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classic cheesecake slice in plate topped with blueberry sauce

Classic Cheesecake Recipe

Find out how to make cheesecake with a sweet and crisp graham cracker crust and an incredibly silky, creamy, and rich cream cheese filling! Read below for tips on how to get a perfect, crack free cheesecake top that looks and tastes amazing.
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 58 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 18 minutes
Servings: 8 VERY generous slices

Ingredients

For the cheesecake crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 4 (8 ounce) bricks cream cheese (32 ounces total), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature * see notes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  • Make the graham cracker crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix together until all of the graham cracker crumbs are moistened with the butter.
  • Pour the crust mixture into a 9 inch springform pan. Using the bottom of a cup, or any flat surface, pack the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1/2 an inch up the sides.
  • Transfer the crust to the center of your preheated 325°F oven and bake for 8 minutes. The crust won't look significantly different, just slightly browned along the edges. Take the pan out of the oven and set aside to cool slightly while you work on the cheesecake filling.
  • Make the cheesecake filling: In a large bowl, combine your blocks of cream cheese and sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment, beat together the cheese and sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved into the cheese (about 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed). You can do this by hand as well with a wooden spoon, but it'll take some elbow grease.
  • Add your yogurt/sour cream, flour, salt, and vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture. Mix together until combined.
  • Add your eggs in one at a time, mixing after each addition to incorporate the egg into the batter before adding the next egg. Take care not to over mix! Just mix until the egg disappears into the batter.
  • Pour your cheesecake filling over your slightly cooled crust. It's fine if the crust is still warm. Wrap the bottom of your pan with aluminum foil (to prevent leaks), and place the pan into a large roasting pan or baking dish with high sides. Fill the baking dish with boiled water until it reaches halfway up the side of the springform pan to create a water bath.
  • Bake the cheesecake in the center of your preheated 325°F oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the surface is slightly puffed up and lost its shine, and the edges are very lightly browned. If you gently shake the pan, the center of the cheesecake should still jiggle but the edges should be stiff.
  • Leave the cheesecake in the oven and cool for 1 hour with the door slightly ajar. After about 30 minutes, carefully run a knife along the edges of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan (to prevent sticking and cracking). Cool the cheesecake completely to room temperature, and then chill for at least 4 hours or until fully cooled and set. Slice and serve!

Notes

* I've tested this recipe with both sour cream and yogurt, and I didn't notice any significant differences in taste or texture. Sour cream is slightly tangier, but you can compensate for that by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the yogurt if using. But the difference really isn't noticeable - sour cream is just traditionally used.
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