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The Best Cheesecake Recipe

This is the best cheesecake recipe. Smooth, rich, and creamy filling is topped on a buttery graham cracker crust. Amazing with or without a fruit topping! 

Cheesecake on cake stand with cherry topping

This post was originally published on Mar 24, 2014. It has since been updated to include helpful tips and information.

This recipe is my brother’s favorite. I made it once, and since then it has been requested over and over. 

It is rich, creamy, and so hard to resist. Classic cheesecake is something I feel that every baker should try to make at least once in their lifetime. It does tend to intimidate some home cooks, but it shouldn’t! 

Making this recipe can be simple. Just take your time, follow the basic tips and tricks in this post, and enjoy a beautiful cake every single time. 

And remember, if you find that your cake comes out with a cracked top… It just has character and still tastes delicious! 

the best cheesecake with cherries

Ingredients for this recipe:

  • Graham crackers– Classic grahams are best for this crust. Try not to use the ones with cinnamon and sugar.
  • Cinnamon– Cinnamon adds a slight boost in flavor, but is optional.
  • Butter– Butter is the binding agent or glue to your crust. 
  • Cream cheese– Opt for the better cream cheese brands in this recipe. The flavor is slightly elevated and extra delicious. 
  • Sugar– Granulated sugar, or white sugar, is best for this dish. 
  • Milk– Whole milk is my go-to, but you can always use a lower percentage. 
  • Eggs– Large eggs. 
  • Sour cream– Sour cream adds a slight tang to the filling that really sends things over the top!
  • Vanilla– Use pure vanilla extract. 
  • All-purpose Flour

Note: I used my classic graham cracker crust with just a few tweaks for the base.

How to make a cheesecake from scratch:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line or grease a 9 inch spring form pan. (For these pictures I used two tall 6 inch cake pans).
  2. In a small bowl combine the graham crackers, cinnamon, and butter. Mix until you get a wet sand like mixture. Press into the bottom of your pan.
  3. Cream the cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the milk followed by the eggs by hand. Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl as you go. Once combined fold in the sour cream, vanilla, and flour. Pour into your prepared dish.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off your oven and let the cake rest until cooled to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Cherry filling

Topping ideas for this recipe:

Some of our favorit topping ideas are:

  • Cherry Pie Filling
  • Blueberry Pie Filling
  • Salted Caramel
  • Candied Fruits
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Chocolate Sauce
Cherry topped cheesecake

Cheesecake Baking Tips:

  1. A water bath can help reduce cracks in your cake.
  2. Use room temperature ingredients. Over mixing is one of the main in creating cracked tops. By using room temperature ingredients you are reducing the time needed to fully incorporate the ingredients. 
  3. Do not over mix the batter. Like stated above, over mixing will cause big ol’ cracks in your baked cheesecakes. Be sure to mix carefully just until the ingredients are combined. 
  4. As tempting as it might be, avoid opening the oven door. Opening and closing the door releases heat causing the oven temperature to fluctuate. This can cause uneven baking and… you guessed it… cause cracking. 
  5. If all else fails, and you find yourself faced with a cracked top, top with fruit! 

How to create a water bath:

  1. Start with a large pan, like a roasting pan, that has a bit of a lip or edge. 
  2. Place your spring form pan that is filled with the batter into a larger cake pan. Essentially, you are creating a barrier around you cake to stop water from getting in. So if you have an 8″ spring form pan, place it into an empty 10-12 inch round cake pan.
  3. Place the spring form pan with the extra cake pan into your roasting pan. 
  4. Transfer to the oven. 
  5. Fill the roasting pan with warm water until it reaches halfway up the sides of your cake, but not going over the outer cake pan. 
  6. Bake as normal. 
The best cheesecake recipe

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The Best Cheesecake

The Best Cheesecake

Yield: 1 cheesecake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Rest Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

This is the best cheesecake recipe. Smooth, rich, and creamy cheesecake filling is topped on a buttery graham cracker crust. Amazing with or without a fruit topping!

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 8oz cream cheese packages, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line or grease a 9 inch spring form pan. (For these pictures I used two tall 6 inch cake pans).
  2. In a small bowl combine the graham crackers, cinnamon, and butter. Mix until you get a wet sand like mixture. Press into the bottom of your pan.
  3. Cream the cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the milk followed by the eggs by hand. Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl as you go. Once combined fold in the sour cream, vanilla, and flour. Pour into your prepared dish.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off your oven and let the cheesecake rest until cooled to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

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This is the best cheesecake recipe. Smooth, rich, and creamy cheesecake filling is topped on a buttery graham cracker crust. Amazing with or without a fruit topping! 

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Jessica

Saturday 18th of October 2014

I honestly don't know how this can be done in an hour. I baked for 80 minutes at least and it was still really jiggly. I just turned my oven off and am letting it cool now. Hoping it's ok after it sets in frig.

Holly C.

Thursday 27th of March 2014

I've been wanting cheesecake for a while now. I've never made it before, but I could probably handle this one. Thanks!

Jonie @ Just Between Friends

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

This looks delicious! I am definitely pinning this recipe for later.

Amy | The Happy Scraps

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Ummm, I'll be right over! This looks so yummy! Cheesecake is one of my favorites.

Bismah

Tuesday 25th of March 2014

This looks so delicious especially with the cherries on top! Its been so long since I've made cheesecake. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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