Dessert Duty

Holi is just around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate it with my friends and family. This year, my sister is graciously hosting a Holi party for us, and I’ve been entrusted with the dessert duties! I thought about bringing something vibrant and playful to match the spirit of the festival, and concocted a new dessert! What better way to celebrate the festival of colors than with some delightful Mini Thandai Cheesecakes!

Mini Thandai Cheesecakes

These colorful treats are not only visually stunning but also incredibly easy to make. This way I would spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the festivities with my loved ones. I’ve infused them with classic Holi flavors of Thandai to add an extra touch of authenticity to the experience. They are great for making ahead of time and also easily portable. Plus, they’re perfectly portioned, making it an ideal dessert for sharing at festive gatherings.

Mini Thandai Cheesecakes

Thandai For Holi

Thandai is a mildly spiced, not too sweet, super refreshing milk-based cold beverage that’s traditionally made and served at Holi celebrations in Northern India. The Thandai drink derives its characteristic flavor from the Thandai Masala, a quintessential blend of various spices such as cardamom, fennel, white poppy seeds, peppercorns, saffron, ground together with almonds and rose petals.

Mini Thandai Cheesecakes

Thandai holds a special place in the Indian culinary traditions, particularly during festive occasions like Holi. The cold milk-based drink with refreshing taste and aromatic blend of spices is the perfect drink to kick off the spring season and celebrate the fun and colorful Indian holiday!

Mini Thandai Cheesecakes for Holi

Cheesecake, the popular dessert, is known for its soft, buttery crust and its luscious texture and decadent flavor. Typically made with cream cheese or ricotta, eggs, sugar, and a variety of flavorings, cheesecakes offer a delightful balance of sweetness and tanginess. Mini cheesecakes are a great twist on this classic dessert. It’s like the indulgence of a full-sized cheesecake in a conveniently bite-sized treat. Perfect for parties, gatherings, or simply enjoying a personal treat, mini cheesecakes allow for easy portion control and endless flavor possibilities.

Mini Thandai Cheesecakes

I used all of those wonderful spices except the poppy seeds to flavor the cheesecake mixture. I also thought of splashing some fun liquid food colors on the cheesecakes before baking them, and it worked wonderfully. All in all, these Thandai-flavored mini cheesecakes turned out to be absolutely perfect treats for the Holi festivities!

A Sweet Finale with Mini Thandai Cheesecakes

As I get ready for the festivities, I look forward to the laughter, music, and joy that Holi brings. It’s a time for us to come together, unwind, and cherish the moments. And what could be a better way to wrap up the celebrations than with my Mini Thandai Cheesecakes?! They are sure to bring a sweet touch to our day of colorful fun and togetherness. Can’t wait to share these delightful treats with my friends and family and add a burst of color to our Holi celebrations!

Mini Thandai Cheesecakes

I’ve linked a step-by-step video below that I put together for you that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.

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Mini Thandai Cheesecakes

  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 2022 standard cupcake sized mini cheesecakes 1x


A fun fusion dessert for Holi – mini cheesecakes infused with the classic Thandai flavors and splashed with food colors.


Units Scale


  • 16 graham crackers, ground to a fine powder
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 16 oz cream cheese (2 8oz/250g packages), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

Thandai Flavoring (see Variations)

  • 2 teaspoons rose water
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground fennel
  • 1/8 tsp fine ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Splash of Colors Topping (see Variations)

  • variety of liquid food colors of choice

Special Equipment


Baking the Crust

  • Preheat oven to 325 °F/ 160 °C.
  • Combine 4 tbsp of melted, unsalted butter with 16 graham crackers (ground in a food processor) and 2 tbsp almond flour.
  • Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the mixture into cupcake liners placed into a standard muffin pan.
  • Using the back of the spoon, press into the bottom firmly.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until dry in the center.

Making the Cheesecakes

  • Reduce the temperature of the oven to 300 °F/150 °C. 
  • Beat 16 oz. (500 g) of cream cheese and 1 cup of granulated sugar until well combined, for about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl using a spatula and continue to beat on medium-high speed for another 2-3 minutes until the cream cheese is light and fluffy.
  • Crack the two eggs in the whipped cream cheese and sugar mixture along with 1 cup of sour cream.
  • Continue to beat on medium-high speed for another 4-5 minutes till its well combined.
  • Add in 2 tsp rose water, 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, 1/4 ground fennel, 1/8 tsp fine ground black pepper and 1/8 tsp salt. Beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes .
  • Spoon about 1/3 cup of the cream cheese mixture into the liners with the baked crust. Tap a couple times to let the mixture settle.
  • To add the Splash of Colors topping, squeeze out 1-2 drops of a few liquid food colors of your choice in small bowls. Dip a silicon or plastic pastry brush (the food color may not go off a regular brush with hair) into the liquid food colors and spray over the cheesecake mixture with the help of a spoon.
  • Bake in the oven at 300 °F/150 °C for 22-25 minutes, until the centers are nearly set.
  • Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, transfer to a wire rack to cool
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (see FAQs & Notes for additional information).
  • Remove from the liner and serve chilled.

Keywords: Baking Recipes, Holi Special

Step-by-Step Details

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Can I make the recipe ahead of time?

Yes! The cheesecakes stay fresh for up to 72 hours in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.

Recipe Variations

Instead of using the individual favorings, you can also use the Thandai Masala, if you have.

Don’t have liquid food colors? Top with crushed pistachios and dried rose petals (like my Thandai Panna Cotta), just before serving! Don’t add prior to baking the cheesecakes. They will burn during the baking process. 

Happy cooking

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.


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