Happy day before Easter! Today I’m sharing how to create mini Easter cheesecakes in a blog category I like to call, Edible Art. Many of you probably don’t know that I used to have my own cupcake business when I was in grad school. I wasn’t a huge fan of the baking part of it but I absolutely loved decorating. For this reason, I still love to create adorable food for each occasion. This is the first of my food craft posts but it definitely won’t be the last! As a disclaimer, none of these recipes are my own so I will always share the recipe link.
Why I Created Mini Easter Cheesecakes…
As I mentioned above, I love creating adorable things out of food. I decided to host two mini Easters this weekend so I needed a dessert I could use for both occasions without it being super obvious. After all, it would be super rude if I served a half eaten cake the second day, right? I thought about cupcakes but I make those all of the time and wanted to try something new. I searched on Pinterest for some dessert ideas and ran across mini cheesecakes and a lot of different Easter decorations. Since you can’t really go wrong with cheesecakes and I figured it would be easy to create different flavors, that’s what I went with. I decided on flavors based on how I wanted to decorate them: bunny butt cakes (Oreo), nests (plain), and chocolate covered strawberry “carrots” (strawberry).
Where to Buy the Materials…
I bought the mini cheesecake pan on Amazon. I love this thing! It’s super easy to pop the cheesecakes out and I know it will get a lot of use in the future. If you don’t want to purchase a mini cheesecake pan, you can also use a mini muffin pan with mini cupcake liners. Of course that changes the look of the cheesecakes but they would definitely stay together well!
Obviously the ingredients for the cheesecake I bought from the grocery store. For the toppings, I wanted to use the orange melting wafers but I couldn’t find them at Kroger so I went with this package of vanilla candy coating and just decided to dye it orange.
To dye chocolate I always use gel food coloring. You can either buy pots of gel or a variety pack at a craft store, Meijer or Walmart. I also used Reeses pieces eggs for the nest. You can get any eggs you like, but Reeses is definitely a favorite in our house.
Creating the Mini Cheesecakes…
Cheesecake and Frosting
I started off with a basic cheesecake recipe and added my own toppings and flavoring. I was able to make 21 cheesecakes out of this filling recipe. For the Oreo crust, I used 10 crushed Oreos and 1.5 tbsp of butter (makes 8-9 cheesecakes). For the strawberry filling, I blended a few strawberries and a little sugar in my food processor. The consistency was a little watery so I might try something different next time, but it still worked in the end. For the frosting, I made stabilized whipped cream. I made the whole recipe but it could’ve easily been halved as I had a lot left over.
I made the crust, added it to the pan, smashed it down with a spice jar and then added the plain cheesecake filling.
I left one row plain, added a drop of the strawberry puree to the middle row and mixed with a toothpick and in the last row, added crushed Oreos and mixed it gently with a knife until well blended. I then popped the pan in the oven for about 16 minutes and had beautifully baked cheesecakes!
Side note: Cheesecakes are done when you shake the tray and they don’t move in the middle. I had to google it, so I figured I would share.
I let them cool for at least 30 minutes, popped them out by lightly pushing the discs from the bottom, put them in a container and refrigerated overnight. You don’t have to refrigerate overnight before you decorate them, but you do want to let it cool completely before moving on to the next step.
While the cheesecakes are baking, it’s a perfect time to create the decorations!
For the bunny butt cheesecakes, I needed little bunny feet. I used the chocolate I had melted for the chocolate covered strawberries. I put a little bit of the white chocolate into a plastic ziplock, cut off the tip and made ovals on wax paper. As you can see, I made a ton of them because I’m never sure which ones I’m going to use or accidentally ruin. The feet I made are far from perfect. If you want perfect feet, you can always find an image, print it and tape it under the wax paper to trace with chocolate. I do that for more complicated designs and it works great! I put the ovals in the refrigerator for a while to harden before adding the paw prints.
To make the paw prints, I first tried to use my edible markers and it sort of worked, but it took forever and just wasn’t the look I wanted.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any pink chocolate in my house but I did have Wilton red melting wafers, so I decided to use those for the bunny paws. I melted the chocolate, again put it in a ziplock bag and did my best to draw bunny paws on the back of the hardened chocolate (the flat side). They turned out pretty cute! Not perfect, but they get the job done.
For the strawberry cheesecakes, I wanted to make chocolate covered strawberries that looked like carrots so I melted my white chocolate in the microwave, put a few drops of food coloring in and viola, orange chocolate!
I could’ve made it more orange but this is what I settled on. I dipped the dry, room temperature strawberries in the chocolate and put them on a cookie tray lined with wax paper to harden. When I was finished with the strawberries, I put a little of the chocolate in a ziplock sandwich bag, cut a tiny bit off of the top and used that to make the swirl design over the strawberries. I put them in the refrigerator to harden while I waited for the cheesecakes to cool.
After everything was finished, it was time to assemble the cheesecakes. For the plain and strawberry cheesecakes, I put a little frosting on top of each using a #21 star tip. I then placed a “carrot” onto the strawberry cheesecakes and three Reeses eggs on the plain to look like a nest. The colors on the eggs bleed a little so wait to put these on until you serve them unless you want multicolored cheesecake.
Side note: My strawberries are huge! I tried to use the smallest in the box but that is all i could find. I was fine with giant strawberries but you might be able to cut them in half if you want small “carrots”.
For the Oreo cheesecakes, I spread a little icing on top and sprinkled some crushed Oreos to make it look like dirt. I used a round #10 tip to pipe a large circle of frosting onto the top and then a tiny circle on top of that for the tail. (The icing doesn’t stick to the oreo crumbs so you have to do this gently).
I placed little feet onto the sides of each circle and had a completed bunny butt!
That’s it, mini cheesecakes complete! Edible art does take a while but it’s totally worth it because the desserts are just so cute.