Creamy Small Batch Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 and 1/3 graham cups (130g) cracker crumbs (about 8 graham cracker sheets)
  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon (12g) granulated sugar

Cheesecake

  • two 8-ounce blocks (450g) full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • optional for serving: strawberry compote, cherry topping, or even salted caramel!

Directions:

  1. Lower the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the cheesecake from the pan. Set aside.
  2. Mix all of the crust ingredients together. Pour into prepared loaf pan and press down the crust so it is super tight and firm in the pan. Use a flat spatula to compact it down. Bake the crust for 22-24 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the edges and top.
  3. While the crust is pre-baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until completely smooth. Beat in the sugar, egg, vanilla, and lemon juice until completely combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed.
  4. Pour the batter on top of the warm crust and smooth into an even layer. It will look like a lot of cheesecake batter, but it will sink down as it bakes.
  5. Bake the cheesecake for 40-45 minutes, until the entire surface is set. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cheesecake should come out *mostly* clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once cool, refrigerate the cheesecake for 4 hours and up to 1 day.
  7. Remove the chilled cheesecake from the pan using the overhang on the sides. Slice and serve with optional toppings, if desired.

Make-ahead tip: Make this cheesecake ahead of time and let it sit in the refrigerator for up to 1 whole day in step 6. You can also make the filling and pre-bake the crust ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate both for up to 1 day before continuing with step 4. Cheesecake can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes:

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