These Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites are rich, creamy, and filled with our favorite homemade salted caramel sauce. They’re perfect for a dessert table, holiday tray, or any occasion your sweet tooth desires!
In This Article
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Why This Recipe Stands Out
If you’ve checked out our favorite cheesecake recipes, you probably already know that we’re huge cheesecake fans. These Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites are fantastic. Here’s why:
- Bite-Sized: Especially during the holidays when there’s so many treats to try, we love a good bite-sized dessert that leaves us room for everything.
- Crust: These cheesecakes have an Oreo cookie crust, meaning a super buttery, chocolatey base.
- Filling: We can’t get enough of the rich, creamy New York-Style Cheesecake filling in this recipe. Did we mention there’s white chocolate in it?
- Caramel Sauce: Our favorite salted caramel sauce is dolloped on these little cheesecakes. We love drizzling this versatile sauce on so many of our easy dessert recipes.
- Quick and Easy: Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites are super easy to make: no water bath required! Plus, they come together in just over 30 minutes.
Key Recipe Ingredients
- White Chocolate Chips – We add white chocolate chips to the filling of this cheesecake for that rich cocoa butter flavor that we love. We love them in White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.
- Half and Half – Half and Half helps give the cheesecake a silky, creamy texture.
- Cream Cheese – Make sure to use whole cream cheese for this recipe. The high fat content is essential for a super rich, dense cheesecake.
- Vanilla – A dash of vanilla extract adds amazing smells and complements the white chocolate perfectly.
- Crust – A simple crust made with crushed Oreo cookies and melted butter makes an amazing chocolatey base that pairs super well with the caramel sauce.
- Caramel Sauce – A combination of sugar, heavy cream, butter and flaky sea salt are all that’s needed for this decadent topping.
Substitutions And Variations
Classic cheesecake is the perfect avenue for loads of flavor variations. Take a look at some of our favorite swaps and garnishes for this recipe:
- Crust: Instead of an Oreo cookie crust, try making a Graham cracker crust like the one in this Perfect New York Cheesecake Recipe. We also think the gingersnap crust that we use in our recipe for The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake would be phenomenal. You could also use golden Oreo cookies for a vanilla crust.
- Gluten-Free: The only thing in this recipe that contains gluten is the crust. So, just grab gluten-free Oreo cookies and you’ll have a completely gluten-free dessert!
- Filling: As long as the main ingredients in the filling stay the same, there are endless ways to play around with the flavors. One easy swap for this recipe is to substitute dark or milk chocolate chips for the white chocolate.
- Toppings: For even more chocolate, feel free to swap out the caramel sauce for this decadent Hot Fudge Sauce. For a raspberry topping, check out our White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites.
Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions
- Mix Oreo cookie crumbs with butter until the mixture resembles wet sand. Then, scoop 1 slightly rounded tsp of the crumb mixture into each lined mini muffin tin, and press down to form crusts.
- In heavy saucepan, melt white chocolate chips together with half and half on low heat, stirring often. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Then mix in vanilla and the melted white chocolate mixture.
- Scoop 1 rounded TB of batter into each lined muffin tin. Bake at 325F for 20 minutes or until tops are puffy and no longer sticky.
- For the caramel sauce: Place sugar in a heavy saucepan and heat, whisking frequently. Continue to mix until completely melted. Insert thermometer. When melted sugar turns red-brown and thermometer reads 350F, add the butter. Remove pan from heat immediately, and pour in cream, whisking until smooth. Then whisk in salt.
- Once caramel sauce has cooled to almost room temperature, spoon onto cooled cheesecake bites.
- Garnish cheesecakes with chopped macadamia nuts or more white chocolate and store in the fridge until ready to eat. Enjoy!
For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.
How To Prep Ahead
If these Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites are going to be one of your many Christmas treats, and you have tons of other things to bake, don’t worry! These can easily be prepped ahead.
- Crust: For the crust, the Oreo cookies can be disassembled and crushed days in advance. If you have kids, this could be a great job to delegate to them.
- Caramel Sauce: Feel free to make the salted caramel sauce in advance. It can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. We like to throw it in the microwave just long enough to soften it before drizzling it on anything.
- Cheesecakes: After making these cheesecake bites, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months and let them thaw in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them.
Commonly Asked Questions
Store cheesecake bites in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Absolutely! The cooking time for this recipe is for MINI muffin tins. If you’d like to use regular muffin tins, you’ll simply need to adjust the baking times slightly. You’ll know they’re done when the tops get puffy, and they’re no longer sticky to the touch.
It’s absolutely normal for these caramel cheesecake bites to cave in slightly once they cool. This creates the perfect space for the caramel sauce. However, if your cheesecake bites cave in extremely are are still sticky, you may need to bake them a few minutes longer.
We highly recommend a candy thermometer for the caramel sauce. When the melted sugar starts to turn reddish brown and the thermometer reads 350F you’ll want to add the butter then take the mixture off the heat immediately once the butter has melted, as it can burn very easily at this point.
Soft cream cheese is important for the cheesecake because it prevents it from becoming lumpy. Also, the softer the cream cheese is, the easier the cheesecake will be to mix helping us not overmix it. Overall, it’ll help with that silky, creamy texture that we’re after.
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Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites
For the Crust:
- 1 ½ cups chocolate Oreo cookie crumbs, from 22-23 whole cookies, cream removed
- 6 TB salted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
For the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 325F, with rack on lower middle position. Line mini muffin tins with liners.
- In a large bowl, mix fine cookie crumbs with butter until well incorporated. The mixture should resemble wet sand.
- Scoop one slightly rounded tsp of crumb mixture evenly into each lined mini muffin tin. Press down to form crusts.
For the Cheesecake:
- In a large saucepan, melt white chocolate chips with half and half on low heat, stirring often. Remove from heat once smooth. Set aside.
- In large bowl, mix together nearly melted cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and the melted white chocolate mixture.
- Scoop 1 rounded TB of batter into each lined mini muffin tin. Bake 20 minutes or until tops are puffy and no longer sticky upon light touch. Let cool to room temp and then cover and chill in fridge.*
For the Caramel Sauce:
- In a heavy saucepan, place sugar in an even layer, and heat over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Continue to whisk as it cooks until all clumps are melted down.
- When sugar is completely melted, turn heat down to medium, insert thermometer into the melted sugar, and continue stirring until melted sugar turns red-brown. The minute your thermometer reads 350F, add all the butter and whisk. (When you add the butter, the caramel may bubble up; so be careful).
- Once the butter melts, immediately remove pan from heat. Carefully pour in the cream, and whisk until a smooth sauce forms. Then, whisk in the flaky salt.
- Let sauce cool to almost room temp before drizzling over dessert. Store leftover sauce in airtight container for future use. Keep cheesecakes covered and chilled until ready to serve.
- The center of these cheesecake bites will cave in slightly as they cool. This is completely normal and helps create space for the caramel sauce.
- Instead of macadamia nuts on top, you can use roasted/chopped pecans, almonds, or any other garnish you’d like.
- Note that this recipe is for mini muffin tins, which make bite-size cheesecakes. This recipe is not written for regular sized muffin tins; if you’d like to make regular muffin sized cheesecakes, bake time will need to be increased.
- Make sure to keep an eye on the caramel sauce the whole time it is cooking and to keep whisking it. It can burn very easily.
- For more detailed instructions about the caramel sauce. Check out our 4-Ingredient Salted Caramel Sauce article.
- If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating – we ❤️ hearing from you.
Nutrition (per serving)
More To Bake And Eat
- The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake – This New York style cheesecake features pure pumpkin, fall spices, and a gingersnap cookie crust. It’s the perfect autumn spin on one of our favorite desserts!
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake – We can’t get enough of this perfect combo of chocolate, raspberries, and cheesecake. It’s even better with stabilized whipped cream on top.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars – This recipe is a hybrid of chewy, soft chocolate chip cookies and creamy, silky cheesecake all on a buttery graham cracker crust. Enough said!
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites – Another one of our favorite bite-sized cheesecake treats, this dessert is sure to disappear fast. It’s creamy, smooth, rich, and easy-to-make!