Caramel, caramel. Oh’ sweet, Caramel. There’s not much to tell you, other than the fact that I love you. Sometimes. You see, caramel and I go way back. Way back to my junior high days when I actually discovered how to make caramel. It was a revolutionary moment to say the least. I brought a bag of it to a football game, and it’s safe to say that I was begged to bring it to every game there after. Who needs nachos, popcorn, and pizza when you have a sticky bag of caramel to munch on during a football game? Not us fourteen year olds, that’s for sure. I’m sure our parents didn’t appreciate the increasing dental bill, but heck. You only live once, right? (Cue dentures by 30 here.)
After high school, I lost my magic touch with caramel. It was the strangest thing. I literally could not get one batch to not turn rock solid. I’d like to think it was a faulty candy thermometer, but that might be stretching the story a bit. So as my caramel trials failed, so did my pride (I might tend to be overly dramatic when telling stories). It took me almost 4 years to try to make homemade caramel again. And when I did…three batches burnt in one day. You would have thought I would have stopped at the first batch, but no. Oh no. I was determined to make those caramel apples for a little Halloween party were throwing in Italy, and I was not about to stop at failure. Until the third batch, and then at that point failure was my only option. Let’s just say that we had a nice big bowl of apples to get that party started.
So at this point, you are probably thinking I’m about to turn this story around and start telling you about my recent caramel success. But today, I left it up to the pros from Fat Toad Farm to do all the dirty work for the caramel used in these mini caramel cheesecake bites. I had contacted this family-run farm a while back seeing if they would be interested in having me develop a recipe using their Goat’s Milk Caramel. Why? Because A.) I had never tried anything with goat’s milk, and I was a curious cat. And B.) It looked like heaven in a jar. Which to me are two good reasons for this unadventurous taster to try something new.
The verdict? Heaven in liquid form. Like I said before, I was a bit hesitant at first because the words “goat milk” makes me a little leery. I don’t like regular milk, so basically, anything with the word milk gives me second thoughts. Unless it’s milk chocolate, and then in that case, pour it on me. The original caramel jar I used gave the cheesecake bites a more tangy taste than the caramel I was used to making (or tried to make). It was a nice switch up from what I was used to, and the bites were a hit. Can you really go wrong with cheesecake bites smothered with thick & creamy caramel? Didn’t think so.
Mini Caramel Cheesecake Bites
Easy mini cheesecake bites perfect for party finger foods or just to serve as mini desserts.
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Caramel topping
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 stick butter melted
- 1/4 cup Caramel topping
Before you begin! If you make this, will you do me a huge favor and leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe? This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Stir until combined and evenly distribute mixture between 12 lined mini muffin tin. Press down with hands until each is firmly packed down.
In another large bowl, beat together cream cheese, egg, vanilla, and sugar with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Once combined, fold in caramel.
Spoon or pipe mixture into each muffin tin. Each muffin tin should be 1/2 to 3/4 full.
Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to cool before topping with caramel. I prefer to refrigerate cheesecake before serving, so you can wait to top with caramel until after refrigeration.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe! This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
Have you ever tried making homemade caramel? Was it a good experience? Or traumatizing-never-do-it-again experience?
Hi Melissa, Do you know if I can make these ahead of time and freeze them?
Yes, that shouldn’t be a problem! I’ve frozen cheesecake before. I would just hold off on drizzling the caramel topping until after you freeze/thaw them.
what does it mean “fold in caramel?” how much caramel do i “fold in?” and how do i “fold” in caramel to a graham cup???
Hi Kady! Folding is just a method of gently stirring the batter. It helps create a “swirl” effect with the caramel and folding is generally used when you don’t want to overmix something. (Here’s a YouTube video that might help!)
Once the mixture is stirred, you simply spoon the batter into the graham cracker cups. Hopefully this helps!
how do you make the caramel perfect?
Hey Briana! The caramel I used in this recipe was jarred caramel from Fat Toad Farm. If I master creamy caramel like them, I’ll let you know :)
Krista @ joyfulhealthyeats says
Yum… I’m drooling over here! These mini cheesecakes look delicious and so cute! :) Great recipe.
Nichi - The Mandatory Mooch says
Oh my!! These look delicious.
I love everything mini and these cheesecakes look so fabulous! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!
April @ The 21st Century Housewife says
Your mini caramel cheesecake bites look so cute and totally delicious too! I have made caramel before, burt the Fat Toad Caramel looks like a wonderfully delicious shortcut.
OMG! I love these! …I could easily eat…quite a few lol.
Found your site through Full Plate Thursday. Hope you stop by soon!
Tammy (& Catherine) of Living the Gourmet
Erin @ Making Memories says
Delicious! Great minds think alike =o) I just posted Salted Caramel Mini Cheesecakes =o) We made caramel sauce and it was amazing. It’s going to be hard to go back to store bought after this. I love that you put caramel in your cheesecakes. Totally going to do that next time!
These look ahhhmazing!