4 Inch Cheesecake Recipe
Looking to bake cheesecake for two? This 4 Inch Cheesecake recipe makes two mini cheesecakes in springform pans. Garnish with cherry pie filling, strawberry sauce, and more!
With Valentine’s Day coming up quickly, I wanted to squeeze in one last dessert for two with this 4 Inch Cheesecake recipe.
It’s two mini 4 inch cheesecakes with a graham cracker crust then topped with strawberry sauce and cherry pie filling.
I’ve had my 4 inch springform pans for a really long time, probably even since college. I even bought a set of the heart pans, but I no longer have them.
A couple of you asked for a mini springform cheesecake recipe, so this is for you.
I debated between baking 1 or 2 cheesecakes. I knew I made only 1 cheesecake, you would have leftover cream cheese and an egg white.
I asked you on Facebook which you preferred, and you said 2 mini cheesecakes so you don’t have leftover ingredients.
Fair enough! I did include instructions for one 4 inch cheesecake if that’s what your heart desires. Or you can eat one now, freeze the second for later.
What pan do I need for a 4 inch cheesecake?
You will need a 4 inch springform pan for mini cheesecake. It’s important to use a springform pan because cheesecake is delicate, so you cannot invert it like you would with a cake.
Most of the time you can buy a set of three 4 inch springform pans. My recipe makes 2 mini cheesecakes, so having a set comes in handy.
How many does a 4 inch cheesecake feed?
4 inch cheesecakes are quite tiny, so you can get about 1-2 servings out of each, depending on how much you want to eat.
Personally I say it’s 1 serving, but American portions are much larger than what they should be, so the official answer is probably 2 servings.
How to make a 4 inch cheesecake from scratch?
Cheesecake is made up of a few easy ingredients:
- Graham cracker crumbs: Graham cracker is the most traditional for the crust. I use a food processor to crush mine into crumbs.
- Butter: Needed to bind the crust
- Cream cheese: It’s not cheesecake without cream cheese! Make sure you’re using full-fat cream cheese. The low fat and fat free versions have more water in them and may be too watery after baking.
- Granulated sugar: Adds a bit of sweetness to balance out the tanginess of the cream cheese
- Eggs: As with all baking recipes, use large eggs.
- Vanilla: Adds flavor to the batter
First mix together the crumbs and butter then pat it into the bottom and up the sides of your springform pan to form a crust.
Next beat together the cream cheese and sugar until super smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Then beat in the egg, being careful not to overbeat the batter.
Finally, add the vanilla for flavor.
Transfer the batter to your graham cracker crust and bake at 350F degrees for 25-28 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150F degrees..
Do I need a water bath for cheesecake?
No, you do not need a water bath for 4 inch cheesecakes because they are small enough for the middle and top to bake evenly.
Water baths are used to help the middle cook at the same time as the top. This ensures the top doesn’t burn before the middle is cooked.
How to know when cheesecake is done baking
One of the challenges about baking cheesecake is knowing when it’s done baking.
Because cheesecake is technically a custard, it will wiggle in the middle even after it’s done. If it doesn’t wiggle, you overbaked it.
The edges should be firm and brown. Only the direct middle will still slightly jiggle.
The best way to ensure cheesecake is done baking is with a digital thermometer. The internal temperature of a cheesecake should be 150F degrees.
Of course this’ll leave a hole in your cheesecake, but you can easily cover that up with cherry pie filling or whipped cream.
It’s better to have a hole (or two) than underbaked cheesecake.
How do you make a cheesecake for one?
One of the challenges about small batch baking is how to halve an egg.
Although my recipe makes two 4 inch cheesecakes, you can still cut it in half to bake a cheesecake for one. Use 1 egg yolk for half an egg.
How long is cheesecake good for?
Cheesecake can last up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Hopefully with mini cheesecakes, they’ll be gone before then.
Is it ok to leave cheesecake out overnight?
No, cheesecake must be refrigerated overnight because it is perishable with the cream cheese.
You can leave it out for a few hours while it cools down, but then you need to refrigerate it.
How do you decorate a mini cheesecake?
Because a plain cheesecake is essentially a blank canvas, there are plenty of ways to decorate a 4 inch cheesecake.
My top two favorites are my strawberry sauce and cherry pie filling.
I bought canned cherry pie filling because it’s not cherry season, but you can certainly make homemade cherry pie filling if it is.
Want to use different fruit? You can substitute blueberries or raspberries for the recipes listed.
Or decorate with small batch homemade whipped cream.
Why did my cheesecake crack?
Nothing is more frustrating than spending all that time making a cheesecake just to have it crack!
Here are several reasons why your cheesecake may have cracked:
- Overbeating the batter: We all love a smooth cheesecake but overbeating the batter incorporates too much air, which causes the cheesecake to puff higher than it should. As it cools, it continues to sink then crack.Solution: Only beat the batter for as long as it takes to mix everything together. You can try to beat some of the lumps out, but if it’s too lumpy, no amount of beating will fix that.
- Overbaking the cheesecake: I get it. You want to make sure your cheesecake is baked in the middle. However, overbaking will result in a dry top, which then results in cracks.Solution: Use a digital thermometer to determine the internal temperature reaches 150F.
- Cheesecake stuck to the pan: Sometimes the edge of the cheesecake will stick to the pan. Cheesecake naturally deflates when it cools. If it’s stuck to the pan, it’ll continue to deflate while the edges stay in place, resulting in tears and cracks.Solution: Immediately run a knife around the edge to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan.
- Opening the oven door too much: It’s ok to open the oven door when checking for doneness, but you don’t want to do it too early or too many times. Every time you open the door, heat escapes and lowers the oven temperature. Too much drastic change in temperature can cause cracking.Solution: Only open the oven door towards the end of baking when you’re checking for doneness.
Why is my cheesecake lumpy?
If your cheesecake batter is lumpy, chances are your cream cheese and eggs are too cold.
Make sure they sit out at room temperature until no longer cold to the touch. I let my ingredients sit out about 2 hours or so, but it’ll depend on how cold your kitchen is (think summer vs. winter).
If your cream cheese is still too cold, microwave (without the foil wrappers!) in 5-10 second increments until no longer cold to the touch. Be careful you don’t accidentally melt it!
To warm up eggs, place them in a warm bowl of water and let sit for about 15 minutes or until no longer cold to the touch.
If your batter is still lumpy, sometimes it’s the brand of cream cheese. Some brands have more stabilizers than others. The less stabilizers present, the smoother your cream cheese will be.
What to do if my cheesecake batter is lumpy
Unfortunately no amount of beating will smooth out the lumps. And the lumps certainly won’t melt while baking.
Sometimes you can use a blender to smooth out the lumps. This method may incorporate too much air, which could cause the cheesecake to crack. However, you can cover the cracks with a garnish.
Sometimes you can run the batter through a strainer. You may lose some of the batter in the process, but at least it’ll be smooth.
Can you freeze cheesecake?
Yes, you can freeze cheesecake!
Maybe you only want to eat one cheesecake now then freeze the second for later. Or maybe you’re baking ahead of time due to your busy schedule.
Regardless of your reason, here is how you freeze my 4 inch cheesecake recipe. It’s best to freeze a plain cheesecake without any garnishes.
First, make sure it has 100% cooled completely. Cheesecakes take awhile to cool, so do not attempt to freeze it before then.
Next, remove it completely from the pan (bottom too!). Then place on a baking tray or plate and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
When firm, wrap in plastic wrap then either wrap in foil or place inside a freezer-proof plastic bag. Write the date on your cheesecake then freeze for up to 1 month.
How To Thaw Cheesecake
When ready to eat your frozen cheesecake, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Then garnish and serve as desired.
More Small Cheesecake Recipes
Here are more small cheesecake recipes for two:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- 8 ounces (1 block or 8 tablespoons) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature and not cold to the touch (do not sub fat free)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature and not cold to the touch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Wrap the outside of two 4 inch springform pans with foil*.
- In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of both pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Beat in the egg until smooth, about 1 minute (do not overbeat). Beat in the vanilla.
- Transfer the batter to the pans. Bake 25-28 minutes or until the edges are set and brown, the center is mostly set with some wiggling, and internal temperature reaches 150F degrees.
- Remove from the oven and carefully run a knife along the edge to loosen the cheesecake. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before garnishing and serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
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