Little lemon cheesecakes

‘Friandises’ are sweet bitesize pastries that are served with coffee or tea. Friandises is a French word, often used in Dutch. I’m not quite sure if it’s used in English as well… But non of that matters, because the most important part is that these small treats are delicious! In the first season of the Dutch TV show Heel Holland Bakt (The Great Dutch Bake Off) Rutger was the proud winner. He stole the show with his version of friandises: little lemon cheesecakes.

When I was visiting Rutger for an interview last week, he had a whole plate of these cheesecakes just waiting for me. He loved the idea of sharing his Best Baking Tips and recipe with us. So here we go!

Dutch spice mix

Rutger adds a special taste to the crust of these cheesecakes with the Dutch spice mix ‘speculaaskruiden’. Speculaaskruiden (‘kruiden’ is the Dutch word for ‘spices’) is a popular spice mix in the Netherlands. In wintertime it is used lots in traditional recipes for cookies and all sorts of baked goods to celebrate the holiday Sinterklaas on December the fifth. The mix includes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger powder, cardamom and white pepper.

Little lemon cheesecakes recipe

Tip: For this recipe Rutger uses a silicone baking pan with small round molds with a diameter of 4 centimeters and height of 2 centimeters. You can also use a mini cupcake baking pan.

Ingredients (15 little cheesecakes)

For the crust

125 grams flour
90 grams butter
45 grams crystal sugar
45 grams brown sugar
4 grams baking powder
1/2 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon speculaaskruiden
pinch of salt
cling film

For the cheesecake filling

200 grams heavy cream
84 grams caster sugar
3 gelatin sheets
200 grams cream cheese
1 lemon (juice and grated peel)

For the lemon curd

105 grams butter
110 grams of sugar
1 lemon (juice and grated peel)
1 egg
1 gelatin sheet
drop of yellow food coloring (optional)


Knead a firm dough of all the ingredients, cover it with cling film and leave to rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Prepare the baking pan by buttering it. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and roll out the dough to a thickness of 6 millimeter. Stick out 15 circles and place them in the buttered baking pan. Place the baking pan on a baking sheet and bake 12 minutes in preheated oven. Leave to cool.

For the filling, whisk the cream with the caster sugar until stiff. Soak the gelatine leaves in water. Heat the lemon juice with the zest in a saucepan on the stove. Remove from heat and dissolve the gelatin in it. Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the lemon juice and peel. Also add the whipped cream. Pour the filling into the baking pan and smooth out. Cover the tin with cling film and place it in the freezer for at least an hour and a half.

For the lemon curd heat the butter with the sugar au bain marie. Add the lemon juice and peel. Add the egg and keep stirring with a whisk until the mixture thickens. Soak the gelatine sheet. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the warm lemon curd with a sieve. Put 100 grams of the curd in a bowl. Mix the gelatin in until it is dissolved. If you want, you can add a drop of yellow food coloring. Cover the frozen cheesecake cupcakes with a thin layer of lemon curd for a sunny effect.