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slice of cheesecake on a white plate with whole cheesecake in the background

Classic Cheesecake Recipe

How to make a classic cheesecake with a perfectly creamy center, zero cracks, and the perfect crunchy graham cracker crust! Don't be intimidated by cheesecake! The hardest part is waiting for it to bake and cool before you devour it!
5 from 15 votes
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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
cooling: 1 d 1 hr
Serves: 12 servings
Calories: 773kcal

Ingredients

For The Cheesecake Crust

  • 8 ounces (227 g) graham crackers crushed
  • 4 ounces (113 g) unsalted butter melted
  • 4 ounces (113 g) granulated sugar

For The Cheesecake Filling

  • 48 ounces (1361 g) cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 13 ounces (369 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces (85 g) heavy cream room temperature
  • 3 ounces (85 g) sour cream room temperature
  • 6 large eggs room temperature

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • 9" springform pan with removable bottom
  • Large pan for waterbath

Instructions

For the graham cracker crust

  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF
  • Combine your graham crackers, melted butter and sugar together in a bowl and mix by hand until blended
  • Place your parchment paper into the bottom of your springform pan then place your graham cracker filling on top.
  • Press the graham cracker filling flat with a flat measuring cup. Compress it well so that your crust holds together after it's baked. I don't like to bring my crust up the sides but you can if you want. You might want to double the recipe if you're going to do that.
  • Bake your crust for 5 minutes then remove it from the oven and let it cool while you prepare the cheesecake filling

For the cheesecake

  • Reduce your oven temperature to 335ºF
  • Place the cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and cream on LOW until smooth and lump-free, then add in your sugar and continue creaming on low until blended and smooth.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl two or three times to ensure NO lumps are in the mixture, these will not come out once you add in the eggs. .
  • Add sour cream and heavy cream, vanilla and salt and blend on low until smooth.
  • Add eggs one at a time on low, waiting until they are completely blended before adding the next. Scrape the bowl after each addition.
  • Wrap two layers of tin foil around your pan and fold down the top edges. Make sure there are no tears or holes.
  • Move your oven rack to the lowest spot in the oven. Place the cheesecake pan into a large cake pan and into the oven. Fill the pan so that its 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 60 minutes. DO NOT open the oven door for at least 60 minutes or risk cracking your cheesecake.
  • Test your cheesecake. When your cheesecake is done, it will have a slight wiggle in the center when you tap the side and the sides will be set. You can also use a thermometer to take the temperature of the center. When the center reads 150ºF it is done. Add more time as needed to reach the right temperature and then make note of how long it took to reach that temperature so you know how long to bake next time.
  • Turn your oven off, crack the oven door open, and let cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour. (This helps prevent cracking.)
  • Remove the cheesecake from the water bath carefully (it should be cool enough to take out with your hands) and refrigerate overnight before serving. (Or at least 6 hours)
  • Run a knife around the outside of the cheesecake to separate it from the pan, or use a kitchen torch to lightly warm the outside. Remove from the springform pan and serve.

Notes

*Note* if you don't have a second oven rack, you can place a cooling rack in the water and place your cheesecake on top so it's not in the water. You can also wrap your cheesecake pan in aluminum foil to prevent water from getting inside.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 773kcal (39%) | Carbohydrates: 60g (20%) | Protein: 12g (24%) | Fat: 55g (85%) | Saturated Fat: 30g (150%) | Cholesterol: 264mg (88%) | Sodium: 587mg (24%) | Potassium: 244mg (7%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 49g (54%) | Vitamin A: 2061IU (41%) | Calcium: 157mg (16%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)