This classic cheesecake recipe is made with a buttery graham cracker crust, a creamy cheesecake filling, and topped with fresh berries. The silky texture is melt-in-your-mouth delicious and believe it or not, it’s very simple to make and comes out perfect every time.
The first time I made a cheesecake from scratch, things went a little sideways. The edges of the cheesecake were way more golden brown than expected, there were cracks on top, and overall it was just too dense! This went way past New York style. Lucky for you I have perfected the best cheesecake recipe, and I am leaking all of my best tips so yours turns out perfect too!
I love using cheesecake batter to make other desserts than the standard cake, such as hand pies and strawberry brownies. We have even deep fried it and made cherry cheesecake tacos! While I love a good baked cheesecake, in the warmer months, I really don’t want to turn the oven on. That’s when I go to my blackberry cheesecake, Oreo, or the classic no bake cheesecake.
Why You’ll Love Homemade Cheesecake
- Made with simple ingredients.
- A timeless dessert that is great for special occasions.
- No special skills are needed to make the perfect cheesecake.
- Can be made ahead of time and freezes well.
What Ingredients do I Need for this Easy Cheesecake Recipe?
Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:
- graham cracker crumbs
- granulated sugar
- salted butter
- cream cheese, softened
- granulated sugar
- all-purpose flour
- vanilla extract
- heavy whipping cream
- sour cream
Before You Start: Let all of your cold ingredients (eggs, cream cheese, and sour cream) come to room temperature before mixing so the filling has a creamy texture and you don’t end up with a lumpy cheesecake.
How to Make the Best Classic Cheesecake Recipe
PREP: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease the sides of the springform pan (9 inch) and line the bottom with parchment paper. Use a high-speed blender or food processor to turn the graham crackers into fine crumbs.
MAKE THE CRUST: Combine the melted butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs in a medium mixing bowl using a rubber spatula. Press them firmly in the bottom of the pan.
MIX THE FILLING: In a large mixing bowl, beat the blocks of cream cheese using an electric mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and continue mixing for 1 minute. Mix in the flour, sour cream, vanilla, and heavy cream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gently stir in the eggs one at a time by hand. Pour the batter into the pan.
BAKE: Wrap the spring pan in two layers of aluminum foil and place it in a large roasting pan filled with 1 inch of water (to make a water bath). Bake for 60-70 minutes. The top of your cheesecake should look matte, with the outer edges being set, and the center will jiggle when shaken gently. Turn off the oven and keep the door closed for 20 minutes. Then crack the oven door and leave the cake in for another 20 minutes.
COOL: Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before transferring to a serving platter and slicing.
- Stirring the eggs in by hand reduces the air bubbles. Too much air will cause puffing and cracking during the baking process.
- When you turn the oven off, the cheesecake will look under-baked and will be wobbly. As it cools with the oven off then with the door cracked, is what makes this the perfect cheesecake recipe. It will be smooth, creamy, and cooked like it’s supposed to be.
- Don’t skip the water bath. This is another pro tip that ensures it comes out perfectly. If you do not have a pan that will fit around the springform, place a baking dish filled with water on the rack below the cake. This helps to add moisture, but a true water bath yields the best results.
- By baking at a low oven temperature (325 degrees), you will always have a smooth and creamy cheesecake.
- Do not slice the cake before it has chilled. It will be runny.
- If needed, you can run a knife around the edges before taking the cake out to make it easier.
- Room temperature ingredients also play a big role in making the filling smooth.
Cheesecake has a long history and can be traced back to ancient Greece, where it was a popular dessert among the wealthy and elite.
- Piped whipped cream – homemade or store-bought
- Chocolate sauce or chocolate ganache
- Fresh fruit
- Fruit sauce or jam
- Caramel sauce and chopped pecans
Cover with plastic wrap and store leftovers in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or freeze up to 3 months.
A classic New York-style cheesecake is a type of cheesecake that is dense and rich, with a smooth and creamy texture. It is typically made with cream cheese, eggs, and heavy cream, and is baked in a springform pan. The cheesecake is often flavored with vanilla or lemon zest and is traditionally served with a topping of fruit, chocolate, or caramel sauce.
Regular cheesecake, on the other hand, can refer to any type of cheesecake that is not specifically designated as New York-style. This can include lighter, airier versions of cheesecake that are made with ingredients such as ricotta or cottage cheese, or variations that incorporate different flavors and textures, such as pumpkin or chocolate cheesecake.
Classic Cheesecake Recipe
Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup salted butter melted
- 3 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream plus more for topping
- ½ cup sour cream room temperature
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- Grease a 9” springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and ⅓ cup granulated sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Press graham cracker mixture into the springform pan, creating a thick, even layer across the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Pack down the crumbs so that the crust holds together. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer (or standing mixer) until light and fluffy.
- Add 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar and continue beating for 1 minute.
- Add flour, vanilla, sour cream, and heavy cream. Mix just until combined.
- By hand, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Stir gently to prevent extra air from getting into the mixture.
- Wrap the springform pan in TWO LAYERS of aluminum foil (to prevent water from getting in) and place the pan into a larger vessel that can hold water at least 1” up the sides of the pan.
- Fill with water to create a water bath for the cheesecake.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes. The cheesecake should appear matte across the top surface and the outer edges should be set but the center will be jiggly when you shake it gently. Continue cooking for 5 or 10 more minutes if the whole cheesecake is very jiggly. After 60-70 minutes, turn off the oven, keeping the door closed for 20 minutes. After this 20 minutes, crack the oven door and leave the cheesecake in place for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Allow to cool the rest of the way and then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 additional hours.