6 Inch Cheesecake Recipe
Looking to bake a small cheesecake? My 6 Inch Cheesecake recipe is a creamy dessert for two ideal for any occasion. Garnish with cherry pie filling, whipped cream, and more!
I’ve had several readers ask me how to make a cheesecake in a 6 inch springform pan they had in their kitchen.
Since the requests kept coming in, I decided to buy my own 6 inch pan to develop small cheesecake recipes for you.
I originally was going to start with pumpkin cheesecake since Thanksgiving is coming up soon, but both grocery stores I’ve checked were sold out of canned pumpkin.
Guess the canned pumpkin shortage IS true this year.
Rather than drive all over Pittsburgh, I grabbed a can of cherry pie filling to make this 6 Inch Cheesecake recipe.
It’s a small cheesecake for two people with a homemade graham cracker crust.
Because it’s a plain cheesecake, you can garnish it any way you want, from cherry pie filling to blueberry jamto whipped cream. I personally really love cherry.
This recipe is fairly easy to make, but there are some tips and tricks to ensure the perfect 6 inch cheesecake. That’s why the post is a little long, but I promise it’s all worth it in the end.
No more cracked, lumpy cheesecake!
What pan do I need for a 6 inch cheesecake?
You will need a 6 inch springform pan for cheesecake. Cheesecake is delicate, so you need to remove the sides; you cannot invert a cheesecake like you would with a cake.
This is the pan I bought (Amazon affiliate link), which is a 6 x 2 inch springform pan. This small cheesecake recipe will fill the pan to the very top, but it won’t overflow.
You can also buy a 6 x 3 inch springform pan (Amazon affiliate link). That just means you’ll have slightly more pan room at the top.
This recipe will not work in a 6 inch cake pan because it’ll be too hard to remove. If you have no other options you probably could, but it may not look pretty when serving.
Don’t have a 6 inch pan? You can bake mini cheesecakes or no bake mini cheesecakes in a muffin pan or small batch cheesecake bars in a loaf pan.
Have a 7 inch springform pan? Check out my 7 inch cheesecake recipe.
Have mini springform pans instead? Make my 4 Inch Cheesecake recipe.
How many does a 6 inch cheesecake feed?
You can cut a 6 inch cheesecake into 4-6 slices, which is equivalent to 4-6 servings.
I like to think of this as a small cheesecake for two people. Each person gets 2-3 slices to last them throughout the week.
I mean, when was the last time you ate *only* one slice of cheesecake?
If this is still too much cheesecake for you, check out my cheesecake for two recipe.
How to make a 6 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, but you can use any cookie crumb you want. I use a food processor to crush mine.
- 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 combine 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 eggs one a time, being careful not to overbeat the batter.
Finally, add the vanilla for flavor.
Transfer the batter to your graham cracker crust and place inside a water bath. Bake at 325F degrees for 65-75 minutes.
Do I need a water bath for cheesecake?
Yes, you need a water bath for a 6 inch cheesecake.
This recipe is based off of my 9 inch cheesecake recipe. With that recipe, you don’t need a water bath because it’s wide enough that the middle bakes evenly enough with the top.
However, my 6 inch cheesecake is much thicker, which means the top will brown and overbake before the middle is done.
I found this out the hard way with my first round of testing. The top was golden brown but the middle was underbaked by probably 10 minutes.
Had I continued baking until the middle was done, the top would’ve overbaked.
By using a water bath, the cheesecake will bake more evenly so the middle finishes baking before the top is too brown.
How to make a water bath
First, wrap your springform pan in foil to prevent the water from making a soggy crust. Make sure it’s tight so water doesn’t sneak in.
After filling your cheesecake pan with the batter, place it inside an 8×8 pan or larger.
Next, pour hot water into the 8×8 pan until the springform pan is halfway submerged in the water. Be careful you don’t accidentally splash water into the foil.
Now carefully transfer your pan to the oven and bake until done.
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 long is cheesecake good for?
Cheesecake can last up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Hopefully with a small cheesecake, it’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 plain cheesecake?
Because a plain cheesecake is essentially a blank canvas, there are plenty of ways to decorate a 6 inch cheesecake.
As you can see in the photos, I went with canned cherry pie filling. I bought a can because it’s not cherry season, but you can certainly make homemade cherry pie filling if it is.
Not sure what to do with leftover cherry pie filling? I have a list of 10+ Cherry Pie Filling Desserts you can make.
Not a cherry fan? Top with strawberry sauce or swirl in strawberry curd for a smaller version of my strawberry swirl cheesecake.
You can also decorate cheesecake with small batch homemade whipped cream.
To add some chocolate, cover it with ganache (learn how to make ganache with step by step photos).
Why did my cheesecake crack?
Nothing is more frustrating than spending over an hour baking a cheesecake, just to have the top 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 water bath to ensure even baking then 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.
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.
More Small Cheesecake Recipes
Here are more small cheesecake recipes for two:
6 Inch Cheesecake Recipe
Looking to bake a small cheesecake? My 6 Inch Cheesecake recipe is a creamy dessert for two ideal for any occasion.
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 16 ounces (2 blocks or 16 tablespoons) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature and not cold to the touch (do not sub fat free)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature and not cold to the touch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cherry pie filling, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325F. Wrap the outside of a 6x2 or 6x3 springform pan with foil.
- In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Pat into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
- 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 eggs, one at a time, for 1 minute each or until smooth (do not overbeat). Beat in the vanilla.
- Transfer the batter to the crust (if using a 6x2 pan, it'll fill to the top). Place the pan inside an 8x8 or larger pan.
- Pour hot water into the outside pan until the springform pan is halfway submerged in the water. Be careful you don't get water inside the foil.
- Bake 65-75 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 15 minutes in the water bath.
- Remove the pan from the water bath and let 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.
- Looking for more 6 inch cheesecake recipes? Check out Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust, Small Pumpkin Cheesecake, Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake, and Peanut Butter Cheesecake.
- Want to bake this in another pan? Check out my 7 Inch Cheesecake Recipe, 4 Inch Cheesecake, 9 Inch Cheesecake, and Mini Cheesecakes (muffin pan).
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This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchase.
I loved this post. Very detailed and informative. Pictures are beautiful. And…yes…pumpkin is very hard to find right now. I went to Walmart yesterday and the entire shelf was bare! I wanted to make my dogs a homemade treat and instead had to use applesauce and create something entirely different. Again, loved this post! Great job!
Thank you so much! I heard pumpkins were planted/harvested late this year, so supposedly in another month or so more pumpkin will be available. Let’s hope!
Trader Joe’s is the only place I’ve found pumpkin so far, Glad to know why it hasn’t shown up elsewhere.
Good to know! I may have to stop there if I still can’t find any.
Excellent recipe I added 2 teaspoon vanilla and half cup heavy cream
I use shortbread cookies for crust
Glad you enjoyed the recipe! Not sure why you added cream (or how you even had extra room in the pan) but glad it worked out.
Great idea to downsize cheesecake for the smaller pan, Carla! One thing that keeps me from making it more often is having a huge cake to finish—especially these days when having friends over is not an option. Your other small versions are great, too. I have a 7”pan; assume I could use that and reduce the baking time slightly because it will not be as high? Thanks, too, for including the temperature. I use my instant read thermometer for all my breads now and am glad to have a way to check cheesecake, too.
I don’t own a 7 inch springform pan (why are there so many pan options?! LOL) but I would guess yes. I’d check on it at 55 minutes then go from there.
Simply Amazing, my kids loved it. I think this is one of the best cheesecake recipes that I could replicate easily. Thank you
Oh wonderful! Glad everyone enjoyed the cheesecake.
How can I bake the cheesecake so I can transfer it to a cake plate once it’s done? Getting rid of the bottom of the springform Pan?
Yes, after it completely chills you should be able to remove the bottom of the pan with an offset spatula or knife. Depending on your pan, you may want to lightly grease the bottom so it doesn’t stick too much. My pan came with liners, so you can also line the bottom with parchment too.
Its really quite easy. I wrap the bottom with aluminum foil and spray it lightly with oil. When it is cold and ready to be plated I take a knife and slide it completely around the edge making sure to get it thru the center. Then you pick it all up and open the tin foil that is underneath. Place the cake on the tinfoil on the platter. Slide the aluminum foil out from underneath.
I have a question regarding how thick this cheesecake is. I am actually looking for a 6 inch thick cheesecake
This cheesecake is 6 inches wide and just under 2 inches tall.
Hi! Love the idea of scaling down a cheesecake recipe. I have 2 4-inch springform pans and plan to make cheesecake for a double-date couples valentine’s dinner where each couple shares a small cheesecake. Do you think I could use a recipe for a full size cheesecake and just split the batter? (4+4=8 right?? 😅) obviously the cooking time would be different, but I’ve made enough cheesecakes I feel I could watch it closely and pull it when it looks done.
You have to go by how many cups of batter the recipe makes rather than how big the pans are. A 6 inch pan holds roughly 4 cups. 4 inch pan holds roughly 1 cup. I would cut the recipe in half (use 1 egg yolk for half an egg) and divide between 2 pans.
I do have this 4 inch funfetti cheesecake, although it has extra butter for the funfetti flavor. You can probably swap out the 6 tablespoons butter and use 8 ounces cream cheese total but right now that’s a guess without testing: https://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2012/04/24/mini-funfetti-cheesecake-for-two/
And finally, I have this cheesecake for two in ramekins. You can double the recipe and make 4 ramekins for your double date: https://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2015/01/19/chocolate-and-plain-cheesecake-for-two/
Why no cream or sour cream in cheesecake recipes?
Because you don’t need it. Plus this batter fills up the whole pan, so if you added sour cream you would have leftover batter. You could reduce the cream cheese to make room for the sour cream, but then you’re stuck with leftover cream cheese. I find most people don’t like that concept. With that said, you can probably do 6 ounces cream cheese, 2 ounces sour cream if you wanted it.
Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly. You have an excellent website and I look forward to trying many of your recipes.
Made this recipe with a diary free cream cheese and it worked great! Have you tried a crustless version of this cheesecake recipe? I’m looking ahead for Passover recipes that can’t use graham crackers or most substitutes. Thanks!
Great news for the dairy free cream cheese! As far as no crust, I haven’t in a springform pan. You should be ok, although I’m not sure how well done the edges will get. Make sure you grease the pan first and wrap the outside in foil (the batter may leak more without a crust to stop it).
I do have this ramekin recipe without a crust. It makes less cheesecake than a 6 inch pan, but I can verify it works in a ramekin without a crust: https://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2015/01/19/chocolate-and-plain-cheesecake-for-two/
I make my cheesecake without a crust since I have to be gluten free and never have any problem and can turn it upside down off of the bottom of the springform pan. I do use parchment paper on the bottom.
You should try it with matzoh.
Ok have made this 3 times now and it always comes out just perfect……love the receipt, I top it with lemon curd and whipped cream……..yummy !!!! Thanks for the receipt……..Janice prout
Oh wonderful! Love how you used lemon curd.
Can I substitute the block of cream cheese with whipped cream cheese and how much would I need?
No. Block cream cheese and whipped cream cheese are not the same and won’t bake the same in a cheesecake.
Can you bake the crust separately first and then add the batter? If so, what are the temperature changes for that?
I haven’t tried it, but you can. Keep the temperature the same and bake about 10 minutes.
Hello, I’m using a fan assisted gas oven, can I still bake this with fan? For how long?
I don’t have a fan assisted gas oven, so I don’t have a way to test it. I highly recommend baking it with the fan off if it lets you. Otherwise, you’ll have to research how to adjust recipes for your oven.
can I bake this with an oreo crust? if so what amount can I use (I only want crust at the bottom)
Yes. 1 cup Oreo crumbs with icing + 2 tablespoons melted butter. You can see here with my chocolate cheesecake: https://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2020/10/22/6-inch-chocolate-cheesecake-recipe/
Can I use a 6′ aluminum foil pan? Of so should line it with grease/parchment paper?
Like a disposable pan? You need a springform pan because cheesecake is delicate to remove.
Yes it’s disposable so was wondering if I could use it a then tear away the pan
I haven’t personally tried it. Let me know if you do and how it turns out!
hi I baked this Friday it came out really good however I think I might have done something wrong. I was trying to make a mulberry jelly but it ended up sucking up all the liquid causing the cake to taste soggy. that was my only flaw also it didn’t taste like store-bought. I guess nothing can beat those professionals
How did you incorporate the mulberry jelly? Did you mix it into the batter? Swirl it into the cheesecake? Spread it on top of the crust? Also I’m not sure what you mean by sucking up all the liquid. Are you saying the cheesecake batter got soggy from the jelly? The crust got soggy? Lastly, did any water from the water bath accidentally get into your pan?
This recipe is great. So easy just have to plan ahead with the time. I made it for my husband’s birthday and he pushed away the empty plate saying “well that’s the best cheesecake I’ve ever had” I wish I could leave pictures. I did use oreos in the crust and mine took 70 minutes to get that perfect jiggle, I used a thermometer to make sure it was to temp. No cracks, so smooth and I’ve already told my friends they will be getting cheesecakes for their birthday this year. You need to try this recipe!
So happy you enjoyed the recipe!
It was a good cheesecake! If I wanted to half the cheesecake batter but still bake it in a 6” springform pan, how much would I reduce the time? (I don’t have a thermometer to check the internal temp).
I haven’t personally tried it but I’d say start checking around 35 minutes. My 9 inch cheesecakes take about 35-40 minutes. The 6 inch cheesecake takes much longer because it’s much thicker, so the middle takes longer to set up. My guess is if you cut it in half, it won’t be as thick so it won’t need as much time.
Just wondering if you could provide nutrition facts on your dishes.
Because I’m not a nutritionist, I don’t provide that info due to liability issues. However, there are plenty of sites out there who will calculate it for you. If you search for “calorie calculator”, you should come up with a few tools to help.
Hi Carla, also here in PA ;) been looking for a good good cheesecake recipe for a wedding cake I’m doing in a few weeks that is a bit more dense as the bride wants a 3 layer… have made this 2x for practice cakes my family and I LOVE it….. have done 1 9″ no water bath and now the 6″ with…. Question for you is….. How do you think this would hold up stacked 9″, 6″ & 4″ with top 2 layers being 3″ thick?? I do have cardboard cake rounds I plan to use, then thought even refrigerated may still not hold the weight of each other, so I have ordered plastic rounds with the dowels… Would Love to hear your thoughts?? Also will have Garnishments of fresh figs and black berries with some silk flowers and homemade strawberry drizzle just along the outside rims.
I have no experience with stacking cheesecakes, but my instinct says they’d be too heavy. Cheesecake is a delicate dessert and may sink/collapse on you.
I would like to make this into a Bailey’s Cheesecake. I have 6inch x 3 inch springform pan. What can I do to add that flavor?
Great question! I’ve made Margarita Cheesecakes before with alcohol (https://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2016/01/26/mini-margarita-cheesecakes/) and I know you do need to add a little bit of flour to compensate for the extra liquid. I would probably guess for a 6 inch cheesecake, 2 tablespoons Bailey’s plus 2 tablespoons flour. However, I’m not sure what the batter volume would be like without testing. Since you have a 3 inch deep pan instead of a 2 inch deep pan, I *think* you’ll be ok but won’t know until trying it. If you do go ahead with this, please let me (and other readers!) know how it turned out.
I have made this recipe twice and I will make it again. The change I made the second time was to add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the graham crackers when preparing the crust. I can say it benefited from the addition. Thanks for creating a permanent member of my dessert recipe file.
Glad you enjoyed the cheesecake recipe!
what do you bake it on in oven. i missed or overlooke that. 350 or less?
It’s the very first step…
I also have a 7” pan that I had bought for my Instant Pot. I saw from a prior comment that you would possibly reduce the baking time. What would you do about the water bath? The filling would not be as deep so it may adjust this piece as well. Thoughts?
I haven’t tested it in a 7 inch pan so I’m not 100 percent sure. I’d say it certainly wouldn’t hurt to use a water bath as opposed to not using it and having it underbaked.
Does this freeze well for a week or two
Yes! Whether you do the whole cheesecake or leftover slices, place your cheesecake uncovered on a baking sheet for about an hour or until firm. This is so the plastic wrap doesn’t tear your cheesecake. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and/or foil (or even both) then if possible, place in a freezer safe bag. I think a 6 inch cake will fit but if not, just make sure it’s completely wrapped in a foil. When ready to serve, let it thaw overnight in the fridge.
The texture and flavor of this cheesecake is phenomenal! Smooth and creamy. I also love the smaller size. Thank you for the delicious recipe! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Happy to hear you enjoyed it!
I used this recipe with several alterations, but the recipe is great for a 6 inch cheesecake pan. I used a pomegranate sauce, recipe on Pinterest, and crust made from Ginger snaps. So delicious!
Glad it worked out for you!
I have never made cheesecake before except in an 8 inch square pan, more like cheesecake squares. I found a 6 inch cheesecake pan at the store so decided to buy it & find a recipe. This recipe came up in my search & I’m so glad it did. Easy to follow and tasted wonderful! I will be making again. Love it!
Glad you enjoyed the recipe!