Classic Cheesecake

Classic Cheesecake

Welcome to the May Baking Challenge!

Last month, I found myself completely stuck on the May Baking Challenge recipe. I felt pressured to top croissants, the April Baking Challenge, and was about to settle on French macarons but my brain quickly vetoed that notion. I figured we could all use something a little more approachable in May, so I swapped light-as-air cookies for heavier-than-bricks cheesecake. You're welcome, pants!

(PS: here's my original French macaron tutorial if you're interested. And this cheesecake isn't heavier than a brick, I promise!)

NOT PLAIN CHEESECAKE

As much as I love cheesecake, I've never published a classic cheesecake recipe. There's always been peanut butter, sprinkles, blueberry swirls, Snickers, pumpkin, lemon, red velvet, or Nutella. That's a lot of cheesecake without a single nod to where it all originates: classic cheesecake.

To me, classic cheesecake is creamy, silky, and smooth. My recipe is not quite as dense as New York cheesecake, but boasts equal richness and is just as special. It's thick, it's velvety, and there's no denying its decadence. When I imagine what Chandler and Rachel's stolen cheesecake tastes like, it's this!

While there's a glaring absence of chunks, swirls, and sprinkles in this ivory crowned jewel, there's nothing plain about her.

Look no further for a creamy and smooth classic cheesecake recipe! Paired with a buttery graham cracker crust, no one can deny its simple decadence! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Preparing cheesecake is rather simple, it's baking cheesecake that could result in a flop. Many factors are at play like the springform pan leaking, the surface of the cheesecake cracking, under-baking, over-baking, etc. I have plenty of tricks that will help guarantee classic cheesecake perfection, including determining when the cheesecake is done and everything you need to know about a cheesecake water bath.

BASIC INGREDIENTS

You only need a few basic staple ingredients for cheesecake.

  1. Block cream cheese: Four 8-ounce blocks of full-fat cream cheese are the base of this cheesecake. That's 2 pounds. Make sure you're buying the blocks of cream cheese and not cream cheese spread. There's no diets allowed in cheesecake, so don't pick up the reduced fat variety!
  2. Sugar: 1 cup. Not that much considering how many mouths you can feed with this dessert. Over-sweetened cheesecake is hardly cheesecake anymore. Using only 1 cup of sugar gives this cheesecake the opportunity to balance tangy and sweet, just as classic cheesecake should taste.
  3. Sour cream: 1 cup. I recently tested cheesecake with 1 cup of heavy cream instead, but ended up sticking with my original (which can be found here with blueberry swirls!). I was curious about the heavy cream addition and figured it would yield a softer cheesecake bite. The cheesecake was soft, but lacked the stability and richness I wanted. It was almost too creamy. Sour cream is most definitely the right choice.
  4. A little flavor: 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and 2 of lemon juice. The lemon juice brightens up the cheesecake's overall flavor and vanilla is always a good idea.
  5. Eggs: 3 eggs are the final ingredient. You'll beat the eggs in last, one at a time, until they are *just* incorporated. Do not overmix the batter once the eggs are added. This will whip air into the cheesecake batter, resulting in cheesecake cracking and deflating.

And as always, make sure all of the cheesecake batter ingredients are at room temperature so the batter remains smooth, even, and combines quickly. Beating cold ingredients together will result in a chunky over-beaten cheesecake batter, hardly the way we want to start!

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

Since classic is the keyword of the day, we're sticking with cheesecake's main squeeze: a graham cracker crust. I reduced the butter and granulated sugar from my original recipe by 1 Tablespoon each. I find this crust remains a little more crunchy. Make sure you pack the crust in very tight and pre-bake it to help prevent any sogginess.

I like to use the bottom of a small measuring cup to pack the crust tightly into the springform pan. Speaking of, you'll need a 9 or 10-inch springform pan. A springform pan has removable sides so you can safely release the cheesecake without having to flip the pan over or struggle to cut the cheesecake inside the pan. Springform pans can leak if you're baking the cheesecake in a water bath (more on that below!), but this particular pan is reliable. I haven't had any leaking issues.

Look no further for a creamy and smooth classic cheesecake recipe! Paired with a buttery graham cracker crust, no one can deny its simple decadence! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Look no further for a creamy and smooth classic cheesecake recipe! Paired with a buttery graham cracker crust, no one can deny its simple decadence! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make a buttery graham cracker crust for cheesecake on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make a buttery graham cracker crust for cheesecake on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make a buttery graham cracker crust for cheesecake on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make creamy classic cheesecake on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make creamy classic cheesecake on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make creamy classic cheesecake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

THE WATER BATH

I promise a water bath is nothing complicated. All you're doing is placing the springform pan in a roasting pan, filling it with hot water, and baking. What's the point, you ask? I actually wrote an entire post about a cheesecake water bath years ago. I figured it's time for an update and a video tutorial, so here goes nothing!

Cheesecake loves a humid environment. The steam from the hot water will lift the cheesecake up slowly and evenly, reducing the risk of cracks on the surface. Additionally, this slow and even baking method helps prevent the cheesecake from sinking back down as it cools. Taking a few extra minutes to prepare a water bath for your cheesecake is well worth it. I can't say enough how valuable it is!

How to prepare a water bath for cheesecake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cheesecake will take about an hour in the oven. Don't be tempted to constantly check on it. Opening and closing the oven door interrupts the temperature-- and cheesecake is very sensitive to temperature. The cheesecake is done after about 1 hour when the sides appear set and the center slightly wobbles.

Even though the cheesecake is finished baking, the work here is not done. Another way to help prevent the cheesecake from deflating and cracking is to initially cool it inside the oven. You can see me do this in the video above. When the cheesecake is done, turn the oven off, crack open the oven door, and leave the cheesecake inside for 1 hour. A drastic and sudden change of temperature isn't ideal for cheesecake-- from hot oven to cool counter-- so do your best to control the environment by leaving the cheesecake inside. Does this make sense?

After 1 hour inside the cooling oven, the cheesecake will still be a little warm. Now it's safe to set it on the counter to cool. Once cool, transfer to your refrigerator. Remove the aluminum foil from around the pan, set the pan on a plate (since the bottom may be a little wet), and chill for at least 4 hours. Have you ever tasted room temperature cheesecake? Don't. Chilling in the refrigerator is a must!

There's no greater test to your willpower than those several hours you're forced to wait as the cheesecake cools down and then chills in the refrigerator. But every minute is completely worth it when you take that first luscious bite.

TIPS FOR PERFECT CHEESECAKE

To summarize, here are some tricks I discussed:

  • Do not over-mix the cheesecake batter
  • Bake in a water bath
  • Leave cheesecake in the cooling oven for 1 hour
  • Cool completely at room temperature
Look no further for a creamy and smooth classic cheesecake recipe! Paired with a buttery graham cracker crust, no one can deny its simple decadence! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Homemade raspberry dessert sauce recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Homemade raspberry dessert sauce recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Look no further for a creamy and smooth classic cheesecake recipe! Paired with a buttery graham cracker crust, no one can deny its simple decadence! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

TOPPINGS

Enjoy your velvet-rich cheesecake as is or get a little fancy with a selection of toppings. I love cheesecake best with fruit, so I made a simple raspberry sauce. You can also top with homemade lemon curd, salted caramel, strawberry compote, or fresh whipped cream. Get creative or keep it simple. Either way, it's going to impress. (And you'd totally eat it off the floor... Chandler and Rachel style.)

JOIN THE BAKING CHALLENGE!

Always classic and never out of style, cheesecake is May's Baking Challenge. If an entire cheesecake is too much, I'm sharing a scaled down recipe for 9 mini cheesecakes on my blog later this week. There's also this small-batch cheesecake recipe from my dear friend Christina's cookbook, too! You can make cheesecake in any proportion or any flavor for the May Baking Challenge. I'm excited to see how you bake and serve it!

If you’re not into this recipe, here is the alternate May Baking Challenge:

After you make the baking challenge recipe or alternative, share your photos throughout this month using #sallysbakingchallenge on Instagram or Twitter, or upload a photo of your recipe to my Facebook page or Facebook group. Or email it to me! (You can also message me your photo on Instagram if your account is private.) By doing so, you’re automatically entered in the $250 giveaway!!

creamy-classic-cheesecake-recipe-6

Classic Cheesecake

YIELD

serves at least 12

PREP TIME

45 minutes

COOK TIME

1 hour

TOTAL TIME

9 hours, 45 minutes (includes chilling)

INGREDIENTS

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 5 Tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

Cheesecake

DIRECTIONS

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs. Pour into a medium bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter until combined. (You can also pulse it all together in the food processor.) Mixture will be sandy. Press firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan. No need to grease the pan first. I use the bottom of a measuring cup to pack the crust down tightly. Pre-bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the hot pan on a large piece of aluminum foil. The foil will wrap around the pan for the water bath in step 4. Allow crust to slightly cool as you prepare the filling.
  3. Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice then beat until fully combined. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. After the final egg is incorporated into the batter, stop mixing. To help prevent the cheesecake from deflating and cracking as it cools, avoid over-mixing the batter as best you can.
  4. Prepare the simple water bath (see note): Watch my video tutorial above; the visual guide will assist you in this step! Boil a pot of water. You need 1 inch of water in your roasting pan for the water bath, so make sure you boil enough. I use an entire kettle of hot water. As the water is heating up, wrap the aluminum foil around the springform pan. Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to smooth it into an even layer. Place the pan inside of a large roasting pan. Carefully pour the hot water inside of the pan and place in the oven. (Or you can place the roasting pan in the oven first, then pour the hot water in. Whichever is easier for you.)
  5. (Note: if you notice the cheesecake browning too quickly on top, tent it with aluminum foil halfway through baking.) Bake cheesecake for 55-70 minutes or until the center is almost set. When it's done, the center of the cheesecake will slightly wobble if you gently shake the pan. Turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven as it cools down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Then refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean and dip into warm water between each slice.
  7. Serve cheesecake with desired toppings. Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Make ahead tip: This cheesecake can be made the day before. It has to chill for quite some time before serving. See step 5. Another way to make this cheesecake ahead of time is to freeze it. Cheesecake can be frozen up to 2 or 3 months. I find this tutorial for freezing cheesecakes helpful. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

RECIPE NOTES

  1. For the fresh raspberry sauce: Combine 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (do not thaw if using frozen), 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture as it begins to cook, breaking up some of the raspberries as you stir. Once simmering, continue to stir and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and press through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Allow the thin raspberry sauce to cool completely before using. Store for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  2. A note on the water bath: Some readers have baked cheesecakes with a large pan of hot water on the rack beneath the baking cheesecake. In this manner, the cheesecake does not bake directly in a roasting pan of water. I have never tried this method, but many report back with great reviews! This is a wonderful alternative if you do not own a large roasting pan or are nervous about your springform pan leaking. Simply place a large baking pan filled with 1 inch of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven.
  3. Why is everything at room temperature? Bring all cold ingredients to room temperature before beginning. Room temperature ingredients combine quickly and evenly, so you won't risk over-mixing. Also, beating cold ingredients together will result in a chunky cheesecake batter, hardly the way you want to begin!
  4. Non-US readers: With the help of other non-US readers who do not have access to graham crackers, here is a basic crust recipe you can follow for a 9-inch springform pan. 250g digestive biscuits + 100g butter + no sugar. Grind the digestive biscuits into crumbs, melt the butter, and mix with the crumbs. Press into pan and pre-bake as directed in step 2. And from what I understand, spreadable cream cheese sold in a tub in countries outside of the US is a little different from the spreadable cream cheese in the US. It's thicker, sturdier, and more solid and should be OK to make cheesecake. I have no experience with it, but this is what I've heard from other non-US readers.

© SALLY’S BAKING ADDICTION. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

SHOP THE POST

Here are some items I used to make today's recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Roasting Pan | Springform Pan | Mesh Strainer | Pink Cake Stand

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116 Comments

Comments

  1. Sue Hedtke on July 8, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    This is exactly the same recipe that I have used for years. I have tried several more….some with both sour cream and heavy cream; some with more cream cheese…..but this is my favorite and turns out perfect. After about 60 years of cooking I can now cook this cheesecake and NEVER have it crack. I hate the cracking especially if your topping is going to be transparent. There are several steps to stop cracking……don’t overbeat…..but don’t underbeat either. Use the water bath and make sure the water is hot before adding the foil wrapped pan. Make your batter the night before and let it sit overnight in the fridge (this was a secret shared with me by a friend who managed a Cheesecake Factory). This reduces the air. Cover the batter with a sheet of plastic wrap so it will not dry out before putting in the fridge overight. After you pour the batter into the pan…..pick up the pan and drop from about an inch to the cabinet to get the air bubbles out of the batter. It usually takes 15 or more times until you are not seeing the air bubbles rise to the top. and finally….cool super slow. I turn off the oven and crack the door and leave for at least an hour…..take out of the oven leaving in the water bath for another 30 minutes to an hour….then out of the water bath on the cabinet…..and finally into the fridge. I love changing up crusts and toppings to make this same recipe so different. I made one for the 4th of july and the crust was coconut, pecans and butter and the topping was German Chocolate Cake Icing. It was gone in about 30 minutes…..super good.

    • Sally on July 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Great tips – and your 4th of July cake sounds amazing!

  2. Paula C Jarrett on July 15, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Sally!! I have baked many many cheesecakes over the years, but never tried a Classic Cheesecake until I came across your recipe the other day, and my boyfriend said that looks good!! The next day I tried your Classic Cheesecake recipe, and every single person that tried a piece said that it was hands down the BEST cheesecake that they had ever had!! :-O So thank you for sharing yet again, a fantastic recipe!! Your tips and tricks work great!! I too am a huge fan of the water bath method ;-). To be honest, I’m really not a fan of Classic Cheesecake without some type of topping on it at least….but even I LOVED it plain as well :-O. Just turned the oven off a few minutes ago…just baked another one tonight because I was getting so many requests for another already!! Thanks again!! Love your recipes and tutorials!!

    • Sally on July 16, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      Wow – thank you, Paula!! I’m thrilled you loved it so much!!!

  3. stephanie on July 21, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    This was so amazing!!!! I am tempted to eat the whole thing but really would like for my pants to button. The only thing that I have a question about is the crust. On the bottom it was breaking up a little bit so I feel like maybe there was too much moisture or I added to much of something. It tasted delicious but it just didn’t all come out in one piece. It also may just be that it needed chilled more?

    • Sally on July 23, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Hi Stephanie! Could have needed a little extra chill time OR you can try reducing the butter in the crust. That should help! I’m so glad you love the cheesecake. Thank you so much for trying my recipe!

      • stephanie on July 23, 2018 at 8:57 pm

        Awesome, I will try that next time. Thank you so much and keep doing what you’re doing? Ever since I found your blog, I have been on it every single day anticipating which recipe to make next. Thank you for making it so easy for us to feel like we can achieve even the hardest desserts!



      • Sally on July 24, 2018 at 10:09 am

        You’re so welcome!



  4. Mae on July 29, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Could I make this recipe but use a glass pie dish instead of a springform pan?

    • Sally on July 30, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Hi Mae! No, cheesecakes are best baked in springform pans.

Reviews

  1. Mina on May 13, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Very easy and straightforward recipe. Turned out delicious! I paired it with your strawberry compote which was a lovely touch but I think it was fantastic without any topping too. This will probably be my go-to cheesecake recipe!

    Only issue I had was the graham cracker crust stuck to the bottom of my pan. Why do you think that was?

  2. Dana on May 16, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    I made it and it was great! No cracking, no soggy crust! The only challenge was keeping my family away from it until it cooled! Your recipes and blog are the best!

    • Sally on May 17, 2018 at 6:21 am

      Thanks so much Dana!! Happy to read this 🙂

  3. Natacha Eufemia on May 21, 2018 at 8:03 am

    It was my first time making cheesecake, I will never be able to eat store bought cheesecake again and all my friends agree. My new favourite recipe of yours (I say this every time lol). Your recipes never fail. Thank you!

  4. Giggi on June 24, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    I made this cheesecake as a practice run today as a friend requested I bake it for next week. Never having baked a cheesecake before I choose your recipe using grams and it came out perfect (with the salty caramel sauce) except for one tiny issue. My crust got soggy from the water bath and I am not sure if it is due to my springform pan, should I replace it, or did I not tighten the tin foil enough? Also I read somewhere that maybe I should have used HEAVY duty tin foil only, so was that my problem? Everything else was perfect but I need to resolve this issue prior to next week or I might be making a blueberry pie to bring with me instead.

    This is a very good and a very easy recipe to make. Thank you.

Questions

  1. Joyce on May 2, 2018 at 12:47 am

    I’m so glad that the May baking challenge isn’t on making macarons while skydiving in tandem with a pet! Hahaha!

    I do want to learn to make them one day but I appreciate the little breather after battling croissants, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you for that experience. I’ve never baked a cheesecake before though, so it’s still challenging enough for me.

    One question :
    I can’t get graham crackers here. Can I replace them with digestive biscuits, and if so, do I reduce the butter and sugar amount?

    • Sally on May 2, 2018 at 9:55 am

      Hey Joyce! Thanks for this question– I was able to update the recipe notes for you!

      • Joyce on May 2, 2018 at 12:13 pm

        Thank you, Sally! I think many readers who can’t get graham crackers would find that note on how to substitute with digestive biscuits very useful.



  2. Stephanie on May 2, 2018 at 1:17 am

    This looks incredible Sally! I love cheesecake and so does my husband. Also, I would definitely be Joey in that scene! (I carry a fork around in my purse tbh)
    I would love to make this but I’m nervous to have that much cheesecake lying around.. i do not trust my self control that much.
    I do have a question though, with cheesecake being sensitive to temperature changes.. is it ok to remove the cheesecake from the oven to test its doneness? Or best to test it while inside the oven still?

    • Sally on May 2, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Hi Stephanie! If you want, you can try this small batch cheesecake OR wait until this Friday when I share a super scaled down cheesecake recipe.
      With regard to checking on the cheesecake, I don’t suggest removing it from the oven when you check on it towards the end of bake time. I suggest leaving the cheesecake inside and using an oven mitt to gently tap the pan to see if the outer edges are set. A slightly wobbly center is OK.

  3. Sam on May 2, 2018 at 1:49 am

    how tightly packed should the crust be? i’ve had cheesecake before where i had to stab the crust really really hard but it wont break. i think my hand already broke trying to stab that crust to break with the cheesecake, but in the end i ended up eating the filling first and ate the crust like a cookie. i argued that the crust shouldn’t be that tightly packed, yet they still kept making the crust that way cos its how they liked it. for me though, i like to eat my cheesecake, the crust and the filling together, without much difficulty to slice

    • Sally on May 2, 2018 at 9:54 am

      Hi Sam! This crust doesn’t become too hard in the oven, no matter how tightly you pack it down. The cheesecake batter keeps it pretty moist.

  4. Emily on May 2, 2018 at 2:41 am

    Hello Sally! I am always scared to bake a Cheesecake because i fear that the springform pan will always leak. I have so far avoided making it but Cheesecake is my husband’s no.1 favorite dessert so i guess i need to be determined to master it : ) May I ask what causes for the springform pan to leak? Is it because of the quality of the pan or the quality of the cheesecake? Your answer will be deeply appreciated! Have a nice day!

    • Sally on May 2, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Emily, this is a great question. Springform pans tend to leak because of the detachable sides and yes, the quality of the pan makes all the difference. When baking a cheesecake in a water bath, water can sneak into the pan through the smallest of cracks and spaces between the two parts to a springform pan. I find this springform pan the most reliable in my experience.

      • Ashley on May 2, 2018 at 10:44 am

        I’ve always wondered this myself, thanks for the explanation!



      • Emily on May 3, 2018 at 9:55 pm

        Thanks so much Sally! I’ll be making this Classic cheesecake as soon as i got my hands on that springform pan. In the meantime, i’ll be doing your Raspberry chocolate cake on the weekend : ) Thank you again!



  5. Laila on May 2, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Hi Sally! Question – do you think it would be okay to mix in some chopped dates into the batter? Any idea with how it’ll turn out or if the cheesecake will be affected at all?

    • Sally on May 2, 2018 at 9:50 am

      Hi Laila! While I haven’t personally tried it, I think this cheesecake would be ok with an addition like chopped dates. Let me know how it is.

  6. Carm Moscarello on May 2, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Love this recipe. My son loves cheesecake any ideas on how to make this a birthday cake? He will be 16.;thanks

  7. Lina on May 2, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Can I substitute the sour cream for yohghurt?

    • Sally on May 2, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Sure can; it will be an even substitution of 1 cup of yogurt. Plain yogurt is great whether it is Greek yogurt or regular yogurt.

      • Tricia on May 2, 2018 at 2:08 pm

        I was going to ask the same question. Eric won’t even let sour cream in the house he hates it so much.



  8. Lauri on May 2, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Is the baking time the same whether a 9 inch or 10 inch springform pan is used?

    • Sally on May 2, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Yes. Either size pan may take 55-70 minutes.

  9. Claire on May 2, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    If I wanted to do a chocolate drizzle on top, what would you recommend? A ganache, perhaps? Can’t wait to make this recipe!

    • Sally on May 2, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      Hi Claire! A simple chocolate ganache is an excellent choice. You can follow this ganache recipe and use a little more heavy cream to thin it out, if desired.

  10. Christina on May 2, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    YAY I love cheesecake! But… I don’t own a roasting pan 🙁
    Can I just use a large glass baking dish?
    Thank you so much for ALL you do for your readers!!!

    • Sally on May 2, 2018 at 5:13 pm

      Yes, that should be fine! Also, see my updated note about the water bath 🙂

  11. Eve on May 2, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Can I freeze cheesecake with caramel or berries on top?

    • Sally on May 3, 2018 at 6:50 am

      Hi Eve! I suggest freezing the cheesecake without any toppings and adding them prior to serving.

  12. Fiona on May 2, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Sally!

    I still love your blog so much since I’ve found it out it has been 2 yrs now!!!

    I have a question about cheesecake : I’m not sure we can find in France “cream cheese blocks”… We only have for sure cream cheese spread.
    And, also, I’m not a fan of cream cheese taste… May I replace it by mascarpone ? Or ricotta ? Which quantity ?

    Looking forward to your answer so I can take part of this month challenge!!!

    Fiona

    • Sally on May 4, 2018 at 6:37 am

      Hi Fiona! Thank you so much for asking. From what I understand, spreadable cream cheese sold in a tub in countries outside of the US is a little different from the spreadable cream cheese in the US. It’s thicker, sturdier, and more solid and should be OK to make cheesecake.

      You could try to replace half of the cream cheese with mascarpone, but I wouldn’t replace all of it.

      And I found this recipe for ricotta cheesecake that sounds lovely, but I haven’t tried it. It still uses cream cheese, but maybe you’d like it in this cheesecake? From reading the reviews, the texture sounds fabulous: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/154297/italian-cream-cheese-and-ricotta-cheesecake/

      Let me know what you make!

  13. Stacey on May 3, 2018 at 4:55 am

    Hi Sally,

    This looks wonderful! I’d love to make it, but block cream cheese doesn’t seem to exist at all in the UK – would using the tubbed stuff completely ruin it?

    • Sally on May 4, 2018 at 6:31 am

      Hi Stacey! From what I understand, spreadable cream cheese sold in a tub in countries outside of the US is a little different from the spreadable cream cheese in the US. It’s thicker and more solid and should be OK to make cheesecake. Please let me know how it turns out!

  14. Ananya on May 3, 2018 at 5:27 am

    Hi,
    What is the pan size I should use if I am reducing the quantity by half? I have never made a cheesecake before..This will be my first try..So I wanna try out full size cheesecakes before trying out the mini ones :)……
    P.S… Looking forward to a macaron challenge sometime soon..I have been wanting to try it for so long..Totally intimidated by it..A challenge will be a good motivation to try it …

  15. Gulay Sarac on May 3, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Hi Sally,
    Well I am going to try it this weekend but wanted to ask if the oven is fan forced at 177 Degree Celsius? From Australia and am using a fan forced not conventional oven hence would have to adjust accordingly.

    Also Sally, will you consider having an app for the smart phones or tablets? Thought I’d ask…

    Thank you

    • Sally on May 4, 2018 at 5:53 am

      If using a fan-forced oven, I recommend reducing the oven temperature down to 325°F (163°C). Thank you for asking and I love the suggestion of an App!

  16. rosemary merirll on May 5, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Do you let the baked cheesecake sit in the water bath while it is in the cooling oven?

    • Sally on May 7, 2018 at 10:01 am

      Yes

  17. Sheenam on May 6, 2018 at 12:28 am

    Hi Sally! Wonderful post and what a beautiful website!!! Somehow I am not able to find out the temperature at which you baked the cheesecake. Can you please share it here on comments? Thanks.

    • Sally on May 7, 2018 at 10:01 am

      Step 1 🙂 350°F

  18. Jessica Bowden on May 8, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Sally, I made a mistake with the cheesecake. I didn’t boil quite enough water to make 1 inch so there was more like 1/2 an inch of water and I didn’t think that would make a difference. Unfortunately it completely browned on the top (but didn’t crack! ). I’m wondering if there is a way to salvage it? Should I try and scrape the browned parts off and cover it with something??

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:51 pm

      Hi Jessica! You can top the cheesecake with a topping for serving. I promise it will still taste great even with a browned top.

      But for next time– it doesn’t sound like it was an issue with the water bath. The cheesecake could’ve been too high in the oven. I would lower the oven rack if you try cheesecake again or you can tent it with aluminum foil halfway through bake time.

  19. Heather on May 9, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Sally,

    Any thoughts about why the cheesecake would start browning on top before the 55 minutes is up?

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 6:11 am

      Hi Heather! Try moving down the oven rack or tenting the cheesecake with aluminum foil halfway through baking if you decide to try it again. The cheesecake will still taste wonderful even if it’s brown on top!

  20. Rachael on May 10, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Hi Sally, if I wanted to use Vanilla Wafers for the crust, would I not use sugar? Would the measurements for wafers and butter be the same? Thanks!

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Hi Rachael! This is a great question. I would skip the sugar and use the same amount of vanilla wafer crumbs + melted butter.

  21. Vipada on May 13, 2018 at 5:24 am

    Hi,

    What sort of oven setting do you use? Top & bottom, bottom only, fan assisted, convection?

    Thanks

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 6:44 am

      Convection is a wonderful option for cheesecake, but my ovens are conventional with top + bottom heat.

  22. Racheli on May 14, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Hi Sally, I’m so excited to try this recipe, every single one of your recipes has come out amazingly and my family and friends are hooked! I’m not usually great about letting my ingredients get to room temp before cooking but I want to do it this time, how long would you recommend leaving the cheese, sour cream and eggs on the counter before beginning? I’m nervous about leaving them out for too long. Thanks 🙂

    • Sally on May 15, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      I usually take them out in morning if I’m going to be using them in the afternoon. Just be sure they sit out at least an hour! Enjoy!

  23. Nikki on May 18, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Hi Sally, could I swap out the cream cheese for a dairy free version? The hubby is lactose intolerant but I’d love to still try to make your recipe this weekend!

    • Sally on May 18, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Hi Nikki, I wish I could help but I haven’t tried any non-dairy substitutes for this recipe.

      • Nikki on May 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

        Sally, I just want to give you an update. I ended up making it yesterday (it’s a Jewish holiday and cheese cake is a big part of it!) well I ended up using Green Valley Lactose Free Sour Cream and Green Valley Lactose Free Cream Cheese (1 – 8oz tub) and three TJ Cream Cheese alternate.

        It was such a hit!! No one could believe it!

        One thing I will note is that you have to let it sit an extra hour in the frig (5 hours) for the center to really set!!



  24. Lubna on May 18, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Sally! I wanted to make this into a chocolate cheesecake. Can I just add some melted chocolate to the batter or do you have any recommendations on the best way to adapt this recipe? Thanks in advance! Really excited to make this for my sister’s birthday.

    • Sally on May 21, 2018 at 11:04 am

      Hi Lubna! I would slightly reduce the sour cream and add 3 or 4 ounces of melted (and slightly cooled) unsweetened chocolate. Let me know how it turns out!

  25. Joyce on June 1, 2018 at 5:28 am

    Thank you for this challenge, Sally! This was the first cheesecake that I had baked and it was creamy, not too sweet, not too heavy and absolutely scrumptious!

    For anyone who is interested in halving the recipe:
    1) I used my 6” cake pan as I don’t have a springform. It is a 3” deep pan which is necessary as the cheesecake will bake up to almost 2.5” tall.
    2) I buttered the bottom and sides, lined the bottom with parchment and buttered it again.
    3) To remove, slide a knife around the sides, turn it over onto a cutting board, then flip it upright onto your serving plate. Tapping the cake pan on the cutting board released to cheesecake in my hot climate
    4) Just halve all the ingredients for a 6” cheesecake that serves 8.

  26. Shama on June 7, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Hey sally, i recently tried this. I used the same ingridients as you mentioned except for sour cream, becuase i couldnt get it. I used heavy cream instead. But as i added the last egg the batter curdled immediately. I evem mixed it just enough so the eggs will be incorporated and not more, like you said in your recipe. I am guessing it is because of the heavy cream. What do you think was the problem?
    But even with the curdling i baked it and it turned out to be an awesome cheescake pudding thingy, i’d like to call it. It didnt set well because the batter was ruined. But the taste was amazing.

    • Sally on June 8, 2018 at 10:19 am

      Hi Shama! The problem is the heavy cream. It’s a liquid and much thinner than sour cream. This cheesecake cannot hold 1 cup of cream. Let me know if you try it again with sour cream.

  27. stephanie on July 21, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    This was so amazing!!!! I am tempted to eat the whole thing but really would like for my pants to button. The only thing that I have a question about is the crust. On the bottom it was breaking up a little bit so I feel like maybe there was too much moisture or I added to much of something. It tasted delicious but it just didn’t all come out in one piece. It also may just be that it needed chilled more?

    • Sally on July 23, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Hi Stephanie! Could have needed a little extra chill time OR you can try reducing the butter in the crust. That should help! I’m so glad you love the cheesecake. Thank you so much for trying my recipe!

      • stephanie on July 23, 2018 at 8:57 pm

        Awesome, I will try that next time. Thank you so much and keep doing what you’re doing? Ever since I found your blog, I have been on it every single day anticipating which recipe to make next. Thank you for making it so easy for us to feel like we can achieve even the hardest desserts!



      • Sally on July 24, 2018 at 10:09 am

        You’re so welcome!



  28. Mae on July 29, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Could I make this recipe but use a glass pie dish instead of a springform pan?

    • Sally on July 30, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Hi Mae! No, cheesecakes are best baked in springform pans.

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