My husband loves cheesecake, but most cheesecake recipes wayyy too large for the two of us, so I’ve been working my way toward the “perfect cheesecake for two” recipe. Long in development in my household, and I’m thrilled to finally be ready to share it with you!
You might read the recipe list below and think, “holy smokes — that’s an entire fridge of produce for one mini cheesecake?!” Well, dessert, like wine, needs to be in balance. Rich cream cheese, tangy sour cream, sweet glaze playing off the acidity of the fruit. The result of all these ingredients is a fresh and fragrant dessert that you’ll love to both smell and savor. Breathe it in, my friend – this recipe is hard work and the enjoyment well earned.
4 hours or overnight for fruit marinate
1 hour to prepare and bake the cheesecake
Let cool for at least 1 hour in the fridge, or overnight before serving
- 5” springform pan
easier to find than you might think — check this link from Amazon!
- 2.5 graham cracker sheets
- 2T coconut oil, melted then cooled, plus a little extra for greasing the pan
you could use butter, but I like what coconut oil brings to the party
- 1/4c plus 2 tsp of cane sugar
- 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
full fat, none of that fancy-sounding neufchâtel that tastes like plastic!
- 2 tsp greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp fresh grated lemon zest
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp orange extract
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- ½ inch wide, fresh orange peel
- ⅔ cup semi-dry to semi-sweet white wine
- 3 tbsp honey
- 6-8 small strawberries, blueberries optional
Marinating the fruit
- Wash, destem, then slice the strawberries in half, then place cut side down on a paper towel
- In a saucepan, add ⅔ cup of wine and heat on medium until simmering
- Slice a generous ½” of peel the length of your orange. Twist the peel gently over the pan to release the orange oil, and drop the peel into the pan. Add in 3 tbsp of honey.
- Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer 8-12 minutes. Sip some wine while you reflect on how perfect and delicious your cheesecake will be. When the liquid is removed by half, remove the pan from the heat to cool slightly
- Place the strawberries cut-side down in a shallow dish (if using blueberries, sprinkle in whole) and drizzle with the honey-wine reduction (discard the orange peel)
Prepare the crust
- Heat the oven to 325
- Grease the bottom of the springform pan well
- In a food processor add 2.5 graham cracker sheets, coconut oil, 2 tsp sugar and ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- Pulse until it resembles fine sand, then press into the pan
- Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown and remove from oven to cool slightly
Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature before mixing, or you’ll have a lumpy cheesecake! I recommend leaving it out at least an hour.
- Bump the heat in the oven up to 500 degrees
- In a blender / with whisk attachment, add the cream cheese and beat on medium for 2 minutes
- Add sugar and a pinch of salt and beat on medium-high for 2 more minutes, scraping sides of the bowl to be sure its well-mixed
- Add sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, orange extract and beat another minute
- Add the egg, and beat for another minute while making sure sides of the bowl are scraped
- Carefully grease the sides of the springform pan, being sure not to break the crust
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan
- Cook at 500 degrees for 7 minutes
- Leaving the oven door closed, reduce the heat to 200 degrees and bake another 18-20 minutes
How to tell when cheesecake is done? It can be difficult to tell when a cheesecake is done, as it will have a gelatinous texture until it has cooled and set. If you have a grilling or candy thermometer, insert in the center and be sure it reaches 150 degrees.
Topping with Fruit & Serving
- Allow it to cool for an hour before topping with fruit
- A word of warning: this gorgeous cheesecake is more Instagram photo-worthy than it is easy to slice; its best served with two forks and a laugh!
If you’re looking for dessert on the lighter side, head over to Pairs Well With for a recipe for Grilled Nectarines with Balsamic and Basil, featuring the same honey-wine glaze. It’s simply sublime!