These individually-sized Patriotic Cheesecake Bites feature layers of red velvet brownie, classic cheesecake and fresh blueberry compote. They’re perfect for Memorial Day, 4th of July, or any time you and your family are craving a super-sweet, bite-size treat!
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If you’re looking for a festive treat to make with your family this 4th of July, these Patriotic Cheesecake Bites are just what you need. They’re like three desserts in one, with a rich red velvet brownie base, creamy cheesecake center and sweet blueberry topping. The perfect way to cap off a summer dinner of sliders, sweet corn and watermelon caprese, these bites are easy to make and can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator, just what you need for those lazy days in the sun!
Why This Recipe Works
- These cheesecakes are already sized as individual servings, so no need to worry about cutting before serving or portion control around dessert-crazy kids.
- The entire recipe can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Each unique layer of the cheesecake lends a delicious flavor and texture to the overall dessert.
- The festive colors make this recipe extremely celebration-worthy!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Let’s break the ingredients down by layer.
For the red velvet brownie bottom layer, you’ll need:
Unsweetened cocoa powder – Be sure to go high-quality here! While classic Hershey’s would be just fine, I also love this brand.
Unsalted butter – You’ll want this at room temperature for easy mixing.
Red food coloring – You can find food coloring in the baking section of your grocery store. Be careful when you add it to the batter, it splashes easily!
White vinegar – Find this in the vinegar section of your grocery store. Don’t leave it out!
Next, let’s look at the ingredients for the cheesecake layer:
Lemon zest – This will add the perfect little zip to your cheesecake. Feel free to also use orange zest if you prefer. Either way, you don’t want to leave it out!
Regular and light cream cheese – To lighten up the recipe a bit, I like to use one block of regular and one block of light cream cheese. That being said, you can also use two blocks of regular or two blocks of light. It’s completely up to you! I also like to make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature to make the filling extra-creamy.
Sour cream – This is another area where you can opt to use regular or light. Either one will work just fine. It adds a wonderful creamy mouthfeel to the cheesecake.
Finally, here’s what you’ll need for the blueberry layer:
Blueberries – If you can’t find fresh, frozen blueberries would also be fine. They just might take a little bit longer to thaw and burst in the saucepan.
Unflavored gelatin – You can find boxes of this in the baking section of your favorite grocery store or order it online.
Cornstarch – Don’t skip this ingredient! It will help the compote thicken up and settle nicely on top of the cheesecake layer.
While this recipe has three distinct phases (one for each layer of the cheesecake bites), each layer couldn’t be easier to put together. Here are detailed instructions of how to do it!
After preheating the oven and lining your cupcake tins, you’ll want to start by making the red velvet brownie layer:
This layer comes together in just a few simple steps.
- Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
- Now, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then add it to the butter mixture.
- Beat in the food coloring and vinegar.
Once you’ve made the batter, spoon about a tablespoon into each of your lined cupcake tins and gently spread it around the bottom of each.
Bake this layer in your preheated oven for about 10 minutes and then you’re ready to prep the second layer!
For the cheesecake layer, simply mix together all of the ingredients in your stand mixer until well blended. Easy as that!
Scoop this batter on top of the brownie layer – 1-2 tablespoons per cupcake – then back in the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the layer is no longer “jiggly”.
Now you’re ready for the third and final blueberry compote layer!
Combine all of the compote ingredients except the gelatin in a small saucepan and simmer until the blueberries begin to pop and a gel-ish liquid starts to form.
Then, turn off the heat and stir in the gelatin. Let it sit and cool for a few minutes before scooping it over the cheesecake layer.
The hard part is done! Now all that’s left to do is to pop the cheesecakes into the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours to set up. Then remove and enjoy!
If refrigerated, these cheesecakes will last for up to one week.
The cheesecake bites are best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Nope. Feel free to make each layer at least a day apart from the others. The brownie layer does not have to be refrigerated, however be sure to refrigerate the bites once you add the cheesecake layer. The blueberry topping will just need at least a couple of hours in the refrigerator before serving to set up.
Not at all. You can use all regular cream cheese, all light cream cheese, or one of each. It’s up to you!
While the ones I used are no longer available, Amazon has a great selection of liners and toppers, like these ones here!
Other Recipes You May Like
Whether you’re celebrating the 4th of July or simply having a summer grill-out with friends, here are some other recipes to add to the menu:
Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate
Spicy Coconut Corn Shrimp Cocktail
Sirloin Steak Bites with Rosemary Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Hazelnut Pesto Caprese Couscous
Red, White and Blueberry Blender
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Amaretto Crust
Tried this recipe and loved it?? Be sure to leave a comment and five-star rating in the recipe card below!
Patriotic Cheesecake Bites
For the red velvet brownie layer:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring
- 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
For the cheesecake layer:
- 8 ounces regular cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup regular or light sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest You can also sub in orange zest
For the blueberry compote layer:
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 dozen cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
- First, make the brownie layer. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add this mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
- Beat in the food coloring and vinegar.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the brownie batter into each of the cupcake tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven to cool slightly, leaving oven heated to 350 degrees for baking the next layer.
- Next, make the cheesecake layer. In a clean stand mixer bowl, beat together the cream cheeses, sugar and eggs.
- Add the flour, vanilla extract, sour cream, lemon zest and salt and beat until combined.
- Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter in the cupcake tins on top of the red velvet brownie layer. Return cupcake pans to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheesecake is set and not jiggly, Remove and let cool while you make the third layer.
- For the blueberry compote, combine all ingredients except the gelatin in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the blueberries break down and a gel-ish liquid forms, about 8-10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the gelatin. Let sit for 5 minutes, then scoop 1 tablespoon of the blueberry compote over each of the cheesecake bites.
- Refrigerate cheesecake bites at least 2 hours or overnight. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. You can serve them in their cupcake wrappers or remove the papers to reveal the patriotic layers.
- Feel free to use all regular cream cheese or all light cream cheese rather than one of each.
- You can also use frozen blueberries instead of fresh, just note that it may take longer for them to start bubbling and bursting when making the compote.
- Get the butter and cream cheeses to room temperature before mixing for the creamiest results.
- The layers can all be made at different times, just be sure to refrigerate the bites after you add the cheesecake layer.
- Once made, the bites can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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