Jamie Oliver's genius one-pan cheesecake will change how you do dessert

No fuss or special equipment needed

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published February 2, 2023 5:45PM (EST)

Frying Pan Cheesecake (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
Frying Pan Cheesecake (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

In "Quick & Dirty," Salon Food's Mary Elizabeth Williams serves up simplified recipes and shortcuts for exhausted cooks just like you — because quick and dirty should still be delicious.

It's not the act of cooking and baking that gets me down — it's the cleaning. It's the specter of a sink full of dirty pans piling up in my tiny, dishwasher-free kitchen that sometimes makes me want to just unwrap a Nutty Buddy and call it a night. When I see cooking shows with little mise en place setups of individual bowls of ingredients and a hundred tasting spoons, I feel cranky on behalf of the unseen individuals who have to wash them all. 

I know I'm not unique in this feeling. It's why so many of us love a one-bowl dessert recipe, sheet pan dinner or fix-it and forget-it slow cooker situation. And it's why Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook is called "One: Simple One-Pan Wonders." Like his "5 Ingredients" and "15-Minute Meals," it contains a practical, budget-friendly collection of approachable recipes for real-world cooks, with a particular eye for those of us who don't want to spend the rest of the evening back in the kitchen following a memorable meal.

I was excited to work my way through a lot of the recipes in this book, including Oliver's skillet pasta dishes and comforting soups. But it was the lemony cheesecake, assembled and baked in a frying pan, that I couldn't wait to tackle first.

I spent most of my baking life avoiding cheesecakes, intimidated by springform pans and water baths. Then I discovered the internet-famous Basque cheesecake, and after realizing that a rich, luxurious cheesecake doesn't have to be fussy, I never looked back.

Oliver's heavenly interpretation relies on a Biscoff crust, a generous shot of lemon juice and lots of tart raspberries. It also bakes in about half the time of a traditional cheesecake, which means you don't need to clear your schedule to make one. I made my version with thawed frozen strawberries and swapped Oliver's vanilla paste for the easier-to-find vanilla extract. You, too, should feel free to make it your own.

This is a cheesecake that doesn't demand you worry about a perfect springform release or the top cracking. It's crumbly and a little messy. Plus, it isn't super smooth, as the fruit splats around haphazardly.

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Above all, this cheesecake is absolutely, intensely delicious. It's a dessert you make for people you love and feel comfortable around, perhaps to cap off a hearty chili or some slider sloppy joes. And when they ask if you need any help with the dishes, you can send them off to the kitchen guilt-free.

* * *

Inspired by "One: Simple One-Pan Wonders" by Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver's Frying Pan Cheesecake
 8-12 servings
Prep Time
 10 minutes 
Cook Time
 30 minutes


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 8 ounces Biscoff or gingersnap cookies (See Cook's Notes)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 halved and juiced lemon
  • 10 ounces strawberries, raspberries or blueberries



  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter over low heat in an 11-inch ovenproof frying pan. Meanwhile, crush the cookies into crumbs using a food processor or reusable food storage bag and rolling pin.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the crumbs into the butter. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or similar device, pat the crumbs down to make an even layer, letting them go up the sides of the pan a bit. Bake for 5 minutes.
  4. While the crust bakes, mix the eggs, vanilla and most of the confectioners' sugar (reserving a few teaspoons) in the food processor for about 2 minutes. You may use a hand or stand mixer, as well.
  5. Mix in the cream cheese and the juice of the lemon. Once everything is blended, pour over the crust.
  6. In a small bowl, with a fork, smash half the fruit with the remaining confectioners' sugar, then pour it into the cheesecake base and stir until just combined. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and scatter the remaining fruit on top with a little extra confectioners' sugar. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Turn on the broiler and brown the cheesecake for 2 or 3 minutes, until a little puffed and golden.
  9. Remove from oven, let cool completely, then transfer to fridge and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve the cake in slices, or spoon into shallow bowls straight out of the pan.

Cook's Notes

 You may, of course, use different cookies for the crust. Graham crackers, for instance, are a classic.

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By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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Cheesecake Desserts Food Jamie Oliver One Pan Quick & Dirty Recipe