Culinary SOS: Canter’s chocolate cheesecake

(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: I’m wondering if you can give me the recipe used at Canter’s Bakery on Fairfax for their loaf-style cheesecake, sold by the pound. I’ve loved it for years and looked for one like it in many cookbooks without luck. I would love to be able to make it for family and friends; we don’t live near Canter’s, so I can only buy it now and then.

Lynn Schubert

Hermosa Beach


Dear Lynn: Canter’s was happy to share this recipe from the upcoming book “ Los Angeles Classic Desserts” by Grace Bauer, which we’ve adapted below.

Canter’s chocolate cheesecake

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus cooling and overnight chilling times

Servings: 8

Note: Adapted from Grace Bauer’s “Los Angeles Classic Desserts.” The recipe works best with mini chocolate chips, though standard-size chocolate chips can be substituted.

Graham cracker crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, at room temperature

In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in the butter until fully incorporated. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 8-inch square baking dish.

Cheesecake filling and final assembly

12 ounces (1 1/2 boxes) cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon zest, from about 1/2 lemon

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream (about 8 ounces)

Pressed graham cracker crust in pan

1 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is soft and fluffy. Beat in the sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until fully combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the sour cream until blended. This makes about 3 1/2 cups filling.

3. Pour the mixture over the pressed graham cracker crust in the dish, and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Bake the cheesecake until it is set and jiggles slightly when tapped (as with gelatin), about 45 to 55 minutes. Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake in the oven to cool. Remove the cooled cake and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Each serving: 596 calories; 9 grams protein; 48 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 43 grams fat; 24 grams saturated fat; 200 mg. cholesterol; 39 grams sugar; 309 mg. sodium.

SOS REQUESTS: Send Culinary SOS requests to or Culinary SOS, Food section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Please include your name, phone number and city of residence.