Creamy, dreamy Small Batch Cheesecake. This easy, baked cheesecake has a Biscoff cookie crust and a luscious vanilla lemon cheesecake filling. You only need one block of cream cheese and it makes just 4-6 slices.
Small Batch Cheesecake, yes please!
If you’re looking for just a few perfect slices of dreamy, creamy baked cheesecake, you’ve come to the right place. Meet my easy Small Batch Cheesecake.
It boasts a sweet Biscoff cookie crust and an ultra rich and creamy cheesecake filling made with fresh lemon juice and zest. Baked in a loaf pan, it makes just four to six small slices.
Why you will love this recipe
- You only need a handful of regular ingredients
- It makes just 4-6 slices
- It boasts a beautiful rich and creamy texture
Yes we are back with another small batch recipe this week. After receiving so much love for our new Small Batch Brownies and Small Batch Cookie recipes, I couldn’t wait to share another easy, scaled down recipe with you.
This time, I wanted to make a simple cheesecake slice that would easily fit in a small nine by five inch loaf pan (just like our Small Batch Brownies). So I took everything we love about my White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars and scaled the recipe down.
After testing this recipe five times this week, I can tell you, she is g-o-o-d. I added plenty of vanilla for flavour, along with both lemon zest and lemon juice for that familiar tang and freshness cheesecake brings. One whole egg and an extra egg yolk helps to create that beautiful, rich texture – as well as plenty of sour cream.
I tried using different cookies for the crust, but found the sweet, spiced nature of Biscoff Lotus cookies paired perfectly with the vanilla-ry cheesecake. See the recipe notes for plenty of alternate options if you can’t get your hands on these cookies.
So here she is. A sweet, simple baked cheesecake that’ll easily serve two or four, with a leftover or two. It only uses one block of cream cheese, so it’s perfect when you need a little something sweet but you don’t have a heap of ingredients on hand. You. Are. Welcome.
how to make the cookie crust
- Use a food processor to crush your cookies until they resemble fine crumbs. Alternatively, you can place them in a sealed plastic bag and bash them using a rolling pin.
- Add melted butter and mix by hand until all cookie crumbs are completely covered in butter. It should resemble wet sand.
- Pour cookie crumbs into your prepared pan and use the back of a dessert spoon to firmly press down into one even layer. Place in the fridge while you make the cheesecake filling.
how to make the cheesecake filling
- Place your softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl, along with your sugar and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined and creamy. There should no lumps of cream cheese.
- Add egg and egg yolk and beat on a low speed until just combined. Take a moment to scrape down the sides of your bowl.
- Add lemon zest, lemon juice and sour cream. Beat again on a low speed until mixture is creamy and smooth. Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour cheesecake filling over your prepared cookie crust and gently smooth the top. Then it’s time to bake!
what is a water bath?
A water bath is simply a pan of hot water. When using a water bath for a baked cheesecake, it means taking your cheesecake pan and placing it inside a larger pan that’s filled with boiling water, so the water comes about halfway up the sides of your cheesecake.
As the cheesecake bakes, the steam from the boiling water helps the cheesecake to gently bake slowly and evenly. If you are using a springform pan, the bottom and sides need to be wrapped in aluminium foil to prevent any water leaking inside the cheesecake.
do I need to use a water bath?
A water bath is not absolutely necessary when making this Small Batch Cheesecake since we are dealing with a smaller quantity of cheesecake filling. However, I tested this recipe with and without a water bath and I did find it helped foster a creamier end result.
So if you’ve had trouble with cheesecakes cracking, sinking or baking unevenly in the past, a water bath might be the way to go. Since we’re not using a springform pan, it’s quick and easy to do, as there’s no chance of water leaking into your cheesecake. Just pop your loaf pan inside a bigger loaf pan that’s filled with a couple of inches of boiling water for an even bake.
Tips for making perfect cheesecake
- Choose the right cream cheese: Go with a full fat block of cream cheese, not the light or spreadable kind.
- Make sure your cream cheese is softened: Starting with soft cream cheese (not fridge cold) will help you achieve a nice smooth cheesecake batter with no lumps.
- Ensure your ingredients are at room temperature: This will help your ingredients combine quickly and easily. Adding cold ingredients to room temperature batter can cause it to curdle or separate. It can then be tempting to over mix your batter to get rid of any lumps, but this can add extra air to your batter and can cause your cheesecake to bake unevenly, crack and/or sink.
- Keep your mixer on low speed: As per above, it’s important not to over mix your cheesecake batter, so go low and slow.
- Consider using a waterbath: While a waterbath isn’t mandatory, it will help your cheesecake cook evenly and aid in creating a creamy texture. See above on how to make a waterbath.
- Bake at a low temperature: Cheesecakes are best baked low and slow, so be patient. Baking a cheesecake at too high temperature can cause it to be hard and firm, rather than soft and creamy.
- Let your cheesecake cool in the oven: To ensure your cheesecake doesn’t crack or sink, let it cool gradually in the oven for an hour before moving it to the fridge to chill.
- Allow your cheesecake to chill: Give your cheesecake plenty of time to chill in the fridge before slicing and enjoying.
Frequently asked questions
You can really use whatever store bought biscuits or cookies you prefer. I have tested this recipe with both Digestives and Biscoff Lotus cookies and both were wonderful. For a plain, more traditional cookie crust, go for Digestives, Graham Crackers or Arnotts Marie. For a sweeter, spiced crust, opt for the Biscoff Cookies. Or you can even do half, half, as long as you have 100 grams in total.
Yes absolutely! Make the night or day before serving and store in the fridge.
Yes you can, but you will need to adjust the cooking time as it’ll take longer to cook. For ease, you could try my regular-sized Lemon Cheesecake recipe instead.
Cheesecakes can be prone to cracking if you over beat the mixture (keep your mixer on low speed), your oven is too hot, you didn’t let the cheesecake cool down gradually or you didn’t cook it for long enough (an under baked centre will crack as it cools). See above on water baths – they can help!
More small batch recipes to love
A creamy baked cheesecake that makes just 4-6 slices.
- 100 grams (approximately 13 cookies) Biscoff Lotus cookies
- 40 grams (2 and 1/2 tablespoons) salted butter
- 250 grams (1 and 1/4 cup) full fat block cream cheese, softened, roughly chopped
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- Zest of 1 small lemon (approximately 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) full fat sour cream, room temperature, plus extra for serving
- Fresh raspberries, optional
- Preheat the oven to 170 C (340 F) standard / 150 C (300 F) fan-forced. Grease and line a 9 by 5 inch rectangular pan with baking or parchment paper, ensuring two sides overhang.
- Add cookies to a food processor and whiz until finely crushed. Melt your butter in the microwave, then pour over the cookie crumbs and mix well. It should resemble wet sand.
- Transfer your crumbs to your prepared pan and press down gently using the back of a dessert spoon to form one even layer. Pop crust in the fridge while you make the cheesecake batter.
- Place cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat using an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add egg and egg yolk, and mix on low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of your bowl.
- Add lemon zest, lemon juice and sour cream and beat on a low speed until smooth and creamy – but try not to over mix. Pour your cheesecake filling over your crust and smooth the top. (See below notes on using a water bath).
- Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until it no longer wobbles in the middle. Leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door ajar (with the oven turned off) for one hour.
- Transfer cheesecake to the fridge for 2-3 hours (or overnight) until it cools completely and becomes nice and firm before slicing. Top slices with sour cream and fresh raspberries.
Cookies: You can really use whatever store bought biscuits or cookies you prefer. I have tested this recipe with both Digestives and Biscoff Lotus cookies and both were wonderful. For a plain, more traditional cookie crust, go for Digestives, Graham Crackers or Arnotts Marie. For a sweeter, spiced crust, opt for the Biscoff Cookies. Or you can even do half, half, as long as you have 100 grams in total.
Butter: If you use unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.
Cream cheese: I recommend using a block of full fat block cream cheese, rather than the low fat or spreadable kind.
Sour cream: If you don’t have access to sour cream, you can use full fat Greek yogurt or thickened cream or heavy cream. However, for best results, I recommend full fat sour cream.
Water bath: A water bath can help your cheesecake bake slowly and evenly. To make one, simply fill a larger loaf pan or baking pan with a few inches of boiling water. Place it in the oven, then carefully place your cheesecake pan inside, so the hot water comes a few inches up the sides of your cheesecake. Bake as per above.