These Peppermint Cheesecake Cups are topped with chocolate ganache and candy canes. This festive dessert is perfect for Christmas parties!
These Peppermint Cheesecake Bites. They're creamy, a little decadent, and completely irresistible. The ultimate Christmas dessert party recipe!
Nothing says Christmas like peppermint and chocolate. It's the ultimate holiday flavor combination. Christmas is rapidly approaching (can you guys believe it's almost the end of the year?!) and I knew the peppermint/chocolate combo had to happen.
Last year I went the cookie route with these Peppermint Shortbread Cookies. Those cookies are light and buttery and totally melt in your mouth.
I attempted to re-create a similar but Gluten Free version this year - Either a Sugar Cookie or Shortbread Cookie. The results were kind of dismal (Have I mentioned that I'm not the world's best baker?) One batch turned as hard as rocks and the other crumbled upon touch.
Well, I still wanted that light, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth goodness so I chose something a little more foolproof; these Peppermint Cheesecake Cups.
How To Make Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust
These Cheesecake Cups are great for all baking levels - There's no complicated gluten free flour equations, no chilling or rolling of dough, no pre-baking.
This recipe starts by making a graham cracker crust.
- Place 8 oz. of Gluten Free Graham Crackers (use regular Graham Crackers if not GF) in a food processor. Pulse until the crackers have turned into crumbs and then pour them into a mixing bowl.
- Add 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar and ¼ tsp. sea salt to the crackers. Mix to combine.
- Melt 5 Tbsp. of unsalted butter and slowly add it to the mixture.
- Stir the mixture until the butter is completely incorporated.
How To Make Peppermint Cheesecake Filling
The next step is to prepare the cheesecake filling. The filling starts with 8 oz. of room temperature cream cheese.
Of course, 'room temperature' in Minnesota during the winter means that the cream cheese is still cold after a few hours in which case having a counter top located near a heating vent can be quite helpful...
- Once you've managed to get the cream cheese to room temperature place it in a mixing bowl and whip for a minute or two using a hand mixer or a Kitchen Aid mixer until it's light and fluffy.
- Add ½ cup of room temperature sour cream and whip for another minute or so.
- Add 2 eggs, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 ¼ tsp. peppermint extract to the bowl. Whip for another minute or two until the mixture is light and creamy.
How Long Do Peppermint Cheesecake Cups Take To Bake?
The graham cracker and cheesecake mixtures are then combined and baked.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin cups.
- Spoon 3 Tbsp. or so of the graham cracker mixture into each muffin tin. Press the mixture down with the spoon.
- Spoon 3 Tbsp. or so of the cheesecake mixture on top of the graham cracker layer.
- Pop the pan into the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes. The cheesecake cups will puff up as they bake and then deflate a bit when removed from the oven. The tops should brown slightly and the cheesecake will set as it bakes.
Once the Peppermint Cheesecake Cups are finished baking remove the pan from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
When they've cooled they get topped with chocolate ganache.
Looking for more Christmas goodies? Check out these recipes!
- Melt In Your Mouth Sugar Cookies
- Classic Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Whiskey Bailey's Affogato
- Tom and Jerry Holiday Cocktail
- Eggnog French Toast
- Maple Walnut Baklava Bites
- Raspberry Mule Holiday Cocktail
- Pomegranate Mojito Cocktail
- Maple Roasted Spiced Nuts
- Pistachio Panna Cotta
How To Make Chocolate Ganache
If you are a faithful reader of this blog you probably know that I'm a huge fan of (OK, maybe more like obsessed) with chocolate ganache.
Why is that? Because it's SO EASY to make! It's sweet but not overwhelmingly so, it's simple to drizzle over just about anything, and it takes about 2 minutes to prepare. Here's how to make it:
- Heat a few cups on water in a double boiler. Once the water is boiling reduce the heat to a very low boil. Place the top pan over the bottom one.
- Pour ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (a good quality such as Ghirardelli) into the pan along with ½ cup of heavy whipping cream. Stir these ingredients until the chocolate melts and the mixture combines.
- Add ½ tsp. of instant coffee into the chocolate and stir until combined.
- Continue to stir until the mixture is smooth and chocolate-y. Remove the pan from the stove top when finished.
The chocolate may clump a bit when first melted. Slowly continue to add heavy whipping cream while the water is on a low boil and stir with a whisk for a few minutes and the ganache should become smooth.
What To Serve With Cheesecake Bites
Now the only thing left is to top these beauties with the chocolate ganache and sprinkle them with candy canes. Drizzle as much or as little chocolate over each cup as you like.
I'm ALL about the chocolate so I say lay it on thick. The chocolate will drizzle over the sides a bit but that's OK.
Then take 3-4 candy canes or some peppermint candies and place them in a plastic bag. Smash them with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer until they've broken into small pieces and/or a fine powder (this is a good way to get out any 'holiday aggression').
Sprinkle a desired amount of the candy over the chocolate.
Love chocolate? Check out these recipes!
- Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
- Bailey's and Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts
- Toasted Coconut and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
- No Churn Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
- Cookies & Cream Ice Cream
- Fudgy Chocolate Cookies
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Puppy Chow
How Long Do These Baked Cheesecake Cups Last?
These Peppermint Cheesecake Cups last 3-4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. I recommend storing them in the fridge as opposed to on the counter at room temperature as they contain dairy.
I do not recommend freezing these cheesecake cups.
I love these things (Literally. I had to give them away so I stopped eating them).
The graham cracker layer is a little salty, the cheesecake layer is creamy and flavored with peppermint, the chocolate ganache is, well, chocolate so it's delicious, and the candy canes provide a nice crunch and help to reinforce that peppermint flavor.
They're portable and not too filling so you'll have plenty of room for all those other holiday goodies. These festive bites are TOTALLY irresistible!
Looking For More Peppermint Goodies? Don't miss these!
Peppermint Cheesecake Cups
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour the crumbs into a mixing bowl and add 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar along with ⅛ tsp. sea salt. Stir until combined. Melt 5 Tbsp. of unsalted butter and slowly pour it into the mixture, stirring until completely combined.
- Add 2 eggs, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 ¼ tsp. peppermint extract to the bowl and mix for another minute or two or until completely combined.
- Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Spoon 3 Tbsp. or so of the graham cracker mix into each liner and press down with the spoon. Pour 3 Tbsp. or so of the cream cheese mixture on top of the graham cracker layer.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes. The cheesecake cups will puff up a bit as they bake and then deflate a little when removed from the oven. The tops will brown slightly. Remove from oven when finished and allow to cool completely.
For The Chocolate Ganache:
- Heat a few cups of water in a double boiler. Once the water is boiling reduce to a low boil and place the top pan on the burner.
- Pour ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (a good quality such as Ghirardelli) into the pan. Allow the chocolate to melt and stir ½ cup of heavy whipping cream into the chocolate along with ¼ tsp. instant coffee (optional). Continue to stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat when finished.
- Place 3-4 candy canes or a handful of peppermint candies into a plastic bag. Smash them with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer until they have broken into small pieces or a fine dust.
- Place the cheesecake cups on a serving tray. Pour desired amount of chocolate ganache over each cup and then sprinkle desired amount of peppermint candy over the chocolate.