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Three ingredient mini cheesecake (lactose free, FODMAP friendly)

A side on view of a Burnt Basque style mini cheesecake with a sprinkle of icing sugar against a dark backdrop

This three ingredient mini cheesecake came about by accident. I was attempting to make cream cheese danishes with the croissant dough from my cookbook when I realised that I had an excessive amount of cream cheese filling. Not keen to waste some perfectly good cream cheese, I threw it in the oven, Basque cheesecake style. The result? An adorable, delicious cheesecake for two, made with just three ingredients. 

Here in Australia, we’re lucky enough to have two different brands of lactose free cream cheese. They’re widely available at all the big supermarkets. I have heard from international readers that this isn’t the case everywhere. Fear not, however! You can make your own lactose free dairy products using lactase drops. Here is an article on how to DIY, if you’re so inclined. I plan to develop a recipe for homemade lactose free cream cheese, too.

A moody aerial view of a Burnt Basque style mini cheesecake, sprinkled with icing sugar and set against a dark metal backdrop

Three ingredient mini cheesecake

  • Needless to say, with only three ingredients this cheesecake does not have a base. It is inspired by Burnt Basque Cheesecake. Although it’s very similar, Burnt Basque cheesecake contains some additional ingredients, which is why I chose not to name it as such. 
  • As with any cheesecake, room temperature cream cheese is very necessary here. It’s the only way you will create a lump free cheesecake. You can leave it out on the bench before starting, or pop the pack (sans cardboard) in some warm water before you open it. 
  • Lactose free cream cheese is made by Philadelphia and Liddells here in Australia. A godsend if lactose (not dairy) is an issue for you. If you have a dairy allergy, these three ingredient mini cheesecakes aren’t suitable for you.
  • Bake your cheesecake based on your own preferences. Basque cheesecakes are traditionally custardy and under-baked in the middle – I like mine fully baked. If you’d prefer under baked, experiment with cooking the cheesecake on a higher temperature for less time. It’s all about balancing the bronzed top with the inner texture of your choosing. 

A side on view of a mini gluten free cheesecake being sprinkled with icing sugar against a dark metal backdrop

Flavouring options for your mini cheesecake

  • Personally, I think this cheesecake is delicious as is. That said, you might want to add one or a few of the following.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract or lemon juice. These are all easy flavour boosters to regular cheesecake and work well here, too. 
  • A tablespoon or two of sour cream or cream. Both dairy products have a lactose free version available in Australia (Bulla and Pauls Zymil respectively). A lot of people say that an additional dairy is compulsory in cheesecake, but I find it just as pleasant without. 
  • Peanut butter. As per my peanut butter cheesecake recipe of the distant past, I can confirm that it makes an incredibly good addition. I’d say 1 tablespoon would be a good amount here. 
  • You can top the mini cheesecake with berries, but I find the top is so pretty that you won’t want to.
An aerial view of a mini Basque cheesecake. The top of the cheesecake is caramelised and the baking paper has been pulled away from the sides, forming the background of the image

A note on mini cake tins

As I’ve mentioned in the recipe, my mini springform cake tin is 11cm/4.3inches in circumference. It’s C&D brand, which is the inexpensive one you generally find at supermarkets or bargain shops. 

The cheesecake fills this tin to the brim, so you might be able to get away with using a 12cm tin if you have one, but adjust the cooking time to match. I wouldn’t recommend going any larger than that or you’ll end up with a flat and burnt cheesecake. 

In Australia, I have bought/seen mini cake tins in Coles, Kmart and Big W, or House and other specialty cooking stores. If you have a large ramekin you could potentially also use that (and even divide it into two mini-er single portion cheesecakes). 

An aerial view of a mini Basque cheesecake on a white bench top. The top of the cheesecake is deeply caramelised and the browned baking paper has been peeled away from the cheesecake, revealing browned bits.

Texture troubleshooting

Sometimes, because this three ingredient mini cheesecake, has, well, 3 ingredients, the texture can be a little off. It can be a bit watery or grainy or both. This generally happens when a cheesecake is overcooked, which is easy to do with a small batch and Basque style cheesecake.

There are a few remedies for this. Without further ado:

  • Crank the oven and cook the cheesecake for less time. Cheesecake can have a good wobble in the centre and still be fully cooked.
  • Add a tablespoon of full sour cream, cream or thick yoghurt to aid in the texture. I found yoghurt the least helpful, but still helpful.
  • Let it cool in the fridge completely. I have found that all of these textural complaints go away after the cheesecake is cooled completely.
An aerial view of a mini Basque cheesecake. The top of the cheesecake is caramelised and the baking paper has been pulled away from the sides, forming the background of the image

More easy lactose free dessert recipes

A burnt Basque style mini cheesecake sprinkled with icing sugar against a mottled metallic backdrop

Three ingredient mini cheesecake

Gluten free, lactose free, FODMAP friendly
5 from 4
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Food Intolerance Friendly
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 x 250g cream packet lactose free full fat cream cheese
  • 65g (1/4 cup) caster or superfine sugar
  • 1 extra large egg

Instructions
 

  • Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature before starting. You can heat it gently in a bowl of warm water, provided the silver packaging is in tact. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  • Add the cream cheese to the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attached. Beat on a low speed until the cream cheese is completely smooth.
  • Scrape the sides of your mixer down and add the caster sugar. Beat on a medium speed until the sugar has dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Scrape down the sides of your stand mixer again before adding the egg. Beat on a medium speed for about 5-10 minutes or until the mixture begins to look and feel a little fluffy. Initially it will look a little thin and watery but will progress past this stage to the fluffy stage.
  • Line your 11cm/4.3inch mini cake tin with a piece of baking paper big enough that it hangs over the edges of the tin. It will serve as handles and also just add to the aesthetic of your mini Basque style cheesecake.
  • Decant the cheesecake batter into the tin and place into the oven for 20 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake is golden brown. You can adjust the cooking time based on your oven and preferences. If you prefer a little jiggle, cook it for less time.
Keyword lactose free, lactose free cheesecake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Super tasty. I think I did something wrong because the texture was a bit funky. Any thoughts on what I did wrong? The only think I could think of is maybe I shouldn’t have stuck it in the fridge to cool.

    1. What sort of texture did you end up with? My first thought is that the cream cheese might not have been room temp enough when you started, if the texture was lumpy. Sometimes not scraping down the bowl enough can leave little lumps in there too, but I guess it’s hard to say without knowing what texture you ended up with. I normally put mine in the fridge to set and the texture is fine. My only other thought is that perhaps you prefer cheesecake with cream or sour cream in it? That does make the texture softer. Maybe try a tablespoon or so of lactose free cream or sour cream next time 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times now, I’m obsessed. I’ve taken to making a double batch and baking them in muffin pans, and taking them to work for a decadent tea break snack (to stop me from eating the entire batch at once!). If you can be that patient, I’ve had them last in the fridge for a week. Thanks, Georgia.

    1. You’ve reminded me that I need to make this again! So glad you enjoyed it, and really good to know that they can be made in muffin pans too 🙂

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