Can you half a cheesecake recipe? Yes, you can, and this is how to do it. This recipe is quick, easy, and convenient and since there is half the batter, it is baked in a loaf pan.
Cheesecake in a 9×5 inch Bread Pan
Did you know that cheesecake can be made in pretty much any sized baking pan? Well, almost. I thought it would be cool to make it in a loaf pan but hadn’t actually gone through with the idea up until now.
It was funny seeing cheesecake in a rectangular shape but it tasted just as good as the circular ones! So creamy and delicious.
Toppings & Decoration Ideas
- Strawberry sauce or compote (what you see in these pictures)
- Whipped cream
- Salted caramel
- Chopped nuts
- Drizzle with melted chocolate (any kind)
- Pie filling (blueberry, cherry, etc.)
- Lemon curd
- Fresh fruit
- Sprinkles (can also be added into the batter itself)
These are just some of the tasty things you can use to top your cheesecake with. There are many more. Let me know what you choose in the comments below!
Basic Loaf Pan Cheesecake
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Graham Cracker Crust:
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 blocks (8 oz / 250 grams each) full-fat cream cheese, softened completely at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving enough hanging over the sides to easily lift the cake out.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs until evenly combined.
- Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan in an even layer.
- To a large bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar and mix well until smooth.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Do not over beat! *Batter will be very runny.
- Pour the batter on top of the crust and smooth it out into an even layer.
- Bake for 40 – 42 minutes until the top is set and the center jiggles when the pan is gently shaken.
- Cool in pan completely, placed on top of a wire rack (about 2 hours).
- Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, overnight is best!
- Lift cake out of the pan using the parchment, slice and serve plain or with your favorite toppings. *For a creamier texture let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
- No mixer? No problem! The loaf pan cheesecake you see in all of the pictures above was made by hand using a spoon. As long as your ingredients are completely at room temperature, you will have no issues mixing whatsoever and your cheesecake will be smooth, creamy, and lump-free.
- How to eliminate lumps in the batter: Use a spoon to press them against the side of the bowl.
- Refrigerating overnight will yield the best results!
- Slicing the cheesecake: For clean cuts, it is best to use a large sharp knife. Prior to cutting, dip or run the knife under hot water. After the first cut, dip or run the knife under hot water again, and wipe it clean with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Repeat until done.
- How long will it last? If covered tightly, this cheesecake will last for 1 week in the fridge. However, it is best eaten within the first 3 – 4 days.
- Freezing: This cheesecake freezes well. Tightly wrap each slice in plastic wrap, foil, or wax paper. Place in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible before closing, and freeze. It should last in the freezer for up to 1 month, maybe more.
- Thawing: You can thaw it in the fridge overnight or let it sit out at room temperature for about 40 minutes. Do not microwave! It ruins the texture.
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Cheesecake Recipe for Beginners
Just by looking at the ingredients you wouldn’t think that this cheesecake is anything special but the results are amazing for something that requires such little effort to make.
There are no special ingredients and there is no special method of baking. If you’ve never made cheesecake from scratch before, this is a good recipe to start with because it is perfect for beginners.
Small Cheesecake Recipe
Cheesecake is a very rich and decadent dessert which is why most people only have 1 slice. If you are a 2 – 4 person household, there’s no way you could get through a full-sized cheesecake in one sitting or maybe even in one week. You’d most likely end up sharing it with the neighbors or tossing more than half of it in the freezer.
We tend to forget just how big full-sized cheesecakes really are. They serve about 12 people! That’s a lot. The great thing about this small-batch recipe is that it yields about half of that; 5 – 6 servings.
It’s also perfect for when you only have 2 cups or 16 ounces or 500 grams of cream cheese.
This basic cheesecake recipe calls for the most simple and minimal ingredients so there is no sour cream, no milk, no cream or whipping cream, no flour or cornstarch, and no gelatin. It really is basic but tastes anything but.
How many graham crackers would I need to make my own crumbs?
About 7 – 8 whole (rectangle) graham crackers.
Can I replace the granulated sugar with brown sugar?
What kind of Cream Cheese should I use?
Use full-fat block or brick style cream cheese. Do not use the spreadable kind packaged in tubs! Those are not ideal for baking.
You will need 2 blocks that are 1 cup or 8 ounces or 250 grams each.
It is best to use high quality cream cheese like Philadelphia.
Can I use low-fat cream cheese?
I don’t recommend it. Instead, I suggest searching for a recipe that specifically calls for that.
Why do the eggs need to be at room temperature?
So that the cream cheese does not revert to its hardened state.
I have no vanilla extract. Can it be replaced?
Yes, it can. You can replace it with lemon juice. You can also add the zest of half a lemon for a stronger flavor.
How to make Small-Batch Loaf Pan Cheesecake
This is a ridiculously easy baked cheesecake recipe that you can make at home completely from scratch without a mixer! No springform pan needed, no pre-baking the crust, and better yet, no water bath! It is straightforward and uncomplicated.
- Preheat the oven.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Mix together all of the crust ingredients. Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- Then mix together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Pour the batter on top of the crust and bake.
- Cool completely in the pan, placed on top of a wire rack.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Remove cake from the pan, slice and serve with your favorite toppings.
How to know when Cheesecake is done
When the top is set and the center jiggles when the pan is gently shaken, it is done. The center will naturally look softer than the rest of the cake.
If the center is really wet or soupy, it is under baked. If it is brown on top, it is over baked.
Do not use a knife or toothpick to check for doneness! This method is inaccurate since cheesecake is different from cake made with flour, and you may also cause it to crack.
- Make sure that all of the ingredients for the batter are at room temperature before beginning. Cold ingredients are hard to mix and will most likely result in a lumpy batter and therefore a lumpy cheesecake.
- Don’t over beat the eggs! Mix only as needed. You don’t want to incorporate air into the batter, just mix until they are blended in. Air will cause the batter to expand in the oven then collapse as it cools, causing cracks.
- Ensure that the batter is completely smooth before pouring it onto the crust. Lump-free batter will yield a smooth, creamy, and lump-free cheesecake.
- Line the pan with a little more parchment than needed. This is so you can use the excess parchment to easily remove the cake from the pan.
- Avoid opening the oven to take a peek. Opening the oven door often may cause the center of your cheesecake to sink and it may also lengthen the bake time. But if you absolutely must take a look, wait until it has been in the oven for at least 35 minutes.
- Do not place the cheesecake in the fridge while it is still hot. This will cause it to “sweat” from condensation. You do not want a soggy cheesecake, trust me.
- Cover the fully cooled cheesecake tightly before storing it in the fridge. This will prevent it from drying out and absorbing the odors from the fridge.
What to do if you don’t have a wire rack:
Place the very ends of the pan on two flat-surfaced objects of the same height. This will allow the air to circulate freely underneath the pan so that the cake can cool properly.
How to fix cracked cheesecake:
Fix the cake after it has been chilled!
Take a spoon and run it under hot water. Use the hot spoon to gently smooth over the top of the cheesecake where the crack is. You may also need to slightly push the crack together depending on how deep or wide it is. Re-wet the spoon as needed, and that’s it.
This solution is so simple that it almost seems like it won’t work, but I’ve used this method twice in the past and it works really well!
How to cut cheesecake without it sticking to the knife:
For clean cuts, it is best to use a large sharp knife.
Prior to cutting, dip or run the knife under hot water. After the first cut, dip or run the knife under hot water again, and wipe it clean with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Repeat until done.