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slices of cheesecake with strawberry topping on a silver plates with a fork

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?

Sweet & Simple cookbook by Christina Lane

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!

cheesecake in a loaf pan cut into slices

overhead image of cheesecake batter in a pink bowl with a spatula

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 complements 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!

overhead image of cheesecake baked in a loaf pan

strawberry sauce in a glass bowl

Any excuse to add a condiment and I will. I made strawberry topping 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.

slice of cheesecake with strawberry topping on a silver plate with a fork

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!

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slices of cheesecake with strawberry topping on a silver plates with a fork

Creamy Small Batch Cheesecake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: 5 slices 1x
  • Category: Cheesecake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

If you don’t want to make a big regular cheesecake, try this easy creamy small batch cheesecake with only 5 slices!


Ingredients

Scale

Crust

  • 1 and 1/3 cups (130g) graham cracker crumbs (about 9 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 sauce topping, cherry topping, or even salted caramel!

Instructions

  1. Lower the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9×5-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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Melamine Icing Bowl SetHearts and Arrows SpatulaUSA Bakeware Loaf Pan | Farberware Loaf Pan | Eat Dessert First Fork

Keywords: cheesecake, small cheesecake

slices of cheesecake with strawberry topping on a silver plates with a fork

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Kris, we haven’t tested it but don’t see why not. Let us know if you try!

      1. Hi Trina, I decided to bake it in the loaf pan! Crust is baking now. My crust was not very moist when I put it in the oven, hoping when I go to slice it tomorrow night it will adhere to the cheesecake filling! I am baking a day in advance too!

      2. I made this today in my 6-inch springform. The bake took closer to an hour, checking every 5 min after it hit 45 min. I let it cool in the oven with the door propped open, and there was no collapse or cracking. Now getting rave reviews from the cheesecake fans in my family as they enjoy and watch the great holiday classic, Die Hard. Absolutely beautiful recipe with cwonderful flavor and texture.

  1. Wonderful recipe…
    I have a toaster/convection oven and a 7.5 x 10.5 cake pan
    (Farberware toaster oven set).
    I added .. 8oz of cream cheese, 1/4c. sugar, and 1 egg yolk to increase the batter just a tad (following original ratio). Bake as directed or until cake is puffed evenly across top.
    Perfect amount of creamyness and sweetness. I have tried one other recipe after discovering this jewel and have decided to never stray from this recipe again.
    Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. Sally’s baking addiction is the best, i’ve been using all you recipes each time I want to make a new cake recipe, i’m guaranteed excellent results.

  3. Welp. I made this once. This was my first ever cheesecake and it was so delicious that I can’t see how I can ever make another cause I wanted to eat all of it.

  4. I live in the UK and I’d like to try this recipe. Your recipe calls for a 9 x 5 in loaf pan. Is this the same as a 1lb loaf pan or a 2lb loaf pan?

    1. Hi Angel, it should be about the same as a 1lb loaf pan.

  5. Help! Cake has been in oven for 55 mins at 325 on bottom 3rd rack, in a 9×5 pan and still liquid in center…

    1. Hi Chris! Did you make any changes to the recipe? Make sure you’re using full fat block style cream cheese for this cheesecake recipe. Otherwise it may just need more time to bake!

  6. We loved this cheesecake! I made no changes. It was easy to make and delicious. I used Comstock cherry pie filling.

  7. I want to do 1/2 cr.cheese and half Ricotta. OK? I do not like dense cheesecakes AT ALL. Then I might as well eat the brick cheese, right? That will work right? Thank you
    Please respond as soon as possible; it it the 9th and 8;37AM Wednesday.

    1. Hi Sarah, you can try 1/2 cream cheese 1/2 ricotta cheese. Hope you enjoy it!

  8. Hello, Sally’s team! Thanks for sharing wonderful recipes! By the way how does this recipe differ with the one that has sour cream and needs a water bath? Thank you!

    1. Hi Shelia, yes, this one is slightly different — written for a smaller batch and to not require a water bath. Let us know if you give it a try!

      1. Hi, Lexi! I did try this recipe and I must say it’s very easy and simple! I love it! No complex techniques involved and the flavor and texture are amazing. Perfect for beginners like me. Thanks and more power to the whole team!

  9. Hi sally! What temperature do i need in order to bake big batches of cheesecake?
    Like if i bake 3 sets of 8” round pans in one oven, should i be using a higher temperature?

    1. Hi Kathia, we recommend baking them at the same temperature, but be sure that all of the layers fit onto the same oven rack without being overcrowded (and don’t bake them on different level racks). Also keep in mind that ovens sometimes have hot spots, so some layers may brown more quickly than others.

  10. If I made this in a circular 6 inch springform cake pan, what would the bake time and temperature be?

    1. Hi Emily, we haven’t tested it but we don’t see why that wouldn’t work. Same baking temperature, but we’re unsure of the exact bake time. Let us know if you try!

  11. Thank you for this recipe! It was perfect for my daughters birthday. Followed the recipe exactly with the exception that I used Digestive biscuits (UK cookie brand!) plus the strawberry sauce and it was delicious!!

    1. My husband was doing keto so I tried this. Recommend using muffin cup liners with just a sprinkle of graham crumbs on the bottom (no sugar or butter added, just the crumbs)

  12. This recipe is great! Thank you for sharing. Downside is I always want more after.
    I did have one question though, I don’t have issues with the filling and I have made this twice, but my crust is always so hard, what could I do better?
    It’s probably something as simple as not putting the crust in for as long?

    1. Hi Hollyvera, you can try slightly reducing the bake time on the crust and that should help it from hardening as much. So glad you enjoy this one!

    1. Hi Lorrie, same temperature, but the bake time is usually just a bit longer for glass pans. Keep a close eye on it. Enjoy!

  13. I have been using another one of your cheesecake recipes and always get compliments. I bought a 6in springform pan and I think I’m gonna give this a go in that. I hate making a huge cheesecake for 3 people to enjoy.

    1. Many of our readers use digestive biscuits in place of graham crackers!

  14. Hi Sally! This is my favorite cheesecake recipe but I wish I could make a bigger batch. Can I double the recipe and bake it in a round 9 inch springform pan? Do I need to change anything (temperature, baking time, etc)? No water bath please!

  15. I am keto so made this using monk fruit/erythritol. also made a pecan crust instead of gram crackers. I am gluten free.. the filling was thick i think because a block of cream cheese is a bit bigger in Canada. Its in the oven now. hope being so thick it comes out ok.. not a pourable batter thats for sure..

  16. Hello Sally,
    If I wanted to make this into a lemon cheesecake would I need to use both lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon and how much would I need?

    1. Hi Jessica! You could try adding just a bit more lemon juice, but we caution against adding too much for fear that the cheesecake won’t set properly. You can certainly add some lemon zest for a stronger lemon flavor — start with about a teaspoon and then adjust for future batches depending on how lemony you’d like it. Alternatively, you could top the finished cheesecake with lemon curd. Let us know what you try!

  17. I am going to use this recipe but did not want to use the loaf pan. I have 3 – 4″ springform pans I would like to use. I plan to wrap them in foil with no water bath since they are small. Would the baking time be some what the same? Should I bake them on a sheet tray.

    1. Hi Angela, we haven’t tested it but we don’t see why that wouldn’t work. Same baking temperature, but we’re unsure of the exact bake time. Let us know if you try!

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