Bake my strawberry cheesecake muffins next!
Hello hello! A big giant hi to you today. Saying hello from my office where there’s currently a very *thin* blanket of sparkling white snow outside the window. It’s hardly snowed at all this winter, but when a dusting comes through– I’ll gladly take it and even wear my snow boots outside just to get that “real winter” feeling.
In addition to snow, something else arrived this week! My dear friend Christina’s (from the crazy popular and completely delicious blog Dessert for Two) new cookbook Sweet & Simple. The name actually doesn’t do this beautiful cookbook justice. Christina, can we change it to *Extra* Sweet and *Extra* Simple?
I wanted to share a recipe from her latest cookbook because the focus of her books–and blog– is small batch baking. Not something we usually focus on over here, so I figured you’d absolutely LOVE something new. And something that doesn’t leave enough leftovers to feed an army. Leftovers that taunt and haunt you until you eat every last cookie. Eeeeeeat meeee. What? Um, what were we talking about?
Flipping through the picture-filled book, my eyes immediately landed on this creamy small batch cheesecake. Such a thing exists? Yes, it absolutely does. And the best part is that you don’t need to go to the store or fill your Amazon cart with an extra baking pan or kitchen tool. The cheesecake is made in a loaf pan– something you’ve already got. No matter how you slice it, that’s pretty freakin’ cool!
This is the kind of dessert we all love eating: creamy, thick, and rich cheesecake that’s not overly sweet with a crazy thick and buttery graham cracker crust. I got 5 glorious slices, which is perfect when there’s only 2 of us. Kevin, who isn’t usually a fan of cheesecake, devoured half of it. The whole pan was gone in 24 hours!
You only need a handful of ingredients like cream cheese, graham crackers, sugar, and an egg. Vanilla and a squeeze of fresh lemon add just enough flavor. Don’t worry, you don’t taste the lemon. It just compliments the tart cream cheese.
I did add an extra Tablespoon of butter (3 Tablespoons total) to the crust because mine was somewhat crumbly without it. I blame the super dry weather!
Any excuse to add a condiment and I will. I made strawberry compote for the cheesecake! I made the entire recipe for it and had a little extra after the cheesecake was gone. Can I admit it’s *really* good just with a spoon? Christina has a version of this cheesecake on her blog as well– and she topped hers with homemade cherry topping. Give hers a try if you like cherries and cheesecake.
I encourage you to check out Christina’s latest cookbook! She has 2 others as well, both of which focus on small batch baking and cooking. These dishes and desserts are perfect for date night and Valentine’s Day next week. I had the pleasure of meeting Christina last year and we immediately hit it off. Her down-to-earth, kind nature radiates through her blog and social media. Check her out!
Creamy Small Batch Cheesecake
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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SHOP THE RECIPE
Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.
Want more strawberry cheesecake to love? Try my 5 ingredient strawberry cheesecake truffles!
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