The Best Homemade Cheesecake Recipe

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This is the best cheesecake recipe ever! We’ve been making this homemade cheesecake for over 15 years and it never fails. The flavor is classic and the texture is so creamy. The recipe uses simple ingredients and it’s worth every bite. Sharing everything you need to know for how to make a cheesecake below!

the best cheesecake recipe

If you have as big of a sweet tooth as we do, you’ve probably tasted a cheesecake before (or a hundred of them!). It’s a hugely popular dessert that’s been enjoyed for thousands of years. In fact, the first recipe was written down way back in 230 AD, showing that our love of cheesecake definitely isn’t new!

If you’re looking to make one for friends, family, or just for you, here’s the best cheesecake recipe out there.

Why We Love this Recipe

This recipe has been our go-to cheesecake recipe for years. If want to make another flavor of cheesecake, we alter this exact recipe like our blood orange cheesecake. We’ve even added peanut butter, caramel swirls over the top before. If you’re looking for a different kind of cheesecake, try our ricotta cheesecake with a sour cream topping.

The best part is the rich and very creamy flavor and the buttery graham cracker crust. It’s pretty simple to make, just takes time to cool and bake. The ingredients are simple too!

Serve it with our homemade caramel sauce for the most perfect dessert!

How to Make a Cheesecake

cream cheese, eggs, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract in bowls

Ingredients

  • Graham Crackers – Honeymaid are perfect for this recipe. You can actually buy crumbs or make your own in a blender.
  • Granulated Sugar – This is used to sweetened the crust and the cheesecake.
  • Unsalted Butter – To hold the crust together.
  • Cream Cheeseroom temperature. We use the classic Philadelphia cream cheese for this recipe.
  • Vanilla Extract – Adds extra flavor to this classic cheesecake.
  • Eggsroom temperature. Used for structure and organic are best.
  • Heavy Cream. Adds to the flavor and creates the most creamy cheesecake! We can’t imagine this recipe without it.

Directions for Graham Cracker Crust

Check out our guide for more information on making the best graham cracker crust.

  • In a blender or food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they become crumbs.
  • Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir. Add in the melted butter and mix together.
  • Wrap tinfoil around the bottom of the outside pan, bake the crust for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Directions for Cheesecake Filling

  • Turn the oven to 325 degrees and boil some water in a pot or kettle for later.
  • Beat soft cream cheese on medium (about 4 min until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides. Make sure you scrape the bottom and sides to remove any clumps of cheese.
  • With the mixer running, add sugar and salt and continue to beat for another 4 mins.
  • Beat in the vanilla and add eggs one at a time, beating full after each addition.
  • Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream.
  • Pour batter on top of the crust, leaving a little room at the top for the cheesecake to rise. We usually have a little batter left in the bowl that we discard.
  • Place the foil wrapped pan in a larger roasting pan and pour boiling water around the edges, halfway up to the springform pan, kind of like when you’re baking a soufflé.
  • Bake for 1 hour, until the top of the homemade cheesecake is a very light brown.
  • Turn the oven off, prop the door open with a wooden spoon and let the cheesecake sit in there for 1 hour.
  • Take it out and let it cool at room temperature, then place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
cheesecake in a springform pan

Tips for Making the Best Cheesecake Recipe

Cream cheese must be room temperature and soft. If it’s not, there will be lumps of cheese in the cheesecake. If you need to quickly get the cheese to room temperature, remove it from the packaging and tinfoil, add it to a bowl and microwave it for 1 min until super soft.

All of the ingredients should be room temperature.

Always bake in a water bath, it’s the best way method for baking a cheesecake and doesn’t take much time to do. More on how to do his below.

Let the cheesecake cool in the oven while the door is propped open.

Why Baking in a Water Bath is GOOD!

You do not need to be scared of baking your cheesecake in a water bath! This is a simple and classic method for making a moist cheesecake and it’s just a few easy extra steps. This way of baking will always yield a much better, super moist and delicious dessert.

It’s not as scary as it seems either! We suggest wrapping the springform pan with tin foil (bottom and sides) really well. Do this when you bake the crust first. Then, leave the pan wrapped well the entire time, even as you pour the batter over the crust.

Position a roasting pan in the middle rack of the oven. Set the uncooked cheesecake, still wrapped in foil, in the middle of the roasting rack, then pour the boiling water around the pan. Shut the oven and bake. This way you don’t have to move the pan with boiling water.

When the cheesecake is baked and has cooled in the oven, you can remove the tin foil. It’s okay if some water comes out of the bottom of the foil when you remove it. Just let the excess drip out, your cheesecake is not ruined. Let the cheesecake rest for another 3- 4 hours.

Classic Cheesecake Toppings

This is a classic cheesecake recipe, so you can decide how you want to serve it and what toppings to use. We suggest seasonal toppings like fresh berries. You can also use any of these ideas below:

Chocolate Sauce

Caramel Sauce

Whipped Cream

Cherry Pie Filling

Lemon Curd

Peanut Butter

homemade cheesecake recipe

How to Store a Cheesecake

Your homemade cheesecake should always be stored in the fridge to stop it from going bad. It’s best to let your homemade cheesecake cool before putting it in the fridge and wrap it first. Try to get it as airtight as possible by following these steps:

  • Place the cheesecake on a cake board or plate
  • Wrap the cake in plastic wrap
  • Ensure all of the edges are held down securely

If the wrap causes imperfections on the surface of your cheesecake, simply smooth it out with a spatula when you unwrap it.

slice of the best cheesecake

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between NY Cheesecake and Regular Cheesecake?

The first step in how to make cheesecake is choosing which type you want to make. Because, yes, there are different types. The most notable variation on regular cheesecake is the classic New York style, but are they really that different? 

New York cheesecake has a few characteristics that make it different, but it’s the texture that really sets it apart. New York cheesecake is rich, heavy, and dense, and it’s almost impossible to start another slice after your first. Regular cheesecake is a lot lighter, and this all comes down to the ingredients.

A regular recipe uses smaller amounts of different cream instead of the heavy focus on cream cheese that New York cheesecakes are renowned for. It also contains more eggs and egg yolks, giving it a smoother texture.

Can I Make Cheesecake Without Sour Cream?

Yes, you can definitely make cheesecake without sour cream! In fact, our recipe doesn’t use it at all. Instead, we use heavy cream which gives the recipe a sweeter, smoother finish and removes the sour cream tang.

How Long Should Cheesecake Cool Before Going in the Fridge?

A cheesecake should cool before you put it in the fridge. If you don’t let it cool, you can change the texture of the cake and end up with a soggy mess. To make sure it’s cooled completely, we recommend leaving it at room temperature for at least an hour while it’s still in the pan.

Can I Leave Hot Cheesecake Out Overnight?

If you’re wondering about whether you can leave a cheesecake out overnight, hot or not, the answer is no. Because of ingredients like cheese, cream, and eggs, yours shouldn’t be left out of the fridge for more than six hours, and that’s a maximum. Leaving it out overnight could cause your cheesecake to go bad, which definitely isn’t ideal.

How Long Should Cheesecake Sit Out Before Serving?

All types of cheesecake taste the best when they’re a little warmer than straight out of the fridge. Before serving yours, leave it to stand for around 30 minutes at room temperature. Trust us, it’ll transform your cheesecake!

How Long Should Cheesecake Cool Before Going in the Fridge?

If you don’t let it cool, you can change the texture of the cake and end up with a soggy mess. To make sure it’s cooled completely, we recommend leaving it at room temperature for at least 3 hours while it’s still in the pan.

Why Did My Cheesecake Crack?

The most common cause of cracks in a cheesecake is down to overbaking. It’s super easy for people to over-bake their cheesecake, but the trick is to take it out when it still looks a little undercooked. There should be an area of around 2-inches to 3-inches that’s still wobbly right in the center of the cheesecake when you take it out, which will solidify as it continues to cook out of the oven.

A water bath helps prevent cracks too, so if you’re baking it without a water bath, this will add to the cracking.

Other tips to stop cracks include:

  • Letting the cream cheese reach room temperature before using it
  • Not opening the oven door during baking
  • Run a knife along the edge before it comes out of the oven to stop it from sticking to the sides of the pan
how to make cheesecake

Can You Cook a Cheesecake Without a Water Bath?

It’s common to cook cheesecakes using a water bath (or a bain-marie) to get that creamy, smooth texture that everyone looks for. It generates moist heat, even heat, and prevents too much browning on the top. But do you have to use one?

Technically, no. You can cook it without a water bath but it will be trickier and it might not come out quite as evenly cooked. We’d always recommend using a water bath and, if you can, go for it!

Can You Freeze a Homemade Cheesecake?

Yes you can! After cooking yours using our baking tips, follow these steps to keep yours fresh for a month longer:

  1. Cool before putting it in the fridge to chill completely
  2. Cut the cheesecake into slices or leave it whole, it’s up to you!
  3. Put your cheesecake on a round of cardboard or leave it on the bottom of the springform pan.
  4. Wrap it first in plastic wrap and then in foil

When it’s time to serve, thaw it completely in the fridge before giving it a try. It should taste as though it’s freshly baked!

When to Serve a Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a rich and creamy dessert that is perfect for every occasion. It can be altered to use seasonal berries and different toppings. Here are some ideas when to serve a cheesecake:

Birthday Party

Garden Party

Mother’s Day Brunch

Wine and Cheese Party

Fall Harvest Party

Easter Brunch

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Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

If you make this cheesecake for brunch, pair it with one of our brunch cocktail recipes!

Let us know if you try our homemade cheesecake recipe by leaving a comment and a review below! We know you’ll love it!

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the best cheesecake

The Best Homemade Cheesecake Recipe

A creamy, classic cheesecake recipe that never fails! Pairs perfectly with a buttery graham cracker crust.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
5 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 624kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Cheesecake Filling

  • 32 ounces cream cheese, must be room temp.
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream

Instructions

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir. Add in the melted butter and mix together.
  • In a buttered, round springform pan (this is super important to use) press the crust down in an even layer.
    graham cracker crust
  • Wrap tinfoil around the bottom of the outside pan up to the sides.
  • Bake the crust for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Cheesecake Filling

  • Turn the oven to 325 degrees and boil some water in a kettle for later
  • Beat cream cheese on medium (about 4 minuntil light and fluffy, scraping down the sides. Make sure you scrape the bottom and sides to remove any clumps of cheese.
    mixing cheesecake batter
  • With the mixer running, add sugar and salt and continue to beat for another 4 mins.
  • Beat in the vanilla and add eggs one at a time, beating full after each addition.
  • Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream.
  • Pour batter on top of the crust, leaving a little room at the top for the cheesecake to rise.
  • Place the foil wrapped pan in a larger roasting pan and pour boiling water around the edges, halfway up to the springform pan, kind of like when you’re baking a soufflé.
    springform pan with tinfoil wrapped around it
  • Bake for 1 hour, until the top of the cheesecake is brown. Turn the oven off, prop the door open with a wooden spoon and let the cheesecake sit in there for another hour.
  • Take it out and let it cool at room temperature, then place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
    cheesecake in a springform pan

Notes

Cream cheese must be room temperature. If you need to get it to room temp quickly, remove it from the packaging, place it in a bowl and microwave for 1 min. 
Always use a springform pan when making a cheesecake. It’s the only way to remove the sides of the pan to serve the cake. 
Bake in a water bath, this creates a very moist cheesecake. Place the tinfoil wrapped, spring form pan on a roasting pan in the oven. Then, add the boiling water to the roasting pan. This way you don’t have to move the pan with hot boiling water. 
This cheesecake will bake for 1 hour and then rest for 1 hour in the oven. Then it will rest to room temperature for a few hours before storing it in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 624kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 707mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 1669IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 1mg
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3 thoughts on “The Best Homemade Cheesecake Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe – my daughter wanted cheesecake for her birthday so I gave your recipe a try, it turned out great! Thank you

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is one that never fails! I can make it over and over and it is always amazing! I am also a major cheesecake crust person, so the thickness of this crust is my favorite!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! We absolutely love cheesecake here and it’s so yummy! Such a great and fantastic recipe! I can’t wait to make a cheesecake very soon!

    Reply

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