|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 12 to 16|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 28g||36%|
|Saturated Fat 16g||79%|
|Total Carbohydrate 27g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 21g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
If you have always wondered how to make the best, easiest cheesecake from scratch, this is your recipe. The result is rich and creamy and you can customize it with all your favorite toppings. This recipe is great because the cheesecake is the perfect texture and the top is crack-free. The recipe is easy enough for beginners to tackle and the ingredient list is short and manageable.
When preparing this original cheesecake recipe, start with a simple graham cracker crust and press it into a springform pan that has been wrapped in aluminum foil. The filling ingredients are blended together but not over-mixed.
To help prevent the cheesecake from deflating and cracking as it cools, the filling should be combined until just smooth. The cheesecake is the cooked in a water bath. A water bath helps cook the filling in a more gentle way than simply placing the cheesecake in the oven. This step is necessary to achieve that perfectly smooth and creamy texture of a classic cheesecake filling.
Overall, it is easy to master the art of cheesecake making by following these basic tips. It is a great dessert if you like to plan menus in advance and have a make-ahead dessert ready to serve, and impress, your guests.
Once you have baked the perfect cheesecake, it can be topped with your favorite toppings. Cherry pie filling, fresh strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, salted caramel sauce, and lemon curd are all excellent options.
"This cheesecake was divine, and no cracks! The texture was perfect, and with the sour cream and lemon juice, it had just the right amount of tanginess. If you're looking for a no-fail classic cheesecake, this recipe is an excellent choice. I'm sure I'll make this delicious cheesecake again." —Diana Rattray
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 15 full sheet graham crackers)
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
32 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces full-fat sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 large eggs, room temperature
Gather the ingredients. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt.
Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan wrapped in aluminum foil. Pre-bake the crust for 8 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice until combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended. To help prevent the cheesecake from deflating and cracking as it cools, avoid over-mixing the batter.
Pour the filling over the slightly cooled crust and smooth the top.
Boil enough water to fill your roasting pan with 1 inch of water.
Place the cheesecake pan inside a large roasting pan with high sides. Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan, being careful not to splash any water into the cheesecake. Bake for 55-70 minutes or until the center is almost set. When it’s done, the center of the cheesecake will slightly wobble if you gently shake the pan. Turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven in the water bath as it cools down for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and water bath, then cool cheesecake completely uncovered at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving.
Slice into wedges and enjoy!
- Always use room temperature ingredients so the filling mixes easily without over-beating.
- Don’t over-mix cheesecake filling, beat just until completely combined.
- Help prevent cracks by not opening the oven while baking. It is also important to cool completely at room temperature and chilling completely in the fridge before removing the springform pan ring and serving.
- If your springform pan is not nonstick, grease it lightly with butter.
Springform Pan Alternative
Traditional cheesecakes should be made in a springform plan for the classic cheesecake look. If you don't have a springform pan, cheesecakes can also be made in 9x13 pans and cut into squares to serve.
How to Store and Freeze
- Cheesecake can be prepared in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and frozen up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before serving.
- Store leftover cheesecake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- Cheesecake must not be held at room temperature—above 40 F—for more than 2 hours.
What’s the difference between classic cheesecake and New York style cheesecake?
Classic cheesecake adds sour cream to thin the batter and create a silkier, creamier texture while New York cheesecake is richer and denser because only cream cheese is used in the batter.
Is sour cream necessary for cheesecake?
Sour cream is only necessary if you prefer the classic smooth cheesecake texture.