This is the perfect cheesecake for a small gathering. It makes one loaf-sized cheesecake that can be cut into 5 classic triangular slices (or up to 10 strips if you’re not feeling fancy). I rarely make cheesecake, not because I don’t love it — I’m obsessed — but because I can’t have a cake hanging around.
And the beauty of this recipe is that it’s small! Not as small as Cheesecake Bites but just about. It creates half of a cheesecake so you aren’t haunted with the delicious leftovers (that keep really well in the fridge).
It’s easy to make, has that perfectly smooth texture that cheesecake should have, and it’s absolutely delicious. If you like a classic cheesecake, stick with the graham cracker crust; for a twist, crush up shortbread cookies or oreo cookies. And as always, top with whatever your heart desires. Maybe a fruit coulis? A drizzle of caramel? Fresh seasonal fruit slices? A lemon curd? I personally love my cheesecake pure and plain but the choice is yours! And check out Japanese Cheesecake.
- 1 1/3 cups graham crackers, crushed (8 crackers) or crushed shortbread cookies
- 3 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 16 oz. cream cheese, softened two 8 oz. blocks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- fresh sliced fruit or a drizzle of melted chocolate or lemon curd to finish
- Lower the oven rack to the lowest third position. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper (with enough overhang on each side to easily remove the finished cheesecake); set aside.
- Crush graham crackers in a bowl with a pastry cutter or by placing in a zip-lock bag and whacking with a large pan until crushed. In a medium bowl, prepare your crust by combining the melted butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs. Spread the mixture evenly into prepared pan, pressing down to make an even layer. Bake 22 minutes.
- While the crust bakes, make the filling. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl (or in a stand-mixer), until smooth. Beat in the sugar, egg, vanilla, and lemon juice until smooth and combined. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the warm crust.
- Bake the cheesecake for 40-45 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, transfer to refrigerator for at least 4hours.
- To serve, remove the cheesecake from the pan, peel away the parchment and slice. Top with optional toppings.