Do you really need to buy the best mini cheesecake pan if you want to bake mini cheesecakes?
I personally think that it’s worth buying a separate pan designed especially for them but I’m also aware that it involves an extra expenditure and yet another bakeware that you must find storage space for. It can be bothersome if you have a smaller kitchen that’s already filled with so many pans, pots, and appliances.
Thus, before reviewing some of the best mini cheesecake pans, let’s see what else you can use for baking, in case you don’t want to go shopping for a new bakeware.
You have two options: get a separate pan created especially for this dessert or bake in your muffin pan.
Best Mini Cheesecake Pan: My 5 Recommendations
There are 4 main manufacturers that make some of the best pans. These are: Norpro, Chicago Metallic, USA Pan, and Zenker.
They’re really famous, I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve heard of them. And you might already own at least one pan from them. For example, I believe that USA Pan makes one of the best loaf pans, while Chicago Metallic has an awesome popover pan.
I really think that reviewing just the pans from these three manufacturers is more than enough.
After all, why would we need to read about countless pans and waste a lot of our time when we can focus our energy on choosing from these three?
All will have removal bottoms. Otherwise they would just be called muffin pans.
However, you can also use any of these three pans to bake muffins, tartlets, mini quiches, coffee cakes, hors d’oeuvres, and more. They’re versatile.
1. Chicago Metallic 12-Cup Mini Cheesecake Pan: Best Value
If you want to get the most affordable option, I definitely recommend this one from Chicago Metallic.
Well, it’s great that the price is quite affordable but what about the quality? Will you get one of the best mini cheesecake pans?
I think you do. That’s why this Chicago Metallic is my first recommendation. It has the perfect balance of quality and cost. However, it won’t work if you’re not looking for a 12-cup pan but a 6-cup one.
If you’re looking for 6-cup pans, USA Pan and Norpro have them.
This is a pan that can help you bake up to 12 mini cheesecakes at one time.
I love the idea of 12 cups but if you think that the desserts will end up being too tiny, you have the below two reviews for manufacturers that offer pans with 6 cavities.
The overall dimensions of the pan are: 14 x 10.75 x 1.75 inches. It’s a pan on the smaller side.
The manufacturer states that their pans have superior heat conduction and that will guarantee even baking.
It’s made from heavy-weight aluminized steel. Aluminized steel is indeed a good material for heat conduction and even baking.
The surface is uncoated. It’s made that way in order to last longer since there is no non-stick coating that can peel or flake off in time, after repeated baking.
What does that mean for our baking?
Uncoated doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s non-stick. The manufacturer doesn’t mention that it’s non-stick.
In my opinion, it doesn’t matter too much that it’s non-stick because even with a nonstick pan you still need to grease the pan with non-stick spray or butter to ensure that the desserts will come out of the pan.
Uncoated means that the baking surface is light and not dark. The light metal doesn’t absorb as much heat as the dark coated material. Dark metals are awesome if we want our foods to brown on the bottom.
Last but not least, it’s dishwasher safe although I will confess that I like washing my pans by hand. I somehow think that they’ll last longer. I don’t know if that’s true, it’s just my belief.
Moreover, the manufacturer also recommends hand-washing to extend product life. So I guess I’m doing something right.
All in all, you do get awesome quality for one of the most affordable prices. It’s a really good choice.
Where to Buy?
2. Norpro Nonstick Mini Cheesecake Pan 6 Cup: Very Good
This time, we have a dark pan with removable bottoms for baking awesome mini cheesecakes every time.
That means that this is a nonstick pan. If you really want a nonstick model, this is the manufacturer for you.
It’s not exactly my favorite pan when it comes to choosing the best mini cheesecake pan but it’s still a well made product of nice quality. I mostly don’t like the high price.
Plus, some users have complained that it has sharp edges that can lead to cuts. I certainly don’t like fearing my bakeware. That goes for both the 6-cup and the 12-cup options.
It seems that the sharp edges are the predominant complaint. At least the quality is good but I fear that it’s not as impressive as such high prices demand.
All in all, Norpro does have some really good pans that will last plenty of years but it doesn’t reach perfection.
The pans are made of durable metal but it isn’t mentioned the specific type of metal.
One of the first things that stand out about Norpro as an awesome manufacturer is that it has mini cheesecake pans in 3 different sizes.
You can choose to get pans with either 12 individual cups and 6 cups. They are also some of the most expensive options on this list. Plus, they’re nonstick.
The dimensions for the 6 cup model are: 7.5 x 3 x 2 inches. This one is really small when it comes to length and width but the cavities have the same depth.
If you’re looking for a pan that bakes just 6 mini cheesecakes at the same time, this might be good.
Where to Buy?
3. Norpro Nonstick Mini Cheesecake Pan with Handles, 12 count
This 12-cup differs from the above 6-cup from Norpro only in size. Instead of baking 6 mini cheesecakes, you’re going to bake 12.
Besides that, we pretty much get the same material, the same quality and the same sharp edges that can lead to cuts.
People love these pans for their quality, no matter their size, but they don’t appreciate the sharp edges. I will admit that not everyone complains about the edges. Just a handful of users do. And you can learn to work around them. But I thought I should let you know.
The quality is top-notch. It’s not perfect but it gets close to it. However, the price is a bit expensive, too.
The dimensions for the bigger 12 cup model are: 14 x 8 x 1.75 inches. It’s a bit smaller than the above Chicago Metallic so it will fit in most ovens.
Cups size: 1.5” / 4cm deep, 2” / 5cm diameter.
There’s another option for a 12 cups pan, a smaller one both in length and width but also in terms of depth. It has the following dimensions: 13 x 8.25 x 1.5 inches.
With all these different options, things can get a bit confusing.
Well, the 6 cups model is awesome if you’re only baking for a person or two. In that case, this is the right size for you.
On the other hand, the smaller 12 cup option is nice if you’re baking in a countertop toaster oven. I guess that’s one way of making your choice if Norpro is the manufacturer that you want.
Where to Buy?
4. Zenker Ring Mold Pan: Best for Mini Desserts
Let’s see what the most expensive recommendation in this article has to offer as the best mini cheesecake pan.
One thing I should make clear is that this Zenker pan is not designed especially for mini cheesecakes as it is the case with all the other 4 pans that I review in this article.
This Zenker was created for mini desserts. That tells us that it can offer a lot more versatility, which might justify the higher price.
It looks completely different for all the pans that are usually used for making cheesecakes, whether they’re bake or no-bake.
With the Zenker, the bottom of the tray is fixed and the cavities where the ingredients are poured into is the one removable. So, we remove from the top and not from the bottom.
With all the other pans, the bottom was the removable piece. With this manufacturer, the cavity is removable, while the bottom is like a sheet pan with ideations for the cavity to fit into.
That’s why it’s called a ring mold pan.
It comes with 12 molds and base. Each mold measures 3.1″ diameter by 2.75″ high.
I like the size and I like that it’s different. You’ll use it for mini cheesecakes, mini cakes, all other kinds of mini desserts and savory dishes.
The overall pan measures 14.96 x 11.81 inches. It’s on the bigger side but not that big.
It is made of nonstick-coated carbon steel for uniform heat conduction.
Hand-washing only is recommended. This one is not dishwasher safe but you won’t have trouble with cleaning it up because it’s nonstick and it will release the products without problems.
Where to Buy?
5. USA Pan Bakeware Mini Cheesecake Pan
I saved one of my favorite bakeware manufacturers for last. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be a favorite for the best mini cheesecake pan. It’s still very good but not awesome.
This time we only have a 6-cup pan.
The dimensions are: 15.75 x 11.25 x 2.125 inches. It’s quite long for a pan that only has 6 cavities. In length, it’s more than double than the above 6-cup Norpro.
USA Pan says that we can bake six 3.1 inch cakes.
The baking surface dimensions (the size of each cup) are: 3.092 x 3.094 x 2.125 inches. Those are really precise measurements. I am really satisfied with these dimensions.
The pan also comes with a non-stick coating but if you want a 12-cup non-stick pan, you’ll have to content yourself with Norpro, Zenker, Chicago Metallic or get 2 USA Pan models. Although, buying 2 of these pans is going to be pricey.
This 6-cup best mini cheesecake pan is definitely not cheap.
It’s made from aluminized steel. So it’s another light pan.
The pan surface is coated with their proprietary coating, a non-stick silicone that is made without PTFE, PFOA, and BPA.
Their unique, ridge texture is also supposed to add pan strength.
It also has the same rust proof design that is used in professional bakeries. That’s awesome because some pans really get complaints about rust.
The interesting aspect is that it also features lifetime warranty. And it’s made in the USA from globally sourced materials.
However, there are a few complaints from users about sharp edges. Once again, this model is not perfect either but it’s of good quality.
I guess I still prefer my first recommendation from Chicago Metallic as the best mini cheesecake pan followed by Zenker for its unusual design and Norpro for almost being perfect.
Where to Buy?
Water bath or no water bath?
Even when making this dessert by using the best mini cheesecake pan, there’s still one important question that we must answer.
Do you need a water bath or can you bake with no water bath? The opinions are divided. I will tell you right from the start that some people bake with a water bath while others don’t use a water bath.
I say that it’s definitely possible to bake without one and get delicious results. But you also run into the risk of getting a few collapsed desserts. In that case, you’ll definitely need toppings to mask that.
If you want to see it for yourself, bake 2 pans: one with and one without a water bath. That’s the only way to know for sure if a water bath is worth it.
If you want to bake in a water bath, you’ll definitely have to wrap the bottom of the pan in multiple layers of foil to prevent water from getting in.
A cheesecake, although its name might confuse you, is not a cake. It’s a graham cracker crust with a custard on top. I still think it needs a water bath for large sizes because it ensures a rich and smooth texture for the custard.
If you bake large cheesecakes, I definitely recommend a water bath if you want to avoid overbaked desserts with a curdled texture, cracks in the surface, and lopsided tops.
Since mini cheesecakes are not baked that long, they can be definitely baked without a water bath.
If you’re using a pan like the ones above that I recommended for the best mini cheesecake pan, you can try first without a water bath because these are really small.
The Best Mini Cheesecake Pan vs a Muffin Pan
What’s the main difference between an awesome mini cheesecake pan and a muffin pan?
The one designed for this dessert has a removable bottom.
Once the cheesecakes have cooled down for about 30 minutes, you just remove the bottom, lift the mini cheesecakes and they’re ready to serve once they’re chilled in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Thus, it’s just like a springform pan with a removal bottom only that in this case we have a lot of small baking compartments, each with its own removal bottom. That means that you won’t ruin the shape of your desserts because they will easily slide off when you remove the bottoms.
As you already know, a muffin pan has no removal bottom.
If you already own a muffin pan, you can try making a batch of mini cheesecakes in it and see if it’s doable or if you need a separate pan. I’m confident that you’ll succeed.
How do you remove the mini cheesecakes from a muffin pan?
Since there is no removal bottom, the question is how do you remove the baked goods without ruining their shape?
The simplest method? Use liners so that you can remove the mini cheesecakes without any problems and without ruining their shape.
You can serve them with the liners, I guarantee that they’re going to look awesome. Or you can remove the liners to make it easier for everyone to eat them with their fingers.
I prefer removing the liners once they’ve cooled down. And then I add the toppings.
What if you don’t use liners?
Then, before adding the crust and batter, you need to spray the pan with non-stick spray or grease the cavities with butter.
Once the baking is done, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes on the countertop. So far so good but the tops will sink a bit.
They also sink even if you’re using liners or the best mini cheesecake pan. That’s just how it is with the mini version.
Even if you bake the batter at a lower temperature for longer, there won’t be that much of a difference.
It doesn’t matter if the tops sink, you can add toppings, whatever you want for a boost of flavor and a beautiful design.
My favorite combination for toppings is whipped cream and berries. But you can also use drizzled chocolate, melted butterscotch, ice cream toppings, jams, toffee bits, etc.
Now, use a knife to gently loosen the edges. All that’s left to do is for you to slowly invert the muffin pan and push those tiny cheesecakes out.
Then, it’s time to chill them in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
One last thing: you can definitely use classic cheesecake recipes and then just pour the batter into the tiny sections of a cheesecake or muffin pan, depending what pan you end up using.
The instructions will remain the same too: pre-bake the crust and make sure that the batter ingredients are at room temperature.
The advantage with baking the mini version of a full dessert is that it can take less time to prepare, might be easier to make and bake, look absolutely adorable, can make you eat smaller portions, and are absolutely the best for large gatherings.
All in all, if you bake it often, I definitely recommend buying the the best mini cheesecake pan, otherwise stick to using a muffin pan if you only do it once or twice a year.