Mini Cherry Pies
Mini Cherry Pies are delicious little desserts made with a 4-ingredient crust, cherry pie filling, and a streusel topping. Just like our plum torte, it’s perfect for summer gatherings, BBQs, and potlucks. Top it with homemade whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
What are Mini Cherry Pies?
You will love these mini cherry pies for the easiest summer dessert, along with our icebox cake! It’s a recipe we previously shared in 2015 but have since retested and perfected to make it just much better.
These new and improved pies are made in a standard muffin tin and make 12 individual pies. The original recipe was made with a 24-cup mini muffin tin.
We also use chia seeds rather than cornstarch to thicken the homemade cherry filling, and the crust was changed to a shortbread dough which is flaky and soft.
What Kind of Cherries are Best?
Cherries are the star of this recipe, so you’ll want to make sure they are flavorful and not watery.
Fresh tart cherries are best for making cherry pie, especially when in-season, but you can use tart frozen cherries too.
You can also use canned cherry pie filling but make sure to get the best brand you can find. Canned filling is sometimes flavorless or too sweet, so taste it before adding additional sugar.
Here are the ingredient to make these cherry pies from scratch.
- Chia seeds
- Lemon juice
- Cream cheese
- Brown sugar
How to Make Mini Cherry Pies
Here is a brief description of how to make this dessert. For the full recipe, see the recipe card below.
Make the cherry filling: In a small saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, and chia seeds. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until thick and bubbly. Stir in lemon juice. Remove off heat.
Make the crust: In a mixing bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
Add flour and beat on low speed until it comes together. The mixture should resemble cookie dough.
Fill the muffin cups with dough on the bottom and sides.
Make the streusel: Combine flour, brown sugar, and butter. Use a fork to toss together.
Spoon cherry filling evenly into each pastry-lined muffin cup and then sprinkle a little streusel over each pie.
Bake: Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cherries are bubbly. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make the best mini cherry pies:
- The dough for the crust will be very crumbly after you add the flour but then it will form into a ball as you continue to beat it. It should be soft like cookie dough.
- Make sure to press the crust dough up the sides of the muffin tin to create cups.
- We prefer to use chia seeds as a thickener for the filling. It absorbs liquid and easily thickens the cherry filling without the need for cornstarch. But feel free to use cornstarch instead.
- When making streusel, use a fork to toss the dry ingredients with the melted butter. The goal is to have a “clumpy” mixture. Don’t overmix or it will turn into paste-like consistency.
These mini pies are easily adaptable, so you can change some ingredients to fit your tastes and preferences.
- Add spices that go well with the cherries, like cinnamon or cardamom
- A few drops of almond extract to bring out the flavor of the cherries
- Substitute cherries with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries
- Graham cracker crust
- Puff pastry crust
- Pie dough crust
- Add chopped pecans or walnuts to the streusel
- Or add no streusel at all
How to Make These Pies into Cherry Turnovers
You can turn these muffin tin pies into cherry turnovers. They are great for taking to potluck parties or get-togethers because people can eat them with one hand, and no plates or silverware are needed.
To turn your pies into turnovers, place a small scoop of the filling into the center of a circle of puff pastry or pie dough, fold it over, brush with egg wash, and then bake until they’re golden brown.
How to Serve
These mini cherry pies are the perfect dessert and can be served with whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Make them part of your gatherings and serve as dessert alongside any of these summer favorites: Jalapeno Turkey Burgers, Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad, Fruit Platter with our Cream Cheese Fruit Dip, Coconut Lime Rice, or Pesto Pasta.
How to Store
To refrigerate: Store leftover cherry pies in an airtight container or large zip-top bag in the fridge for up to five days. Bring them to room temperature before serving.
To freeze: Wrap the pies in plastic wrap, put them in a large freezer bag, and store them in the freezer for up to three months.
To make ahead: You can make these mini pies one day in advance. Cool all the way and store in an airtight container at room temperature. If not serving the next day, refrigerate until ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cherry filling will be runny after you make it. However, as it cools it will thicken further. It can be prepared a few days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
You can freeze these pies baked or unbaked. The advantage of freezing it baked is that you’re only warming it up in the oven, which doesn’t take long. The advantage of cooking an unbaked frozen pie is that it will be very fresh.
Thawing frozen pie will make the crust soggy, so it’s better to cook it while it’s still frozen. Keep in mind that it will take a bit longer to cook while frozen.
More Summer DessertsPrint
Mini Cherry Pies are delicious little desserts made with a 4-ingredient crust, cherry pie filling, and a streusel topping. It’s perfect for summer gatherings topped with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- 12 oz. pitted frozen or fresh cherries, (if using frozen no need to thaw out)
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. cane sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- To make the filling: In a small saucepan, combine cherries, sugar, and chia seeds. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
- To make the crust: In a medium bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar with an electric mixer on high until smooth and creamy. Add flour and beat on low speed until it comes together. The mixture will first be crumbly but then form into dough consistency.
- Divide the dough evenly between the muffin pan, about 1 1/2 tablespoons each. Press the dough onto the bottoms and halfway up the sides of the muffin cups. You can use a small spoon or your fingers for this part.
- Spoon the cherry filling evenly into each pastry-lined muffin cup. Set aside.
- To make the streusel: In a bowl, whisk together the flour and brown sugar. Add melted butter and with a fork toss together until combined. You want the butter to absorb all of the flour and the mixture to be clumpy. Do not overmix or it will turn into paste.
- Sprinkle streusel evenly over each cherry-filled muffin cup.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes or until crust is golden. Cool in muffin cups for about 10 minutes then run a sharp knife around the edge of the pies to slightly release and using the tip of the knife lift the pie out of the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cherries: Fresh cherries will require a few extra minutes to soften than frozen cherries. After 10 minutes, check for doneness. Cherries should be soft but still hold their shape.
- Chia seeds: I prefer to use chia seeds to thicken the cherry filling instead of cornstarch. Feel free to use cornstarch if that’s what you have on hand.
- Cream cheese: Make sure to use cream cheese sold in a brick and not in a tub.
- Recipe originally published November 2015
- Serving Size: 1 mini pie
- Calories: 221
- Sugar: 14.7 g
- Sodium: 24.4 mg
- Fat: 12.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 26.2 g
- Protein: 2.4 g
- Cholesterol: 32.6 mg