Basic Loaf Pan Cheesecake

by Crystal | Beat Bake Eat
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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.

Basic Loaf Pan Cheesecake - Homemade small-batch cheesecake that is quick & easy to make, simple ingredients, no sour cream, no water bath needed; perfect for beginners. Serve this creamy dessert plain or with your favorite toppings. | Beat Bake Eat

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.

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.

Basic Loaf Pan Cheesecake - Homemade small-batch cheesecake that is quick & easy to make, simple ingredients, no sour cream, no water bath needed; perfect for beginners. Serve this creamy dessert plain or with your favorite toppings. | Beat Bake Eat

These are the Ingredients You’ll Need:

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.

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs

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?

Yes. 

For the Cheesecake Batter:

  • 2 blocks cream cheese, softened completely at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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.

Basic Loaf Pan Cheesecake - Homemade small-batch cheesecake that is quick & easy to make, simple ingredients, no sour cream, no water bath needed; perfect for beginners. Serve this creamy dessert plain or with your favorite toppings. | Beat Bake Eat

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.

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together all of the crust ingredients. Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  5. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  6. Pour the batter on top of the crust.
  7. Bake for 40 – 42 minutes.
  8. Cool completely in the pan, placed on top of a wire rack.
  9. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  10. 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.

Basic Loaf Pan Cheesecake - Homemade small-batch cheesecake that is quick & easy to make, simple ingredients, no sour cream, no water bath needed; perfect for beginners. Serve this creamy dessert plain or with your favorite toppings. | Beat Bake Eat

Recipe Tips:

  • 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.

Basic Loaf Pan Cheesecake - Homemade small-batch cheesecake that is quick & easy to make, simple ingredients, no sour cream, no water bath needed; perfect for beginners. Serve this creamy dessert plain or with your favorite toppings. | Beat Bake Eat

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!




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5 from 3 votes
Basic Loaf Pan Cheesecake - Homemade small-batch cheesecake that is quick & easy to make, simple ingredients, no sour cream, no water bath needed; perfect for beginners. Serve this creamy dessert plain or with your favorite toppings. | Beat Bake Eat
Basic Loaf Pan Cheesecake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

A quick, easy, and convenient recipe for small-batch baked cheesecake in a loaf pan. Perfect for beginners or those looking for a simple way to cut a cheesecake recipe in half.

Course: Dessert
Calories: 486 kcal
Author: Crystal | Beat Bake Eat
Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
Cheesecake Batter:
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving enough hanging over the sides to easily lift the cake out.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs until evenly combined.
  4. Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan in an even layer.
  5. To a large bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar and mix well until smooth.
  6. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Do not over beat! *Batter will be very runny.

  7. Pour the batter on top of the crust and smooth it out into an even layer.
  8. Bake for 40 – 42 minutes until the top is set and the center jiggles when the pan is gently shaken.

  9. Cool in pan completely, placed on top of a wire rack (about 2 hours).
  10. Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, overnight is best!

  11. 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.

Notes
  • 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.

LOOK AWAY!! LOOK AWAAAAAY!! 


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8 comments

Amy July 18, 2020 - 4:45 pm

It sounds great! Love that you gave us all kinds of options with the ingredients, and the directions were well-written and easy to follow. I live alone, and would like to make a cheesecake once in a while, without having to throw away half of it. Thank you!

Reply
Crystal | Beat Bake Eat July 19, 2020 - 11:55 am

Thank you for your kind words, Amy! I tried to cover as much as possible and I did my very best writing clear instructions because making cheesecake can be intimidating. I hear you. That’s one of the main reasons why I published this recipe. If you give it a try I’d love to know how it turns out! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Reply
Vicki Bateman August 5, 2020 - 8:16 am

Can I use the less fat cream cheese?

Reply
Crystal | Beat Bake Eat August 5, 2020 - 11:32 am

I wouldn’t recommend it. The batter is only made up of 4 ingredients and the fat in the cream cheese plays a big role so it’s highly likely that the taste and texture will be different. It won’t be as flavorful, as rich, or as creamy. Instead, I suggest searching for a recipe that calls for low-fat cream cheese.

Reply
Kim September 10, 2020 - 12:49 pm

I have never reviewed any recipe in my life and I feel silly since I have not made this yet. What I am reviewing is the writing style and thoroughness of this post. I have never read a blog post so complete! As I was reading it I thought surely she is not going to continue giving us some many tips and options, but you did! I am thrilled and cannot wait to find the time to read more of your posts. If they are all similar in content this will be the first blog that I subscribe too. Thank you for the great recipe that makes a family favorite so much easier to tackle.

Reply
Crystal | Beat Bake Eat September 13, 2020 - 8:25 pm

🤣 Thank you so much! I did my best to make sure I didn’t leave anything out so that the recipe turns out great for everyone, including those who have never made a cheesecake before. I’m so glad you like all of my tips! To be honest, most of my posts aren’t this in depth because those recipes are more straightforward and not as intimidating but they’re just as easy and delicious. You’re very welcome. I hope you enjoy it and I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment!

Reply
Linda October 15, 2020 - 8:32 pm

I made this today, loved it. My husband is from New York and nothing I have ever made has met his N.Y. cheesecake expectations. That said he commented that this was very good. I made this in jumbo muffin pans rather than a loaf pan. Had to extend the oven time to an additional 10 minutes. Also added some lemon zest. This is a winner! I’d add a photo, but I don’t know how.

Reply
Crystal | Beat Bake Eat October 17, 2020 - 9:50 am

That sounds amazing! I’m so glad you think my recipe is a keeper. 😁 Wow, “very good”. I’ll take that! Unfortunately, you can’t add a photo. But thank you so much for taking the time to rate and review my recipe, Linda!

Reply

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