Cuz my husband is exactly the same!

  34. 34 - Cenk on September 18th, 2009

    Mrs. Ergül – I’m not so sure. I have seen many Turkish people trashing lots of edible things 🙂

  35. 35 - sibel on September 27th, 2009

    What an amazing recipe! This is the first recipe I tried and it turned out perfectly. Great blog.

  36. 36 - Kimberly on September 29th, 2009

    My mom used to make cheesecake cupcakes when I was little. I think it was in some Pillsbury cookbook in the early eighties. This makes me nostalgic just looking at it… I’ll have to make these for sure!

  37. 37 - kez on December 4th, 2009

    oh my goodness, these were bliss. I made them with crumbled scotch finger biscuits and fresh raspberries. The berries swirled beautifully into the cheesecake and made them look and taste so divine that no one guessed how simple they were to make! Perfect for impressing company at short notice.

  38. 38 - Cenk on December 6th, 2009

    kez – So happy to hear you liked them. Bon appetit!

  39. 39 - debbie Mckee on January 12th, 2010

    hi I want to make cheesecake cupcakes for my daugthers wedding this August ,Any ideas?

  40. 40 - Zeynep on July 16th, 2010

    Hi Cenk
    Just found your blog and looks amazing. Delicious recipies and mouthwatering photos. One question, what would you use as a substitute for the heavy cream in this recipe, for Turkey? I guess we just have the regular “krema” that is quite runny..

  41. 41 - Cenk on July 17th, 2010

    Zeynep – The closest you can find is krema. Try Pınar’s, which is without any stabilizers and additives.

  42. 42 - Mia on July 23rd, 2010

    i cannot wait to try these! these look amazing!!just a question, you use a cupcake tin right? because in the directions it says muffin tin..and those are tiny! and also, when you press the berries into the individual cupcakes, will they automatically swirl into the cheesecake mix or will they be whole berries still by the time theyre done baking? thanks for this recipe!!

  43. 43 - Cenk on July 23rd, 2010

    Mia – Actually, I’ve used a muffin tin. Maybe they look small in the photos, but they were baked in a standard 12-cup muffin tin. The berries I’ve used were very soft so they did swirl into the cheesecake mix. Hope you like the recipe.

  44. 44 - Mia on July 28th, 2010

    okay, thanks! also, do you know of any way to prevent freshly cut fruit from leaking onto the cupcake? i’ve tried to put cut up strawberries on top of cupcakes/frosting before, but they’ve always ended up leaking and making the frosting runny or the cake soggy. I know it might help if i leave the entire strawberry on top without cutting it, but is there any way to prevent a cut-up piece from leaking? i’ve tried powdered sugar, but it doesnt work..

  45. 45 - Cenk on July 28th, 2010

    Mia – You might want to try glazing them with a transparent jelly. That creates a beautiful shine and a protective crust of some sort so that the fruit doesn’t wilt too quickly and stain the frosting. Hope this helps.

  46. 46 - Lucy T. on August 18th, 2010

    Made these as the base for a blueberry-themed dessert night. I guess I Canadianized the recipe a bit: added tons of wild blueberries from Northern Ontario and a few blackberries for good measure. And used some of my homemade maple-syrup cookies as the base.

    Here’s a picture:


    So yummy. Thanks so much for the recipe. Will make again very soon (I just bought blackberries at the farmer’s market, so very soon indeed!)

  47. 47 - Lucy T. on August 18th, 2010

    Sorry–I forgot to add that I had too much filling for 12-standard sized cupcakes. I added a bit more cream and a drizzle of honey to the extra filling and churned it in my ice cream maker. That tasted divine.

  48. 48 - Cenk on August 19th, 2010

    Lucy T – Looks great! I am so envious of the abundance of blueberries – they are extremely expensive in Istanbul.

  49. 49 - Lucy T. on August 19th, 2010

    The small, wild blueberries are a little more expensive than the cultivated ones (which are very cheap at this time of year) here, but so worth it. If you’re ever visiting Quebec or Ontario, come in August so you can indulge 🙂

  50. 50 - Heidi on September 8th, 2010

    I’ve been following for some time but had not tried any recipes. I made these on Sunday and they were exceptionally delicious. Bravo.

  51. 51 - Cenk on September 9th, 2010

    Heidi – Glad you liked them 🙂

  52. 52 - De auGustibus on November 24th, 2010

    Hi, I tried these cheesecake cupcakes and I really liked them! I have even “reviewed” them in my newly born blog! in case you want to see my result (not as professional as yours..): http://deaugustibus.wordpress.com/category/desserts/cheesecakes/

  53. 53 - leisa on June 2nd, 2011

    Hi. I’d like to make these for my daughter’s class tomorrow, but I can’t find muffin tins anywhere. Just cupcake. So how would I amend this? Please help. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for MONTHS!! Very excited. Thank you.

  54. 54 - Cenk on June 4th, 2011

    Leisa – What’s the size of your tins? If they are smaller, adjust baking time accordingly. The minute they start to color, take them out of the oven.

  55. 55 - Mia on June 29th, 2011

    I finally made these…and they tasted AMAZING! just one thing, is the cookie base supposed to be dense? they felt very dense and kind of oily..is there anything i may have done wrong or something i can change?

  56. 56 - Cenk on June 29th, 2011

    Mia – You might want to reduce the butter by half (or a bit more – until the crumbs come together), but since the batter is quite wet, the only way to get a somewhat-dry cookie base would only be possible by pre-baking them before you pour the batter. Maybe 10 minutes of pre-baking followed by another 25-30 minutes with the batter? Hope this works.

  57. 57 - Tannie on August 17th, 2011

    I’m just baking the second batch of these. The first one was done like an hour ago, but I’ve have a question. When the recipe says that the cupcakes are ready when starts to puff and take color, it means that is when they bounce back?

    I also used cinnamon cookies instead of gingersnaps because its kinda hard to find them in México, and added 1 tpsp of honey instead of sugar for the cookie base. I can’t wait to see how they taste!

    ps. I just LOVE your blog! this is the first recipe I made and I’m planning to bake the Devil’s Food Cake for my boyfriend’s birthday. Also your photos are gorgeous. Greets from Mexico City 🙂

  58. 58 - Cenk on August 25th, 2011

    Tannie – Thanks! Sorry for the late reply. Yes, that means when they bounce back. Hope they turned out OK.

  59. 59 - ally on November 13th, 2011

    I have just found the greatest baking place full with unique ideas…
    tesekkur ederim… thanks god your blog exists!

  60. 60 - maude b spears on December 14th, 2011

    cenk! they are really, really good!!!!!!! HIGH 5!! TO THE LEMON CHEESECAKE CUPCAKES

  61. 61 - Lara on January 26th, 2013

    Genius recipe.

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