HAPPY 4th of JULY!
Are your fireworks ready? Your lawn chairs set up? Your salads and sides and carrot dogs made? Are your Individual Strawberry Cheesecakes with a shortbread crust chilled? Good!
I’m spending this 4th of July in Seattle (!!!) and before that, we spent a few days in Portland – wine country, hot air balloon ride, and SO much food. Have you been following along on Instagram stories?!
I’m also secretly excited to get back home tomorrow and have these cheesecakes one last time before I’m off jet-setting again.
Individual Strawberry Cheesecakes are the perfect dessert to have around during summer holiday parties, or you know, a typical Tuesday night.
They’re inspired by strawberry shortcake (one of my summer favs) but obviously with the addition of cheesecake, because life should have some extra indulgences.
Best Parts of Individual Cheesecakes
The cheesecake itself is uber creamy – I’d be bold enough to say it might be the creamiest cheesecake you’ll have ever experienced.
The shortbread crust is to die for.
There’s NO going wrong here – creamy cheesecake, sweet summer strawberries, and crisp buttery shortbread cookie crust. WORLD. CHANGER. right here.
Once the cheesecakes are prepped in the individual mason jars , they chill out in the fridge until you’re ready to dig into their sweet, creamy, wonderfulness.
You just need to mix the strawberries with a little sugar, and one-by-one, whoever is ready for dessert can grab their jar, top with strawberries, and go!
You’re going to want to make sure you have enough cheesecakes in your fridge though. Once friend #1 takes a bite, it’s over.
The “oh my goodness” and “it’s so creamy” and “the crust! the strawberries! the cheesecake!” that will take over the conversation will entice everyone to go grab their own cheesecake. They’ll go FAST.
When I say the oo-ing and ah-ing are going to be non-stop, I mean it.
Of course, if you’re feeling extra indulgent (and why wouldn’t you?) top these babies off with a dollop of whipped cream and some mint or basil for an extra special treat.
These were inspired by strawberry shortcakes, after all, so bring on the whip!
Also inspired by this longtime family favorite recipe from Epicurious.
Individual Strawberry Cheesecakes
- 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs approx. 7 oz. cookies
- 4 Tablespoons butter melted
- 2- 8 oz. cream cheese blocks room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg room temperature
- 2 egg yolks room temperature
- 3 cups strawberries quartered
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Optional: whipped cream mint, or basil leaves to garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 325°F. In a food processor*, add shortbread cookies and pulse until they're a fine crumb. Place in a bowl and stir in melted butter. Place 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the crumb mixture in the bottom of 6 8-oz. wide mouth mason jars and pat down to create a crust. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together room temperature cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Divide the cheesecake batter evenly between the jars (approximately 1/2 cup in each jar). Top each jar with the remaining crumbs, gently pat down the crumbs to create the top crust. Place jars in a large roasting pan or baking dish with sides. Add enough hot water to the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the jars to create a water bath for the cheesecakes. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the center is just set. Remove from water bath and cool completely (approximately 1 hour). Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
- Just before serving, combine strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Set aside and let strawberries macerate (become soft and release juices) for 15 minutes. Serve on top of cheesecakes, add whipped cream and garnish as desired.
- If you don't have a food processor, you can put the cookies in a large ziplock baggie and roll over them with a rolling pin.
- You could also use 8 oz. ramekins - if you use a differently sized ramekin you may need to adjust cooking time.
- Room temperature ingredients are critical!