I know, I know cheesecakes are not what is typically on the Easter Dinner Menu. Everyone is having carrot cake or a fresh fruit tarts, lots of chocolate candies etc. But these mini cheesecakes scream Easter with their festive colors and super cute decorations. This is a minimal effort Easter dessert with no baking required, soooo you have plenty of room left in your oven for that big gorgeous ham you’re planning on.
Why These Will Be Your Next “Go To” Easter Dessert!
- Easy, Easy, Easy! No bake =‘s Happiness in the kitchen!
- These freeze fantastic and make them the perfect dessert to make in advance (up to a week)!
- Seriously .... Who doesn’t love cheesecake?
- Everyone gets their own cheesecake thanks to their mini size.
- Ohhh la la la ..... the gorgeous pastel colors
- These are the perfect dessert after a heavy meal. These no-bake delights have a cream cheese mousse consistency, fluffy and light - unlike your traditional ultra dense cheesecakes. If you want you can pair these with your favorite berry and a dollop of cool whip.
- Lastly and most important.... The Easter Bunny Loves Cheesecake NOT carrots!!
One piece of equipment that works really well for this recipe is a silicone jumbo muffin pan. It makes your life SO MUCH EASIER and really simplifies the whole process of having to un-mold your cheese cakes. It’s super easy to work with, not to mention it’s the perfect size for your desserts. You can find these on Amazon or Target/Walmart, probably even Marshalls or HomeGoods/TJ Max will have them. You make these without the silicone jumbo muffin pan, you will just need to line your traditional muffin pan with parchment, waxed paper or even cupcake liners. Your cream cheese layers WILL STICK if you do not line your traditional pans! It’s more work in my opinion then using silicone and just popping out your molded cheesecakes, but honestly in the end regardless what you use it’s going to taste fantastic.
Makes: 12 delicious and festive Mini Cheese Cakes
- 24 round shortbread cookies (approx 12 ounces)
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 2 packets of unflavored powdered gelatin (0.5 ounce, or 5 teaspoons)
- 4 Tablespoons cold water
- 2 pounds full fat cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
- 1 Cup of sugar - granulated
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or you can use vanilla bean paste.
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Cups heavy cream
- food coloring - I prefer the Gel
- 1 cup whipped cream (decorations)
- Cadbury Candy “Robin’s” eggs or something similar (decorations)
- Sprinkles (decorations)
- Set your muffin pans (2 - 6 count pans) on a baking sheet. Using a food processor (or ziplock baggie and rollin pin) take your shortbread cookies and process to a fine crumb. Place in a bowl with your 2 Tbsp of melted butter and combine.
- Take your buttered shortbread crumbs and divide them between the 12 muffin pans. Using your fingers or a tart tamper press the crumb mixture into the bottoms. This my friends is your delicious crust!
- Next, take your 4 tablespoons of cold water and place in a small bowl, add your gelatin to the top and whisk together. Let sit for 5-8 minutes. This allows the gelatin to absorb the water. Once firm place in your microwave to melt/liquify (around 10-20 seconds).
- Using a stand mixer with your paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), add your cream cheese and beat on medium speed till smooth and creamy (no lumps!). Next add your sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt, combine well (don’t forget to scrape down the sides and bottom).
- On low speed add your heavy cream to your cream cheese mixture until everything is well combined. Finish off by adding your liquid gelatin and mixing. Remove bowl from mixer and mix by hand making sure that you scrape down the sides and bottom well so everything has been fully incorporated.
- Grab 4 bowls and divide your cheesecake mixture between the bowls (around 14 ounces in each bowl). Using your gel food coloring drop 1-2 drops per bowl and stir. Go slow with the food coloring you can’t take it away once it’s in there! Add more food coloring till you have reached your desired color. Stir till color is uniform throughout bowl.
- Take your first bowl of colored cheesecake and layer it over your shortbread crust - making sure to evenly divide it between your 12 muffin cavities. Using a cookie scoop worked well for me! You could also throw it into a piping bag and pipe it. Evenly spread the top with the back of a spoon and then proceed to your next colors. Following the same guidelines for the remain ing 3 colors. You’re going to want to work fairly quickly so your layers don’t set and become difficult to spread (remember we added gelatin!).
- Make sure your tops are smooth and then place your cheesecakes in the freezer for 2 hours to set. Before you un-mold them they should feel very firm/hard. If not then place back in the freezer.
- Now for the magic!! Once your cheesecakes have set you will want to press on the bottom of your silicone cavity with one hand while turning it upside down, into your other hand. Let sit for 30 minutes prior to eating (to thaw out a bit).
- Let’s decorate!! Top each decadent festive cheesecake with some cool whip or whipped cream and a few Cadbury Robins eggs and so sprinkles for pizazz.
- These are great to make ahead of time, you can store in the fridge for 4-5 days - make sure to wrap them well (so if storing maybe don‘t go all out with your decorations so they don’t get ruined, do those the day of enjoying). Serve from the fridge cold, not frozen.
- Enjoy Friends!
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