Basic Loaf Pan Cheesecake

by Beat Bake Eat

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.

{Full recipe at the bottom of the page.}

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. Mix together all of the crust ingredients. Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Then 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 and bake.
  7. Cool completely in the pan, placed on top of a wire rack.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  9. 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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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

Crystal | Beat Bake Eat
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.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Calories 486 kcal

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
 

  • 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.

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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Nutrition

Calories: 486kcal
Keyword cheesecake in a loaf pan, cheesecake recipes, small cheesecake recipe
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Recipe Rating




30 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.

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Vicki Bateman August 5, 2020 - 8:16 am

Can I use the less fat cream cheese?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Linda November 11, 2020 - 12:39 pm

Hello
i was wondering if this could be made in mini loaf pans?
thank you so much for being so good with explaining things.
Linda

Reply
Crystal | Beat Bake Eat November 11, 2020 - 6:31 pm

You’re welcome, Linda! Here to help. Yes, I believe you can make this in mini loaf pans. I think the batter would be enough to fill 4 cavities (maybe more). However, I’m not sure how long you’d have to bake them for. Maybe 18 – 20 minutes? If you try it let me know how it turns out!

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Tom December 5, 2020 - 2:47 pm

hello ladies … i’ve spent my Saturday afternoon researching recipes for my mini loaf pans, and what i’ve found is that cook time for 9 X 5 recipes should be reduced by 25 % for 5 X 3 pans … so when i try Crystal’s recipe i’ll be looking at 30 – 31.5 minutes … but i will be baking in an air oven (another variable), so i’ll just turn the light on and keep an eye on them 😉

Reply
Crystal | Beat Bake Eat December 6, 2020 - 9:38 am

Thanks for the tip, Tom! How did it go?

Reply
Alice Palstring November 18, 2020 - 11:42 am

Can you add chocolate to this? I love chocolate cheesecake.

Reply
Crystal | Beat Bake Eat November 18, 2020 - 5:19 pm

Hmm, I’m not really sure. I’ve never done it. I think it would be better if you searched for a chocolate cheesecake recipe with great reviews and cut it in half instead.

Reply
Linda Green December 3, 2020 - 1:14 pm

I just want the cheese cake without the crust. Can I do this?

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat December 3, 2020 - 6:12 pm

Yes, I believe you can. Make sure you line the pan with parchment paper though! Do not skip that step.

Reply
Amber December 13, 2020 - 1:30 pm

This was just what I was looking for! I didn’t want to make a full cheesecake and tried your recipe. It was perfect!

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat December 16, 2020 - 6:31 pm

Yay! That’s great to hear! Thanks so much for the 5-star rating.

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Joy January 13, 2021 - 11:19 pm

This recipe looks delicious – I can’t wait to try! Instead of graham crackers for the crust I have Biscoff cookies. Thank you for sharing your cooking expertise!

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat January 18, 2021 - 11:47 am

Ouu, that sounds yummy! Let me know what you think!

Reply
Estrella February 22, 2021 - 12:49 am

Hi, do you think I could make a apple crumble cheesecake with your recipe?

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat February 22, 2021 - 10:24 am

Yes, absolutely! But you may have to reduce the sugar in the batter to 1/2 cup depending on how much sugar will be in the crumble. Just use your best judgment.

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Deanne January 17, 2021 - 9:28 am

Delicious ans very easy! I’m making it a second time because we loved it and even as we are trying to cut back on sweets, serving 1/12 of it doesn’t break the calorie bank. I served it with Stonewall Kitchen’s Sour Cherry Sauce, which was very tasty. This time I’ll add a bit of lemon zest to the batter and serve it with a blueberry sauce I found on Pinterest. Thanks so much for your excellent recipe and instructions!

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat January 18, 2021 - 11:53 am

I’m so glad you like it enough to make it a second time! I love your creativity. Both versions sound delicious. Thank you for leaving a review, Deanne.

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Deanne May 28, 2021 - 8:06 am

Making your recipe again, this at least the 4th time, second time I’m doing it for a birthday gift and throwing in a fruit preserve. Blackberry jam swirled in for a friend who loves that flavor, gave her the rest of the jar to add as topping. Next is a friend who likes strawberry and rhubarb so I made a sauce for her cake. A great recipe – thanks again!

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Beat Bake Eat May 29, 2021 - 11:49 am

You just keep on impressing me with these ideas!!! That blackberry jam one sounds bomb; definitely gotta try that in the future. I know both of your friends will enjoy them. And you’re inspiring me to come up with some ideas of my own. I’m brainstorming.

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Geri March 12, 2021 - 7:50 pm

This is the best cheesecake recipe!!! Just enough for the 3 of us. I am making one for my son for when we go visit him this weekend and he will love it! Thanks Crystal!!! I am no longer intimidated by baking a cheesecake!

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Beat Bake Eat March 13, 2021 - 9:24 am

Aw!! I’m really happy to hear that, Geri. This was my very intention when I posted this recipe because I used to feel intimidated when it came to making cheesecakes too. I hope he loves it! Thanks so much for taking the time to review my recipe.

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Mona March 16, 2021 - 12:35 am

This was easy, delicious and we loved it. What a great idea to make just the right size and less than half of the ingredients. The instructions were clear and direct. Seriously, we loved it. Thanks so much for posting this. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.

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Beat Bake Eat March 16, 2021 - 11:26 am

You’re very welcome, Mona! It really is a great idea, isn’t it? I love everything about this recipe and I’m glad you feel the same way. I always try my best to make my recipe instructions as straightforward as possible so thank you. Happy baking!

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