4th of July Mini Cheesecakes is a red, white, and blue layered dessert that has a shortbread crust filled with creamy cheesecake filling! Only 20 minutes of prep time!
These 4th of July Mini Cheesecakes will absolutely be a hit at all of your Memorial Day and 4th of July Parties! They don’t just taste good with their shortbread cookie crust and homemade cheesecake filling, but they look good too!
Celebrating all things America should always come with friends and family, fireworks, and good food! This easy-to-make festive layered dessert is a simple way to ensure you get the food part right at your cookouts!
5 Reasons Why I Love This Recipe!
- Red, White, & Blue! This dessert brings a ton of festive fun to your cookouts with their red, white, and blue layers!
- Individual Servings! No need to slice and serve! These mini desserts can be easily snagged right off from your favorite serving tray!
- Feeds A Crowd! A dozen creamy, delicious cheesecakes to share with friends and family. Attending a super big backyard bash? Just double the recipe and get two dozen!
- Make Them Ahead! Easily make these red, white, and blue cheesecakes a night or two ahead of time! Then just chill them in the refrigerator until it’s time to finally enjoy them!
- Switch Up The Colors! Choose different colors to match any occasion! Valentines Day? Reds and pinks! St. Patricks Day? Shades of green! Easter? Pastel colors! Christmas? Green and red!
The crust for these mini cheesecakes is made out of shortbread cookie crumbs, melted butter, and red food coloring. Then you’ll make the creamy cheesecake filling using cream cheese, granulated sugar, grated lemon peel, vanilla extract, and eggs.
Since the shortbread cookie crust gives this dessert its red layer, you’ll divide the cheesecake batter in half and mix one half with blue food coloring. Leaving the other half plain for the white layer of cheesecake.
Dress these cheesecakes up even more by adding Perfect Homemade Whipped Cream or cool whip on top of them and then adding some red, white, and blue sprinkles on top!
Not feeling shortbread? Good substitutes would be sugar cookie crumbs, vanilla wafer crumbs, or graham crumbs.
How To Make 4th of July Cheesecakes
- Preheat the oven and prepare muffin tins by placing large muffin papers into each muffin cup of the pan.
- Mix the cookie crumbs, melted butter, and red food coloring together until crumbly and evenly colored. Then press the crust mixture evenly into the muffin cups.
- Bake the crust and then allow it to cool.
- Beat the cream cheese using an electric mixer. Once it’s smooth add in the sugar gradually and beat again until fluffy.
- Add the lemon peel and vanilla, mixing at a low speed. Then blend in the eggs one at a time.
- Divide the cheesecake batter evenly between 2 bowls. Leave one bowl plain and add blue food coloring to the other.
- Add the plain cheesecake batter into the muffin cups and smooth the tops out. Then gently add the blue cheesecake batter on top of the plain, smoothing the tops out.
- Bake the mini cheesecakes. Then turn off the heat, open the oven door, and leave the cheesecakes in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Cool completely to room temperature on a cooling rack. Then chill the cheesecakes in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cheesecake Shelf Life & How To Store
These mini cheesecakes will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. You may freeze them for up to 3 months. Just allow them to thaw in the fridge before serving.
How should I make the cookie crumbs?
Place your cookies in a food processor and blend until the texture of sand. If you don’t have a food processor, you may put the cookies in a freezer back and pound them into crumbs using a heavy rolling pin or meat mallet.
I don’t have any lemon zest – is there a substitute?
You could use lime zest, orange zest, ½ teaspoon of lemon extract, or just leave out the zest.
I’m not sure how to get lemon zest – any tips?
I used my box grater to remove just the yellow part of the lemon peel – be careful not to go so deep that you get the pith (white part) which is bitter. You’ll have to keep turning the lemon. A zester is also very handy for zesting citrus. Or you may carefully use a paring knife to remove the yellow part of the peel and then chop this up fine.
These Fourth of July Cheesecakes are such a fun and deliciously festive way to enjoy the holiday! Snag another creamy Cheesecake Recipe to enjoy all year round!
- No Bake Oreo Cheesecake – Prep this no bake dessert that’s loaded with crushed Oreos in just 30 minutes!
- Best Ever Blueberry Cheesecake Bars – Fruity, creamy, and decadent bars that are made with a graham cracker crust layered with cheesecake, and blueberry filling!
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake – Silky, peanut buttery goodness that’s sandwiched between a chocolate graham cracker crust and smooth Chocolate Ganache!
- Apple Cheesecake Bars – Made with a sweet shortbread crust, a creamy cheesecake layer, cinnamon baked apples, and topped with an oatmeal crumble topping!
- Sopapilla Cheesecake – A Spanish-inspired dessert that uses crescent roll dough, cream cheese. cinnamon, sugar, butter, and a drizzle of honey!
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4th of July Mini Cheesecakes
- 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs about 20 small shortbread cookies crushed in a food processor
- Red food coloring
- 6 tablespoons salted butter melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- Blue food coloring
- Optional garnish is whipped cream and sprinkles.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare muffin tins by placing large muffin papers into 12 muffin cups (standard muffin pan not mini muffin pan).
- Mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter and red food coloring until crumbly and evenly colored. Press this mixture evenly into the 12 muffin cups.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese. When it is smooth, gradually add the cup of sugar. Beat this until fluffy. At a low speed, add the lemon peel and vanilla. Also at a low speed, blend in the eggs, one at a time. Do not mix more than needed.
- Divide this cheese mixture evenly between 2 bowls. Leave one bowl plain (white). Add blue food coloring to the other bowl.
- Using a Tablespoon, divide the plain cheesecake batter into the muffin cups – smooth the top. Then divide the blue cheesecake batter among the muffin cups. (Do this very gently so that the layers don’t mix) Again, smooth the top.
- Bake the mini cheesecakes at 325°F for 20 minutes on the middle or bottom rack. Watch these carefully, cheesecake can scorch. Then turn off the heat, prop the oven door open, and leave the cheesecakes in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Allow the cheesecakes to cool completely on a cooling rack (at least 30 minutes). Then, it is best to chill the mini cheesecakes in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.
- Garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles.
- Storage Instructions: These mini cheesecakes will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. You may freeze them for up to 3 months. Just allow them to thaw in the fridge before serving.
- How should I make the cookie crumbs? Place your cookies in a food processor and blend until the texture of sand. If you don’t have a food processor, you may put the cookies in a freezer back and pound them into crumbs using a heavy rolling pin or meat mallet.
- Can I substitute something else for the shortbread cookie crumbs? Yes, good substitutes would be sugar cookie crumbs, vanilla wafer crumbs, or graham crumbs.
- I don’t have any lemon zest – is there a substitute? You could use lime zest, orange zest, ½ teaspoon of lemon extract, or just leave out the zest.
- I’m not sure how to get lemon zest – any tips? I used my box grater to remove just the yellow part of the lemon peel – be careful not to go so deep that you get the pith (white part) which is bitter. You have to keep turning the lemon. Or you may carefully use a paring knife to remove the yellow part of the peel and then chop this up fine.