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Indulge in a slice of creamy, rich New York Cheesecake! Make it the day before and enjoy after your favorite meal for a dessert to rival any restaurant!
I’ve been obsessed with cheesecake ever since I was a little girl. I loved it more than any other dessert. My mom would make the recipe off the Philly cream cheese box and it was good. Heck, we even turned it into a cherry cheesecake dip!
But then I tried New York cheesecake for the first time and that was it. This dense cheesecake with so creamy and luscious I devoured my slice.
While I enjoy the lighter, fluffier texture of traditional cheesecake, when I really want to indulge I make a New York Cheesecake and treat myself! This is hands down the best New York Cheesecake recipe I’ve had outside of a restaurant. In fact, I’d take the Pepsi challenge with a slice of this cheesecake any day!
What Makes it a New York Cheesecake?
New York Cheesecake Recipe Ingredients
A classic New York cheesecake recipe isn’t as hard to make as you many think. It takes some time, but the steps are easy to follow. The hardest part is being patient.
- Cream cheese
- All-purpose flour
- Vanilla extract
- Sour cream
- Graham crackers
- Melted butter
How to Make New York Cheesecake
- Prep. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Cut a large piece of heavy-duty foil and lay in out on your counter. Place a 9 or 10-inch springform pan in the center of the foil and then wrap the foil around the pan. (Just on the outsides). There shouldn’t be any seams in the foil – this will make sure no water gets into your cheesecake pan. Spray the inside of the springform pan with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.
- Graham Cracker Crust. Crush the graham cracker crumbs and mix with sugar and salt. Mixing the dry ingredients first keeps there from being clumps of sugar in your crust. Then pour in melted butter and mix it all together until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Pour the graham cracker crumbs into your prepared pan and use your hand to press the crumbs into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and turn down the heat.
- Cheesecake filling. Add cream cheese, sugar, and flour to a large mixing bowl or your stand mixer bowl. Beat everything together until it’s smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl at least once to really mix everything in. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream and beat again until smooth and incorporated. Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan over the crust, smoothing the top evenly.
- Water bath. Place the springform pan into a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with water so that it comes 1-inch up the sides of the springform pan. Place the roasting pan into your 325-degree oven and bake for an hour and a half. The water bath will help prevent your cheesecake from cracking.
- Let it sit. After baking, take the roasting pan out of the oven. Leave the cheesecake in the water for another 45 minutes. (You will see cracks from the temperature shock, but they will settle.) After 45 minutes, take the springform pan out of the water and remove the foil.
- Chill overnight. Cheesecake is best served cold, so you must chill your cheesecake! Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge overnight.
How to Serve
When you’re ready to serve up dessert, unwrap your cheesecake, cut it into 8 slices and serve as is or topped with some cherry pie filling. You could also serve with fresh berries, whipped cream or any type of fruit pie filling you like.
New York Cheesecake Top Tips and FAQs
- Can you make cheesecake without a springform pan? You sure can! Using a springform pan lets you take the cheesecake out of the pan without it sticking. However, you can use a deep-sided cake pan or square baking dish as well. To remove the cheesecake from the cake pan or baking dish, line it with foil or parchment paper being sure to let it hang over the edge. Then once the cheesecake is done you can lift it out of the pan using the overhanging pan liner.
- No roasting pan? No problem! If you don’t have a roasting pan for the water bath, do these steps instead:
- Don’t wrap your springform pan with foil.
- After the initial baking time, turn off the oven and crack the oven door open. Let the cheesecake finish cooking in the oven while it cools for an hour.
- Then carefully remove it from the oven and take off the sides of the springform pan.
- What is the difference between New York style cheesecake and regular cheesecake?
- New York cheesecake adds sour cream or heavy cream to the cheesecake batter. The cheesecake is rich, dense, smooth, and creamy.
- Regular cheesecake doesn’t have any sour cream or heavy cream. It has a firm outside and soft, creamy cheesecake texture.
Do you have a cheesecake obsession too? Awesome, because these are some of my all-time favorite make-at-home cheesecakes. Super easy and OMG so yummy!! Baileys Cheesecake is always a win with my husband. For summer I love this No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake for cookouts (or just a sweet tooth craving). My chocolate-loving oldest child cannot get enough of this No Bake Nutella Cheesecake. He liked it so much one year even ask for it to be his birthday cake. Yeah.
New York Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 9 graham crackers (1 sleeve) see note
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 40 ounces cream cheese room temperature (5 boxes)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 lemon zested
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- Cherry pie filling for topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover the outside of a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan with a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. There should be no seams showing (so water can't get in). Spray the inside of the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place graham crackers in a large ziptop bag and seal the bag. Use a rolling pin or meat mallet to crush the graham crackers into crumbs. (You can also use a food processor.) Pour the crumbs into a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the sugar and salt to the graham cracker crumbs and mix together. Pour in the butter and stir until the crumbs are all evenly moistened.
- Pour the crust mixture into your prepared pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan to make an even layer for the crust. Bake for 10 minutes, and then remove from the oven. Turn the oven heat down to 325 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl (or using your stand mixer), beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until completely combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream to the cream cheese and beat until smooth.
- Pour filling into the springform pan and spread out to the edges with an even surface on top.
- Place the springform pan in a roasting pan. Add water to the roasting pan so it comes 1-inch up the side of the springform pan. Place the roasting pan into the oven and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The center will not look completely set, but the edges will be.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Let the cheesecake sit in the warm water for another 45 minutes to finish cooking.
- Take the springform pan out of the water and remove the foil. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake to release it from the pan and then take off the side of the springform pan.
- Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours. (Yes, it has to have fridge time or it won't taste as good!) Cut the cheesecake into 8 slices and top with cherry pie filling, if desired.