These pretzel salted caramel mini cheesecakes are perfect mini desserts that are easy to make. Sometimes a full cheesecake is a lot of work, so making them mini is a lot easier. Plus they are easy to grab and go for a party! They are topped with salted caramel and a pretzel to make these the perfect sweet and salty dessert.
Mini Cheesecakes Vs Full Cheesecake
Now, I love to make a full cheesecake; they are the perfect showstopper dessert for a party! However, sometimes I need an easier version of a cheesecake. They are so easy to make, you won't want to buy store bought cheesecake again.
Besides their size, they are a lot easier to make because they don't require a water bath. Since they are so small, they won't need the extra moisture the water bath provides.
Tips To Make Mini Cheesecakes
To make mini cheesecakes, there are a few tips to make sure you get a smooth and creamy batter.
- Mix graham cracker crust with a fork- After adding the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and graham cracker crumbs, the best way to mix it together is with a fork. The crumbs should all be wet.
- Use 1 TBSP to scoop the crumbs- Make sure to pack the crumbs into the 1 TBSP. Then, pour directly into the muffin liners in the pan.
- Use a spice jar to compact the crust- Use the bottom of a spice jar or a ⅛ measuring cup to compact the crust.
- Room temperature dairy ingredients- This is crucial to a smooth batter. Pull out the dairy ingredients 2 hours before baking.
- Beat cream cheese and sugar- Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese first, and then the sugar. The goal is to get it super smooth by beating it on high.
- Add egg in on low- To prevent cracking, add in the egg on low and stop mixing once just combined. Adding too much air into the egg can cause air bubbles to pop while baking, causing it to crack.
- Use a cookie scoop- For easy scooping, use a cookie scoop. Scoop 1 scoop into each mini cheesecake. Then, use a spoon to smooth.
Baking The Mini Cheesecakes
Once the muffin tin is filled with the cheesecake batter. All you have to do is put it in the oven. No water bath needed, my mini cheesecakes don't crack!
Bake for 20 minutes. The cheesecakes are done baking once the edges are set and the middle has a slight jiggle. There shouldn't be any browning on top.
Once done baking, keep them in the oven. Then, turn off the oven and crack open the door. This will allow them to slowly cool in the oven. It will also help to prevent the center from shrinking too much.
Cooling The Cheesecakes
Since they are cheesecakes, they must cool in the fridge for 6 hours at least. I prefer to make these a day before I need them so they can cool overnight.
Leave the muffin liners on the mini cheesecakes while they chill. Once cold, simply remove the liners. They should come right off.
Steps To Make Homemade Salted Caramel
I use this salted caramel for EVERYTHING! It is my go to caramel recipe because it tastes amazing and it's easy to make. Here are the steps to make it.
- Prepare ingredients- Before melting the caramel, have the heavy cream and cubed butter ready. After the sugar is melted, you will need to have these ready because you will have to move quickly. Also, make sure these are room temperature before using.
- Melt sugar- Use a saucepan and a metal whisk (not one with a plastic coating because the sugar gets HOT). Melt the sugar crystals completely and make sure to consistently stir. The sugar will clump up, but will melt completely.
- Let the sugar turn amber- Now, this process goes quick. 30 seconds or less. Don't stir, just let the caramel sit until it turns an amber color. It will start a pale yellow, then turn the amber color. Important: immediately take it off the heat once the caramel is an amber color to prevent burning.
- Whisk in butter and cream half at a time- Start with the butter first, and whisk half in at a time. It will bubble a lot. Repeat with the heavy cream. Stir quickly to prevent the caramel from seizing up. Then, add in vanilla and salt.
- Let it cool in a glass jar- Pour the hot caramel in a glass jar and make sure it cools completely.
Make this caramel the same day you make the mini cheesecakes, since it takes a while to cool completely. Once it is cool, cover the jar.
Decorating With The Caramel
Decorating the pretzel salted caramel mini cheesecakes takes less than 10 minutes! You can decorate these quickly before an event!
First, make sure the caramel is a pourable consistency. If it is too thick, heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Next, use a ½ TBSP and spread the salted caramel over the mini cheesecakes. Then spread it evenly with the back of the ½ TBSP.
Place 1 pretzel on top of the caramel and top it with flaky sea salt. The flaky sea salt is optional, but it adds more salt to even out the sweetness.
Only place the pretzels on the mini cheesecakes right before serving. Fresh pretzels give the mini cheesecakes some crunch. Once the pretzels go in the fridge, they lose that crunch.
Storing The Cheesecakes
Store these pretzel salted caramel mini cheesecakes in the fridge in an air tight container. You can store in a cake carrier, a 9X13 inch pan covered in foil, or in a storage container.
They will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
Can They Be Frozen?
Yes! After the cheesecakes have cooled for the initial 6 hours, cover them tightly in cling wrap and store in an air tight container. Store in the freezer up to 30 days.
To thaw, take them out of the freezer. You can place them in the fridge for 24 hours, or place them on the counter and let them sit for 1 hour. Then, decorate with caramel and pretzel.
Other Recipes To Try
- Mini chocolate cheesecakes
- S'mores mini cheesecakes
- Caramel apple mini cheesecakes
- Cookie dough cheesecake bars
Pretzel Salted Caramel Mini Cheesecakes
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cups Graham cracker crumbs about 1 whole packet of graham crackers.
- ¼ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
- ½ tsp Ground cinnamon
- 6 TBSP Unsalted butter melted
- 8 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- ¼ cup White granulated sugar
- ⅛ cup Sour cream room temperature
- ⅛ cup Heavy cream room temperature
- ½ tsp Pure vanilla extract
- 1 Large egg room temperature
- 1 cup White granulated sugar
- 5 TBSP Unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup Heavy cream room temperature
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Pure vanilla extract
- 12 Pretzels
- Flaky sea salt optional
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 12 cup cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Blend graham crackers in a food processor. Blend until fine crumbs form. Mix the crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Stir with a fork. It should all be wet.
- Use a 1 TBSP and scoop, compact, and pour into each cup in the cupcake tin. Compact the crust using a ⅛ measuring cup or the bottom of a spice jar. Set aside.
- Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high for 1 minute. Scrape bowl and add in sugar. Beat again for 1 minute.
- Add in sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla. Mix on medium until cheesecake batter is smooth. Scrape the bowl and add in the egg. Mix on low and until it is just combined.
- Use a cookie scoop (1 ½ TBSP) and scoop the cheesecake batter on top of the graham cracker crust. Use a spoon to smooth the batter.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes. The cheesecakes are done baking when the edges are set and there is a very small jiggle. Turn off the oven, crack open the door about 4 inches and let it sit for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the mini cheesecakes to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely. Cover and chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
- Have all ingredients ready before starting. Use a saucepan and heat the sugar over medium heat. Use a whisk and whisk until the sugar crystals are completely melted. It will clump up at first but will melt down. Let it sit for 30 seconds or less until the sugar turns amber in color. Take off heat immediately.
- Mix in half of the cubed butter. Whisk until combined, it will be bubbly. Then, mix in the rest of the butter. Add in half of the heavy cream and whisk until combined. Then, add in the rest of heavy cream. Once combined, add in the vanilla and salt.
- Pour caramel into a glass jar. Let it cool completely. Once cool, cover jar in plastic wrap for storing.
- Take all of the cupcake liners off the cheesecakes. Pour ½ TBSP of caramel over the mini cheesecake and then, use a spoon to smooth it. Place a pretzel and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top of the caramel. Only place pretzels on them right before serving. Once the pretzels go in the fridge they will lose their snap.
- To store: keep covered in the fridge.