Small Size Lemon Pistachio Baked Cheesecake, now how good does that sound? Now I know what some of you may be thinking, small-sized who needs that? Well sometimes we all do, sometimes a dessert that will feed 10 people is just too much. So here we have a baked cheesecake that is perfect for 2 to 4 people. Perfect size for a small get together or dessert for two for 2 nights.

Small Size Lemon Pistachio Baked Cheesecake ready for slicing.

Small Batch Desserts.

As there are only two of us in my house (most of the time) smaller desserts are a necessity. And it helps with self-control as well! I get a lot of my ideas from one of my all-time favourite websites ‘Dessert For Two‘ Christina has the most amazing small-batch desserts and this small-sized lemon pistachio baked cheesecake is heavily based off of her delicious Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake, which is amazing for the record. I just made a few tweaks to suit the flavours I was using.

Small sized lemon pistachio baked cheesecake sliced and ready for serving

Lemon and pistachio are great partners. The rich, earthy nutty flavour of the pistachios pairs so well with the sharp, fresh flavours of the lemon. I also sprinkled a few food-grade rose pelts over the top for a slight Middle Eastern flare, but this is optional and only adds a minute floral hint of flavour.

Bake it up.

I have always had a bit of a phobia about baked cheesecakes. Fear that they crack in the oven, fear that it would have a gritty texture and so on. But this recipe is absolutely fail-proof. It doesn’t crack and it’s incredibly smooth and as an added bonus it cuts like a dream.

A slice of Lemon Pistachio Baked Cheesecake decorated with pistachios and rose petals.

This cheesecake is just so easy and there is nothing weird in it either. Cream cheese, obviously and full-fat. Sugar, one egg, a dash of vanilla and of course lemon. I also added a little sour cream, for me this is the magical ingredient. It adds a perfect touch of tanginess to all that richness and it balances out the flavour perfectly. It also helps create the creamiest, dreamiest texture.

So seriously, when you need a smaller dessert for an occasion or just because. I can’t recommend this Small Size Lemon Pistachio Baked Cheesecake enough. It’s my new go-to favourite dessert.

A Small Size Lemon Pistachio Baked Cheesecake ready for slicing.

A quick word about pans.

Christina from Dessert For Two gave me the idea of using a 2-pound loaf tin for a small cheesecake and its a stroke of genius. It gives you 4 incredibly generous slices, 5 normal size slices or 6 smaller slices. Depending on how many people you have to feed, or how many slices you want to devour.

I also bake this cheesecake in a very simple water bath. Nothing fancy and no special equipment is needed. All I did was place my loaf pan in a larger roasting dish and added a couple of cups of boiling water to it. While this step is not in the original recipe, I find it helps to stop it cracking and to keep its texture super creamy.

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Small Size Lemon Pistachio Baked Cheesecake sliced up and ready to serve

Small Size Lemon Pistachio Baked Cheesecake

A small sized baked cheesecake flavoured with lemon and pistachio and decorated with a sprinkle of rose petals. Perfect for 2-6 people.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesecake, dessert, lemon, pistachio
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
cooling & chilling time: 7 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 645kcal


  • For the base.
  • 105 grams digestive's (6 Graham cracker cookie sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter – melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 50 grams pistachio's (1/2 cup)
  • Filling.
  • 455 grams full fat cream cheese (2 x 8 ounce packs)
  • 110 grams sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 70 grams sour cream (1/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon


  • Preheat you oven to 170C/325F/Gas mark 3 and lower one of the racks to the lower third of the oven. Line a 2 pound loaf tin with baking parchment, make sure to leave a little overhang for easy removal.
  • Pulse, using a food processor or bash the digestives/graham crackers and until they are a fine crumb.
  • Then pulse or bash the pistachio's until they are in a coarse crumb.
  • Mix the cookie crumbs, pistachio's and melted butter together. Then press the mix into the bottom of the loaf pan, pressing down to make sure everything fully sticks together.
  • Pop the base into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, the egg, vanilla extract and the lemon juice and zest until you have a smooth batter.
  • Take the base out of the oven and reduce the heat down to 150F/300F/Gas mark 2 then pour the batter over the base. Don't worry if the base is warm.
  • Place your loaf pan into a roasting dish and add a couple of cups of boiling water to the roasting pan and place the whole thing into your oven.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, you are looking for your cheesecake to be starting to pull away from the edges and still have a slight wobble in the middle. Once baked allow your cheesecake to cool down to room temperature in its tin before placing it into the fridge for at least 6 hours.
  • This cheesecake is perfect plain or you can sprinkle a few crushed pistachio's, rose petals and extra lemon zest on the top.


  • This cheesecake will keep for 3 to 4 days perfectly in the fridge.
  • You will get 4 generous slices, 5 good slices or 6 small slices from this cheesecake.
Nutrition Facts
Small Size Lemon Pistachio Baked Cheesecake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 645 Calories from Fat 439
% Daily Value*
Fat 48.8g75%
Saturated Fat 27.6g173%
Cholesterol 156mg52%
Sodium 379mg16%
Potassium 156mg4%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 1.8g8%
Sugar 27.3g30%
Protein 12.3g25%
Calcium 110mg11%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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