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Easy to make Mini Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecakes are a dreamy little no-bake dessert that is perfect for the holidays. With rich chocolate flavor and a burst of peppermint from crushed candy canes, it’s a festive treat you’ll love to share with family and friends.
Mini Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecakes – a No-Bake Christmas Dessert
Years ago, my friend Kim, the blogger behind Cravings of a Lunatic shared this fabulous little confection with my readers. She is a Christmas superfan with lots of holiday traditions and a love of making a big Christmas dinner of roast beef or lasagna, followed by an epic dessert. And she has a special knack for making cheesecake, especially mini cheesecakes. So I was thrilled when she shared this peppermint cheesecake recipe with me.
But since then, my blog has made the shift to sharing gluten free recipes. So while her cheesecake mixture was gluten free, I wanted to test it out with a gluten free crust. Let me tell you, it works perfectly either way, and is so simple to make. The best part is that these tiny treats are party-perfect. But you can also put them into little bowls or jars for a full-size post-dinner sweet.
They are fluffy, creamy, and chocolaty. And you have options for giving them just the perfect amount of peppermint to suit your tastebuds!
A handful of ingredients come together to make these delightful little desserts. Here is a quick overview, but you can find the full amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. Keep reading for some extra tips and tricks.
- Graham cracker crumbs. You can buy them or just pulse graham crackers in a food processor. You can also use store-bought or homemade gluten free graham crackers, if needed.
- Unsalted butter. Melted
- Cream cheese. Regular or light both work, just make sure it is softened to room temperature. I do not recommend fat free.
- Granulated sugar.
- Marshmallow creme. I recommend the Marshmallow Fluff brand, as it is labeled as gluten free. Other brands don’t contain gluten ingredients, but not all are labeled, so cross-contamination may be a risk. You can also make your own.
- Semi-sweet chocolate. Melted and cooled. You can use chips or bars.
- Peppermint extract. If you want it less minty, you can replace some or all with vanilla extract.
- Crushed peppermint candies. Starlight mints or candy canes or any other peppermint candy will work.
How to Make Mini Cheesecakes
You really aren’t going to believe how simple these are to make. Let’s get started.
Make the crust mixture. Use a fork to toss together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until the crumbs are fully moistened.
Make the cheesecake mixture. Cream the butter and cream cheese using a hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Then blend in the marshmallow fluff, melted chocolate, and peppermint extract. At this point, you can mix in some of the chopped peppermint candies if you like. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag.
Assemble the mini cheesecakes. Divide the graham crackers crumbs between the mini dessert cups, serving dishes, shot glasses, or small jelly jars you are going to use. Pipe the chocolate peppermint cheesecake over the graham crackers crusts.
Decorate and serve. Sprinkle with more chopped peppermint candies, and enjoy. If you aren’t going to serve them right away, store them in the refrigerator.
You can prepare these mini cheesecakes in any shot glasses you might have on hand. Or to make it easier at a party, try these disposable dessert cups. Mini martini glasses are also an elegant option.
However, if you don’t want to go with something as small as dessert shooters, you can use small jelly jars or miniature trifle dishes.
Tips for Success
Make the peppermint perfect. You can substitute some or all with vanilla extract if you find peppermint overwhelming. And stir the crushed peppermint into the cheesecake or just sprinkle it on top.
Make sure you can pipe it. If you add the chopped candy canes to the cheesecake mixture, make sure you chop them very small or use a piping tip or opening in your piping bag that is big enough to pipe it out without the pieces getting stuck.
Change it up. This chocolate cheesecake base is perfect for flavoring any way you like. Keep it plain chocolate or try coconut or hazelnut extract, or anything else you like.
Make them in advance. You can keep the mini cheesecakes refrigerated for up to several days before serving.
No-Bake Mini Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecakes
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, gluten free if needed
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 8 ounces marshmallow fluff
- 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (or vanilla extract)
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
- In a small bowl, combine the graham crumbs and melted butter. Stir until combined. Divide between 6 to 12 mini serving dishes, shot glasses, or small jelly jars. Press down with a small spoon or flat object. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and granulated sugar, whisk or beat on high speed until fluffy.
- Add the marshmallow fluff, melted chocolate, and peppermint extract, whisk on high speed until combined. You can add half of the crushed peppermint to the mixture now if you like crunch inside your cheesecake, if not you can just top the cheesecakes with it.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and pipe on top of the graham cracker crusts.
- Top with remaining crushed peppermint.