Mini No Bake Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Roasted Cherries

mini goat cheese cheesecakeIndividually, the words mini, no bake, goat cheese, and cheesecake all appeal to me. Plus cherries?? Put those all together and I’m a goner.

I made little individual goat cheese cheesecakes with a chocolate crust, and topped them with roasted cherries (which you do need to bake, but you can make this ahead of time, or you can use a stovetop, or you can even substitute cherry jam). Each cold, creamy bite has a little tang from the goat cheese, a little crunch from the chocolate cookie crust, and a burst of deep sweetness from the roasted red cherries.

mini cheesecake top viewThe inspiration for the flavors come from my favorite Jeni’s Ice Cream: goat cheese with red cherries. I love treating myself to a scoop, but it is a pretty expensive habit (each pint costs $12). Every time I eat it, I think to myself, “this tastes just like a frozen cheesecake” until finally I decided to just make cheesecake myself.

I made a chocolate crust using Famous Chocolate Wafers (I’ve used this before for cheesecake and I like the dark chocolate flavor) but if you can’t find those cookies in your grocery store, crushed up Oreos would work nicely, too. And so would a regular graham cracker crust. I actually almost bought a pack of Oreo Chocolate Berry Burst but decided against it – I knew I wouldn’t end up using the entire package, which means that there’ll be lots of strawberry cream-filled Oreos that will probably just go stale in my cupboard… Or not. Someone please invite me to a picnic or a children’s party where I can have an excuse to buy pink cream Oreos. Please?

no bake goat cheese cheesecakesBack to these cheesecakes. I ended up with eight individual servings, using little glass jars I’ve collected over the years – a yogurt jar from Paris, a rice pudding jar from Madrid, a couple of little mason jars that I keep in my cupboards, plus a few more yogurt jars from Whole Foods (the brand I like is Trader’s Point Creamery). The jars average out to about 5 oz each, and I have to say that they are all so darn cute!

These little cheesecakes are perfect for dinner parties, picnics, or Sunday night get-togethers with friends to watch Game of Thrones. And if your friends can’t make it and it’s just you, guess what, you can easily grab one of these adorable jars from your freezer  as you tune in to HBO and try not to think about how badly you want a baby dragon as a pet.

mini no bake cheesecake

Yield: serves 8

Mini No Bake Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Roasted Cherries



6 oz chocolate wafers, crushed (about 2/3 of Famous Wafers package)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

8 oz goat cheese, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup condensed milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Roasted Cherries

2 cups pitted frozen red cherries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour


  1. Make the crust. Mix chocolate wafer crumbs and butter in a medium bowl. Transfer crumb mixture to individual jars and press evenly onto bottom using the back of a spoon. Refrigerate while making filling.
  2. Make the cheesecake filling. Combine goat cheese and cream cheese and beat together until smooth. Add condensed milk in four increments, mixing thoroughly and scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Fold in lemon zest and vanilla.
  3. Pour filling into jars and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or freeze for at least 2 hours.
  4. Make the roasted cherries. Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine frozen cherries, sugar, and flour in a foil-lined baking dish, tossing together to mix (the foil makes for easy clean-up). Roast for 45 minutes, until sauce is thick and bubbly, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  5. Before serving, spoon over roasted cherries on top of each cheesecake.

This recipe would also work for one big cheesecake (using a 9-inch spring-form pan).

Cheesecake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart, roasted cherries recipe adapted from Epicurious

mini no bake goat cheese cheesecakeThe roasted cherries really add a different depth of flavor to the sweet and tangy cheesecake. You can use fresh cherries instead of frozen, but I have no patience to take out the pits so I just buy frozen cherries from Whole Foods. I like storing the cheesecake in the freezer, and it really does remind me of ice cream because it’s not as dense as baked cheesecake. Well, it’s like ice cream, but a lot cuter.

Have you ever had goat cheese cheesecake or Jeni’s ice cream? What’s your favorite?


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