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Cutest Cherry Cheesecake Tartlets – Special Holiday Dessert

Do cherry cheesecake tartlets that are not too sweet and topped off like Rudolph’s red nose sound delicious? These bite-sized treats are so pretty that Santa would trade in his milk and cookies for them. They are the perfect little Christmas party dessert.

Who doesn’t love cheesecake? Although delicious, even a small slice of this rich, cream cheese dessert can be filling at the end of a meal. I have an alternative – Cherry Cheesecake Tartlets – a little bite of goodness.

These mini-cheesecake tartlets are a super small version of a regular-size cheesecake.

The just-right size dessert provides a satisfying finale to a holiday meal or as a sweet nibble at a cocktail party. They don’t leave you feeling like Santa Claus after a night of Mrs. Claus’ best Christmas cookies.

These cherry cheesecake tartlets have the look of Christmas to them.

You know me. I love mini-desserts. The great thing about the cherry cheesecake tartlets is that they contrast beautifully with the brownies with raspberries I’ve shared on the blog, both in flavor and presentation.

Nervous about making cheesecakes? (I used to hear that from my cooking class students over the years.)

Don’t be. I’m going to walk you through the preparation. At the end of the post, I have a PRINTABLE of CHEESECAKE TIPS for you.

Special Holiday Dessert: Cherry Cheesecake Tartlets

How hard can a 6-ingredient dessert be? Most of these ingredients may be ones you keep in your pantry, fridge or freezer.

Ingredients for the Cherry Cheesecake Tartlets

Crust Ingredients

  • graham crackers
  • unsalted butter

Filling Ingredients

  • cream cheese, softened
  • large egg
  • vanilla extract
  • granulated sugar
ingredients for cherry cheesecake tartlets

Equipment for the Cherry Cheesecake Tarts

A regular-size cheesecake requires a cheesecake pan (It has solid sides with a pop-up bottom and at least 3-inch sides.).

cheesecake pan and graham crackers

These cheesecake tartlets use a 12-cup mini cheesecake pan, readily available online or at your local kitchen store. Each cup has a removable bottom, making removing the cheesecakes from the pan a breeze.

A food processor is the best tool to make your graham cracker crumbs. I just had to replace my Kitchen Aid that I had for over 20 years. (My fault – I broke the top to the bowl.) It was a workhorse. I replaced it with a new Kitchen-Aid processor that I love.

An electric mixer is used to make the filling. Mine is also a Kitchen-Aid and it’s the best mixer I’ve ever had.

Ice cream scoop is the best little tool for dividing the cheesecake filling evenly and easily.

Making the Cheesecake Crust

Start by breaking the crackers up before you put them in the processor bowl. Pulse several times first and then turn to ON to process into fine crumbs.

This is my old food processor.

graham crackers for cherry cheesecake tartlets

Pour into a medium bowl.

graham cracker crumbs

Melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick) in the microwave.

Add the melted butter to the cracker crumbs and stir until completely moistened. It may not look like there is enough butter, but I promise there is.

crust for cherry cheesecake tartlets

Spray the cheesecake cups with cooking spray.

cherry cheesecake tartlets pan

Spoon about two tablespoons of cracker/butter mixture into each cup. Equally divide any remaining crumb mixture among the cups.

cherry cheesecake tartlets graham cracker crust

Using a tart tapper, press the crust down until firm in the cup. (I love this little gadget.)

crust for cherry cheesecake tartlets

Place in the freezer until chilled thoroughly.

NOTE:  The crust can be placed in the freezer several hours ahead, if necessary.

Making and Baking the Cheesecake Filling

NOTE: Make sure that all your ingredients – especially the cream cheese and egg – are room temperature. It may take a few hours. It’s O.K. to leave them out overnight if you are planning to bake in the morning.

Beat the cream cheese in the electric mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl, about two minutes.

Gradually add the sugar and beat for another minute.

whipping cream cheese and sugar

Add the egg and beat until completely blended. The batter will turn a pale yellow.

adding egg to cherry cheesecake tartlets
filling for cherry cheesecake tartlets

Stir in the vanilla extract. Nielsen-Massey is the best vanilla extract. It’s the only one I use.

Using your ice-cream scoop, evenly divide the filling in the 12-cup pan. Each cup will need a little over 2 tablespoons of filling. Use it all!

filling cherry cheesecake tartlets

Bake the cheesecake tarts for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove the cheesecake pan from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Using a small metal spatula or paring knife, go around the edge of each cheesecake tartlet, loosening the cheesecake from the side of the cup.

removing cherry cheesecake tartlets from pan

Using a wooden spoon handle or your finger, push up the bottom of the cup to release the cheesecake tartlet from the pan. Then use the tip of a paring knife to separate the metal bottom from the cheesecake.

Sometimes the bottom just falls off.

removing cherry cheesecake tartlets from pan

Set the cheesecake tartlets on a parchment-lined sheet pan and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

baked cherry cheesecake tartlets

Garnishing the Cherry Cheesecake Tartlets

Using a small spoon, place 1 – 3 cherries on the center top of each cheesecake tartlet.

cherry pie cherries
cherry cheesecake tartlets

Other toppings: For Christmas, fruit preserves, such as strawberry or raspberry, are colorful and festive.

Return the cherry cheesecake tartlets, covered, to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Cherry Cheesecake Tartlet Recipe

cherry cheesecake tartlets

Cherry Cheesecake Tartlets

Delicious mini-dessert perfect for parties or when a small bite is desired.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 tartlets


Graham Cracker Crust

Cheesecake Filling and Garnish


Graham Cracker Crust

  • Use cooking spray to grease each cheesecake cup.
  • Break up graham crackers into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to break up. Then run the processor until the crackers are fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl.
  • Add the melted butter to the cracker crumbs and thoroughly combine.
  • Divide the mixture among the cheesecake cups, about 2 tablespoons each. Add any remaining crumbs evenly among the cups. Press down the crumbs/butter mixture with the tart taper.
  • Freeze the cheesecake crust while preparing the filiing.

Cheesecake Filling

  • Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  • In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese and sugar on medium-high for 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Using an ice-cream scoop, divide the mixture evenly among the chilled cheesecake cups.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and cool on the counter for 20 minutes. The cheesecakes may sink a bit in the middle. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve, preferrably for at least 2 hours.
  • To remove cheesecakes from cups, run a small metal spatula around the edge of the cup. Using a wooden spoon or your fingers, push up the bottom of the removable cup bottom. Remove the disc from the bottom of the cheesecake with a paring or butter knife. Place the tartlets on a parchment-lined sheet pan as you remove them from the cheesecake pan.
  • Using a small spoon, place about ½ teaspoon of cherries or chosen preserves on top of each cheesecake. Either serve or place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to serve.


NOTE: All cheesecake ingredients should be at room temperature to ensure a smooth filling.
Keyword cheesecake tartlets
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
cherry cheesecake printable

Aren’t these the prettiest little bites of cherry goodness? I hope that you’ll make them. I’ve made them several times for parties and taken them to an annual Christmas dinner for a group of my sorority sisters. They loved them. Wouldn’t you?

For more holiday desserts, check my Christmas Dessert Pinterest Board.

Get your Printable Cheesecake Tips and be sure to PIN this recipe and tutorial.

Cherry Cheesecake Tarts for a SpecialHoliday Dessert. These mini~size desserts are a delicious treat for any holiday party.
pin for later graphic in blue
baked cherry cheesecake tartlets graphic
Christmas Santa signature

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