It has been hot hot hot here in DC, so I’ve been trying to make cold and refreshing desserts lately. My sister was just telling me about how she’s been ordering Matcha Lemonades at Starbucks and it was a flavor combination that I had never really thought about. I know matcha goes well with basically any fruit so I decided to create my take on this fun summery flavor combo.
The choice to make these mini cheesecakes is purely because we do not own a springform pan (tragic, I know). You could easily adapt this recipe to make a full cheesecake, I would just double the recipe and bake it in a water bath. If you’re not a fan of matcha, you could also just sub the crust recipe with a regular graham cracker crust or just omit the matcha powder. It’ll still make a nice shortbread crust without it!
Although the cheesecake itself has lemon juice and lemon zest, the flavor really comes out with the addition of the lemon curd. This lemon curd is so tart, refreshing, and delicious! I purposefully under baked the cheesecake by a couple of minutes so that they would sink a little bit, so I had almost a pocket for the lemon curd.
These are the perfect summer dessert to bring to your next picnic, plus they’re so easy to make. Finish off with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of matcha powder and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Mini Lemon Matcha Cheesecakes
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp matcha powder
For the cheesecake:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tbsp
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt (a pinch)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
For the lemon curd:
- 5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 tbsp salted butter
Make the crust:
- Grease a cupcake tin (or two) and preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Mix butter, sugar, and flour in a food processor or with your hands. It should be the consistency of wet sand.
- Press mixture into the bottoms of the cupcake tin. Using a fork, poke holes in the bottom so it doesn't puff up in the oven.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are browned. Place on a wire rack and let the crusts cool to room temperature.
Make the cheesecake filling:
- Bring the oven down to 325°F.
- Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese for 5-10 seconds, or until smooth. Add the lemon zest and sugar and beat on medium, until creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Add the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Mix to combine.
- Add the heavy cream and beat another 5-10 seconds, until everything is completely combined.
- Pour into the room temperature crusts and bake for 20-25 minutes. The center should be slightly jiggly. Turn the oven off, leave the oven door open, and allow them to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Remove cheesecakes from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Make the lemon curd:
- While the cheesecakes are baking, make the curd. In a double broiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water), combine all ingredients.
- Heat over medium heat (simmering water) and whisk constantly and vigorously. Continue to do so until the mixture thickens. Pour into a separate container and refrigerate until completely cooled.
- Using a butter knife or small flat spatula, release the cheesecakes from the cupcake tins. Place in a container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Once cheesecakes and lemon curd is cold, spread a thin layer of the lemon curd over the tops of all the mini cheesecakes.
- Sprinkle with more matcha powder, top with whipped cream, and enjoy!