Cream Cheese Cheesecake

Published September 27, 2014. Comments
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Some things are classics and cheesecake is one of them. Why am I suddenly posting a cheesecake? One of my girlfriends wanted to do a trade and she asked for a cheesecake. No fruit, no jam, completely unadorned. That's the way I love it too! But there's something about an unadorned classic cream cheese cheesecake (call it New York style if you want) that is so much like a blank canvas. Whatever season you make this cheesecake, adorn it with the jewels of Spring, Summer, and Fall. Thank you, Jewels, for the inspiration!  xo~g

Cream Cheese Cheesecake


1 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter for buttering your springform pan

5 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups fine grind graham crackers

1 1/2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature (about 3-8oz. packages)

1 cup granulated sugar

5 large whole eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice, or rind (add both for extra lemony cheesecake)

1 cup sour cream, room temperature


  1. Heat your oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Butter your springform pan with 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside.
  3. Combine the 5 tablespoons melted butter with the graham crackers until they resemble wet sand. Pour into the springform pan, pressing into the sides and leveling out the crackers to make an even layer. Bake in hot oven for about 15 minutes or until firm. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack while you make the batter. 
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with a beater, beat the cream cheese and the sugar until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure that each egg is thoroughly beaten through the batter before adding the next egg. 
  6. Add the vanilla and the lemon juice and salt. Mix together well. 
  7. Beat in the sour cream, about 30 seconds. 
  8. Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a spatula, stir through the batter, making sure that the bottom and sides are scraped and mixed through well. I used a beater that is made to scraped the bottoms and the sides of my mixing bowl, but it's still good to do this last part with the spatula so that you don't have a clump of cheese or sugar at the bottom of the bowl, ending up into the cake pan. 
  9. Pour your cheesecake batter into the graham cracker crust, and smooth out the top with a mini offset spatula. 
  10. There are two ways to bake your cheesecake: Cover the bottom of your springform pan well with two layers of heavy duty foil and set the cake pan inside of a deep roasting pan. Fill the pan with boiling water up to the middle of your cake pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. The water bath helps ensure even baking time and will also help prevent those nasty cracks on the surface of your cheesecake. This cheesecake will puff up during baking so resist opening the oven door to check on the cake. 
  11. The other way to bake the cheesecake is to just pop the springform pan into the oven after smoothing off the top of the cheesecake and baking on the center rack for 50-60minutes. Depending on the size of your springform pan, if you use anything less than a 10 inch springform, be prepared to bake your cake up to 90 minutes. Cover the cake with a piece of foil laid gently on top to keep the top from browning too much. 
  12. Bake until the cheesecake is barely set. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours but its best to have it chilled overnight. Remove from the fridge at least an hour before serving. I personally like my cheesecake plain, but when berries, and even fall yummyness like figs and apples or pears (even oven roasted grapes!) are so delicious on top, served with a syrup. Enjoy!