Tag: graham cracker crust

Mini Cheesecakes

Mini cheesecakes make great after-dinner desserts.

Mini Cheesecakes 2

Their size is small enough so you don’t feel like you are over indulging. At the same time, their richness and creaminess will easily satisfy your sweet tooth. With the paper liners, they transport easily and work well at parties as easy-to-pass-around desserts.

Mini Cheesecakes 3

You’ll love the texture and tang of these mini cheesecakes. You can credit that to the sour cream or Greek yogurt. Another great thing about them is how easy they are to make. There are just three ingredients in the crust: graham crackers, butter and brown sugar. In seconds you are half-way done making this dessert.

The filling has just four core ingredients (cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla), plus whatever flavoring(s) and food color(s) you choose. And that’s the added beauty of this recipe. You can flavor your mini cheesecakes in so many different ways. With all the extracts and compatible ingredients, the options are endless. I’ve made many coconut versions with this coconut extract from Frontier-Co-op, plus a lot with citrus extracts. Key lime anyone? Chocolate is another go-to. And think of all the fruits you could feature. Any berry would work, or banana, or even mango. You could go the cookie/candy path, with crushed Oreos, Reese’s peanut butter cups, or Snickers.

For this version and because of my state fair love, I did cotton candy mini cheesecakes. I’ve been in love with cotton candy as a flavor since my first taste at the since closed, Izzy’s Ice Cream. In fact, I confess to not liking cotton candy itself, at all! But put cotton candy flavoring in something creamy and I’m all in. One of my favorite products to use is Amoretti’s cotton candy “artisan flavor.” It gives the cheesecake almost a raspberry meets cotton candy.

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I hope you get to enjoy these soon!



Minnesota Honey Cheesecake Recipe

This Minnesota Honey Cheesecake Recipe won first place for best cheesecake at the Minnesota State Fair, two years in a row (2018 and 2019). One taste and it will be love at first bite. The thick graham cracker crust pairs perfectly with the rich, creamy and dreamy cheesecake itself. Learn how to make this blue ribbon winning dessert with the step by step recipe below. Recipe credit goes to Med Nodzon of St. Paul.

Slice of Minnesota Honey Cheesecake

What You’ll Need

Meg’s recipe comes out so moist and delicious. Round up these items to get started.

  • 8 1/2 inch springform pan
  • Minnesota honey
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Sugar
  • vanilla
  • eggs

With a pound and a half of cream cheese, you know this cheesecake is going to be divine. There’s a memorable tang to it also, thanks to the sour cream. For honey, we used our local The Beez Kneez brand in our test run and loved its flavor.  You can use a different size pan also. Just be sure to adjust the baking time.

We had Meg make her award-winning recipe so we could photograph it. It arrived looking perfect.

Minnesota Honey Cheesecake with ribbon

We took Meg’s suggestion of adding pecans on top. Chop, chop!

Nuts for Minnesota Honey Cheesecake

We all went nuts for how great this all tasted together.

Minnesota Honey Cheesecake

Just look at how dense yet creamy this slice is! You will delight in every bite.

Slice Closeup of MN Honey Cheesecake

Bake Like a Blue Ribbon Winner

Want to make a state-fair-winning Minnesota Honey Cheesecake on your own? Here are a few tips from Meg to re-create her cheesecake like a champ. The advice is especially helpful if you want a smooth top and texture to the cheesecake.

  • Don’t overmix the batter.
  • The water bath is key if you want to avoid cracks in the top. The added moisture ensures every forkful is creamy and dreamy. You pour boiling hot water into an outer, larger pan with the cheesecake in its own springform pan ‘floating” inside. It’s more sitting than floating, but you get the idea. Wrap the bottom twice with aluminum foil to seal it.
  • Turn the oven off as soon as the edges have firmed up. The cheesecake will have a jiggly center and look like only about an inch and a half around the parameter is cooked. Leave it set in the oven to finish setting up. Leave the oven open a crack, using a small spatula to hold the door partially ajar.  Allow it to cool to almost room temperature before chilling it in the fridge 6 or more hours, for best results.

By the way, if you love cheesecake like we do, make this epic raspberry pie at some point also.

Meet the Maker

Meg entered her first baking competition at the fair in 2013. Her granola bar won 3rd place and she was hooked. She entered every year after (except 2020), making anywhere from 4 to 13 entries. The most ribbons she won in a single year was nine. Her best ribbon was 1st place for gluten-free chocolate mint sandwich cookies, which also won the sweepstakes (best overall in its category).

While winning ribbons is a thrill (the more the better =), Meg says she also simply loves the process of it all, including the baking trial runs. Sharing “failures” with co-workers is a highlight too. She appreciates how they are always honest about which items they like best. Because that’s a win on its own.

Meg Nodzon

Make Meg’s cheesecake today for a tasty blue ribbon baking experience.