Mini Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes

It all started with the cute little ramekins my sister gave me for my birthday. They just screamed “mini dessert!” Somehow, mini desserts turned into mini cheesecakes and then goat cheese cheesecakes and then, finally, lemon goat cheese cheesecakes. Say that three times fast!


I scanned a few recipes online and then winged it. I feel like you can do that with cheesecake more than other desserts, and I like it!

I started with a sleeve of graham crackers, crushing them to bits in my mini food processor.

graham cracker crumbs

Then, I mixed the graham cracker dust with several teaspoons of melted butter. I probably needed to use more, but I just eyeballed it. Make sure the crumbs are crumbly, kind of like wet sand, and press them into the bottom of your ramekins or plate.

graham cracker crust

I baked the crusts for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. I think next time I would bake them for a bit longer, maybe 12-15 minutes, so the crusts were golden brown. Or, I might leave the crust out together. While it was good, the cake didn’t even need it.

While the crusts were baking, I zested and juiced one giant lemon. To my delight, this lemon was juicy and flavorful, a contrast to many of the dry citrus fruits I have eaten lately. As a result, the flavor of lemon really came through.

lemon zest

To make the cake batter, I mixed six ounces of softened goat cheese with a brick of Neufchatel cheese that had been microwaved for 10 seconds. I stirred and stirred until the cheeses were blended, adding in two eggs as well as the lemon zest and juice and then really mixing the batter until smooth, yellow, and fragrant with the scent of lemon. Instead of adding a cup or more of sugar, as most recipes called for, I added two teaspoons. I wanted the flavor focus to be on the tartness of the lemon and the tang of the goat cheese, not sugar.

lemon cheesecake

I filled each of the ramekins with cheesecake batter, then put them in a 325 oven for 32 minutes.

lemon cheesecake

Once they were cooked, the tops looked solid, and the filling didn’t move when the ramekins were shaken. I couldn’t help but take a small bite of my “test” ramekin, and even hot, the cheesecake was fluffy, like a lemony custard. I had to have a few bites and ended up burning my tongue in the process. It was so worth it!

The cheesecakes were, of course, better once cooled. I was actually able to tip them out of the ramekins into dessert bowls. Success!

lemon cheesecake

The cooled cheesecakes were rich and creamy but refreshing due to the lemon. The goat cheese made all the difference. I do believe goat cheese is one of my favorite dessert ingredients. Next time? I am making honey and lavender goat cheese cheesecakes. Stay tuned!

Do you like cheesecake? If so, what kind? And with what toppings?

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Tags: cake, cheesecake, dessert, recipe

  1. Elizabeth’s avatar

    These are literally two of my favorite dessert elements combined, I love lemon and I love cheesecake. I’ve eaten goat cheesecake before but never made it. I really need to!


  2. brandi’s avatar

    i love those ramekins! and goat cheese cheesecake is incredible! these look great.


  3. Daisy’s avatar

    this looks incredible! love the little ramekins!


  4. Megan’s avatar

    I love goat cheese-based cheesecake… I made one once with a honey topping and I’ve eaten some chocolate goat cheese cakes. These minis sound just perfect… rich and tangy!


  5. Molly’s avatar

    i agree, those ramekins are definitely hollering to have scrumptious little treats made in them.


  6. Charlene’s avatar

    Wow these look so tempting! I agree with you that goat-cheese is a great dessert ingredient. I may just have to make this recipe for my mom this weekend!


  7. Michelle’s avatar

    This looks FABULOUS! I had an unbelievable goat cheese cheesecake for my birthday at Fore Street and LOVED it!


  8. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    I love cheesecake but actually have not had goat cheese cheesecake yet! I usually like the plain ones. New York style, or any flavor my mom makes :) Mini ones are so cute too!


  9. Shannon’s avatar

    I LOVE this idea. I would never have though of a goat cheese cheesecake and cheesecake is my absolutely favorite dessert EVER. Going to make this soon!


  10. Elina (Healthy and Sane)’s avatar

    That’s so crazy, I was just craving cheesecake!!!! I was literally considering going to Cheesecake Factory for a slice (it’s been many years) but then decided against it since I’m sure there will be dessert at the Red White Boston event tonight :)


  11. alicia’s avatar

    i LOVE cheesecake – almost any kind — but this lemon and goat cheese sounds SO elegant and delicious


  12. Raija’s avatar

    Oh — honey lavender? Yes please!! YUM!


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