Mini Pina Colada Cheesecakes
Mini Pina Colada Cheesecakes have a graham cracker crust, a creamy pineapple coconut cheesecake, and a crunchy toasted coconut topping. These tropical cheesecakes are the perfect Beach party dessert!
Pina Coladas are my all time favorite drink. Yes, I know they are sugary and girly, but they’re still my favorite. I love pineapple and coconut, and the combination in this “frozen concoction” is just the best. I especially love ordering them on vacation. Here’s me with a Pina Colada on our Honeymoon in Hawaii many years ago!
My mom received a Pina Colada Cheesecake recipe, for a full sized cheesecake, from a friend of hers after having it at a group potluck dinner. It’s now one of her favorite cheesecakes. After how much we enjoyed my Mini Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecakes, I wanted to adapt this recipe to a mini version!
The nice thing about mini cheesecakes is that they bake much faster than full sized cheesecakes. They are so easy to bring to a party or potluck; whereas, a full size cheesecake would need to be cut and served. Also, they’re just so cute! If you’re looking for a unique cheesecake recipe, these little Hawaiian cheesecakes are the perfect answer!
The base of the cheesecake is a basic mini graham cracker crust.
The cheesecake filling is rich and creamy. It is flavored with coconut but has no actual pieces of coconut in it. It does, however, contain crushed pineapple, so it’s basically a pineapple cheesecake with a mild coconut flavor.
The real coconut comes in the form of a candied coconut topping that is SO good. It provides some crunch and texture, and the flavor is reminiscent of the toffee from Chocolate Cracker Candy.
Ella doesn’t always like coconut, so I went with a different topping idea for some of the cheesecakes. I skipped the coconut topping and just added whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top of those, as you might find on a real pina colada drink!
Can I make them without a Mini Cheesecake Pan?
Many of you likely do not have a mini cheesecake pan. You can still make this recipe! The easiest way to keep the mini size is to use a mini muffin pan. If you use a standard size muffin pan, the cheesecakes will just be bigger (which is not a bad thing!). Another option is to bake them in an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish and cut them into squares for individual servings. I highly recommend using cupcake liners if not using a mini cheesecake pan; otherwise, it is very hard to get them out.
If you’d rather make the full sized cheesecake in a 10-inch springform pan, you’ll need to double the recipe I have below.
This recipe consists of graham cracker crust, a pineapple coconut filling, and a toasted coconut topping. I’ll take you through how to make each of these components, and also give an alternative to the topping if coconut isn’t your thing.
Make the Crust
The graham cracker crumbs are combined with sugar and melted butter.
The crust is then divided among the 24 wells of two mini cheesecake pans.
I use a little Tupperware cup to press down the crumbs in each well. You can use your fingers or another small cup.
The graham cracker crusts are baked for 10 minutes and then allowed to cool while the topping is prepared.
Make the Pineapple Coconut Cheesecake Filling
This may look like a lot of ingredients, but it’s really not. It’s just the basics of a good cheesecake like cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Then to achieve the pina colada flavor, cream of coconut, crushed pinapple, lemon juice, and rum extract are added. The small amount of cornstarch helps thicken the cheesecake due to the moisture in the cream of coconut and pineapple.
The filling comes together quickly and is then carefully spooned into the mini cheesecake wells on top of the graham cracker crusts. You don’t want to overfill the mini cheesecake cups. They will rise during baking and will overflow and not look nice if they’re too full. I do about 3/4 full:
It’s important to note that, just like with the Mini Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecakes, you will have leftover filling that can be baked in a separate dish. The reason for this is that to get the perfect amount of filling, you would need about 1 1/2 eggs, or some fraction that is hard to measure. I find it easier to just make a little more filling by using 2 eggs than to try to guess how much egg to use.
If you don’t need 24 cheesecakes, another option is to cut my filling recipe in half and just see how far it goes. I’m guessing it might make about 18.
Make the Candied Coconut Topping
The first time I made this cheesecake topping, I thought I did something wrong. It got very crunchy, almost like the toffee layer from Chocolate Cracker Candy. It was really good, but I worried that perhaps I cooked it at too high of heat that it made the sugar harden.
The next time, I was careful to cook the topping ingredients over low heat. The same thing happened, so now I know for sure this how it is supposed to be.
The butter is melted in a pan, then the sugar and coconut are added. The coconut is sauteed in the butter and sugar until it starts to brown. I prefer to scoop the candied coconut onto the cheesecake and leave behind the excess butter.
The cheesecakes are then chilled until they are ready to serve. In the mini cheesecake pan, you just press up on the bottom of each well to push the cheesecake out. If you use cupcake wrappers, just peel them off or serve the cheesecakes in the liners.
This top is crunchy and gives a nice texture to the cheesecakes. I didn’t think the original recipe had enough topping, so I upped the amount quite a bit for these mini Pina Colada Cheesecakes.
If coconut isn’t your thing, or if you’re worried the topping will be too crunchy, simply omit it and top the cheesecakes with whipped cream!
I added a maraschino cherry to make them more colorful. I drained the cherries on a paper towel first so the juice wouldn’t leak all over.
The best little pina colada desserts! Yum!
Gluten Free Mini Pina Colada Cheesecakes
Use gluten free graham crackers for the crust for an entirely gluten free dessert!
Looking for More Cheesecake Ideas?
Check out these other cheesecake recipes:
Bailey’s Irish Cream Mini Cheesecakes
Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake
Cheesecake Factory Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake Copycat
Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake
S’more Cheesecake Bars
Mexican Chocolate Black Bottom Cupcakes
Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Black Bottom Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Chocolate Cheesecakes for Two
Red Velvet Brownies with Cheesecake Swirl
Red Velvet Cheesecake
- 2 12-cup mini cheesecake pans or 24-cup mini muffin pan
For the Crust:
- 1 cup fine graham cracker crumbs (about 5 or 6 graham cracker sheets)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
- 16 ounces cream cheese. softened (two 8-ounce packages)
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup cream of coconut
- 7.5 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
For the Topping: optional
- 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the Crust:
- Combine the crust ingredients. Press into the bottom of each well. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Make the Filling:
- Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat. Gradually add eggs. Stir in sour cream and next 6 ingredients. Spoon over crusts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes, until filling is set. Remove to cool while you make the topping.
Make the Topping:
- Melt the butter in a pan on the stove. Add the sugar and coconut and saute until golden, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Divide coconut evenly between cheesecakes. Leave behind melted butter and discard. Refrigerate cheesecakes until ready to serve.