This small cheesecake is perfect when you need a small version of a cheesecake! This is a new york style cheesecake baked in a 6-inch springform pan. It is ultra creamy and topped with a cherry topping.
This small cheesecake is perfect if you need a small batch cheesecake for holidays or special occasions. Sometimes you want a cheesecake, but not a big cheesecake! This is the one for you.
I decided to make it a new york style cheesecake, so it is extra creamy and thick. I topped it with a cherry topping, this is optional since you can top it with whatever you would like!
Why This Small Cheesecake Recipe Works
- Graham cracker crust- This cheesecake has a graham cracker crust, because cheesecake isn't completely without it!
- Creamy baked cheesecake- The cheesecake batter is baked with a water bath to get the best texture.
- Cherry topping- The topping is made from frozen cherries so it can be made year long.
- Small version of a cheesecake- Normally my cheesecakes are made in a 9-inch springform pan, but this is made in a 6 inch version.
Step by Step Recipe Video
Ingredient Notes for Small Cheesecake
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Graham crackers- I used 1 sleeve of graham crackers. You can also use digestive biscuits if you are not in U.S., vanilla wafers, or any other type of cookie.
- Unsalted butter- The butter is melted for the crust.
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese. Pull this out 2 hours before baking so it is softened and room temperature.
- Sour cream- Use full fat sour cream or greek yogurt. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Heavy cream- Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking
- Cherries- Use frozen or fresh pitted cherries. I used dark sweet frozen cherries.
- Cornstarch- This helps to thicken the cherries.
- Dairy free- You can use your favorite dairy free options for this recipe!
- Gluten free- I haven't tested this gluten free. Let me know if you do.
Step By Step Instructions- Graham Cracker Crust and Cheesecake Batter
STEP 1: Make the crust. Using a food processor (or a big bag and a rolling pin), blend the graham cracker into a fine crumb. Pour the graham cracker crumbs into a small bowl. Then, add the white sugar and melted butter.
Use a fork to mix the crust together. Pour into the prepared pan and use your hands to have the crust go ⅔rds up the sides of the pan. Then, use the bottom of a spice jar to compact the crust down.
STEP 2: Bake. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Wait to start the cheesecake batter while the crust cooks. The crust needs to cool while you make the batter.
STEP 3: Beat the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on high speed for a total of 2 minutes.
Then, add the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until combined.
STEP 4: Add the eggs. Next, add the eggs one at a time and mix on low speed until just combined.
STEP 5: Pour. Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust and prepare a water bath. See below for more information on water baths.
STEP 6: Bake. Bake the cheesecake for 60-70 minutes until the edges are set and the middle has a slight jiggle.
Next, turn off the oven, prop open the door, and let the cheesecake cool for 30 minutes. This really helps preventing cracks post baking.
STEP 7: Chill. Cool the cheesecake on a cooling rack completely. Then, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
I decided to top this cheesecake with a cherry sauce. However, you can top the cheesecake with whatever you like!
Preventing Cheesecake Crack Tips
- Beat the wet ingredients minus the eggs on high speed. Everything need to be super creamy and smooth. Chunks of cream cheese can cause cracks.
- Add eggs on low speed. The goal is to have as little air as possible when mixing the eggs. Too much air can cause big bubbles in the cheesecake batter. It will make the cheesecake rise and fall too quickly when baking. Which causes cracks.
- Use a water bath. This is essential! See below for cheesecake tips.
- Cool the cheesecake. Once the cheesecake is done baking, it needs to sit in the hot oven for 30 minutes. This lets it cool slowly.
- If you were to put the cheesecake on the counter right after done baking, it will be too quick of a temperature change, which cause cracks.
How To Easily Remove The Cheesecake From The Pan
First, spray the springform pan with baking non stick spray. Next, line the bottom of the pan with a parchment paper circle. Make sure to spray the pan again.
Then, after the cheesecake has chilled overnight. The springform pan should pop right off. If it doesn't very gently use a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to pop it off.
Then, you should be able to lay the cheesecake on it's side to take off the bottom of pan and the parchment circle.
Water Bath Tips
The water bath provides a moist environment for the cheesecake. This is because of the steam. When it is too dry, it will create cracks in the cheesecake.
Here are two techniques to try. They both use a roasting pan with hot steaming water.
- Place the springform pan inside a 10 inch cake pan. Place the cake pan in the roasting pan. Fill the pan with the hot water (about halfway up the cake pan)
- Wrap the springform pan with foil twice very tightly. Place the springform pan inside the roasting pan. Fill the pan halfway up with hot water.
My favorite method is the first one. This won't let any water at all get into the crust. It makes baking cheesecake so easy!
The second option gives the chance to get water inside and create a soggy crust.
Yes! Bake in a muffin pan for 18-20 minutes. Follow this Mini Oreo Cheesecakes for instructions for mini cheesecakes.
You can also use an 8X8-inch square pan to make cheesecake bars too.
Yes you can! Let the cheesecake cool in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. Then, wrap in foil or plastic wrap tightly and freeze up to 30 days.
Let thaw for 2 hours before decorating.
- Parchment paper circles: I used 8-inch parchment paper circles for the bottom of the pan. I love to use the premade circles, so I don't have to cut it out of regular parchment paper.
- Baking spray: I use the nonstick spray that has flour in it.
- Offset spatula: I use this to easily spread the frosting or fillings.
Storing and Freezing
Store this small cheesecake in the fridge in an airtight container like a cake carrier. Store up to 5 days.
The cheesecake can be frozen in individual cake slices. Wrap each slice in plastic wrap or an airtight container. Freeze up to 30 days.
Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.
Other Cheesecake Recipes To Try
Try These Cheesecake Recipes!
- Nutella cheesecake
- Lemon blueberry cheesecake
- No bake Oreo cheesecake
- Cherry cheesecake
- Peanut butter cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups Graham cracker crumbs 1 sleeve of graham crackers
- ⅛ cup White granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoon Unsalted butter melted
- 16 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup White granulated sugar
- ¼ cup Sour cream room temperature
- ⅛ cup Heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 3 Large eggs room temperature
- 1 lb Cherries I used frozen cherries. Make sure they are pitted
- ½ cup White granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon Cornstarch
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 6-inch springform pan with baking non-stick spray. Line the bottom with a 6-inch or 8-inch parchment paper circle. Spray again.
- Using a food processor, blend the graham crackers into a fine crumb. In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter and mix with a fork.1 ½ cups Graham cracker crumbs, ⅛ cup White granulated sugar, 5 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Pour the ¾ths of the crumbs into the pan. Use your hands to press the crust up ¾ths the sides of the pan. Then, use the back of a spice jar to compact the bottom of the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Start this once the crust is done baking so it can cool. Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed for 1 minute. Add in the sugar and beat again for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl using a rubber spatula.16 oz Cream cheese, ½ cup White granulated sugar
- Add in the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla. Beat on medium until creamy.¼ cup Sour cream, ⅛ cup Heavy cream, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- Add in the eggs one at a time on low speed. Add as little air as possible during this step.3 Large eggs
- Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust. Prepare a water bath.
- Water bath. Use one of these methods for a water bath. Both methods use a large roasting pan and hot steaming water.1. Place the springform pan in a 10 inch cake pan. Place the cake pan in the roasting pan and fill with hot water halfway up the cake pan. This method prevent water getting into the crust.2. Wrap the springform pan tightly twice in aluminum foil. Place the spring form pan inside the roasting pan. Fill with hot water halfway up the spring form pan. This method works great, but can sometimes leak water into the crust.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes until the edges are set and the middle has a slight jiggle.
- Turn off the oven, crack open the door, and let it sit for 30 minutes to slowly cool.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool completely. Cover with foil and chill overnight or at least 6 hours.
- In a medium saucepan, add the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch. Heat on medium until the juice release and starts to bubble. Cook for 5 minutes until it starts to thicken. Cool completely before using.1 lb Cherries, ½ cup White granulated sugar, 2 tablespoon Cornstarch
- Take the pan and the parchment paper off of the cheesecake. Pour the cherry topping on top of the cheesecake.