Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Cheesecake lovers will fall head over heals for this Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes recipe because they are so easy to make!

Made in cupcake liners on a vanilla wafer this classic recipe looks fancy and tastes impressive. Mini cherry cheesecake bites are one of our family’s favorite dessert recipes!

Cherry cheesecake cupcakes with vanilla wafers on a wooden board on a red napkin.

Cheesecake Cupcakes With Vanilla Wafers Recipe

These cherry cheesecakes bites or individual mini cheesecakes make a great alternative to a traditional cake and give more variety to your dessert table at a party.  They are fun to stack at different heights to add color and variation.

My husband LOVES cheesecake and often asks for this recipe. It is so nice to have a quick and easy recipe to make small servings of cheesecake cupcakes! Cherry pie filling is a favorite topping in our family, but many pie fillings work well.

We’ve got a classic Buckeye Cheesecake, but this cheesecake bites recipe and our No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake is so much quicker and easier. The no-bake filling recipe could be used in these cups for another variation.

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12 of the best Cherry cheesecake cupcakes on a wooden board and red and white napkin

We’ll often have a great Chocolate Cake or cupcakes at a birthday party and make these cheesecake cupcakes with vanilla wafers to add color and flavor to the meal.  Some of the best party and potluck dessert come in individual cupcake liners to make serving and eating so easy.

Vanilla Wafer Cheesecake Cupcakes

My mom also makes this easy mini cheesecakes with vanilla wafers for family parties, a graduation party and carry-ins quite often.  She enjoys making cakes and cupcakes and she’ll often whip up an extra batch of these vanilla wafer cheesecake cupcakes.  This dessert really tastes impressive, but it’s simple to make.

When you want to go all out for a party including these mini cheesecakes in a Dessert Bar is the way to go.  Served along with a Loaded Baked Potato Bar guests enjoy building their own meal.

Preparing for a party can be fun and I like having help so I usually get the kids involved.  My kids love helping put the vanilla wafers in the bottom of each cupcake liner.  They have a party eating a box of wafers before the real party begins!

Close up vanilla wafer cheesecake in a cupcake liner with cherry pie filling

We always use these silver cupcake liners which look great at any holiday or special occasion.  The shinny silver contrasts so will with cherry pie filling or whatever kind of fruit pie filling you choose.  This is a beautiful red and blue dessert with blueberry or blackberry pie filling served alongside the cherry pie filling.  With white bite-sized cheesecakes, it makes a great red, white and blue 4th of July or Memorial Day Weekend dessert.

These are the easiest cheesecakes to make and they are so delicious!  It’s no wonder that just like our Pistachio Pudding Cake, Turtle Cake from a Box Mix and S’mores Pie it is a tradition to find these on the dessert table at some party throughout the year.

Ingredients Needed

  • Vanilla wafers – The magical premade crust that makes these mini cheesecakes special and so much easier.
  • Cream cheese – We like Eagle brand cream cheese for a slightly more premium taste.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar sweetens the rich cream cheese.
  • Eggs – Helps the mixture rise a bit and deepens the flavor.
  • Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract enhances the flavors of all the other ingredients.
  • Lemon juice – I prefer freshly squeezed to a bottle.
  • Cherry Pie Filling – Extra cherry is our preference.

How to Tell When Mini-Cheesecakes Are Set

This recipe is super easy and only takes ten minutes to mix up after the cream cheese is soft.  The most difficult part of making cheesecake, in my opinion, is trying to determine when it is “set”.

I always set the timer for a few minutes less than the recommended time.  I open up the oven and move the pan with the cheesecakes an inch or two.  If the filling “jiggles” in the center I put it back in the oven for a few more minutes.  

After doing this a few times I typically notice the amount of jiggle or movement in the center of the mini cheesecakes decreases over time.  I take the mini cheesecakes out of the oven when the jiggle is gone, but before the cheesecake begins to burn.

Mini Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes Recipe

  1. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Add a vanilla wafer with the flat side down in the bottom of each liner.

3. In a mixing bowl beat softened cream cheese until light and fluffy.

Beating softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl until very soft

4. Mix in eggs, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice.

Smooth and creamy cheesecake batter

5. Fill each liner 3/4 full with cream cheese mixture and bake 15 – 20 minutes until set.

Vanilla wafer in the bottom of a cupcake liner and cheesecake batter poured over some

6. Allow mini cheesecakes to cool before spooning your favorite pie filling on top.

7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Beautiful individual cheesecakes in liners for easy eating with pie filling on top

If you enjoy the vanilla wafers in this recipe you may also enjoy them in our Banana Pudding for a crowd or Vanilla Wafer Cake.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure cream cheese is softened before mixing in other ingredients
  • We do enjoy Philadelphia cream cheese over the store brand for best results in this recipe
  • If cream cheese isn’t soft the cheesecakes may be lumpy instead of smooth and well mixed
  • 3 cherries from cherry pie filling fit well on each mini cheesecake
  • Plain mini cheesecakes can be frozen in an airtight bag, but cheesecakes with the pie filling do not freeze well
  • Blueberry pie filling tastes great as an alternative to cherry pie filling. The red and blue combination can make a flag design for the 4th of July or Memorial Day.

Can These Be Made Ahead Of Time?

Yes – the cheesecake part can be made one to two days ahead and refrigerated. Then add the pie filling on top when ready to serve.

Mini cheesecakes with a vanilla wafer are best eaten within 2 – 3 days of baking because the vanilla wafer in the bottom can get soggy.

Other Classic Dessert Recipes:

Printable Mini Cheesecake Recipe

Overhead view of mini cheesecake cupcakes in foil cupcake liner topped with cherry pie filling

Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Servings 20 mini cheesecakess
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
Cheesecake lovers will fall head over heals for this Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes recipe because they are so easy to make!
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 20 cupcake liners
  • 20 vanilla wafers
  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 21 ounce can cherry pie filling


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cupcake pan with liners. Place a vanilla wafer, flat side down in the bottom of each liner. 
    20 cupcake liners, 20 vanilla wafers
  • In a small bowl beat softened cream cheese.
    16 ounces cream cheese
  • Add sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla; mix until fluffy and light. 
    2 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Fill liners 3/4 full with cream cheese mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Let cool.
  • Set mini cheesecakes out on a tray and display toppings of your choice around the mini cheesecakes. Makes 15 – 20 mini cheesecakes.  
    21 ounce can cherry pie filling


Calories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 107mgPotassium: 74mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 389IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally published on June 15, 2018 with pictures updated on May 18, 2022.

Small servings of cherry cheesecake on a white platter with text.


  1. You did not give any amounts for the ingredients of the mini cherry cheese cake!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Sorry about that, if you look at the bottom of the post there’s a recipe card with more details! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    These sound delicious! Question…These are mini cheesecakes, I know. But what size are they specifically ~ Regular cupcake pan or Mini?
    Thanks in advance. Looking forward to making them!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Good question – these use regular sized cup cake pan liners – the standard sized pan that holds 12 cupcakes.

  3. Sandra Pinnix says:

    I’ve made cherry cheesecake for many years; however, have never tried to make the mini ones. I’m curious: when served… do you eat them out of the cupcake liner, or can they be turned out onto a serving platter?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! We usually just serve right in the cupcake liner. Putting them in a silver or another decorative liner is beautiful! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  4. I got 14 out of regular size muffin pans and 3/4 full. I add a little extra lemon flavoring cause we love them that way. Been making these for years.

  5. When I tried this recipe, some of the vanilla wafers floated to the top 🙁 what can I do to prevent that?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Thanks for trying the recipe! Sorry to hear that. I haven’t experienced it, but I wonder if the flat part of the wafer was up so some batter got under the rounded edges and rose up? I think I usually put the flat side of the vanilla wafer level on the bottom of the cupcake liner. I hope you enjoy them 🙂

  6. The mini cheesecakes sound delicious. Do you spray the muffin papers with Pam before filling??

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! I do not spray the muffin papers, but if you wanted to add a light coat of Pam that would probably be fine. Hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

  7. Meredith Clarac says:

    4 stars
    Made these darling cupcakes and they are wonderful. Easy to make and a real.hitvwith my guests. Put a dollop of whipped with sliced. Strawberry and a blue berry for contrast..Really yummy

  8. Vanilla wafers are so small now a days that the flat side does not fill the bottom of the cupcake paper. what do you suggest I do? can I crush the wafers so I can cover the whole bottom of cupcake papers?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Even if they don’t quite fill the cup they still work well. If they’re extremely small maybe try a different brand. Hope you enjoy 🙂

    2. Maryann Marshall says:

      I crush the vanilla wafers, , and cover the bottom of cupcake pan

  9. Can I freeze the baked cupcakes without the cherry filling?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Yes, I think that should work. I hope you enjoy!

  10. I need to make these on Thursday to serve part on Saturday and part on Sunday. Can I leave the cherry topping off and refrigerate them. Then add the cherry just before serving? Hoping I dont have to freeze them
    Will they be good for that long in the refrigerator?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Great question – yes, you can easily make ahead (without pie filling) 1 to 2 days ahead. We haven’t tested making them that far ahead, but a couple days works very well. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do!

  11. Can I use this recipe making a smaller bite sized version?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! The cheesecake portion would work fine in smaller bites, I’m not sure how to replace/adjust the vanilla wafer cookie crust? Maybe mini wafers could work? Hope you enjoy!

  12. 5 stars
    Thank you for answering all and everyone’s questions. First time to making them and I had all those questions to ask.

  13. 5 stars
    I use silicone baking cups (they’re lassoed just like the paper liner cups). Once baked and cooked they pop right out whole! Nothing sticks to the sides, the silicone cups are great for these!

  14. Anne Slack says:

    3/4 cup of sugar is a HUGE AMOUNT and unnecessary. The original Philadelphia Cream Cheese/Nilla Wafer recipe I have followed since the 1980’s calls for 1/4 cup of sugar combined with 16 ounces cream cheese, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract divided into 12 servings and approximately 15 minutes. Even 1/4 cup of sugar could be lessened for health reasons as there are approximately 20 grams of sugar in a serving of the cherry pie filling alone.

  15. 5 stars
    I made these many many years ago so easy to make and a big hit. Need to do again.

  16. debbie meinsler says:

    5 stars
    Used my graham cracker crust. But everything else was by the recipe. I was very pleased with the results. Had good feed back from those who tried them. Thank you for posting.

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