Mini-desserts have become very popular and are often served at parties and on special occasions. These types of sweets can often be eaten in one or two bites, and some may be eaten without the use of utensils. Specific recipes are available for baking tiny desserts or traditional recipes may be modified to make many micro portions. Some of these small desserts require special baking pans. Examples of mini-desserts include cheesecakes, tartlets, cupcakes, shortcakes, and pies.
Cheesecakes are a popular dessert option that many people enjoy. A mini cheesecake can be made using the same ingredients as a traditional cheesecake by changing the baking dish used, as well as the cooking time. After the cheesecake batter is made, it can be placed into small muffin tins to bake. A graham cracker crust can be made, but many mini cheesecake recipes also call for whole cookies or shortbread to be used as crusts instead. The small cheesecakes need to chill before serving, and may be topped with whipped cream, fruit, or chocolate sauce.
A tartlet is typically made by combining fruit and a cream or custard filling in a puff pastry shell. The puff pastry is usually placed in a small muffin tin and then filled according to recipe instructions. While it bakes, the pastry usually becomes light and flaky. Puff pastry dough tends to be delicate, so care must be taken to prevent the tartlet from burning as it bakes. These mini-desserts may be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature.
Cupcakes are sweet, small cakes that are typically topped with some kind of frosting or icing. There are recipes for many flavors of cupcakes, which makes them a very versatile dessert. A mini cupcake is usually half the size of a normal cupcake, and pans to bake them can be purchased in retail stores. This type of mini dessert can be decorated in a variety of ways, so they are usually popular for bridal and baby showers, birthday parties, and themed events.
Shortcakes are simple desserts that usually combine a sweet cake with fruit and whipped cream. A mini shortcake can be prepared by baking small, individual shortcakes or by using a cookie cutter to cut out small rounds from a large shortcake. These mini-desserts are often served in shot glasses or small ramekins to keep the fruit filling and whipped cream from making a mess.
Pies can be made with a variety of fillings, such as fruit or a cream. Mini pies can be made by pressing the dough into small muffin tins or individual ramekins and baking until the crust is a golden brown. Some mini pies have a top crust, while others do not. These types of mini-desserts are commonly topped with whipped cream or a small scoop of ice cream.