This Cheesecake Recipe has a silky cream cheese filling and a buttery graham cracker crumb crust. It’s a great go-to cheesecake recipe that can be topped with your favorite fruits and is perfect for all of your special occasions. If you happen to prefer a no-bake version, try my No Bake Cheesecake. It’s popular for a reason! Oh, and Strawberry Cheesecake!

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Cheesecake Recipe

Cheesecake Crust Recipe

An easy cheesecake crust recipe can be made from graham crackers, any cookies, animal crackers, etc. There are cheesecakes with brownie crusts and cookie crusts too, but we’re going to stick to the basic cheesecake crust recipe to keep with our perfect cheesecake theme.

A cheesecake crust recipe is easy and typically only consists of 2 to 3 ingredients. If you’re using a cookie, you can omit the sugar. For this classic cheesecake crust, graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter were used.

The butter binds everything together so bits of crust don’t pop up in the cheesecake. The sugar is just to sweeten the deal.

Classic Cheesecake Recipe

Graham Cracker Crumbs

Pre-Crushed vs Crushing Yourself

The quality of store-bought graham cracker crumbs has changed in the last few years and they seem to be less flavorful and have a different texture. When possible, I recommend the full sheets of honey-flavored graham crackers and crushing them yourself or utilizing a food processor.

PRO TIP: When mixing together the ingredients (with a fork) I like to make sure every single graham cracker crumb is coated in butter. The butter acts as the binding agent, so when you see cheesecake recipes that have piles of graham crackers left on the plate, it is usually because they were not coated with butter.

Cheesecake

How to Make Cheesecake Filling with No Lumps

One of the most important steps in making sure you have no lumps in your cheesecake is making sure your cream cheese is at room temperature all the way through. If you have to heat your cream cheese in a microwave be sure to whisk it smooth before using not only to ensure there aren’t lumps but that there are no “hot spots” throughout. I prefer to let my cream cheese come to room temperature for about 4 hours before using it.

To make the cheesecake filling, grab a hand mixer (or stand mixer with paddle attachment) and beat the cream cheese until it’s creamy, and then just the sugar into the cream cheese. Doing this and scraping down the sides of the bowl after every step will ensure there are no lumps left before adding the ingredients with a more loose consistency.

Next, add the vanilla extract and sour cream. Lastly, add the eggs one at a time. Beat just until the egg is mixed and add the next egg. Do not overbeat the cheesecake filling otherwise, it may change the texture of your cheesecake.

Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust

Sour Cream Topping for Cheesecake

This no-bake sour cream topping for cheesecake adds a sweet and tangy flavor. I bet your favorite high-end restaurant does this too!  Not only does this topping add the most WONDERFUL flavor to your cheesecake, but it works great at covering imperfections if you didn’t water bath your cheesecake and have a raised edge on your cheesecake or some cracks.

Perfect Cheesecake Recipe

Tips for a Cheesecake Water Bath

A water bath for cheesecake is the best way to prevent the edges of the cheesecake from browning in the oven and getting cracks in the top of the cheesecake.

  • Place your foil-wrapped springform pan with the cheesecake in it into a slightly larger pan and carefully place it into the oven.
  • Pour the water into the larger pan, 3-4 inches deep, OR about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Using a teapot with hot water works very well, as it is easy to pour and the water is already hot.
  • To keep the water from getting into the cheesecake, wrap the outside of the pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty tin foil.

How to Store and Freeze Cheesecake

Cheesecake absolutely needs to be refrigerated. I prefer to use an airtight container to store cheesecake. (The less air it is exposed to, the longer it may last.) Cheesecake usually lasts about 3 days when stored correctly. If you do not have an airtight container, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.

Freezing cheesecake is a great option as it holds up well, but not for long. To freeze, either cut into individual pieces or freeze what is leftover. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer-safe plastic bag or wrap in aluminum foil. Be sure to label and date. It should last about 1 month.

More Cheesecake Recipes

classic-cheesecake-4
4.98 from 36 votes

Perfect Cheesecake

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Chilling Time 4 hrs
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Every single bite is creamy and delicious!

Ingredients

CRUST:

  • cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • cup unsalted butter, melted

FILLING:

  • 4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • cups (250g) superfine granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature

TOPPING:

  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.

CRUST:

  • Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Make sure all graham crackers are coated in butter and that it is a coarse sand consistency.
  • Press crust onto the bottom and 2/3 of the way up a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment. Wrap 2 pieces of heavy-duty tin foil around the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.

FILLING:

  • Use an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to mix cream cheese until creamed.
  • Beat in the sugar and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add in the sour cream and vanilla.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape down sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add in eggs one by one until fully incorporated.
  • Pour the filling in the crust. Carefully place the cheesecake into the pan and then place both in the oven. Fill with halfway up the side of the springform pan with water. (Pan inside pan water bath, see notes for more information.)
  • Bake until the top of the cheesecake turns golden, about 60 – 70 minutes. Remove from oven. Let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack.

TOPPING:

  • Combine sour cream and sugar; spread over cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. I recommend letting it chill overnight.

Video

Notes

Tips for a Cheesecake Water Bath (Step #5 above)

A water bath for cheesecake is the best way to prevent the edges of the cheesecake from browning in the oven and getting cracks in the top of the cheesecake.
  • To keep the water from getting into the cheesecake, wrap the outside of the pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty tin foil.
  • Place your foil-wrapped springform pan with the cheesecake in it into a slightly larger pan and carefully place it into the oven.
  • Pour water into the larger pan, 3-4 inches deep, OR about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Using a teapot with hot water works very well, as it is easy to pour and the water is already hot.

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I’m Miranda from the blog Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt. Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt is a blog full of more desserts, baked goodies, and loads of tips and tricks.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Has anyone tried using Mexican vanilla. Since it contains cinnamon already, I’m not sure if it will be too overwhelming, or will it enhance the taste.

    1. I live in Mexico and have bought my vanilla at various venders from Walmart to the mom and pop shop, all made in Mexico. They DO NOT contain cinnamon, ever. Real, not artificial, Mexican vanilla adds a smoother, slightly sweeter vanilla element to baked goods. It is superior to all the other non-Mexican vanillas that I have tried over the decades.

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