Mini Chai Latte Cheesecakes

Inspired by our visit to The Confectional, a boutique cheesecake bakery in Seattle's Pike Place Market, these individual chai-spiced cheesecakes are baked and served in charming, versatile mini-panettone papers. A spicy gingersnap crust is a perfectly harmonious base for the silky, creamy, aromatic filling. This is an extra-special treat to share and enjoy when the weather gets chilly.

Prep
30 mins
Bake
46 to 53 mins
Total
5 hrs 28 mins
Yield
12 mini cheesecakes
Mini Chai Latte Cheesecakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12 mini-panettone paper pans and place them on a baking sheet large enough to hold them without crowding. (See "tips," below, for an alternative to mini-panettone pans.)

  2. To make the crust: Mix the crust ingredients until crumbly.

  3. Press a heaping tablespoon of the crumbs into the bottom of each paper pan.

  4. Bake the crusts for 6 to 8 minutes, until their edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  5. Reduce the oven heat to 275°F.

  6. To make the filling: Mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, salt, and chai spice at medium-low speed until smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.

  7. Mix in the eggs one at a time, again at medium-low speed, scraping the bowl between additions. Stir in the cream.

  8. Divide the filling evenly among the crust-lined paper pans.

  9. Bake the cheesecakes for 40 to 45 minutes, until the edges of the cakes are set; a digital thermometer inserted into their centers should read 165°F or above.

  10. Remove the cakes from the oven, and allow them to cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

  11. To make the topping: Whip the heavy cream with the sugar just until soft peaks form.

  12. Dollop the topping onto the center of each cheesecake and top with grated orange zest and/or chai spice just before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you don't have mini-panettone paper pans, smaller versions of these cheesecakes can be made in standard muffin pans. Line two muffin pans with cupcake papers and lightly grease the papers. Press about 2 teaspoons of the crust mixture into the bottom of each paper and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Divide the filling evenly among the 24 cups and bake the cheesecakes at 275°F for 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges are set. Once the cakes have cooled, top them with a small dollop of whipped cream.