Mini Creme Brûlée Cheesecakes

My dad loves Creme Brûlée. He orders it any time he sees it on a menu and recreates it at home every time we have a semi-fancy dinner. He’s gotten really good at making it, with a perfect creamy custard base and a thin and super crunchy sugar topping. He made it not long ago and as I was eating it I thought “wow, this would be good as cheesecake” and I was so so right. These Mini Creme Brûlée Cheesecakes are the perfect combination of two classic desserts.

Creme Brulee Cheesecake BLOG (2 of 7)

The crust is a classic graham cracker crust made with crushed graham crackers, salt, sugar, and butter. The filling is simple but really packs a punch. It is amped up with extra vanilla extract and is so creamy.

Creme Brulee Cheesecake BLOG (4 of 7)

For the topping, you sprinkle sugar over the top of the cheesecakes and use a handheld torch to melt the sugar on top until it turns a nice caramel color. The caramel will harden and become perfectly crunchy. If you don’t have a torch you can put them under the broiler of your oven, just watch them carefully because you can burn the sides of the cheesecake.

Creme Brulee Cheesecake BLOG (1 of 7)

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For in-depth “whys” and “howtos”, skip to the end of this post!

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Mini Creme Brûlée Cheesecakes

Mini vanilla cheesecakes with a crunchy creme brûlée sugar topping
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesecake, creme brulee, mini cheesecake
Servings: 12 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients

For Crust:

  • 6 sheets graham crackers crushed
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (18 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter melted

For Filling:

  • 2 blocks (454 grams) cream cheese room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) heavy cream room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For Topping:

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar

Instructions

For Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F). Line a 12 cavity cupcake tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, salt, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until fully combined. The mixture should be the texture of wet sand.
  • Use the bottom of a clean cup to firmly press about 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture into each liner.
  • Bake the crusts for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For Filling:

  • Turn the oven down to 300 degrees (F).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together on low speed until fully combined and smooth.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
  • Add the heavy cream and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.
  • Fill each liner up almost to the top.
  • Bake the cheesecakes for 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecakes to sit in the oven for 30 minutes. Crack the oven door open and allow to sit until cooled to room temperature.
  • Transfer cheesecakes to the fridge until ready to serve.

For Topping:

  • Remove cheesecakes from the fridge and top each with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  • Using a handheld torch melt the sugar until it turns a caramel color with some darker spots. Allow the cheesecake to sit for a few moments and the sugar will harden.
  • If you don't have a torch you can place the cheesecakes under the broiler until the sugar is melted.

Mini Creme Brûlée Cheesecakes

Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F). Line a 12 cavity cupcake tin (I used this one) with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, salt, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until fully combined. The mixture should be the texture of wet sand.
  3. Use the bottom of a clean cup to firmly press about 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture into each liner.
  4. Bake the crusts for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Filling

  1. Turn the oven down to 300 degrees (F).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (I have this one) or in a large bowl with a hand mixer (I have this one), beat the cream cheese and sugar together on low speed until fully combined and smooth. Don’t overmix or you’ll add too much air into the mixture.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
  4. Add the heavy cream and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Fill each liner up almost to the top. The cheesecakes won’t rise much, so you can fill them up most of the way
  6. Bake the cheesecakes for 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecakes to sit in the oven for 30 minutes. Crack the oven door open and allow to sit until cooled to room temperature.
  7. Transfer cheesecakes to the fridge until ready to serve.

Topping

  1. Remove cheesecakes from the fridge and top each with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  2. Using a handheld torch (I have one like this) melt the sugar until it turns a caramel color with some darker spots. Allow the cheesecake to sit for a few moments and the sugar will harden.
  3. If you don’t have a torch you can place the cheesecakes under the broiler until the sugar is melted.

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