New York Cheesecake

If you’re looking for the best recipe for a classic cheesecake, then this is it. I am very cautious about calling any recipe “the best,” but I am confident in this case, especially since this New York Cheesecake recipe comes from one of my most trusted sources, Baking Illustrated.

The cheesecake is incredibly light and creamy in texture. I served it drizzled with some strawberry sauce, and it was an amazing end to our meal. (I’ll post the strawberry sauce recipe next time. :) )

Cheesecake is one of my absolute favorite desserts, and whenever I bake one, I pretty much enjoy a slice each day until it’s all gone. (Usually, I start by serving the cheesecake when we have dinner guests, so that I only have enough slices left to myself for a few days afterwards.) If you want to make this cheesecake for just you and your Valentine, you could halve the recipe and bake it in mini springform pans. Heart-shaped springform pans would be especially cute. I don’t have any, but I’m sure someone makes them. Maybe I’ll have to look into that…

One year ago:  Giant Double Chocolate Cookies and Spaghetti with Chicken, Tomato Sauce, and Olives

New York Cheesecake

Printable Recipe

Makes 12 to 16 servings


For the graham cracker crust:

  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tbsp. melted unsalted butter for greasing the pan
  • 8 whole graham crackers (4 ounces), broken into rough pieces and processed in a food processor to fine, even crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. sugar

For the filling:

  • 2 1/2 pounds (five 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, cut into rough 1-inch chunks, at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (10.5 ounces) sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks plus 6 large eggs, at room temperature


  1. For the crust: Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with 1/2 tablespoon of the melted butter. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl; add 5 tablespoons of the melted butter and toss with a fork until evenly moistened. Empty the crumbs into the springform pan and press evenly into the pan bottom. (You can use the bottom of a glass to press the crumbs down, and then a spoon to press the crumbs into the corners of the pan to create a clean edge.)
  2. Bake crust until fragrant and beginning to brown around the edges, about 13 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while making the filling.
  3. For the cheesecake filling: Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed to break up and soften it slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape the beater and the bottom and sides of the bowl well with a rubber spatula; add the salt and about half of the sugar and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; beat in the remaining sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the egg yolks and beat at medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the remaining eggs 2 at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl between additions.
  4. Brush the sides of the springform pan with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon melted butter. Set the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any spills if the pan leaks). Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake 10 minutes; without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue to bake until the cheesecake reads about 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Run a paring knife between the cake and the springform pan sides. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours. (The cheesecake can be refrigerated up to 4 days.)
  6. To unmold the cheesecake, remove the sides of the pan. Slide a thin metal spatula between the crust and the bottom of the pan to loosen, then slide the cake onto a serving plate. Let the cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges. Serve with strawberry sauce, if desired.

Source: Baking Illustrated

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  1. Looks delicious! Cheesecake is my favorite dessert as well and I haven’t made it in a while but with Valentine’s Day around the corner I know a owe my bf a cheesecake!

  2. I I have made this cheese cake because someone tole me it was delicious, but the top get very dark looks burnt. Could it be starting temp is to hot? I did just as recipe said, please help me. Thanks!!

    • I followed the baking instructions for the recipe, but made sure to check the cheesecake before the full cooking time was done since the cooking time is an approximation. My cheesecake did not take the full 1 1/2 hours to bake. All ovens vary, so maybe next time just start checking on it a little after an hour or so. You could also try gently laying a piece of foil over the top if the top is browning but the cheesecake does not seem done yet.

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