Ahhhh….Spring is here and that means all things lemon! The freshness of lemon makes everything happier and here in Colorado the season of Spring comes in and will usually leave for a few days and then return again! We get fooled when the season comes because April is our typical snowiest month of the year and sometimes we even get snow in May and June!
Yikes back to the happiness of lemon!
These Mini Lemon Cheesecakes are creamy, easy, and have a blast of refreshing lemon flavor. With the flavor you get a burst of Spring and instant happiness!
Since these are in a cupcake pan because they are the perfect-sized dessert and make the best dessert for birthday parties, pot lucks, gatherings, showers, holidays, or any time you’re craving cheesecake. You can top with whipped cream, and fresh berries, or enjoy them just as they are.
I love making cheesecake bites because they are SO much easier to make than a whole cheesecake. Plus I can have a little bite and be totally satisfied versus a big slice of cheesecake that feels heavy. You don’t have to feel as guilty because they are made in a cupcake pan so they are perfectly portioned and make the best dessert for any occasion.
Lemon Cheesecake Filling
- 12 ounces softened cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 drops Lemon Essential Oil
Shortbread Cookie Crust
- 1 cup shortbread cookies
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
HOW TO MAKE:
MAKE THE SHORTBREAD CRUST
In a food processor, combine the shortbread cookies, melted butter, and sugar. Process for a few minutes until the mixture turns into a crumb-like consistency. Line two REGULAR cupcake baking pans with paper or silicone liners and evenly divide the shortbread cookie crumb mixture among 16 cups. With a spice jar, firmly press onto the cookie mixture to form a crust. Set aside.
MAKE CHEESCAKE BATTER
In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. The cheesecake mixture will be smooth. Be sure not to overmix.
With a tablespoon, spoon the mixture evenly on top of the crusts. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the centers are set. Let cool completely, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Remove cupcake liners and top with whipped cream (optional).
You can store these delicious bites in a plastic container in the fridge for up to a week, although they won’t last that long!
And the little bottle of lemon essential oil? First and foremost make sure your oil is tested for purity and is proven to be clear of impurities and potential harmful additives. I only use doTERRA because of their strict testing and ensuring that every bottle is safe for use, plus they are transparent about their testing protocols and every bottle’s testing report can be viewed at sourcetoyou.com. I am positive that grocery store essential oils don’t have this testing. Be safe and be aware.
There are tons of uses for the lemon essential oil beyond these tasty treats. Cleaning surfaces in your home, adding a drop to your water for a burst of flavor, making homemade cleaning paste and tablets, adding to greek yogurt, diffusing for a fresh aroma, and so much more. This handy guide will show you all the ways to use essential oils!
Now, go get to making these lemony little bites of goodness!
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