The One-Bowl, No-Water-Bath Cheesecake We’ve All Been Waiting For!

Ally Mawhirter May 8, 2021

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I’ve talked about my lazy cook tendencies before, and that absolutely translates into baking, too. I’m always looking for ways to cut out unnecessary steps, ingredients, or equipment when possible. If you can get the same flavor and same results, then why not? 

Typically, cheesecakes are made in a springform pan, wrapped tightly in a few layers of foil, and placed in a water bath that helps the cheesecake bake evenly and without cracks. It’s kind of a pain. 

Is the water bath necessary? Yes…BUT..


I’m proud to say I’ve found an easier way that still produces a smooth creamy cheesecake without a crack in sight. This modified water bath is so easy. Just boil some water, pour into another pan, and place it on the bottom rack while the cheesecake bakes. I also made this recipe in a regular cake pan lined with parchment paper for easy removal instead of a traditional springform pan and it works perfectly. 

Cheesecakes are also known for being labor intensive and requiring lots of dishes. I’ve created this recipe (minus the topping) to be a super easy one-bowl recipe! I used a food processor as my one bowl – a large mixing bowl and hand mixer work, too. 





This cheesecake recipe does have a few steps, but I promise it’s easier than it looks! I really love this key lime curd recipe paired with the toasty coconut, but you could also use this recipe to make a lemon curd or as always, a store-bought topping is fine. You could also break up this recipe over a few days and make the topping a few days ahead. 

Not a coconut fan? Just leave out the coconut and add an additional 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs to the crust mixture.

You will need:

For the Key Lime Curd:

1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup key lime juice
2 tablespoons lime zest 
For the Cheesecake:

1 cup sweetened coconut, divided
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar 
kosher salt 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar 
1 tablespoon flour 
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
prepared Key Lime Curd (recipe follows)


Make the Key Lime Curd: 

1. Prepare a heatproof bowl with a strainer on top.
2. In a medium pot, whisk together sugar, eggs, butter and key lime juice and place over medium heat. Whisk constantly until mixture thickens and becomes the texture of a loose pudding, eight to 10 minutes. Pour the curd through the strainer into the heatproof bowl and stir in lime zest. Cover with plastic wrap directly touching the surface of the curd and chill overnight.
Make the Cheesecake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the coconut in an even layer on a sheet pan and bake for eight to 10 minutes, stirring well every two minutes until evenly toasted. Set aside to cool.
2. Spray a nine-inch cake pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. 
3. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the standard blade, combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of the toasted coconut, sugar, a pinch of kosher salt and the melted butter and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer to the lined cake pan and firmly press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Just wipe out the food processor bowl, no need to wash.
4. While the crust is baking, make the filling. In the bowl of your food processor, blend cream cheese, sugar, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Pulse in sour cream, vanilla extract, and the rest of the toasted coconut. Pour the filling over the crust and smooth the top. 
5. Boil three cups of water and pour water into another baking pan or disposable foil pan. Place the pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven and place the cheesecake on the top rack. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges are set but the middle is still a big jiggly. Turn off the oven, crack the oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour so it cools slowly. 
6. Transfer cheesecake to a cooling rack to cool completely, then wrap well with plastic and refrigerate overnight. 
7. When ready to serve, use the parchment paper to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Top with key lime curd and decorate as desired.


I hope you all enjoy! Chag Sameach!