Perfect Cheesecake

Beautiful, classic cheesecake, tangy and sweet, with a velvety smooth and rich texture.

  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes 16 servings



  • 1 3/4 cups (230g) of Graham cracker crumbs (from about 15 Graham crackers)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon (60g) unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt), melted


  • 2 pounds cream cheese (900 g), room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar (270 g)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream (160 ml)
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (160 ml)


  • 2 cups sour cream (475 ml)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar (35 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces (340 g) fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup water (120 ml)

Special equipment needed

  • 9-inch, 2 3/4-inch high springform pan
  • Heavy-duty, 18-inch wide aluminum foil
  • A large, high-sided roasting pan


Prepare the crust

1 Prepare the springform pan so that no water leaks into it while cooking. Place a large 18-inch by 18-inch square of heavy duty aluminum foil on a flat surface. Place the springform pan in the middle of the foil. Gently fold up the sides of the foil around the pan. Make sure to do this gently so that you don't create any holes in the foil.

If there are any holes, water will get into the pan and ruin the crust.

place springform pan on foil wrap first layer of foil around pan

wrap second layer of foil around pan finish wrapping foil

Press the foil around the edges of the pan. Place a second large square of foil underneath the pan, and repeat, gently folding up the sides of the foil around the pan and pressing the foil against the pan. To be triply safe, repeat with a third layer of heavy duty foil. Gently crimp the top of the foil sheets around the top edge of the pan.

2 Preheat oven to 350°F, with rack in lower third of oven. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Put in a large bowl, and stir in the sugar and salt. Use your (clean) hands to stir in the melted butter.

use your hands to press down graham cracker crumbs form even layer of graham cracker crumbs

3 Put the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the springform pan.

Gently press down on the crumbs using your fingers, until the crumbs are a nice even layer at the bottom of the pan, with maybe just a slight rise along the inside edges of the pan.

Be careful as you do this, as not to tear the aluminum foil. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.


Make the filling

4 Cut the cream cheese into chunks and place in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes until smooth, soft and creamy. Add the sugar, beat for 4 minutes more.

place cream cheese in mixer beat until smooth

Add the salt and vanilla, beating after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Add the sour cream, beat until incorporated.

Add the heavy cream, beat until incorporated. Remember to scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl, and scrape up any thicker bits of cream cheese that have stuck to the bottom of the mixer that paddle attachment has failed to incorporate.


Cook the cheesecake

5 Place the foil-wrapped springform pan in a large, high-sided roasting pan. Prepare 2 quarts of boiling water. Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan, over the graham cracker bottom layer. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

place pan in high sided roasting pan pour cheesecake filling into pan

Place the roasting pan with the springform pan in it, in the oven, on the lower rack. Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan (without touching the hot oven), to create a water bath for the cheesecake, pouring until the water reaches halfway up the side of the springform pan, about 1 1/4 inches. (Alternatively you can add the water before putting the pan in the oven, whichever is easier for you.) Cook at 325°F for 1 1/2 hours.

place pan on roasting rack in oven pour hot water into roasting pan to create a water bath for the cheesecake

6 Turn off the heat of the oven. Crack open the oven door 1-inch, and let the cake cool in the oven, as the oven cools, for another hour. This gentle cooling will help prevent the cheesecake surface from cracking.

7 Cover the top of the cheesecake with foil, so that it doesn't actually touch the cheesecake. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.


Prepare sour cream topping

8 Place sour cream in a medium sized bowl, stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla, until smooth. Chill until you are ready to serve the cake.

Note that this recipe produces enough sour cream topping for a thick topping and some extra to spoon over individual pieces of cheesecake, if desired. If you would like a thinner layer of topping and no extra, reduce the sour cream topping ingredients in half.


Prepare the raspberry sauce

9 Place raspberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Use a potato masher to mash the raspberries. Heat on medium, whisking, about 5 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Let cool.

crush raspberries and sugar in small saucepan heat and whisk raspberries


Prepare the cake to serve

10 Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Remove the foil from the sides of the pan, and place the cake on your cake serving dish. Run the side of a blunt knife between the edge of the cake and the pan. Dorie recommends, and we've done with success, that you use a hair dryer to heat the sides of the pan to make it easier to remove. Open the springform latch and gently open the pan and lift up the sides.

run blunt knife around edge of pan to separate cheesecake from pan remove springform pan from cheesecake

Spread the top with the sour cream mixture. Serve plain or drizzle individual slices with raspberry sauce.

spread top of cheesecake with sour cream cheesecake is ready to serve


Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Michele

    Would it be terrible for the taste to use reduced fat cream cheese and/or sour cream?

    No idea. I once used reduced fat cream cheese for something and I really didn’t like the way it turned out, so I never use it. ~Elise

    • Jamie

      I’ve only ever used low-fat/fat-free cream cheese and sour cream and it’s always turned out fine, but I don’t like the taste of full fat products and don’t use them normally so it might just be a preference of taste.

      • Pina

        Dies anyone have a better idea on cutting the cheesecake without having to dip the knife in water???

        • Elise

          Fishing line? I’ve heard it works for some people to cut cakes though I haven’t tried it myself.

          • Maguerite

            Then dental floss will also work, new clean dental floss

        • Porgihund

          Also dental floss works great. Press down and then pull through – results in a very clean edged wedge.

          • Todd

            I use no wax basic dental floss. I does cut into the fingers a bit but it works so well iv’e never gone back. blades in water or even hot water still stick some times.

          • susan

            My mom use thread to cut the hard boiled egg, so i guess, i could use it to cut the cake too

        • Mark

          Use ramekins so everybody gets their own little miniature cheesecake.

    • Dawn

      I wouldn’t , ends up watery

  • Roya

    I love this cheesecake recipe. The only thing I tweak is adding a little orange zest. It adds a lil sumpin:)

  • dorie

    Audrey and Elise, *thank you, thank you, thank you*. I love your rendition of my cheesecake and I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’ve been enjoying it so much. One day I hope I can be with you when you make it — oh how I would love that.

    Dearest Dorie, thank YOU. And the three of us cooking it together? Can’t wait! :-) ~Elise

  • Thy Hand

    This looks amazing. I thought I would share how I remove a cheesecake from its pan. I had to come up with this myself (the whole rest of the world may know about it, but I didn’t) because I was constantly frustrated due to the pan always sliding around the plate as people cut into the cheesecake. **It might not work for really soft cheesecakes**, but most of mine form nicely browned tops. I cool it completely, then refrigerate it overnight, wrapped. Next day, I unwrap it and lay a plastic cutting board coated with cooking spray on top, then invert it. Next, every so carefully and with a long, thin bladed knife I separate the bottom of the cheesecake (now the top) from the pan by slipping the knife between the two all the way around the cake (not sliding, but going in and out). I lift off the pan, place a round Wilton cake board on top and invert it again back to right side up. Sorry this comment is so long. I just thought others might like this tip (unless I really was the only one who didn’t know):-).

    • betsy

      I didn’t know this and I tried it…. fantastic result! Thanks for sharing!

    • Dustin

      i’ve had to do something similar, because i only have one spring form pan and several requests for cheesecake since i found this recipe

    • Alex

      I’ve been using this recipe religously for the last year, and what Ive found to very effective is wrapping the base of the pan in a sheet of baking paper, and then seal the spring portion to the base.

      This makes it super easy to remove the cake and makes cleanup a little bit easier :)

      • Elise

        Great tip, thanks for sharing!

      • Jen

        Hi Alex, that was also my first thought when I read the other comments about the crust sticking to the bottom of the pan. (Here in Germany we pretty much use springform pans for everything, and I always line it with “Backpapier” (Baking paper) before baking any cake. That being said, I was nervous about doing that with this recipe because everyone seems so concerned about the spring form pan leaking. Have you ever had any problems with leakage? Do you simply put the baking paper in place, then follow the recipe as usual (ie, do you still wrap the outside in foil)? Thanks for your help!

      • Jenny

        Awesome tip! Thank you!

      • Alyssa

        I used this recipe to make my wedding cakes (12 total) with only one pan. I got into a pretty good rhythm. My best tips for getting it out of the pan without causing any injuries is line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and also put the bottom of the pan into the spring form upside down so the lip edge is facing down. Then when its cool you can just take a string of floss, run it under the baking paper to loosen up the cake and it slides right off.

  • vivian

    Wow, that cheesecake looks great! I love when sour cream is included in the cake, it definitely improves the flavor. Do you know if this would work if I wanted to convert it to a sheetpan so I can cut them into strips or bite-size cubes? If so, any tips or words of wisdom on how to convert it?

    No idea on that one, sorry! ~Elise

    • Trina Beall

      I have a square spring pan that I use whe I need to have smaller slices of cheese cake. however I can’t do the bath since I don’t have a larger square pan. It still comes out fine.

      • Lynn

        I make similar cheesecake (my Grandmother’s, been making it 50+ years) and never used a water bath. It always came out fine. My Grandfather used to tease me about it cracking until I discovered cooling it slowly.

  • Fran

    That is one beautiful looking cheesecake. It’s so perfect in its simplicity. I usually make a spectacular chocolate cheesecake and have gotten it to the point where it doesn’t crack on me anymore, but this post may have won me over to forgoing chocolate and going with this recipe for a change. Really pretty.

  • Arwen

    Rather than deal with the foil nightmare (you never know if there is a hole) try placing your spring form in a silicone cake pan (you can get 9inch and 10inch round silicone pans on amazon). Silicone doesn’t transfer heat so it still cooks beautifully but it will never leak!

    • Linda Barner

      As a person in the medical community I have never trusted silicone for anything and especially not baking. It is something that is not proven in baking from what I have seen and I am very concerned about products like this.

      On a sidenote, I also don’t use aluminum pans normally too because of the proven effect of alzheimer’s due to the aluminum accumulation in the brain.

      I do have to use nonstick products at times but am very careful with these products as well and try not to use them on high heat……….just fyi . Plan on making this cheesecake with a German made springform pan which I love today with my children.

      Thanks for posting this………looks amazing.

      • Cake&Tea

        I just used a turkey oven bag under the foil. Voila~

      • Cathy

        OMG I’m in trouble. I’m 76 and have been using silicone and aluminum for years.

  • Sandra

    Since cheesecake is a dessert only enjoyed on special occasions, using full fat cream cheese and sour cream is the way to go! The result will be far more indulgent and rich. I’d rather eat a smaller slice with the same amount of calories as a larger slice of less fat! hehe ;) This recipe is incredible and always a success! Love, LOVE the photography as well. Valentine’s Day will be my next time making this scrumptious delight :) My hubby and I will each have a slice, then I’ll share the rest with my parents and inlaws. Maybe ;)

    • Kay

      I’m w/you. If you’re going to have cheesecake, go for it. If you’re going to worry about calories and fat, why bother?

  • David

    Yes, it’s vital to always wrap those springform pans if baking them in a water bath, no matter how “watertight” one might think they are. (Or how much the manufacturer’s insist that they are.)

    There is now extra-wide aluminum foil available which works really well since normal foil can be a bit narrow, and you often have to use two sheets for coverage and that leaves fissure and cracks for water to seep through. Your cheesecake looks beautiful!

  • Susan

    Audrey and Elise, your cheesecake looks perfect and sounds devine. I can’t wait to make it. Audrey, you are among sisters (and brothers) in the kitchen, all of us guilty of trying and failing at one time or another with a recipe or method. The more you cook and gain experience, the less you’ll fail. You have to look at the bright side of failure, too. It teaches us indelible lessons in humility and gives us (cooking) wisdom, too. Glad you didn’t let your first mistake stop you from moving forward. Cooking is probably the easiest place to deal with failure, of any place in, unless cooking is your livelihood, then Ooops! Always have a plan B!

  • Dirk

    Hi Elise, I need to know if I can use softened cream cheese because is the only kind that we have here. ( Brazil ),thank you, Dirk.

    Hi Dirk, I would guess that yes, you can use the softened cream cheese. The purpose of having the regular cream cheese at room temperature is so that it becomes more soft. ~Elise

  • Veronica J. Fortune

    You have the BEST recipes on here – this coming from a true “foodie”. I’ve just had two recipes selected by Public Television (out of 4 entered) for their latest cookbook, AND as if that isn’t wonderful enough, they’ve called me asking if I’d be interested in being part of the taping… I am ecstatic.

    Your website is beautiful, and luscious! I thank you for it!

    Veronica, a/k/a “rtiste”. Yes, I’m an artist, so if you ever need anything illustrated, let me know! I’m also interested in writing my own cookbook someday… I’ve written and illustrated them for churches, and every single one always sold out. See some of my art on Facebook under Veronica J. Fortune.


  • Mandy

    Love love love this! I am NOT a baker, so I only attempt sweet recipes that are proven to be good and easy. With the step by step photos I’m confident I can pull this off for Valentines Day. My sweetie will be so happy! Great post!


  • Shanna

    This looks and sounds absolutely Amazing! Kudo’s to you Audrey for finding something that not only connects you with your family, but gives you a creative outlet! In these days, it’s almost unheard of in a teenager! Can’t wait to try this recipe!! :)

    • Erin

      It worked for me! Im a teen and i always use this web page, may i reccomend the apple coffee cake?

  • ruth

    Love your website and cheesecake! Try a turkey roasting bag or crock pot liner for keeping the water out of the pan.

    Love the turkey roasting bag idea, thank you! ~Elise

    • Clare

      In my twenties I had a run at making cheesecakes using a springform pan,this recipe is virtually the same but I had never used the water bath. I found this recipe and have made several since and it really is the best. On my second attempt I used the roasting bag idea and haven’t looked back.
      So easy and it’s completely reliable. Thanks to both Ruth and Elise:) I’ve just finished another one,this time for my b-day

    • Leah

      Ruth, where do you put the turkey roasting bag or crockpot liner? Under the aluminum foil or over? Im thinking of using this method but cant quite picture it. Thanks! :)

      • Dulcie

        I am wondering if you need to use the foil if you use the turkey bag?

        • Elise

          No need for foil if using a turkey bag.

          • Dulcie Knee

            Thanks for responding! I made the cheesecake and it was a huge hit with all 10 people. Delicious cheesecake! Thank you!

  • Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat)

    I used to make a non-dairy cheesecake that was so good when I served it to people and didn’t tell them it was made from tofu they never knew the difference. I know that sounds hard to believe, but it’s true. I got so many shocked looks when people asked for and then got the recipe!

    I think I’ll have to dust that recipe off. It’s been too long and you’ve given me the hankering for cheesecake!

  • emilyp

    Any idea how adding melted chocolate to the cheesecake batter would alter the texture? Fran has me salivating.

    Haven’t tried that yet. ~Elise

  • Bryan

    That is very near the recipe I use except with mine I put in a little lemon zest. A tip for those not quite so handy with a spring form pan. I buy 2 ready made graham cracker crusts as it will fill them very full or sometimes I make a couple mini ones then divide remaining batter in half. Trying to do it by hand my crust is extra thick in the corners and too thin on the sides and bottom. Plus that way I can give one away or make 2 different toppings depending upon guests.

  • Bryan

    I forgot to mention with premade crusts no water bath is needed. I just bake them on a cookie sheet.

  • jdens

    I don’t have a roasting pan big enough to hold my springform pan, but in the past I’ve had great success putting a pan of hot water on the rack beneath the cheesecake. I think the water bath is supposed to help keep it from cracking, right? In this case, I wonder if the cracking would even matter, since you’re covering it with a sour cream topping. Anyway, I look forward to making it for my next dinner party.

    How sweet of Dorie to comment as she did. She seems so lovely and approachable.

  • Barbara | VinoLuciStyle

    Very much like my favorite cheesecake in it’s simplicity. I don’t like cheesecake loaded with a bunch of candy or flavors; that ruins it for me. I make something very similar with a sour cream topping and my only variation it to occasionally sub a lemon glaze for the sour cream. Both so simple and so amazing with a topping such as yours.

    Audrey, could I adopt you? I miss having my girls with me in the kitchen and you do sound delightful and of course, loved the part about Mom!

  • Cindy

    The recipe looks amazing! Thanks for sharing, and thanks to Thy Hand for their comment on removing it from the pan. I was actually going to ask if you leave the bottom on the springform pan, or remove it. Mine (like most I’d assume) is non-stick, so I’m afraid cutting it with a knife will scratch the non-stick surface.

    You do want to use a dull butter knife, not a sharp knife, to run around the edges of the pan. ~Elise

  • Sarah

    Does anyone have any ideas for a good substitute for Graham crackers available in England? The cheesecake looks incredible :) Thanks!

    • Jonathan

      You can use wheat digestives- or shortbread

      • Sarajane

        I saw a site that said vanilla wafers make a good crust, maybe search for one of those.

        • Frann

          I use vanilla wafers when I make mini cheese cake bites. Use foil cup cake liners put wafer in the bottom pour cheesecake mixture over the wafer , and bake

  • Barb

    Sarah, Check out Nancy Silvertons pastry book for a fantastic graham cracker recipe-really much better than store bought, and so easy. I don’t have permission to reprint it here, or I would. Elise,this cheesecake sounds divine, and I can’t wait to try it. BTW, I have always lined the bottom of my springform pan with parchment paper as well as wrapping it with foil, and I have never had a problem slipping a cake round under the parchment after cooling.

  • Marie M.C.

    Oy vey. I’ve been visiting this cheese cake all day. *Sigh.* It’s perfect. My recipe is close to this (although mine never looks so beautiful) but I always add lemon zest. Meyer lemon. Try it, you’ll like it.

  • Nicola

    To commenter Sarah – in England I use Digestive biscuits as a cheesecake base. Hope that helps!

  • monty

    Very nice looking cheesecake. I also like your topping. The parchment paper in the bottom of the pan is a good idea. It makes the process of removing the bottom of the springform pan easier (once the cake is inverted). I remove the sides of the pan and then gently cover the top with plastic wrap before turning upside down onto a cutting board. Use a small flat metal spatula to assist in removing the bottom, then pull off the parchment and reinvert onto your serving platter. Valentines tip: I found a heart shaped springform pan online a couple of years ago.

    Cheesecake is so delicate I wouldn’t even attempt to remove it from the springform base, but serve from it just as is. Parchment would be useful if you were planning to remove the pan base. ~Elise

    • Holly

      Elise (and Audrey),
      I just wanted to take the time to comment to thank you both for the WONDERFUL recipe, including such practical hints, and to comment here specifically as I was going to agree with you completely that I don’t think I’d ever attempt to remove the springform base from something that you put SO much love, thought, and effort into…but being a bit of a perfectionist :-) and understanding that presentation is important to many of us… I thought I’d mention that I use one of those circular foam-like pieces of shelf liner that I got to open jars (work great btw!!) to place under the base to keep it from sliding around on the plate or stand you are serving from. I did that with my cakes so I thought why not and it worked. You may need to cut your own larger circle depending on your springform size etc…

      I stumbled onto your blog looking up “best classic cheesecake recipe” as ALL of my cookbooks and recipe collections are packed up from a very recent kitchen renovation. I finally had gotten one that I did at Christmas that was as close to perfect as I’ve ever had but I was feeling foggy on some specifics so I’ve now been reading your blog instead of baking ;-) haha Something tells me it will be well worth waiting longer :-)

  • Chris

    Sarah, the nearest thing to a Graham Cracker in the in UK is a digestive biscuit.

    Looks a great recipe… I’m off to the shop to get cream cheese and digestives now.


  • Chris

    Just finished eating this divine cheesecake and it lives up to its billing as the perfect cheesecake. Very smooth and velvety and the perfect flavor. I topped mine with a chocolate sauce made with milk chocolate, karo syrup, and heavy cream. It was great.

  • Christine Jacobs

    Perfect timing! I have been on a cheesecake making kick ever since my mom got me some new spring form pans for Christmas. I tried this one yesterday, and the stress that occurred while preventing the water from getting in was worth the finished product, which is a big hit at my house right now. Thanks!

  • Angie Garner

    Sandra & Ruth I was just trying to figure out a way to avoid the foil as I made this lastnight and with THREE layers of foil the water still got through :( Thanks for that advice!! Both wonderful ideas and I will certainly try them both. Elise, I have visited and loved your site for some time now but this is the first recipe that I had to run and make N-O-W. Even though my crust was a little soft (and I used Nilla Wafers not Grahm) the flavor was amazing. Thanks to Audrey for a fabu cheesecake… and Dorie as well.

  • choyc9

    Thanks Elsie and Audrey! I will give this recipe a try with my girls (Gr 2 and K). What I like most is the moral lesson that Audrey shared :-) Thank you very much for both the recipe and the lesson!

  • Lauren

    You have brought back such great memories of my grandmother with this recipe, which is almost exactly the same as hers. It was so good that she was always asked to make it for any family gathering, and thus raised two generations of cheesecake fanatics. Her recipe is one of my prized possessions. Many thanks for posting this…!

  • Ana

    Hi Elise, in Brazil I can’t find sour cream. I know a similar recipe of sour cream, but I’ll try with yogurt. I hope it will do well. How about it?
    I loooove cheesecake!

    I haven’t tried it with yogurt, but if I were to, I would try to find a thick, full fat yogurt like Greek yogurt. ~Elise

    • Mica

      You can easily make the sour cream yourself (I did). You buy the heavy cream (used for making whipping cream), and you add vinegar, lemon and salt to it, mixing in electric mixer for 4-5 minutes. Look it on youtube!

  • Kristi

    Made this last night for a dinner party with friends, outrageously delicious was the consensus. Had a friend describe it as “your final meal good”.

  • Josie

    I second the recommendation from the poster above…place your springform pan in a silicone pan and not a drop of water will seep in.
    You can get a visual here:

  • Scott at Artisan Cheesecake Co.

    Leak proof means that the cake will not leak out into your oven. It does not mean water will not leak in. Try cooking it without the water bath it is much better. Cook the crust at 350 for about 10 min. let cool and add the batter.(I spray the pan). Cook cake for 15 min. at 350, lower to 225 for about 70 min. Don’t open the door until finished. Turn off oven, run a thin knife around the cake between the pan, return to oven and let cool in oven till room temp. Chill overnight.

    • Helen in Missouri

      I had to just say that your cooking method turns out a PERFECT cheesecake! No browning anywhere, yet perfectly done! Thank you for posting that tidbit!

  • Jen

    This cheesecake sounds really great, I love the addition of sour cream. My son loves to make cheesecake with me, we often make cheesecake cupcakes (no crust, just pour into cupcake liners and bake for a much reduced time, usually ~20-25 minutes). They are very kid-friendly and more convenient since they bake much faster. They also freeze well. To the person who asked about melted chocolate, I’ve never tried that but have tried cocoa powder so if you’re looking for a chocolate cheesecake that would be a good way to do it without worrying about the texture.

  • FurriePrincess

    A couple of time and stress saving tips. Add the sugar to the graham cracker crumbs in the food processor, then add the butter and pulse til mixed. Also, to get a nice firm crust, use a flat bottom measuring cup with straight sides, aluminum or stainless work best, to tamp down the crumbs in the pan. This allows you to get right to the edge or even make a little rim if you wish.

  • Jon Lilley

    Hi Elise,

    I’m not a baker, nor have I ever been a big Cheesecake fan, but this recipe is DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for sharing it! I was also kind of tickled about being able to use ALL my kitchen machines AND my roasting pan. That doesn’t happen only once a year, if lucky.

    One little point, tho . . . I think the amounts of sour cream & confectioners sugar got juxtaposed for the topping. I got sweet sour cream soup instead of a proper icing. (Thank goodness for the pictures!!!) If you could let me know what they’re supposed to be, I’d really appreciate it. My guess is that they’re just flipped, right?

    Anyway, thanks again for this great recipe! What a joy to have such success on my first go ’round! I think I’ll do this one again sometime.

    Hi Jon, so glad you liked it! Regarding the topping, it’s not really an icing. It’s a sour cream topping that is only slightly sweet. The sourness of the sour cream balances the richness and sweetness of the cheesecake. If the ingredients were reversed, then you would have a very sweet icing. But that’s not the case. If the consistency was soupy, it’s sort of supposed to be. ~Elise

  • Michelle

    Audrey, should Elise not be able to fulfill her duties as author of the blog, do you swear to carry on her work for her? :)
    My family asks for your pancake recipe at least every other day, and of course, we have them because they are so easy and foolproof to make. Makes me think the family just might have a new fav cake too.
    Thanks for posting Elise. I once spent a week scouring the web to find the best tips for the best baked cheesecake. Now I know I can find it all in one spot.

  • Becca B in Lee's Summit

    Elise, this reminds me of my mom’s cheesecake that she’d make for me on my birthdays, or on a cold weekend. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! I can’t wait to make it!
    I don’t own a springform pan… can you suggest some substitutions?
    Thanks! Love your blog!

    Hi Becca. Yes. My friend Suzanne (Audrey’s mom) suggests making thick strips of parchment paper and lining a cake pan first with two of those, in a cross pattern, so that the edges are extended over the cake pan so that you can use them as handles to lift the cake out of the pan. Then put down a round of parchment on the bottom, so that when you lift, the bottom isn’t sticking to the pan. I haven’t tried this method yet, but it seems to me that it would work. Parchment paper is pretty strong. The benefit of this approach is that you don’t need to wrap the pan in foil and there’s no way that water can get in and ruin the crust. ~Elise

  • Jennifer Jo

    Elise and Audrey, I know you didn’t mean to, but this post put me through fits. The recipe was so similar to MY perfect cheesecake that I just had to make yours…to prove that mine was better. The result was not as clear-cut as I expected, and my fridge (and belly) are stuffed with cheesecake. If you want to know the results (such suspense!), I posted about my whole cheesecake conundrum just tonight. (And thanks!)

  • Candace jurado

    Help…I made this cheesecake last night and didn’t turn out right. The flavors are yummy but the texture is completely off, it is airy instead of dense and it falls apart while slicing. Also, the filling overflowed while cooking even though I used the correct size spring-form pan. I have checked and rechecked the recipe and I didn’t botch any of the ingredient portions any ideas on what could have gone wrong? I want to try this recipe again, and conquer it this time, so the perfect picture of the “perfect cheesecake” will quit laughing at me in defeat!

    Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe you used extra large eggs? Maybe your measurement cups are larger than ours? No idea. ~Elise

    • Heather

      I also had way too much batter.
      I filled my pan to the top and still had enough for 4 small tart pans as well.
      Of course, because I filled it so high it raised above the pan edges and cracked all the way around [I knew I was covering it, so I didn’t mind if it cracked].
      I know I measured and weighed correctly, [I bake almost daily], correct size pan, and regular large eggs used. I did use less cream cheese -3 &3/4 packages because my son got into the cheese before I made the cake.
      Having the cake for my sons birthday tomorrow, hope it taste as good as my traditional recipe!-oh, and I added lemon zest

    • Stephanie

      I also had the problem with overflow. I used the correct springform but as I put the batter in, and it filled the pan up to the rim, I was a little concerned. I measured my springform to make sure the heigth was correct. Thankfully it didn’t overflow down the outside of the pan. But the top cracked all over, not too worried because I would be covering the top. Next time I’ll use a 10 inch springform.

  • Jenny

    Hi Elise!

    This cheesecake looks fantastic. Came out of the oven perfectly with no cracking but to my horror there was a puddle of water inside the foil. When I took off the rim the crust felt soggy to the touch. Is there any way to save it at this point? And also, when freezing, should I freeze it without the sour cream topping? Do you think replacing the raspberries with blueberries to make a blueberry topping would work too? Thanks!

    I’m afraid you are stuck with a soggy crust. You may want to serve it in pieces, with the crust removed. No idea on freezing it with the sour cream topping, I suspect it wouldn’t work well, but I could be wrong. A blueberry topping would be delightful. ~Elise

  • Hazel

    Just made this last night. I used digestive biscuits for the crust as graham crackers are hard to find in Korea. I also used an 8″ springform pan and simply adjusted the recipe by multiplying the amounts by 0.8. [Though if you want to be extremely exact you should multiply by 0.79 ;)] I halved the sour cream topping recipe as well. Wrapped the pan in three layers of foil – and am really glad I did, because water leaked through the first two layers. All turned out perfectly! Thanks for a lovely recipe.

  • Helene

    Made this yesterday and had it for dessert today. Great cheesecake but two things…

    1. I’m surprised no one has mentioned that 2 packages of 10 oz graham crackers produces way more than 2 1/4 cups of crumbs. It looked like too much so I only used one box of 14 oz and that yielded over 3 cups. I then prepared the 2 1/4 cups of crumbs for the bottom but that almost filled up my pan half way! Looks like the crumb info is a little off.

    2. Same with the topping…2 cups of sour cream would overwhelm the cheesecake. I think I used maybe 2/3 cup and it was plenty.

    Otherwise, it was great! Very creamy and delicious.

  • Diane

    I made this last night, served today for Super Bowl dessert. You’re right. Perfect! It’s hard to believe something so light is so heavy in calories – but what a splurge! Thanks!

  • Hannah

    I made this cheesecake this weekend, with my own adjustments. It was delicious! I actually had a cheesecake in mind that I wanted to “create”, so I used this recipe to get started. I thought the crust was a tad too sweet (although probably perfect for yours!) so I will leave out some of the sugar next time.
    I made this a “chai spice” cheesecake. After I made the crust (and it was done baking) I poured a layer of chocolate ganache into the crust, and let chill while I was making the filling. I made the filling exactly as the recipe said, adding in chai spice, of course. The hair dryer trick worked very well for the crust. I topped my cheesecake with homemade whipped cream. It was a big hit!

  • Hannah

    Also, I would like to say, I used neufchatel AND low fat cream cheese in addition to the regular. I couldn’t tell a difference.

  • Beth

    I have a question rather than a comment as I
    haven’t tried this yet. Is it really 2 POUNDS
    of cream cheese? Not sure if you meant to say
    2 8OZ PACKS which seems to be the usual in many
    recipes but I am anxious to try this.

    Yes, 2 pounds. 4 8-ounce boxes. It’s a big cheesecake. ~Elise

  • shabunam

    I love cheesecake and oh my !!! Your’s look so perfect , I have not seen anything like this , I will def give it a try . Thanx for sharing and btw I jsust stumbled upon this blog now and I LOVE….LOVE…it :D.

  • Rebecca

    I’ve made this twice since you posted in an individual size springform. I divided the ingredients in three the first time and threw a ton away, so this time i used 1/4 the amounts called for and it was perfect! It only took around 45 minutes to bake. Just in case anyone else can’t eat a whole cheesecake alone :)

  • Daniela

    thanks so much for the recipe. I made it yesterday, and even though i’m not sure i’ve used the most similar crackers,(i’m in perú), and of course i have to try a few more times before it turns out absolutely perfect, it really is the perfect cheesecake!

  • Giselle

    I just made this for a friends birthday, it was my first cheesecake and everyone loved it!! I cannot stress how important wrapping the pan in foil is. I had a leak and my graham bottom was not as crunchy but when it was cooling i let it sit in the oven without the roasting rack to dry some and it worked some.

  • Jen

    I made this last night and served it today. It was very creamy and delicious. I am quite new to cooking and I’ve never made cheesecake before so I was terrified that it would crack or sink, but it came out wonderfully. The only thing I would change is use less of the sour cream topping; it tasted good but I felt it slightly overpowered the cheesecake. Overall though it was lovely and I will be making this again (but not any time soon – my waistline couldn’t handle it!)

  • Charles Green

    My fiancee made this for my birthday/valentines day and it was definitely a “perfect” cheesecake. I got to enjoy it early because sadly I have to leave to head back to school on my birthday, but she is sending me home with a giant slice of the cheesecake. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes.

  • Rachel W.

    Huh– I had the same problems as Hazel! 10 oz of graham crackers made a ton more than I could fit into my 9″ pan, even after I built up the sides, and I had enough filling left over to make a dozen mini-cheesecakes in my muffin pan!

    I’m not complaining– extra cheesecake is nothing to sneeze at– but it certainly was surprising! I wonder where I went wrong with the filling– maybe I overbeat the eggs and got it too fluffy?

    This was the first cheesecake I’ve ever made, though, and overall I’m delighted with the outcome. My husband’s family has a tradition of cheesecake for Valentine’s day, and I’m glad I could pull off carrying it on!

  • Yasmine

    It has forever been a goal of mine to make cheesecake from scratch and I finally did it with your wonderful recipe! I was so impressed with how beautifully it came out and was soooo delicious. My husband loved it as our Valentine’s dessert. Thank you!

  • Zen


    I’m making this cheesecake this afternoon (wish me luck), but I don’t have a roasting pan or an oven-friendly pan that can hold my spring form pan. The only thing I have is one that will make it look like bain marie instead of poaching. Think it’ll work?


    Any oven-proof pan that will hold your spring form pan will do. ~Elise

  • Efoxfx

    I made the cake and put it in for the exact amount of time and it hadnt turned golden brown on top. Is it ok to put it in at 325 again and about how long would you say is ok?

    If it’s still hot, you can put it back in. Actually, if you are following the recipe, the cake should still be in the oven, slowly cooling as the oven cools. But the cake might actually be okay as is. If the center is a little jiggly, like jello, then it’s done, don’t worry about it not being browned. If you do choose to put it back in the oven, I honestly don’t know what to tell you in terms of time. ~Elise

  • Valeria Mas

    Elise, This is trully the best cheesecake ever!! I´ve been looking myself for years for a good cheesecake recipe. This one is exactly the one I was looking for. Absolutely delicious! Thank you so so much for sharing it.

  • Eva

    Thank you so much! The cake was perfect! I think a little bit of water got into the pan, but the crust was still fine! It’s delicious!

  • Jodi

    For those of you concerned about wrapping the pan in foil to keep out water, try wrapping the pan in a plastic roasting bag. It works great! No more soggy crusts.

  • Lauren

    I made this cheesecake this weekend and received rave reviews. It was gone in no time. It’s a rather light, fluffy version, as opposed to the very dense, heavy variety.

  • Scarlett

    Hi, just wondering, is there any alternative to vanilla in this cheesecake? Thanks a lot!

    Not really, but you could just leave it out if you want. ~Elise

  • Joannenicole

    Hi Elise,

    My husband and I adore this cheesecake – we’ve made it countless times since you posted earlier this year. It’s definitely the perfect cheesecake, as far as we’re concerned. And the recipe always comes out exactly right. Even the one time that my husband forgot half the sugar, it was still delicious – just more tangy than sweet…

    My question is this – Can this cheesecake be made in anything other than a traditional springform pan? I want to experiment with making cheesecake bites. (scoop cheesecake with a mini ice-cream scoop, roll into balls, dip in chocolate, etc.) but obviously I don’t need the crust and the perfectly straight sides and all. Do you think this recipe would work if I used a baking dish or cake pan?

    Hi Joanne, I think it would work in other forms, sure. You probably would just need to cook it not as long. If you do experiment with it, please tell us the results of your experiments! ~Elise

  • Anya

    Hi, I live in Ukraine and can’t find 18″ foil. Anything i can substitute it with or somehow safely glue the narrow piece of foil to make that mold? Thanks!

    Hello Anya, If you read through the comments you should find other suggestions for how to do the water bath. I do not recommend glueing foil together. ~Elise

  • Aamna21

    Thank you Elise for this perfect cheese cake. I was wondering if I reduced the amount of sugar will it be delicious ? And is there any other type of biscuit I can use instead of that one?

    Hello Aamna, I haven’t tried reducing the sugar in this recipe, so I don’t know what to tell you. And this cheesecake does require a graham cracker crust. You could try making it without the crust. Or just look around for another cheesecake recipe that would better suit your needs. Good luck! ~Elise

  • Amna

    No wonder why it is called perfect cheese cake because it is really perfect that I stopped buying it from restaurants as I thought it is difficult to make a homemade cheese cake.Anyway,I reduced the amount of sugar a little and I used digestive biscuit and it tasted very delicious.Thank you.

  • Rifat

    It was a-maz-ing! I mean it was delish!!! My first ever cheesecake with this recipe. I had made your chocolate pudding before, that was really good too. And this one blew my mind! Thank you so much! My family is so proud of me =P

  • Pamela

    I agree with Michele, above, Elise – your site has provided me with some incredible recipes. I’ve recently stopped eating dairy products but wanted to try this recipe with some of the new alternative “cheeses” available. I made this using Galaxy Nutritional Foods new cream cheese, the blue-label Tofutti sour cream, Earth Balance vegetable shortening sticks, blended silken tofu for the eggs and a blended mix of silken tofu and soy milk for the heavy cream. I mention the brands because it’s been hard for me to find non-dairy cream cheese and sour cream that tastes decent and these are the best I’ve found. I did add three tablespoons of unbleached flour because I wasn’t sure that the non-dairy cheese mixture would hold up. I should not have worried. I followed all of the steps in the recipe and it turned out beautifully! I don’t know that the taste would fool anyone completely, tho my father who does not like cheesecake usually, liked and ate this one. To me, it’s just delicious! The consistency is wonderful – melt-in-your-mouth creamy. Thanks so much for your site and these fantastic recipes!

  • Marcie Morgan-Oregon

    I tried this for the first time in May 2011 and I did the foil, but I didn’t have the heavy duty foil and the right size of foil so I folded pieces together to try and make it work. The cheesecake turned out perfect, but because of the foil the bottom was a little soggy but it was still o.k. Since then I have made it 2 more times, with all the right stuff, and I can honestly say this is the best cheesecake I have ever made. Everyone I make it for tells me they have never had anything better. I will never make a different cheesecake…..Thanks for sharing, simply the best!!

  • CathyC

    Thank you Elise (and Dorie for the original recipe) for posting this incredibly light cheesecake. I made it yesterday as dessert for a cookout and it was a hit. I made the raspberry sauce to go with it, but ultimately the cake stands well on its own merits. The sauce wasn’t even needed.
    As always, I continue to go back to your site to add to my cooking repertoire. My family thanks you for it!!

  • Luke Alan

    Just finished chilling this cheesecake and all i can say is this would be one of the best cheesecake recipes out there! Absolutely to die for!

  • Terri Schneider

    Thank you for this recipe, is the best cheesecake recipe I’ve tried. Instead of wrapping the pan in foil, I placed the pan in a Reynolds Slow Cooker liner (left open), then in a roasting pan with rack with enough water to touch the bottom of the cake pan. I also placed parchment paper on the bottom & sides of the pan before filling. I sprayed the parchment for the sides with baking spray so it stick to the pan. I only had extra large eggs, so I used three. Not only the best tasting, but also the most beautiful – not even the hint of a crack. The only recipe I’ll use from now on!

  • aileen

    hi everyone! i made this for my roommates birthday party and even though everyone insisted they were full from just on slice, all went back for seconds :-) MUCH creamier and way more delicious than the German versions with quark i’m used to!

    thanks for this wonderful recipe!

    about the crust: even though i put a lot of effort into wrapping the pan, the water did leak through and the crust went all soggy. BUT: once the cake was chilled it was fairly easy to gently slice through it just above the crust and transfer the cheese part to a plate and later onto a new crust i baked. that way i got to save the delicious filling and no one knew the difference!

    next time i think i’ll just put a large pot of water in the bottom of the oven.

  • Sarah

    Perfect Cheesecake is right! This was my first cheesecake and it turned out, well, perfect! The taste, texture, everything, was spot on. The only thing I did different was the bath. I didn’t have a large enough roasting pan to make a bath, so I put a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven. It worked wonderfully. My cheesecake didn’t crack or sink. It looked beautiful and tasted great! Thanks for yet another keeper!

  • Elizabeth

    Is there a way I could incorporate using vanilla beans in this recipe?

    You could scrape out the insides of one vanilla bean and add it to the cream cheese in step 4. ~Elise

  • Lisa

    I liked the berry touch this recipe. I recently made a cheesecake and added Pomegranate. It was so good, too! Definitely worth trying as an alternate to a compote.

  • James S.

    Holy crud, I have a new favorite website. I Googled “perfect cheesecake,” and yours was the first to pop up. After reading through the ingredients and instructions, and salivating over the visuals, I gave it a shot.

    First, you were a hit with my husband, who is quite the discriminating junk food junkie; the moans of pleasure were a dead giveaway. Then, I gave a slice to a co-worker who is a self-professed cheesecake expert. She made the recipe this past weekend, impressed her entire family, and is now planning to make another for her father’s birthday next week.

    Next up is the pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving (with real pumpkin puree) and the applesauce spice cake that I’ll give to co-workers as gifts next month. Then, I’ll tackle that insanely awesome-looking chocolate ganache torte.

    Thanks so much for this site. I can’t wait to go through every recipe, one by one. Great stuff.

  • Tea&cake

    I have tried about four different recipes for cheesecake; this is the first one that hasn’t cracked! The surface is so perfectly even. We’re serving it tonight after chilling and I have a feeling it will be glorious, beautiful!

  • anna

    I double wrapped the pan, water still got in. I am so upset, i am pretty sure this is going to be a taste disaster with no way to salvage. It looks so good , no cracks, smooth top , but i know the crust is horrid. I was so careful too, i guess these things just come with practice. :(

  • cary j

    hi! i actually made this same recipe for thanksgiving! my sister had sent me the recipe because she has this cookbook, and she was always raving about it! so i made it before i even found this website! the only variation was i used all sour cream for the batter instead of half sour cream and half heavy cream. i made a crust with praline pecans and graham crackers and praline apple topping. the foil wrapping scared the heck out of me and i made many phone calls to my sister to get advice and had to re-do the first wrap! no water did get in, but i liked the silicon cake pan idea so much i did order one for me and my sister! this cheesecake was such a hit that it has inspired me for future cheesecake endeavor and im so happy to have found your site for recipes and information! thank you so much!

    • Holly

      I HAVE to have this recipe for praline pecans in the crust and a praline apple topping!!! That will be the perfect cheesecake recipe alternative to pumpkin in the fall. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pumpkin, but I LOVE, love, love all things fall!! :-)
      I’m planning on trying this recipe in the morning- I was holding off to get the heavy cream as it was the one difference to my own recipe which used all sour cream as well….what do you think it would change? The one I made was quite amazing so I’m wondering if it’s worth going out again to add so much more fat ;-) I keep reading and reading the comments here…such wonderful advice that is helping all around- I’m pretty sure I’m going to use the pan of water on the next rack down as I managed to get a crack-free cheesecake on my last attempt and I think the key was the cool down process- ie- leaving it in the oven to cool first. Thanks to everyone!!
      I’m serious about this praline/pecan/apple recipe though ;-) haha

  • Scott C.

    Cheesecake has always been something of a disappointment to me. It should taste so good, but it’s too sweet, or too rich, or too tart or too bland. I was craving it, though, and I made this cake for Thanksgiving Day. This is the only cheesecake I will make from now on. It’s perfect just the way it’s put down here. This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever had.

  • Catherine LePage

    Great. I wasn’t a cheesecake fan before. The taste and texture was excellent. It is better than Cheesecake Factory.

  • Cole

    Thanks for the recipe but I have a question. Mine browned on top a bit more than I was expecting. It’s not “too” browned, I guess I was just expecting less. Is a little bit of browning normal?


    Yes, a little bit of browning is normal. ~Elise

  • Mary M

    I made this cheesecake for our family Christmas get together yesterday and received RAVE reviews. I omitted the raspberry sauce and halved the topping as I only needed enough to frost the top of the cake. It was fantastic – very light and airy compared to others that I have tried. I definitely think this was due to both the ingredients and the tips on how long to beat each ingredient. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Sarah

    How would I bake this recipe in the form of cup cakes? Some one please help! I have made it as a whole cake and love it!

  • skip baker

    I’m using the same recipe, same ingredients, the same mixer, the same pan as I have for the last several years, BUT, this year the cheesecake is bubbling over the edges of the pan and I don’t know why. Any answers?
    I’ve always used Ziewbach crackers for the cheesecake crust, but it’s not made anymore. What can I use for a substitute? I’m not crazy about graham cracker crust.
    Thanks, Skip

  • Lynn

    I made this cheesecake for New Year’s dessert and it truly was perfect, in my opinion! My first cheesecake attempt in November with a different recipe was a failure, but to follow up with this one I know I redeemed myself.

  • emilynn america

    love the recipe

    I am planning on baking my own wedding cake and I want a cheesecake.

    Can this recipe be the the perfect recipe to make a wedding cake?

    This cake serves about 16 people, so if your wedding has more people than that, you should probably make more cakes. It’s also more involved than a typical wedding cake. ~Elise

  • Jennifer

    I was very careful w/ the foil, but still water seeped in. Big bummer. I couldn’t serve a soggy birthday dessert so made an attempt to salvage the top part, which otherwise would have been perfect. This sounds insane now, but I used one of those ultra thin, flexible plastic cutting boards and “cut” just above the crust line, since no spatula would have been wide enough. It probably would have worked better if I’d chilled it first (it had only cooled to room temp so far) and it did work in principle, but then as it wasn’t set, basically fell apart into big chunks and mush. I set these as best I could in 2 glass pie plates (shallow pan w/ edges) and set in the fridge temporarily. I scrapped the soggy crust, washed out the spring form pan and baked an all new graham cracker crust(would have been much easier if I’d remembered I own 2 spring form pans!)Then put the mush chunks into the new crust, gently and lightly, and filled in gaps w/ unattached blobs. (if this sounds a mess, it was!) But I smoothed out the top and put it in the fridge to chill, w/ sour cream top that completely hid the reconstruction. It turned out quite “normal” looking, no evidence of what had occurred, just not as thick as the original would have been. It was light, had a nice appearance, and tasted delicious, no soggy bottom! Should probably call this version “Salvage Cheesecake” Hope this helps someone else w/ leaks.

  • Rose

    I’m not incredible good at cooking, however I’m obsessed with good food. I love dairy and cream, baked goods and sorbets… simply fabulous comfort foods.
    I was wondering how easy this recipe is and, just for pizazz and fun, if a dash of rosewater could hurt? A bunch of people say to line the bowl with butter so the cake doesn’t crack… dos that apply with this cake or not so much?
    Thanks a bunch!

    This is a traditional cheesecake, which is fussy and rather time consuming. I would not classify it as easy. If making I would follow the recipe exactly the first time. No substitutions. ~Elise

  • Maliaka

    This cheesecake I have to say was the best I have ever had. The recipe was easy to follow, especially for a first time cheesecake maker. I plan to make this again and again.

  • Rozana

    This was my first attempt at making cheesecake ever. Been looking for the simplest recipe all this while since I am not an expert in cooking. Just my luck I found yours.Simple and easy to follow instructions and no hassle at all.I’ve used digestive biscuits by the way. THANKS a trillion. I surprisingly succeeded in my first attempt. No crack whatsoever – a beginner’s luck, huh! Been chilling in the fridge right now. Tomorrow couldn’t come soon enough for the tasting!

  • Lisa

    This was the first time making this perfect cheesecake and the title says it all. I entered it in a local charity contest and it was voted judges award. I was so impressed how well it cooked and tasted that I need to make it ASAP to really enjoy a full piece! DELICIOUS!!!!!!

  • Elisa

    So I just took my cheesecake out of the oven (making it for my aunts birthday dinner) and turns out that even though I did not put the actual cake pan in the pan of boiling water because I could not afford to get it wrong ( instead i put a pan of boiling water under the cake pan) it still went soggy. Furthermore I am pretty sure that I added too much butter to the crust. So not only is the crust super buttery it is now super soggy too. I don’t know what to do now! I am in the middle of a small town near barcelona so it’s not like I can go and buy one at the store. What should I do?

    The crust shouldn’t be wet if it never touched water. It could be soggy from having too much butter in it though. I would let the cake cool, then chill it for several hours to see how the crust firms up. ~Elise

  • Bailey

    Any tips on turning this into mini cheesecakes? I just got a set of adorable 4″ mini-springform pans!

  • bre

    I just made this cheesecake for a dinner party we had and it came out perfectly! just like the pictures !! Also, the cheesecake was such a hit at our dinner party, I really should have made 2 because everyone enjoyed it so much thankyou for the wonderful recipe !!! It really is the perfect combination of creamy sweet and tangy

  • James S.

    Not sure if anyone has already given this hint, but placing the springform in a plastic turkey roasting bag before setting the whole thing in the water bath eliminates the possibility of water leakage. Don’t seal the bag though, as if that were obvious; just fold the bag down around the edge of the springform and you’re ready to go.

  • michele clark

    I just want to say thank you for your recipe. This was my first attempt ever at making a cheesecake and while its time consuming all my husband can say is wow oh wow and it was the best cheesecake he has ever eaten. Im also glad i took your advice on the double wrap of foil…after removing the first layer of foil and seeing water run out my heart dropped but the second layer held strong. Ive never tasted anything as light and smooth as this cheescake…it was like eating a fluffy cloud of cheesecake :) ty ty

  • Aruna

    Thanks for posting. :)

    I don’t have a springform pan, but I do have a Calphalon 9″ Round nonstick pan. Will that work?

    Also, will it work if I substitute both of the creams for Greek yogurt?

    Regarding your first question, I suggest reading the comments to the recipe to see what other people have done in lieu of using a springform pan. As to your second question, I have no idea. ~Elise

  • Flood

    I’m so grateful for your site. I tend to be a cautious cook, but I always know your recipes will turn out. You are my go-to for anything new I want to attempt.

    This turned out beautifully. I used a crockpot liner around the pan without incident, and opted to make your caramel sauce rather than the sour cream topping. It was my first ever cheesecake AND first caramel sauce. Both were universally well-received, gawked over, and talked about to an embarrassing degree. The hand-held mixing was a bit strenuous (I don’t have a stand mixer) but well worth it. Thank you again.

  • Michelle

    Looks great and I plan on making this asap. Do you know if this will freeze well? And do you know if the recipe doubles well?

    No idea on freezing, and I haven’t tried doubling the recipe. The recipe makes a large cheesecake as it is. ~Elise

  • Rebecca Hasenauer

    Really looking forward to trying your variation on a master recipe. It’s like, with classical music, all the greatest musicians have a personal style that shines through the variations they make on the original score. It’s interpretation that’s important…whether of cheesecake or a sonata.

    I had my own stock of recipes, and variations, when I was around your age too, mostly gathered from Elizabeth David’s books. My most worn and beloved book was, and is, a now out of print Australian book called Vegetables written by Lisa Lintner. In the unlikely event that you see a copy in a second hand book store you should grab it.

  • Nancy (n.o.e.)

    Two years ago at Christmas the bakers of the Tuesdays With Dorie online baking group were making this cheesecake in our own kitchens. It really is the best cheesecake, so rich and creamy.

  • Lisa

    Best cheesecake ever!! Mine did crack but the sour cream topping covered it beautifully and the texture was just perfect. Thanks!!

  • Steph

    Wow!! I made this yesterday and it really is the perfect cheesecake. Thank you for such an amazing recipe. I will be using it for years to come!

  • Ron Hildebrand

    Love this cheesecake! For the last couple years, I’ve been making a cheesecake from a restaurant in the old Shillitos department store in Cincinnati from the ’60s. I was a bit hesitant about this recipe, since it was referred to as a lighter cheesecake in one of the posted comments: I’m not usually a fan of lighter cakes, as the ones I’ve tried like that had a much drier texture. I’m guessing the heavy cream has something to do with keeping it not only light, but also moist. Mine did crack and about 1/3 of the cheesecake slid slightly off the graham cracker crust, but I think I most likely pulled the Springform off a bit too early. Next time I’ll leave it on overnight instead of around 4 hours or so.

    I ended up using the basic recipe from this cake, but using the topping from the Shillitos cake, which is very similar in composition to the one for this cake, but instead of being added after the baking is complete and the cake is out of the oven, the cake is pulled about 15 minutes before being done, the topping added and the cake then put back in the oven to complete baking with the topping in place. The Shillitos recipe can be found for comparison by searching for “Shillito’s Lazarus Cheesecake”.

    The Shillito’s was my favorite up to now, but the taste and especially the texture of this one really does kick’s The Shillito’s cake’s rear end. (At least enough to give it a sizable edge!) I’ve never had a cracking issue with the Shillito’s cheesecake, but it was smaller (shorter), using only 3 bricks of cream cheese instead of the 4 of this recipe, and no heavy cream, so it didn’t have as much weight pulling it apart after the Springform comes off. Individual slices freeze and thaw well, too.


  • Shirley

    This cheesecake is wonderful. Not hard at all. First time ever making cheesecake, didn’t crack or anything. Just follow the directions and it turns out perfect!

  • roland

    I made this cheesecake this morning and it looks BEAUTIFUL one of the best lookin ones I have made and I have made lots and lots of cheesecakes, it’s sitting on the kitchen counter cooling, then I will put it in the fridge, and put the toppings on it tomorrow, then I will comment on how it tastes lol. If it tastes anywhere close to what it looks like man it’s gonna be good!

  • Robyn

    I went looking for a great cheese cake recipe and yours was first one to click. It came out wonderful!!! The recipe was so easy and I can’t wait to make more!! Thank you!!!

  • Chloe

    Hi, this recipe looks amazing and I’m planning on making it for my mother’s birthday! I was just wondering if you could clear up the types of sugar for me. I live in Australia and therefore first thought that the “sugar” you use in the base was referring to our ‘white sugar’, but after researching ‘granulated sugar’ I fear that this is indeed ‘white sugar’. My question is can the same type of sugar be used in both the base and the filling and, if not, which should be finer? Thank you :)

  • Lawrence

    I would add chocolate sprinkles on top of the rasberry glaze…oooh yeah!

  • Crystal

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I just have to say if you have been scouring the internet reading through countless recipes for cheesecake (Like I did). Look no further. This is aahhhmazing! My first attempt at cheesecake ever and it is perfect in my book. I omitted the sour cream topping only out of pure impatience. I will try it with next one. I used blackberries because that’s what we have in the garden. Everyone loved it! Thanks again!!

  • lori

    my daughter and i made your wonderful cheesecake today for a home school project. we put our spring form pan in a silicone pan and it turned out wonderful. thank you so much for sharing and for giving metric equivalents as we live in europe. we will definitely make this again. it was the first cheesecake i/we ever made and it didn’t crack. we are going to top with a sour cream and lemon curd mixture. can’t wait to taste it tomorrow!

  • Stevie and Audrey

    Hey! I just wanted to say that i just made this cheesecake with my young Daughter Audrey by my side.. :) w loved this recipe! Instead of the cream on top we drizzeled chocolate and carmel with chopped pecans and it was Amazing!! Best CheeseCake ive ever made!

  • Julianne

    Elise, This is my second time making your cheesecake. It was a hit last time and my friend Pam is going to be sooo happy over her PERFECT BIRTHDAY CHEESECAKE!!! It is Perfect. Thank you so much. This one is my very favorite cheesecake recipe and I have a few.

  • Krystel

    Hi! I baked my first ever cheesecake following your recipe and it tasted great! Instead of making my own crust (didn’t have enough time) I bought a Nabisco Nilla Pie Crust (6oz) . If anyone is wondering, this recipe makes enough cheesecake mix for 2 of those Nilla crusts.

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe!! :)

  • Rania

    Hey. I have tried this cheesecake recipe today. I am soo not a cook, i have such a busy lifestyle, but I have tried it at my friend’s house, your style, and loved it much more than my old recipe. Today my family fell in love with it!! Thanksss <3

  • DW

    I’d like the topping to be a bit less runny. Any thoughts?

  • Meghan

    I made this cheesecake and I absolutely loved the flavor! The texture was creamy and smooth. However, even after baking it the filling seemed softer than a normal cheesecake. Did I do something wrong or is it not as dense as some cheesecakes?

  • Holly

    I made your cheesecake for my husband’s birthday. I followed your recipe for the most part but I did put pecans and raw sugar in the crust (YUM!!!) and I put in a bit of fresh lemon zest as many others have, thinking it would complement the raspberry since I usually just do it plain with Madagascar vanilla bean paste- which I did use as well. I prefer without the lemon but it was great with it as well- everyone who’s tried it has rolled their eyes up in pleasure and then closes them with the ‘yummm’ sound following ;-) I didn’t have heavy cream so I used 1/3 C half and half while increasing the sour cream to 1 C. Seriously though, loved it.. great texture and so yummy!! Thanks again!

  • sanding

    Thank you for the recipe. As the second go-to person for cooking when my dad isn’t around, I find your recipes very helpful. Although the first time I made the cheesecake I messed up quite a bit with how I did things.

  • Shirley Dismuke

    Made this last weekend and am in the process of throwing out ALL of my other cheesecake recipes!!! It is the best cheesecake I have ever made. No cracks…great flavor…wonderful texture…crunchy crust…pure perfection! If I knew how, I’d post a picture of it. It was so beautiful, I didn’t want to put the strawberries and glaze on it that my grandson requested.

  • Foz

    I loved your recipe of the Cheesecake. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Cassandra

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I just tried making it recently and it was divine…I just want to comment about the crust, since I hate it too when my crust is soggy. I tried looking for ways as to how you could get a easy but not soogy crust; my technique is to bake the graham crust first just for about 10-12 minutes, let it cool for a while and then pour the cheesecake batter on the crust and then bake it again. when I tasted the cheesecake it was really delicious and the crust just had that right crunch and it was absolutely not soggy:)

  • Brigitte

    My cheese cake turned out perfectly. It’s cooling off and ready to be served tomorrow.

  • Dustin

    since I first made this cheesecake, I have been inundated with requests for variations. it works great marbled with ganache for a chocolate cheesecake, and any fruit seems to be a success. i like to swirl whatever topping I am using with the sour cream topping, as sometimes the sour cream alone can be a bit too tangy for some. Thank you for the recipe, and thorough instruction!

  • Brigitte

    Never baked a chocolate cheese cake. I have a recipe for a marbled pudding cake.

  • Dorothy M. Scheer

    I make many cheese cakes and would like to know ? Why when I put the

    Filling in my pan ,it rises to the top and looks great but after I shut the oven off but leave the oven door closed till it cools down 3 or 4 hours my
    cake drops down to almost where it was when I put it in ? Why doesn,t it
    stay up there ? please let me know ? Sencerely Dorothy M. Scheer

    • Elise

      The only thing making the cheesecake rise is the egg in them cheesecake mixture. Like a soufflé, anything baked with egg as the main leavened will deflate somewhat after it cools. This is to be expected.

  • kevin arnold

    This recipe is fantastic. This is the first cheesecake I have ever made and the result was amazing. I am now competing with my Fiancee’s grandmother for her family’s best cheesecake.

  • Genie

    This was the best cheesecake I have ever tasted. I normally don’t like cheesecake but this one was so light and creamy and full of taste. This recipe truly is perfect!

  • Jeanette

    Elise, thank you for sharing your cheesecake recipe and the great step-by-step instructions. I made this as a sugar-free variation on a nut crust for a low carb family birthday. I believe this is the best cheesecake I have ever made. The texture of the cheesecake was truly perfect and the sour cream topping was divine. Your recipe has replaced any and every other cheesecake recipe in my kitchen.

  • Sumaiah

    Wow, I am a 14 year old and I made a butifule delishouss cheese cake ,everyone in the house was amazed ,thank you Elise for your very easy cheese cake recipe and the the awesome easy instructions
    Thank you again Elise

  • Tim P

    Sorry I am so late to the conversation but I just found this recipe and the time to make it. I will try it tonight but so far it looks like it is described. I could have literally eaten the uncooked mixture prior to baking, it was that good! One thing I have changed after reading the thread was for the sour cream topping. I used 1/2 teaspoon of pure orange extract and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead of 1 full teaspoon of vanilla extract. I also added orange zest. It tasted amazing so far. Cant wait to eat it tonight after over night in the refrigerator. Cheers!

  • Mahroo

    I made this cheesecake two days ago, it was AMAZING! It tasted great, no cracks….. FLAWLESS! Thank you!

  • Marcus

    I’m a professional chef in Sweden and I had a big order for cheesecake the other day and I tried this recipe. Amazing, glad there was a big chunk left for me after service. Thanks a bunch.

  • Kayla

    This has been my go-to cheese cake recipe for about a year now! I love it, thank you! I found it when my boyfriend requested a cheese cake for his birthday, and about a year later, I’ve been using it ever since. I just looked it up again because I volunteered to make one for a dinner and I wanted to make sure I still had the ratios right. Thanks again!

  • Terry

    Hi Elise,
    I have a few questions. Was I supposed to oil the springform pan before baking? My cheesecake was not smooth on the sides when removed from the pan. It was jagged looking. Then I was thinking maybe it didn’t bake long enough. I followed the directions exactly, but my top didn’t brown at all. I left it in the oven for another hour like the recipe said. It seems a bit too light and airy. Should I add more baking time? Please help!!!!
    Thanks so much!

    • Elise

      Hi Terry, it’s so hard to tell from a distance, every oven is different. With something as involved as cheesecake, you almost have to treat the first attempt at a test for your conditions and then make adjustments. Sometimes the sides are jaggedy when you remove the springform pan. This is why Dorie recommends as a tip to use a blow dryer on the outside of the pan to help loosen the sides. Note that the cheesecake should be completely chilled when you attempt to remove the pan. As for if you should have cooked it longer, you’ll know when you taste it! It’s hard for me to guess from here. Sometimes my friend Audrey makes it and the top doesn’t brown, so I don’t think you should go on that as an indication of whether or not it is done. If your oven is predictable in terms of how it heats, you should be fine.

  • Terry

    Hi Elise
    Do I need to grease and flour the pan? Thanks for your help!!!
    PS I plan to try again!!!

    • Elise

      If the recipe doesn’t say to flour the pan, you don’t need to flour the pan. In this case, you do not need to flour the pan. Good luck on your next try!

  • Ennah Y

    your link is referred to one of my. described as ‘ god level dessert chef’ friend in my clan, and i follow this for auntie birthday celebration. Your recipe is EXCELLENT and we all loved it. Thank you so much

  • Nawal Ismail

    Tried it and it came out just the way I wanted it.
    And thanks so much!!!

  • brian hastings

    I made this cheesecake once and it was wonderful it might be the reason ive put some weight back on. haha
    and for the people asking DONT use the fat free or light cream cheese, ive tried them in other cheesecake recipes and they just dont come out the same.
    This cheesecake just bursts with flavor i plan on making it again for a 25th anniversery party for my cousin. I cant wait for them to try this cheesecake. I found your website in the fall and i have made many of the recipes off your site, you have made my wife a very happy person because i now help make and plan our meals.
    Thank you very much you’re awesome

  • Gitanjali

    Thank you for a great recipe. I am a fan of Martha’s Country Cheesecake and this is the closest thing to it.

  • John

    I tweaked the recipe sort of. I mixed some bakers chocolate with espresso coffee and sugar. I spread the mix on top of the crust, chilled just enough for it to harden slightly before adding the filling. My son can’t wait for the next time that I bake it.

  • John

    PS, Love your site and recommend to my cooking friends.

  • Anastasia

    I have never really left comments on things, but I REALLY wanted to express what an amazing recipe this is. EVERY single person who has tried my cheesecake has LOVED it. I made 6 of them for my cousins wedding and I am making 5 more for my brothers wedding in August. I have made all variations of this cheesecake including blueberry, raspberry white chocolate, plain, and strawberry. I do add about 2 tablespoons more of melted butter, and it use fat free sour cream. Love love love!! I was making this recipe with a handheld mixer and it took forever but was worth it, and just made it tonight with my new kitchenaid and was sooo much easier and much more enjoyable! Thanks sooo much for an amazing recipe!! Last note, the thing that stood out in this recipe that I liked was that u don’t use any flour. I kept trying recipes with flour in them and they were more like cake rather than nice thick cheesecake. Alright I’m done…thanks!!

  • Melissa

    Hey, it is a very nice recipe! It’s wonderful! I was just wondering whether you could substitute graham cookies for digestive cookies? And also wondering that I have 432g of cream cheese so is there any substitute to add on to it? Thanks.

    • Elise

      Hi Melissa, you might try making a smaller cheesecake, a half recipe. You wouldn’t cook it as long (no idea how long). I think you could use digestive cookies as a sub for the graham crackers, though I’ve never tried it.

  • A.

    My filling was too liquid,so I was terrified (it’s not a cheap,nor easy cake after all..),but after refrigerating it was great. I’ve made an orange-caramel cheesecake with an orange-rum caramel sauce,it tasted absolutely amazing.
    I was using however 50% of the sugar,I found it too sweet. I’ve added half of a vanilla bean,it was worth the money..;) But at the end,it was light and delicate and tasty!

  • Jen

    I have made plenty of cheesecakes before and I thought this one looked amazing. I followed your directions to a “T” and it was the first time Ive ever used foil and put the cheesecake in the bath water and it turned out looking nothing like the picture. It overflowed into the pan around all the edges and the top is all split and cracked. Have no idea what happened but so disappointed I wasted my money.

    • Gitanjali


      It could only be that you did not follow the directions to the T. I am a novice at baking anything and I have made this cheesecake following this recipe to the letter and always had perfect results.


  • Piyu

    I am not good at baking .Can you please tell me if i want to make the cheesecake in Microwave, then what temperature i should set & for how much time.

    • Elise

      Hello Piyu, I have no idea how to make a cheesecake in a microwave. This recipe will certainly not work in a microwave. Good luck!

  • Anonymus

    Hey! I think I’m gonna reduce the cream cheese and use oreo cookies for the crust. Do u think it will work? Thank you!
    – Anon

  • Jasmine

    Hi! The first time I came across this recipe was one month after I moved to the city. It was so delicious and my very first time making cheesecake, so believe that I did not really know what I was doing. I had to constantly keep looking back to the recipe to see what I was doing and the cheesecake came out all cracked. I don’t even think I did a bain marie either. When I buy the ingredients to make this (since we do not use sour cream or heavy cream at all, only when baking) I buy the smallest container available at the supermarket, which all equal to one cup. The second time I made the cheesecake, I got completely sidetracked and just dumped all the sour cream/heavy cream inside the batter and did not realize until the 3rd time I decided to make the cheesecake that I did not use the exact measurements. That time, I actually measured out the ingredients and it came out just as good as the first and second time, however the remainder 1/3 cup rotted in my refrigerator. So every other time I made this cheesecake (I’ve made this like 7 times already within the last year) I just use the whole cup for both ingredients. I don’t really know how the 2/3 cup of heavy/sour cream really tastes like, so I wonder what difference it makes? Overall, I love this recipe. I never had cheesecake until one day at drill (I was in the reserves) they ordered cheesecakes for us. My sister loved that cheesecake and I decided to make this recipe and she said it was just as good as “the cheesecake from the Army”. Thank you again! :)

  • delphine


    I live in France, and i was looking for the best cheesecake recipe. I love us food and i just want to do a recipe for my family and friends who didn’t know what is a cheesecake. So i just want to give you a big “merci” because it was a big success. I have a few friends who already tasted it in restaurant and they fall in love with this recipe. have a nice day and merci beaucoup. Delphine

  • Jarrod

    Hi. I found this recipe a few months ago, and I have raved about it non-stopped!! My wife and I both use to be die hard Cheesecake Factory Fans. Now, we won’t even consider stepping foot near their building! I have never in my life thought that cheesecake could really be THAT GOOD!!! I have now purchased professional cheesecake pans to make more of these awesome cheesecakes for my family and friends. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!!! I do have one question though. I see in your pictures that the sour cream topping looks pretty thick. Almost like soft icing. Mine always seems kind of runny for some reason. (And I’ve made this cheesecake 5 times already) I use a top name brand of sour cream from the grocery store, but as soon as I add the powdered sugar, it gets runny. Are there any additional pointers you could give about making the sour cream topping? Have you ever had an issue with it turning out runny? Any idea about what I’m doing wrong? Any ideas would be most helpful. Thanks again for sharing your recipes!

    • Elise

      Hi Jarrod, that’s strange since the corn starch in the powdered sugar should help keep the topping thick. Maybe use less sugar? Add a little cornstarch?

    • Mary Marszalek

      You probably are already but just in case,
      make the topping according to the directions
      the night before or hours before,cover it up and refrigerate
      it. Getting the topping nice and cold should give you the
      right consistency your looking for. I’ve made it several
      times now and it’s always turned out well:)

    • Jenny

      I made the sour cream topping ahead of time and noticed it really thickened up after time. Either way it was the best cheesecake I’ve ever had in my life- I got rave reviews from family. Thanks Elise!!

  • jamilamimi

    hi Elise! Thank you for this recipe, it’s really perfect! this is my inspiration to challenge myself to create fifty flavours of cheesecake, yes! fifty :-)
    thank you so much!

  • Newlywed

    This cheesecake is amazing! I got married in May and we had a cheesecake bar at our reception. We found and tested recipes then had friends make cheesecakes for the reception. For our wedding cake we actually used this recipe, made it into a double-decker cheesecake and used a light, fluffy, delicious frosting. It was fabulous. So many people commented on how great the reception was. Thanks for this recipe!

  • Yasmin

    This looks awesome Elise! I’ve been drooling over this recipe over the last year and really want to try it out for a special occasion coming up soon; just one problem- my gas oven starts at 180C and not 160C (325F). I do have a heating element on top (a top grill i guess) but no clue how much heat that adds upto. Anyone have any input on this?

  • Rhenjay

    Does the baking time take a bit longer in a bath water? What’s the usual bake time for a 7″ or 9″ size cheesecake? I’ve been baking cheesecakes for quite some time now and I always wanted to try it in bath water. I usually bake my cheesecakes on 325 Deg for 55 minutes and it turns out pretty well, but I do see it crack here and there.


  • Bill

    I was talking to my friends about cheesecake so I decided to look for a recipe and came across this one. Long story short, I’m now the neighborhood cheesecake maker. I had never made a cheesecake in my life and had no idea it would be so easy. This is really the best cheesecake.

  • Ladonn

    Hi. I am going to make this delicious looking cheesecake and I have read most of the comments, and I have another question about the water bath.
    Once the cheesecake is cooling in the oven for the hour, still in the water bath, when the hour is up, do I let the cake cool longer on the counter, before covering and placing in refrigerator?
    Would it still be too warm to place directly in fridge?
    Thank you so much.

    • Elise

      Hi Landonn, you might want to let it cool further on the counter before putting it in the fridge.

      • LaDonn

        Thanks so much Elise. One more question please! It turns out my springform pan is 10″ instead of 9″. Do I just decrease the cooking time of the cake?
        Thanks again. LaDonn.

  • James

    I just made this cheesecake recipe yesterday. My first attempt ever at an authentic cheesecake.

    The foil wrap seemed to work as my crust seems fine. The cheesecake itself though seems almost runny. It’s holding it’s shape but it’s pretty loose. Is this normal? It seems to me like maybe it needed more baking.

    One note, I don’t have a proper mixer for baking so I had to use the electric mixer with the two four tinged mixing spoons. I tried to compensate by mixing less but I wonder if my problem is that I over mixed before baking?

    I’d like to try again. (I did ask for a proper mixer for my birthday but I don’t think it’s going to happen :).


  • Kristina

    Thank you so much for the recipe. Even here the cheese is different then yours, I tryed with 2 different product, the result was perfect really. I made this cheese cake 4 times and I don”t regret for any minute I spent on cooking it.
    I was looking for a nice recipe a long time and nothing likes me for a long period of time. But you made my cooking life with this one :)
    As I prefer the cherry topping, I made it with cherries – it is adorable.
    With love from Bulgaria (I am not sure you have ever heard it :):):))

  • Katie

    Yes, this cheesecake is perfect! Although I don’t make them often, I will be sure to make this one again. I normally prefer set cheesecakes over baked ones as I don’t enjoy the dense, overly sweet and mealy texture many of them seem to have. But I am fully converted. The only differences in the one I made was a strawberry sauce instead of raspberry as we had so many in the fridge getting sad, and using white choc macadamia cookies for the base as they were on special at the supermarket. It was so good.

  • Bill

    One thing that I’ll add which I do to help in the water bath and seepage. I put a Reynolds slow cooker liner between the layers of foil to prevent the water getting through.

  • Andrea

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it a few times and it is always a hit! Today I made it for my husband’s birthday, and it came out beautifully.

    Just for fun, added a quarter cup of Grand Mariner and a quarter teaspoon of orange extract to the raspberry topping, and let it bubble til reduced, and it is AMAZING! Just a tip for anyone looking for a little variety with this recipe.

  • Sal

    I actually found this recipe about a year ago, and its the only one I’ve used since then to make cheesecakes. It just comes out so perfect every time, I really love this recipe. I just wanted to comment on it since I plan to use it again for Thanksgiving this year. Thank you so much for sharing it! ^_^ I hope y’all have a very happy holiday season.

  • Amber

    I have made this cheesecake twice. It is the best. Tomorrow I will be making one for our Thanksgiving dinner. We don’t like pumpkin pie and my boys are so excited to eat this. I get many compliments with your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing! Happy Turkey Day!

  • David Rickerson

    The second one I made I found the foil had leaked. when I removed the springpan I put the cheesecake w/ the springpan base directly on a burner on low for a bit and dried it out. It was fine..

  • jennifer

    I have made this cheesecake about 5 times since I came across this recipe a while back and I love it! It always comes out so good and everyone that tries it loves it as well. Thanks for a great recipe! <3

  • Linda

    Instead of the aluminum foil, try using a turkey roasting bag. Just cut the top down so that it’s not too long. Never leaks with the water bath – even the cheap ones. And they can be re-used.

  • Trina

    I tried the turkey bag. Work perfectly. Also
    I make this a few days ahead so it is firm.

  • Sarah

    This is the first time I try this recipe and as it cooled in the fridge, a lot of water seeped out of the actual cheesecake, as if it was condensing. It was really strange… I buttered the pan but very little, could that be it? I’ve tried other cheesecake recipes and I always butter my pans and this has never happened. help!

  • Rita shelton

    Has anyone tried freezing this cheesecake..just made it but don’t want to cut it till christmas evening

  • deepali

    am thinking about making this for xmas, but adding in some baileys (in place of vanilla and some of the cream). wondering if anyone has tried something similar?

  • sally

    I find this method of wrapping pans in aluminum foil easier: turn the pan upside down and smooth the foil around the sides; turn it right side up again. It goes on more smoothly and doesn’t need to be doubled.

    I have a glass-bottom springform that I use, in spite of the “non–stick” coating peeling off. After wrapping the pan in foil, I spray the inner sides of the pan and line it with baking parchment strips, up to the top of the sides. My recipe doesn’t need a water bath and it doesn’t crack. YMMV

  • rowena

    hi elise,
    i like your perfect cheesecake and love to try my question is, would it be okay to use the whisk wire instead of electric mixer because i have no elecctric mixer (btw) just new in baking…

    thank you


    • Elise

      Hello Rowena, I think this recipe would be hard to make by hand, but if you do, use a wooden spoon to beat.

  • Laura

    An interesting twist is to replace the heavy whipping cream with a HIGH QUALITY, thick egg nog, and add a smidge of nutmeg. In SE Michigan, Calders Dairy makes the best egg nog I have ever had. They have their own dairy farm. All of their products are great.

  • Richard

    I just came across this recipe in my RSS feed. I am going to be SO fat. It looks amazing. I’ll be trying it tonight for Christmas Day. Thank you!

  • Pascale

    Can I make this without the crust? It looks amazing and I want to make it today for Christmas dinner. I made a red velvet cake and this looks like a perfect cheese cake top for my red velvet cheese cake

  • Helen Mackesy

    Here’s a tip from my husband. I have made a number of cheesecakes using the water bath method and have ended up with soggy crusts. My husband took an oven bag( used for cooking chicken, turkey etc). He cut open the sides and opened it up flat. We place 2 sheets of tinfoil on the counter with the flat oven bag on top. Carefully bring it up the sides of your cheesecake pan and voila– no further soggy crusts. Reusable too.
    Works every time.
    Helen from British Columbia Canada

  • Amy @Very Culinary

    That DOES look perfect!

  • Joanna

    I think this cheesecake beats my grandma’s cake! (hope she’s not reading this!) and that’s a huuuge compliment because it really is difficult to beat my grandmother’s baking skills!

  • Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    I love cheesecake. I don’t have a perfect recipe. This is SOOOOO time tested and you are fabulous cook. I am going to have this for desserts for my big holiday dinner on the first. Oh baby. I can hardly wait.

  • Evde Cilt Bakımı

    I was talking to my friends about cheesecake so I decided to look for a recipe and came across this one. Long story short, I’m now the neighborhood cheesecake maker. I had never made a cheesecake in my life and had no idea it would be so easy. This is really the best cheesecake.

  • Pascale

    Thank you so much Elise this turned out so perfect

  • jayne

    Could i make this without the paddle attatchment? I have an ancient hand-me-down mixer and only have the standard beaters, and i have no idea what paddle attatchment i could buy that would fit it lol. Every cheesecake recipe ive seen calls to use one, so ive never attempted to make one seeing as i lack the attatchment called for.

    • Elise

      Hi Jane, the reason you use a paddle attachment is that the cream cheese is thick. It may bend and warp a whisk attachment. If you don’t have a paddle attachment, you might try beating by hand using a wooden spoon.

  • Holly

    I made this over the weekend and WOW! Several steps up from my usual cheesecake. I used the crock-pot liner with a layer of foil over that, and the crust was perfectly dry. I saved the liner to use again. I also used a hand mixer with standard beaters and that worked just fine.

    I’m already planning to make another one this week for a colleague’s birthday.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Holly

      So the second time I made this, I used my Bosch universal mixer with the wire whisks, and I think I got too much air in it. My pan was more full when I poured the batter in. Worse, when I attepted to serve it, it was structurally flawed and several pieces just fell apart. Taste was great, and texture was a little fluffier than you would expect, but it wasn’t pretty.
      Next time, I will try the cookies paddles and see how that works.

      Also, the first time I just stirred the sour cream topping together and put it in the fridge while the cake was baking. It was nice and thick. The second time I whipped the sour cream a bit and beat in the sugar and vanilla and put that in the fridge. That time it was very runny. Not sure if the difference was technique or ingredients, but thought I would mention this. When I make this again, I will report back. :)

  • Carmen Juuti

    Haven’t made the cheesecake,but cheesecake never turns out bad in my books. Re: recipe making too much product; I am wondering if those people live at high altitudes – especially if the recipe originally comes from somewhere near sea level. In that case, reducing the recipe by 1/4 or 1/2 might help. CMJ

  • Kelly

    I can’t wait to try your recipe and water bath method. I’ve had good success with cheesecakes in the past. I have trouble cutting them so they are attractive though. Do you have any tips for making clean cuts as pictured above? Thanks!

    • Elise

      Hi Kelly, you might try dipping the knife blade in warm water before making a cut.

    • Jeremiah

      Use dental floss after cheesecake is completely chilled, at least 4 hours in fridge, but before topping. Works like a *chaaarm*

  • deepali

    I tried this for Xmas and it was wonderful. For those without the mixer, I did it by hand with a big wooden spoon. Turned out great. But you really have to let the cream cheese come to room temperature and give it an initial whipping.

  • Kimberly

    Hi. I want to use this recipe to make a Baileys liqueur cheesecake but I am not sure what the modification would be. Any ideas?

    • deepali

      i tried it with 150 ml of baileys in place of same amount of cream. wasn’t strong enough – could possibly double it.

      • Kimberly

        Thanks. I also found the flavour wasn’t strong enough. I did put Baileys in the sour cream topping though and that helped. I will increase the amount in the cheesecake next time and let you know.

  • Maria

    For what it’s worth, this is the method I always use for a leak proof cheesecake water bath. It’s absurdly easy and fail proof. The only catch is having the right size larger pan.

  • Jeremiah

    I didn’t read all the comments, but I tried adding the juice of a small lime and its zest to the filling. ZING! Delish

  • Bigdaddy Bud

    I was bored last night and somehow the idea to make a cheese cake popped in my head. Now, I’m an old fat farmer who can cook well, but it’s mostly on a grill or down home hearty cooking. I’m not a baker by any stretch of the imagination. I had to modify it a bit because it was late and I didn’t have a few ingredients. I didn’t have graham crackers but I always have Biscoff cookies, so I just pounded ’em. We have cows and usually always have cream but my wife had taken the cream and made Irish cream for coffee. (Irish whiskey, cream, egg, vanilla and stuff like that.) so I substituted. It turned out great! My wife was perplexed when she got up in the morning and I had foil, big pan full of water, really just a pile of random dishes. Then she saw and tasted the cheese cake. She thinks I was taken over and possessed last night because it was totally out of character and the result was delicious. I told her I just thought up stuff that sounded right and dumped and poured. She is bugging me to remember and write but I told her I drank to much Irish cream coffee to remember. (I will eventually spill the beans and tell her I got it from you, but it’s to fun to see her panicking cause I can’t remember. Thank you so much for the awesome cheesecake and the fun to boot.

    • Elise

      Oh my gosh, what a great story Bud, thank you! I’m so glad you liked the cheesecake! Lucky wife. :-)

      • Bigdaddy Bud

        Why thank you. I had to break down and show her the recipe and your comment. She doesn’t think she’s a lucky wife except for the fact she says she lucky to not be in an insane asylum yet. Yet….

  • Shana

    I tried this recipe the other day and it was beautiful :). It was for a birthday party and everybody loved it!

    Unfortunately water got into the springform pan, there was a tiny hole in the foil, but miraculously the base was still firm and even a little crunchy which is what I was hoping for. There was a bit of moisture in the crust around the edges but it didn’t ruin the recipe at all. Just thought I’d share that in case anyone ever gets water into the base and is compelled to start over. :)


      Shana, I had the same problem cooking this cake last night. Have not serve it yet but am praying that water didn’t get to the crust. Next time I will follow one review here and use a Crockpot Liner, unless I can find a bigger in size foil paper that cover the whole pan. My cake is for this Friday so we’ll see how it comes out with the crust. Fingers crossed.

  • Susan Myrick

    I am regularly looking for recipes I can use when cooking with my little people and aside from the fact that this is, truly and without a doubt, the best cheesecake ever…It is also a wonderful recipe for little people. I cook often with my five year old son and he really enjoyed the process of making this cheesecake.

    A few key things that make this child friendly…easy measurements, no sharp implements required (used an icing knife to cut the cream cheese into cubes), timing between adding ingredients (great for counting!), and graham crackers (my son says the angels must eat graham crackers because they’re so good.)

    We put strawberry puree, the sour cream topping and chocolate sauce into three bottles for sampling along with a little bowl of graham cracker topping. The waiting was so much fun! My daughter (11) and son had built so much anticipation by the second day waiting for it to chill that they gobbled up their dinners, did the dishes faster than I’ve ever seen and got out the dessert plates – bouncing with eagerness the entire time.

    We took photos throughout and even took a photo of what was left after we’d all had a piece. It was indeed the best cheesecake ever and we will use this recipe again and again. Thank you so much for posting it!

    • Elise

      Hi Susan, Oh gosh, I’m so with your son on the graham crackers, aren’t they great? My favorite treat when I was five too. Thanks for sharing your story of making this cheesecake with your kids, what fun!

  • Dee @ The Kitchen Snob

    I want to make a special dessert for Oscar night. Having never made cheesecake before I had found a recipe by Tyler Florence to make. Today, I came across your recipe and your pictures have won me over! This is the recipe I’m going to make. It looks AMAZING and I can’t wait to try it!

  • Ellie

    Best. Cheesecake. Ever. Nuff said.

  • Kelly Baehr

    This cheesecake is just perfect! Since I cannot get real Philadelfia cheese here, used 500 gr 30% and 400 gr 9% local white cheese. As for the water bath, was afraid of leakage, so I just placed a tray with boiling water in the bottom of the oven and hoped for the best. The results, incredibly delicious and beautiful presentation. Everybody raved about the cake. Thank you, Elise. Whatever is in your blog, always comes out perfect.

  • molly

    This is the most amazing cheesecake EVER! My daughter had to do a science fair project using different cheesecake methods. She made three of these and not only did they not have a SINGLE crack, but they were sooooo good! We ate them all and she ended up getting an award in the fair! :)

  • Ambika Kumar

    Hi! Have made made recipes from your site and have found them wonderful. Few of my favourites are your banana bread and the caramel sauce..

    I have a question regarding the quantities. This Saturday I made a cheesecake from Joy the Baker’s blog which uses 1 pound of cream cheese and 1 1/3 cups of sugar. Am surprised to see that your recipe with 2 pounds of cream cheese uses the same amount of sugar.. But the recipe that I made is not overly sweet, it is just right. Am perplexed as to how come!
    Or am I reading something wrong?

    I would to try this recipe the next time I am making one:-)


  • Steve

    This recipe came out awful.
    My crust would not hold together even when
    I followed the instructions.
    Not sure if I should have added more butter or
    if my pan I used had something to do with it.


    I promise to bring this Cheesecake for a Birthday party tomorrow. I had to wrapped three pieces of foil around the cake for the water bath. When I took it out after the one hour with the oven door a bit open, I realized water has leaked in. I hope and pray that the crust is ok. Not so sure though :(

  • James M.

    Ditto on the disposable oven bag. I’ve made this cheesecake twice with the liner, and not a hint of water leak. Beats battling with foil.

  • Stephanie

    This cheesecake is absolutely the perfect rich, creamy cheesecake. I have very high standards when it comes to food and this one exceeded my expectations. I will say for those having trouble with water getting in, you do not have to set the cheesecake in a water bath. Putting a pan of water on the rack below does the exact same thing perfectly without worrying about water seepage.

  • Annie

    My 18 month old and I just made this cake. It’s in the oven now! So far it was super easy and she loved being able to feel the graham cracker crust in her tiny hands! Thank you!!

  • Amanda

    Made this for my mom’s birthday last night. Turned out great! I’m not generally a cheesecake fan, actually, too dense for me, but this was just right! Thick and rich, but not too sweet, somewhat fluffy, and I felt like I could just keep eating. Skipped the sour cream topping as I am hoping to freeze some leftovers, but had it with strawberries, raspberries and homemade whipped cream. I made one adjustment to the crust – added some pecans. It turned out beautifully, no cracks, nice browning on the top, and came out of the pan with ease. I read some reviews mentioning the bottom crust sticking a bit – I sprayed some oil in the pan (no parchment paper here) and had no issues with removing slices or altering the flavor. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Jenny

    Third time making this cheesecake. You just can’t go wrong. I’ve made it for Christmas, my friend’s birthday and for no reason at all! It’s just perfect, like the title says! Thanks :)

  • Jenny

    How on earth could you include directions like “use clean hands while mixing butter with graham cracker crumbs” and “Pour boiling water into roasting pan but don’t touch the oven while you’re doing it so you won’t burn yourself” and not include betterdirections for how to foil the springform pan so that it’s leakproof?! All this effort is now wasted because of a soggy crust. Very dissatisfied.

    • Elise

      Hello Jenny, I’m so sorry your aluminum foil leaked! That must be very disappointing. I do call for using heavy duty foil and instruct the following: “Gently fold up the sides of the foil around the pan. Make sure to do this gently so that you don’t create any holes in the foil. If there are any holes, water will get into the pan and ruin the crust. Press the foil around the edges of the pan.” I’m now adding another layer of foil to the instructions for more protection.

      • Jenny

        Good. For my first attempt I did it just as you said to, even adding more layers of foil, but it still leaked. How does your mom do it?

        • Elise

          Hmm, my mom loves to eat cheesecake but she’s never made one. Another recommendation that people have made in the comments is to use set the springform pan in a turkey roasting bag. The bag can take the heat and it won’t leak.

    • Kelly Baehr

      Skip the foil, and just place a flat pan with boiling water in the bottom of the oven, and the results will be excellent. Worth giving it a try – you’ll see. Good luck!

  • Aurelie

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! After my last holidays in Philadelphia, I was desperate I would never taste a good cheesecake again. Now I can make it at home, and it’s even better than any thing I tasted. Pour les francophones, j’ai traduit cette merveilleuse recette sur mon blog (If you don’t mind, Elise, for French speakers, I translated this wonderful recipe in French on my blog):

    • Elise

      Hi Aurelie, thank you for properly crediting wise and wonderful Dorie Greenspan in your headnotes!

  • Amanda

    Hmmm, i did exactly as everything said and used a 9″ springform pan. But when i filled the pan i had way more filling then i thought, almost had it filled to the top of the pan and lots left over. Was there something i did wrong? The cake still turned out fantasic but why did i end up with so much filling??

    • Elise

      Hi Amanda, perhaps your springform pan doesn’t have as high sides as the pan I use?

  • John

    Amanda, I borrow 3 small spring forms from my neighbor and make mini cheesecakes for her and her 2 daughters. Her husband is out of luck.

  • Lisa

    The first time I have ever attempted cheesecake was today! My family said it was the best they have ever tasted. (and they would tell me if it wasn’t) Thank you for posting this recipe.

  • Jan St.Jacques

    Also, my first attempt at a “real” cheesecake. Turned our wonderful! How would the cooking time be affected if I used multiple smaller pans, such as 5″ or 6″?

    • Elise

      Hi Jan, the cooking time will be reduced, but I’m not sure by how much. You’ll have to experiment!

    • Nina

      This really is the perfect cheesecake recipe even for experimenting. I cut all of the ingredients in half and made 4 mini cheesecakes in four 4″ spring-form pans. I cut the baking time in half but left the cheesecake in the oven for the full hour. They came out perfect.
      Yesterday I decided to take this further. I took the ingredients as in the recipe and created 48 cupcake sized mini cheesecakes. Baked them for 22 minutes and left them in the oven for 30 minutes. Hope this helps.
      And Elise, thank you for this wonderful recipe and thank you for the perfect how-to instructions.

      • Elise

        Recipe credits go to Dorie Greenspan, she’s brilliant! Thank you for posting the results of your experiments Nina, that will help so many!

  • Mel

    After years of ‘cheese-caking’ I finally learned how to do it right.
    Cut a round of parchment paper to fit inside the pan, then bake the crust.
    Wrap the pan securely with the aluminum foil, add batter.
    Use a water bath, bake in a slow oven and your cheesecake will be perfect!
    (No matter what, I’ve never thrown away a ‘bad’ cheesecake)
    I love this website!

  • Jewel

    Made this cheesecake for my husbands birthday in February. It was the best cheescake EVER!!! Thank you so much for listing. I have tried a few with no success, but this cake had all the ingredients I was looking for! Matter of fact I am making one today for my moms 10 year anniversary (she passed 4/12/2005) she loved a good cheesecake!

  • Candi

    This is the best cheesecake! Since making two of these for my boyfriends birthday party it’s the only thing he wants for his birthday now. I am making this again tomorrow for his birthday. I make two side fruit toppings for it and don’t use the sour cream topping. It really is the best cheesecake EVER!!!

  • Mary Sanger

    The last cheesecake I baked cracked terribly. I found this recipe and followed the directions exactly and to the minute on the beating instructions (this was against my better judgment because I blamed my last cheesecake on over mixing and incorporating to much air. I’m looking at it through the oven window and it has risen to the top of the pan and cracked :-( The timer just went off to turn the oven off and let it rest. It will probably fall. What could I have done wrong? I put it in the water bath and the whole nice yards. I’m not an inexperienced baker but this has me mystified. A friend of mine years ago told me to only mix the batter enough to just incorporate the ingredients and be done with it so it doesn’t get to much air and puff up.
    Can you help?? OH BTW, the batter tasted amazing. I make my own vanilla and makes several types. The homemade vanilla gives it such a good taste.

    • Jenny s

      I’ve made this 4 times -first 3 turned out perfectly, then the last one rose above the pan and only thing I did differently was I tried it without the foil and just put a pan of hot water in the oven-vs the water bath. I think the key is the foil around the spring form pan. Maybe it kind of insulates it so it cooks nice and slow and without the foil it raises too quickly? I’m only guessing. When I did the foil I used at least 3 big pieces of it. So it kind of makes sense. How many sheets of foil did you use? The one that rose still tasted amazing I might add. Wonderful recipe!!

  • Gitanjali


    I am no experienced baker but I have made this cheesecake many times following this recipe and overbeating at times and never had a problem. It has always emerged Perfect!! I bake cheesecake for all of my guests and it is always a winner. I am thinking that your oven must be on too high. I guess ovens mind their own business. Try reducing the temperature if 325 is too hot.


  • Jodi

    HELP – I just made this for my mother-in-laws birthday party tomorrow. It looks amazing – however i had a leak even though i used 4 layers of tin foil. I’m sure the crust is soggy. Is there anything I can do to fix it? Is it still worth serving with a soggy crust or is it best to toss. I’m heartbroken just thinking about tossing it.

    • Elise

      Hi Jodi, oh, that’s so frustrating! I would just cut it in a way that you don’t serve a piece with the crust.

    • Mel

      Try putting a round of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan.
      Bake the crust, then wrap well with foil and add the filling.
      This method worked for me.

  • Jodi

    I had a great solution for my soggy crust from the leaking pan. I released the cake and flipped it over. Then I used unflavored dental floss to carefully cut off the crust. I flipped it back over and surrounded it with tons of mixed fresh berries. It was absolutely gorgeous and delicious. Nobody missed the crust.

  • Stesha

    I used this recipe and loved it! But I didn’t use any sour cream and substituted low fat coconut cream as the heavy cream in this recipe and cut back on the sugar! It came out really great though!! I also used greek yogurt cream cheese instead of normal cream cheese to cut a few more calories out.

  • Sheryl

    I just want to say “thank you” for this recipe! It really is the “perfect cheesecake”. I made this for my husband as a surprise for our 23rd Anniversary and he absolutely LOVED it, he said it was the best cheesecake he’s ever tasted! I had never attempted a cheesecake from scratch and was a little nervous about how it would turn out, but it was flawless! Thanks again for the pictures and tips and for helping me pull off the perfect anniversary surprise :)

    • Elise

      Hi Sheryl, you’re welcome! I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed the cheesecake. :-)

  • Orhan

    Do we really have to use heavy whipping cream in to filling. They usually use it only on top. Actually the recipe that you give for the top which includes cream, vanilla and powdered sugar is the same recipe with heavy whipping cream. So are we going to use heavy whipped cream both at filling and top or i just misunderstand the recipe. I will be very happy if you answer my question. Because i really want to Use this recipe.

    • Elise

      Hello Orhan, please follow the recipe as directed. Do not whip the whipping cream for the filling. Just use heavy cream, the kind that you would find labeled “heavy whipping cream” on the carton, along with sour cream, for the filling. Use sour cream for the topping, not whipping cream. If other recipes tell you to do something different, it’s because those recipes are different from this recipe.

      • Orhan

        Thanks for your answer Elise. Its very revealing. Since cooking and all these stuffs are new to me i confused a little.

  • ally

    I made this for my father for Father’s Day and everyone who tried it said this tastes amazing!!! I am going to give this recipe to everyone I know. Thank you for making a sweet Father’s Day

  • Rachel S.

    I just learned the best tip! Use a crockpot liner, instead of foil! TOTALLY leakproof.This recipe is absolutely delicious

  • Alese Harrison

    Hello, can you use a 9″ and 3 1/2″ High pan??

    • Elise

      Hello Alese, as long as it is a springform pan (the type in which the sides can be removed), then yes. 3 1/2 inches high is fine.

  • Krystal

    Cheesecake is my favorite dessert. I cook savory all the time but have been afraid to bake. Well I decided to tackle this cheesecake.. Omg. This is the most fabulous cheesecake I’ve ever had. And I made it! Thank you, thank you, thank you. It turns out it’s national cheesecake day as well.

  • Saskia

    How long do I bake if I turn this recipe into cup cakes? I’m a new baker and tried to bake them for an hour and a half and they rose really high, browned and cracked.
    To my surprise, they still tasted amazing! But I’m sure there is an appropriate time for a smaller version.
    Any help is appreciated, my husband can’t wait for me to make this recipe again, thanks!

  • Stacy

    I’ve made this about 6 times and finally got it perfect – last time I couldn’t get my jar of homemade vanilla extract open (metal rim got stuck!) so I used my homemade cinnamon extract instead, and it tasted amazing! I totally recommend it.
    How would I go about adding peanut butter to this to make peanut butter cheesecake? Would I have to sub out some of the cream cheese? Thanks for your wonderful recipe! My hubby requests it at least once a month (I’ve made it twice in the last 2 weeks)

  • Cindy McGrath

    This looks like a wonderful recipe and I would like to make it for my daughters wedding. I need to make several though and wondered how well this recipe freezes?

    • Elise

      Hi Cindy, I haven’t tried freezing it but perhaps someone else has. I suggest reading through the comments to see if someone else has shared an experience freezing the cheesecake.

  • Maria

    I love cheesecake and have always wanted to make one but the ingredients were never available. Finally managed to get a hold of the ingredients in this recipe and wow! Turned out delicious! I no longer see myself buying cheesecake, I’ll be making it! Only thing though is that the top of my cheesecake went brown so I’m going to be experimenting with the baking part in the oven till I get a perfectly white topped cheesecake. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

    • Elise

      Hi Maria, I think the top will always get a bit browned. That’s a good reason for using the sour cream topping.

  • emelle

    Made a banana chocolate chunk cheesecake with this recipe added 2 very ripe mashed bananas to the batter and added chocolate chunks right after I took the crust from the oven. The chocolate melted just a bit but once the crust cooled they stayed put when I added the batter.

  • Mary Zigarevich

    This cheesecake is delicious!! It’s just perfect, and has such a classic taste and texture. I made it for a Labor Day cookout yesterday and I was SO glad I got to take a leftover piece back home. :) I did get a crack in mine, but that could be from lumps or because I put the water pan underneath instead of braving the foil. I think next time I’ll try the turkey bag or silicone pan method. Regardless – it tastes amazing. :) Thank you for this recipe!

  • Ricki

    Thanks for the recipe Elise! I had a similar recipe that was in Sunset magazine in the 80’s and was looking for a replacement since I finally lost it in our last move :( ; but I’m looking forward to a new taste treat. My question how many days in advance can you make this?

    • Elise

      Hi Ricki, I’ve made it a day in advance, and kept it chilled. You could possibly make it well in advance if you froze it. Just put the sour cream topping on right before you serve it.

  • Steven P Williams

    Try grinding up almonds or walnuts into the graham cracker mixture.

  • Molly

    My husband and I made this for our niece’s birthday celebration (she wanted cheesecake) and it was a huge success! We made it just as is, except I used store bought preserves and thinned them out a bit with water and served that on the side. It was truly perfect – creamy and delicious, and I literally had none left after everyone ate some and took some home. Thank you for a wonderful recipe and great instructions!

  • Yvonne Saville

    There are SO MANY comments, I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this: I used a “crockpot liner” bag — since even WITH the double wrapped foil, I still had some water get inside the foil. The “roasting bag”, or “Crockpot liner” worked perfectly. Dry crust. Thank you, love this recipe… can I get it in a nice, rich chocolate, please? Thanks.

  • Angie Russell

    My daughter’s birthday is Tuesday. If I make this tomorrow (Saturday) will it keep in the fridge until Tuesday?

    • Elise

      Hi Angie, not sure about that. I would make it a day ahead of time max. More than that and I would freeze it.

  • Christi

    If I wanted to make mini cheesecakes using mini springform pans how long would I bake them for?

    • Elise

      Hi Christi, I don’t know, I’m guessing much less time than a full cake, and it would depend on the size of your mini springform. If you experiment and come up with a time that works for you, please let us know.

  • Cathy

    How big is the diameter of your springform cake elise if i may know? Thanks btw for the recipe

  • Janan

    Hi there. I wanted to thAnk you for this GREAT recipe.
    I discovered your website on Sunday when my mom asked me to make my dad a birthday cake. And since he adores cheesecakes i searched online for a recipe. I’m glad to tell you that it looked exactly like your photos. And our guests had 2 pieces at least .
    Your directions are so precise . Thank you so much

    • Elise

      Great Janan, I’m so glad everyone liked it! Dorie Greenspan is the creator of this recipe and she’s a baking genius. I highly recommend her book.

  • Arthur Ungson

    Thank you Elise and Audrey for sharing this cheesecake recipe and to Dorie Greenspan (the source and inspiration). Your description “dense, rich and light at the same time” is spot on. It’s my first time to bake anything by myself and I enjoyed making (and eating) it. It’s so delicious and much much better than the one’s I get from the shops.
    And yes, the sour cream topping… light and so refreshing. I’m craving for more! It perfectly complements the cheesecake :-)

    I’ve noted a few things I have done differently but so glad it still came out so good (for me)…
    1) I used digestives instead of graham crackers for the crust because it isn’t available where I live.
    2) I used a separate pan for the boiling water (water bath) which I placed at a lower shelf in the oven since I don’t have a roasting pan big enough for the job as described in the recipe.

    I highly recommend this recipe even for a first timer like me. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

  • Carline

    I love this cheesecake! I follow it to the letter and it comes out perfect. But… when I cut it, so much of it sticks to the knife. Does anyone have a suggestion to prevent this? I love the part that sticks to the knife, but it would make a cleaner slice if it didn’t. Thanks.

  • Ray Ranstrom

    I followed your recipe with due diligence. It came out perfect. Thank you.

  • Sharon moore

    I have always placed a bowl of hot water under my cheesecake and have never had cracks in my cheesecake. I also do not use graham cracker crumbs. I used to use the Melba toasts we could get in the baby food area for teething , but now I use animal crackers blended up in the blender and just replace them for the graham cracker crumbs. My family prefers the taste. It’s not as sweet and complements the cheesecake. Everyone that has tried it loves it.

  • Rick

    Delicious recipe and fairly simple, but the presentation of the ingredients and directions in the manner done here is one of my biggest pet peaves with online recipes. I despise having to scroll so far from the directions to the ingredients when I forget how much of something I was supposed to add. My hands don’t generally get too dirty when I bake, but the less I have to touch my computer the better. PIctures are great, but just create more stuff to scroll through, unless there’s something special about a step it doesn’t need a picture. A picture or two at the beginning showing off the goodness is all that is needed. Also, I don’t what’s up with your website but it’s slow and froze three times on me while going over the recipe. Just typing this the commment the type couldn’t keep up.

    • Elise

      Thank you for the feedback Rick!

    • Mahi

      I would suggest measuring out your ingredients before even beginning with the assembling. That’s a habit that all should acquire, regardless on the length of the method. Also a good way to make sure you have everything and enough of everything, and a good time to prep anything that needs prepping(dice, chop, slice, melt, beat).

    • Helen in Missouri

      I copy and paste the recipes into MS word, then change the font size to my liking, and print. No need to touch my computer. It’s nice because if I end up tweaking a recipe, I can change it and save it for future use.

  • Pamela

    When adding the heavy whipping cream do I just pour the liquid in or do I have to whip it first then add?

  • Margie

    Can I make this recipe without graham cracker crust? I always feel that cheese with
    graham cracker crust takes away from the flavor of the cheese cake itself. Can I use maybe vanilla wafers ir some flour base crust?

  • Natalie

    Hello Elise,
    I would like to make this Cheesecake in advance. How long can this Cheesecake keep in the fridge?

    • Elise

      Hi Natalie, oh I would say a couple of days. Beyond that I would recommend freezing it. Cheesecake freezes well.

  • Natalie

    My Cheesecake batter was very lumpy, should I sieve the mixture or will the lumps melt in the oven?

    • Elise

      Hi Natalie, good question! If you have small specks of cheese, then those will melt as the cheesecake cooks. Large lumps are a different issue. It could be because the cream cheese wasn’t fully softened enough or the brand of cream cheese. If you are dealing with larger lumps I would try to get rid of those. Pushing the mixture through a sieve seems like a good option.

    • Marilyn

      make sure cream cheese is almost room temperature. Also blend it in your mixer on slow speed a little bit longer.

  • Angela Haire

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It is wonderful and simple. My cheesecake turned out perfect, hence the name is fitting. My daddy even loved it and he prides himself on not liking baked cheesecake but rather no bake cheesecake. We’ll he certainly loved this one as well as the rest of my family. I look forward to trying more of your yummy recipes….and I appreciate how you provided detailed instructions on how to create the “perfect cheesecake” thanks again and Godbless you. :-)

  • Yudi

    Thank you very much for the recipe, i love the fact you put how long to beat the mixture, made it so much easier for a total cheesecake novice like me. I made this last night and it’s totally delicious, and turned out just like in your picture above, thanks to you. Mission accomplished :)

  • Jenniferrohl

    This was the best cheesecake I ever made. It turned out perfectly! The only thing I wouldn’t do next time is run the knife between the edge of the cake and the pan. I’d wait a bit after being removed from the fridge and just loosen the springform. Other than that, absolutely perfect!

  • Kris

    Can I use other toppings for the cheesecake?

  • Simone Schulz

    Hi, I am from Austria. In you write “2 tablespoons vanilla” – what do you mean with vanilla? Vanilla Sugar or vanilla essence? Thanks a lot for the Info!!!

  • Patty

    I forgot to pre bake the crust AND I packed it down a little too much I have found out. What do you think will come of this?

    • Elise

      Hi Patty, I’m not sure. But I don’t think you’ll ruin it if you go ahead and bake it this way. The crust just might be more dispersed into the bottom of the cheesecake.

  • Kathy Talazac

    My daughter made this cake half a dozen times over the last few months for her Science Fair Project about 3 methods of baking a cheesecake. She only used this recipe as her constant. Not only did this cake have no cracks, it also tasted best using the water bath method! She won first place (although not based on cheesecake taste!) and now everyone’s asking for the recipe. I’m directing them to you :)

  • Kimberly

    Hello! I have a 12″ Fat Daddio’s cheesecake pan with 3″ high sides. If I doubled this recipe would it work well? I may be able to do the 12″ and a 6″. What do you think?? Thanks in advance!!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kimberly, if you make it in a 12″ pan you may need to double the recipe. That will make a very large cheesecake though. Let us know how it goes for you!

  • Michele

    BEST CHEESECAKE RECIPE EVER! SERIOUSLY! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I do have one question–how do you cut your cheesecake without marring the appearance?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Michele, you might try running your knife under warm water before each cut.

      • Rob

        What Elise said is the best. To elaborate, I run the knife under hot water and then wipe off excess water between every cut. Works great.

  • Brea

    I don’t have a cheesecake springform pan…. Would it be alright if I used two pre-made pie gram cracker crusts that purchase from the stores?? Would you cut your recipe in half since the pie crusts are much smaller?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Brea, you could use the filling in pre-made graham cracker crusts. You’ll need to adjust the cooking time (less), and you probably would want to put some water in the oven maybe in a roasting pan on a lower rack, so that the temperature in the oven is more even for cooking. No idea on how much you need to cut the recipe. Some graham cracker crusts I’ve seen a very shallow.

  • Kourtnie

    Would this work in a glass Pyrex 9 x 13 pan? I don’t have a springform pan. I made an incredible cheesecake last summer in my 9 x 13, but I can’t find the recipe I used. Would this work?

    • Elise Bauer

      I don’t know Kourtnie. I haven’t tried making it in that kind of pan. But if you try it that way, please do come back and let us know how it worked for you. If you do try it, you may not need to cook it as long as the recipe suggests, given the larger surface area of the 9×13 pan.

  • Helen in Missouri

    I made this cheesecake a couple of months ago, and it is without a doubt, THE BEST cheesecake I have ever had!

    Before beginning, I read a ton of the comments. I read one from a guy from “Artisan Cheesecakes” that recommended a method of cooking the cheesecake that sounded more attractive to me than the water bath method. I did it precisely as he recommended and it turned out perfectly with not one single brown spot…it was pure “white,” just as if it was a no-bake. The only step of his that I won’t do a second time, is running the knife around the edge as soon as the oven is turned off, then return to oven. I would skip that and just run a knife around before serving it. It caused the cake to rough up slightly around the edge, and those little jagged edges got kind of dry. It didn’t hurt a thing, just appearance.

    I noticed that it was even better tasting after a couple of days in the fridge. So…when I make THREE of these bad boys for my daughter’s wedding shower in May, I’m going to make them on Thursday for the shower on Saturday.

    We had macerated strawberries to serve on top, instead of raspberry puree, but for the shower, I’m going to serve both in puree form in crystal gravy boats so guests can pour over the top. Also, I sprinkled graham cracker crumbs over the top for added decoration.

    I’ve added a link to pics on my FB page. I can’t tell you how amazing this recipe is!

    Thank you so much!

  • Sonia

    Just a magnificent cheese cake! Made today for a family birthday and thry begged for every bit to take home. Easy, great instructions and ingredients available in every store. Here’s my addition; where foil is traditional to wrap the pan in water bath…try a slow cooker bag. It worked great, protected from water leaks, easy to just sit pan inside and not hot from oven when pulled out. I read this idea on another sight, nade sense to me and it worked great. I will use again and try with other recipes. Thanks for a great cake which is now in our family favorite book!!!!!

  • Stephany

    Elise! I made this! You have made me famous amongst my friends! Well, I don’t take the credit because it’s your recipe, but everyone who ate it was blown away by it and I felt SO great! Thank you for giving such wonderful instructions to such a wonderful recipe. It turned out absolutely perfect! I’ve made a cheesecake before and it sunk, tasted ok, and really was a disaster for a cheesecake. I was afraid to try again. But no longer. Your recipe is truly the perfect cheesecake and I can’t thank you enough for sharing it!!

  • Duncan

    I have a set of miniature springform pans I’m eager to try out. They’re the same height, but only a 4″ diameter. Does anyone have tips on when to take them out of the oven?

    I’ve done a lot of water bath baking before for French desert recipes at family gatherings, but I’ve never made cheesecake on my own. Is it better to go simply by the surface coloration, or is there another way I can be sure if they are ready?

    • Mike

      I’ve split the recipe into 2 – 6-inch springforms and baked for the full 90 minutes. Was just as perfect as in a 9″ pan.

  • Gerhild

    I wrapped the cheesecake in foil as suggested, bottom of tin did not even touch water base but the biscuit crust was not crisp ???? What went wrong????
    The Cheesecake with the sourcream topping tasted sooooo good.

    • Elise Bauer

      Did you remember to pre-bake the graham cracker crust? Triple layered heavy duty aluminum foil should keep the water out. But check the pan to make sure there isn’t anything that could poke through the pan to create a hole. Also make sure you are not putting in so much water that it bubbles up over the foil.

  • Lulu France

    An absolutely wonderful recipe. I made it using the only cream cheese we see around here (we’re a bit rural) which is goats cheese. Worried it was less firm to begin with and the mixture seem more ‘liquid’ than your pictures but you bakes up beautifully. Thank you for taking the time to take such great pictures and walking us throughout the process – certainly gives me confidence to try a recipe that sounds finicky in text.

    One thing I would point out is the layout of the recipe which was a little difficult. I was ‘doing’ this on an i-Pad, which meant I had to keep scrolling up to the ingredients list and then down to the instructions which was a little annoying with sticky fingers. Perhaps list the grams/cups in the instructions is a consideration going forward?

    many thanks!

  • Bindu

    This is absolutely delicious! Thanks for such a wonderful recipe.
    Can I have the measurements for 8-inch & 7-inch pans?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Bindu, I’ve only made this cake with the measurements given. If you make it with other sized pans, you may need to alter the cooking time. If you do experiment, please let us know how it turns out for you.

  • Terri

    I made this cheesecake for the first time for our family’s Independence Day picnic in July. It was turned out perfectly. Everyone loved it and raved about it for months. I decided to make it again today for Easter. The first time I made it, I used a large plastic cooking bag (the kind you use to bake a turkey) as the middle layer to wrap around the pan, between two sheets of foil, to keep water from penetrating the pan. This time I had no cooking bag and decided to try the method described in the recipe, using just layers of aluminum foil. Unfortunately, it was NOT enough to keep the water out. My crust was ruined. It’s completely soggy. I’m so disappointed.

    • Angela

      I bake my cheesecakes with a roasting pan filled halfway with water and put it on the shelf under the cheesecake directly under the cheesecake. I rarely have cracks but I think that cracking happens a lot during cooling time, patience is the key. It’s an alternative method that has always worked for me and I make a lot of cheesecakes!

      • Lillie

        I use a water bath, but I place my cheesecake pan inside a larger round cake pan before setting it into the roasting pan of hot water. I never worry over water getting into my cheesecake pan anymore, and I don’t have to deal with the fuss of using all that aluminum foil either! I got the idea from the cheesecake moat pan, which can be way too expensive. My way is much cheaper! :-)

  • Holly Ellerbusch

    This cheesecake is ridiculously delicious! The best I have ever made and probably ever had! I am now known for my cheesecake during the holidays because I follow this recipe. It is totally worth all the time put into it. Amazingggggggggg

  • Rozan

    Hello Elise,
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. Just made this cake , but it’s white on the top . Did I under bake it ?! I followed all the instructions exactly as written

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Rozan, the cake when ready to turn off the heat should be firm and slightly puffy around the edges and still a little jiggly in the center. Then you let it sit in the oven and slowly cool as the oven cools down, with the oven door cracked open a bit. The top of the cake may or may not get browned.

      • Rozan

        Hi Elise , Thanks for responding .
        I didn’t check the cake after I turned off the oven but did everything thing else. I’m serving this today to celebrate Easter and my husband’s birthday so I’m excited but nervous Thank you again and Happy Easter to you and your family

  • jayme

    How do I tell if the cheesecake is done cooking?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jayme, you know when the cheesecake is ready for you to turn off the oven when the outer inch edge is lightly puffed and firm, while the center is still a little jiggly, like jello. As the cheesecake stays in the oven it will slowly cool down as the oven cools.

  • Derek

    Thank you

  • Misty

    My daughter requested a cheesecake for her birthday last year, so I decided I’d learn how to make a really good one. I made this one and everyone loved it. (LOVED it – I’ve made it many times since.) This year I asked her what she wanted (she’ll be 18) and she said she wanted this cheesecake – only chocolate. Umm…she thinks I know how to make cheesecake now. I have no idea how to make it chocolate. Help!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Misty, I’m still working on a chocolate version. Don’t have anything ready for prime time yet!

    • Scott Slaten

      Just add 6-8 oz of melted semisweet chocolate to the mix after everything else. Can change the graham crackers to chocolate graham crackers as well. Then you can even top it off with more chocolate 1/2 cup heavy cream and 4-5 oz of melted chocolate. I’ve made banana, chocolate, white chocolate, and a variety of fruit cheesecakes all based on this recipe. It comes out perfect every time, only thing I change is I use a turkey bag, not tinfoil.

  • sylviane santi

    hello I’ve been following you for a few years now from Italy and I have to tell you that of all the bloggers etc., you are really good at what you do and so far never failed your recipies…I finally make a good pie crust the way you make it and thanks a lot….keep the good work and concratulations

  • Eileen Matthews

    I have actually made this recipe twice in mini pans and ‘baked’ them in a wood and charcoal cooker for BBQ competitions. The first time we came in 10th (out of 63) and the second time we came in 5th out of 64! Hoping to do even better this year!

  • Savanah

    This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever had and I am a cheesecake whateve this is the best cheesecake I’ve ever had and I am a cheesecake lover

  • Carrie

    This is the most delicious cheesecake ever. I made this for the first time at Thanksgiving. I made it again at Easter and now my little boy has requested it for his birthday tomorrow. And my brother for his birthday on May 26. My husband says it’s better than his mama’s cheesecake. That’s a pretty big compliment.

  • Ian

    Elise. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I am 11 years old and bake everything. Now I love baking cheesecake! Especially yours! When my moms boyfriends birthday came along we went out to dinner. I baked your cheesecake and all 7 of us attending loved it! I offered some to the waitress and she said it was better than the cheesecake they make AND was restaurant quality. I will make it again for a family gathering soon. Again, thank you!

  • Samaneh

    Hi Elise
    I have a question
    Is it possible to substitute whipping cream with sour cream?
    I wana make it so badly