These Petits Coeurs Almond Cheesecakes are just the way I like dessert, creamy but not too sweet. Almond paste adds richness and its distinct amaretto flavor.  There is no crust on these little cakes. A light coating of breadcrumbs help the little cakes release from the pan. The batter cooks quickly. You’ll have perfect dessert in no time.

When making this or any cheesecake, soften the cream cheese at room temperature before you start. If not, it will form lumps. Using brute force and time to beat the batter doesn’t work because overbeating breaks down the cream cheese and ruins the texture of your cheesecake.

I baked this batter in heart-shaped pans that I probably picked up at a chain craft store but muffin tins work well, especially those made from flexible silicone. (Although I’m not the frilly type, I do possess many heart-shaped cutters, pans and molds.)

Serve the mini cheesecakes to share the love with fresh berries, whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate or some cherry pie filling as shown here. And if chocolate is you preferred way to sahre the love, try these Individual Chocolate Mocha Lava Cakes instead.

Kitchen Notebook

For more than 20 years, I was the Culinary Director of American Almond Products, a quality manufacturer of almond paste and nut products.  This is a recipe I developed for them but one I still make. The almond paste made by American Almond is unrivaled. (Of course I am biased. American Almond brand is unrivaled because it is made from whole blanched almonds, not pieces. Great care is taken in selecting the varieties used. And it is made with less sugar than most other brands.) Sadly, the brand is no longer available in consumer-size packaging.  In its place, I recommend almond paste packed in cans, which retain moisture better than products shrink wrapped in plastic. Sometimes bakeries will sell its customers lumps of almond paste. Call your local Italian bakery and you might be surprised, especially if you are on the East Coast, to find American Almond brand.

Petits Coeurs Almond Cheesecakes

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Petits Coeurs Almond Cheesecakes


4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

½ cup fine dry breadcrumbs

2/3 cup (5 ½ ounces) almond paste or marzipan, preferably packed in a can

½ cup granulated sugar

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

½ cup sour cream

3 eggs

1 small can cherry pie filling or fresh raspberries or blueberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Brush the bottom and inside of 12 muffin cups or eight 4-ounce heart shaped pans with the melted butter. Sprinkle approximately 1 teaspoon of the dry breadcrumbs into the bottom of each muffin cup. Shake out the excess leaving a thin layer of crumbs on the bottom.
  3. Beat the almond paste and the sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the softened cream cheese and mix on low speed until blended. Scrape the bowl and continue mixing until the cream cheese and almond paste are smooth. Stir in the sour cream and the eggs until blended. Scrape the bowl and mix for one minute longer.
  5. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, filling each with approximately 1/3 cup of the batter.
  6. Bake for 20–30 minutes just until the cheesecakes are set. Turn off the oven, prop open the door and let them cook another 5 minutes.
  7. Cool the cheesecakes completely at room temperature then refrigerate them at least 3 hours before serving.
  8. To serve, unmold each cheesecake onto a serving plate and garnish with some cherry pie filling or fresh berries. Well-wrapped and refrigerated, these cheesecakes will keep for 5 days. Or they may be frozen for up to 6 weeks.