For this easy baked cheesecake recipe you’ll need two blocks of cream cheese, some chopped almonds, and almond extract; no water bath, and no mixer required. So grab a bread pan and get baking! This one’s a keeper.
Cheesecake in a Loaf Pan
Yes, you read that right.
You can bake cheesecake in a loaf pan, you just need a smaller quantity of ingredients. When I made the original recipe it worked out so well and you all loved it so much that I decided to make this; the almond version, which is just as tasty.
So, if you’re craving almond cheesecake from scratch, this recipe definitely hits the spot! You can make it without a springform pan and you can use a spoon to mix the batter. It’s that easy. As long as you have a 9×5 inch loaf pan and some parchment paper, you are good to go.
Almond Extract Cheesecake
To pack this cake with as much almond flavor as possible without ruining the texture, I used pure almond extract.
This particular extract is very strong (if you’re used to baking with it then you already know this) and yet when you look at the recipe ingredients you will see that it calls for a whopping 1 1/4 teaspoons. Why so much? Because we can get away with it!
Let me explain.
Besides the extract, the batter is made up of only 3 ingredients; cream cheese, sugar, and eggs. That’s it. So as you can imagine, without any extract it tastes a lot like sweetened cream cheese with a hint of egg. Boring.
Because cream cheese on its own has a very powerful and distinct taste, adding that much almond extract to the batter gives it that lovely undeniable almond flavor that we want without drowning out the cream cheese flavor.
You will see exactly what I mean when you try it yourself.
Small Batch Cheesecake
This is basically a cheesecake recipe cut in half. That means you need half the ingredients (2 blocks or 16 ounces or 2 cups of cream cheese) and it is half the size. Even though the shape of it is rectangular you can still slice it into triangles like you would a classic round cheesecake (scroll up to the first picture to see how I did it).
That means this is perfect if you have a small family or for small gatherings. This small loaf pan cheesecake recipe yields six servings.
Almond Graham Cracker Crust
While I was brainstorming this recipe idea I thought about how I would incorporate the almonds.
For a minute there I actually thought about adding chopped almonds to the batter. Then I said to myself, are you nuts?! Pun intended. I think mixing them into the crust mixture turned out to be a much better idea. The texture contrast is just pure perfection.
To make things easier on yourself I highly recommend buying sliced almonds so that you spend less time chopping them into small pieces. That’s what I did.
Side note: Roasted almonds have a more intense flavor than raw almonds. I used raw almonds for the cheesecake you see in these pictures. Maybe next time I’ll roast them before using.
What About a Water Bath? Why doesn’t this Cheesecake need one?
Everyone knows cheesecake is a finicky thing to make. That’s why people usually avoid making them.
Besides needing a mixer and a springform pan, many recipes call for using a water bath (also known as a bain marie) when you bake. The purpose of that is to prevent the outside of the cake from baking faster than the center that way you avoid the edges being over baked and the center puffing up and sinking quickly causing cracks. Like I said, finicky.
So why doesn’t this cheesecake need a water bath? The answer to that is I have no idea.
All I know is it goes in the oven, it comes out without a crack, it chills, and the texture is just fine, more than fine actually. It is creamy, it is smooth, and so delicious. However, it does get slightly brown around the edges but that doesn’t affect the taste.
That being said, I’m just glad that this is one less step we have to do. Hallelujah.
How to Tell when this Cheesecake is Done
It will be two things:
- Completely set (fully baked) at the very top and around the edges
- Noticeably under baked in the center
That’s right. We’re not baking this cake all the way!
Why? Because it’s going to continue “baking” in the pan as it cools.
If you’ve never had almond cheesecake before you’re going to love this! Add it to your dessert rotation.
P.S. Don’t serve this to anyone with a nut allergy.
Loaf Pan Almond Cheesecake
Almond Graham Cracker Crust:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon (a dash) fine salt
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped almonds
Almond 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 1/4 teaspoons pure almond 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 salt.
- Add the graham cracker crumbs and the finely chopped almonds. Mix until evenly combined.
- Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the cream cheese and mix until smooth.
- Add the sugar and mix well.
- Beat in the eggs and almond extract. Do not over beat!
- 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. *For a creamier texture let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
- No mixer? No problem! I made this cheesecake by hand using a spoon. As long as your ingredients are completely at room temperature, you will have no issues.
- 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, I found that it is best to use a large sharp knife, running it under hot water then wiping it clean with a kitchen towel or paper towel before and after each slice. Yes, it is tedious but a lot less messy.
- 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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