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An overhead image of a sliced Classic Cheesecake

Classic Cheesecake Recipe

Begin this Classic Cheesecake a day in advance.

Course Sweets
Cuisine European, North American
Keyword cheesecake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
cooling time (does not include refrigeration time of 6-12 hours) 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 568 kcal
Author Marta Rivera

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups (215g) graham cracker crumbs (or cookie crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar optional
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter melted

Classic Cheesecake Batter

  • 4 8 ounce bricks (904g) cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup (198g) sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract (or your choice of flavoring)
  • 1/3 cup (43g) cornstarch

Instructions

Prepare and Bake the Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

    Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter to a mixing bowl. Stir until combined. When finished, the crumbs should hold together when clenched in your fist.

    If the mix is too loose- it crumbles when you release your grip- add more butter, a tablespoon at a time. If the mix oozes butter when squeezed, add more crumbs by the tablespoonful. 

  2. After the crust has been mixed, press it into a 9" springform pan using the bottom of your measuring cup. Press the crumb mixture into an even layer on the bottom of the pan, then guide the crust about a 1/4" up the sides of the pan to create a side crust.

    Pack the crust by pressing firmly to ensure the crust won't break when you serve the cheesecake. 

  3. Place the crust-lined pan into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

    After baking, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool to the touch. Once the pan is cool enough to handle, carefully wrap the bottom and sides in two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

    Set the pan aside while you prepare the cheesecake batter.

Mix the Cheesecake Batter

  1. Set a pot, filled with 5-6 cups of water, to boil on the stove.

    Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, with your mixer on low speed, blend together the cream cheese and granulated sugar. 

    After the cream cheese and sugar come together, increase the mixing speed to medium and beat until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down both the beaters and the bowl twice during mixing.

  2. After 2 minutes, scrape down the bowl once again. Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time. After each egg addition, mix the batter on medium speed for 30 seconds, before scraping everything down.

    Continue adding the eggs, blending, and scraping down until all the eggs have been mixed in. Mix the batter after all the eggs have been added for 1 minute.

  3. Add the vanilla bean paste (or extract) to the batter, then blend it in on low speed for 30 seconds. 

    Add the cornstarch to the batter and blend on low speed for 30 seconds, or until it's mixed in. Scrape down the bowl and beaters once more and blend on low for 15 seconds. Do not overmix the batter after the cornstarch has been added or the cheesecake will become gummy.

Bake, then Cool the Cheesecake

  1. Pour the cheesecake batter into the foil-wrapped springform pan. 

    Set this pan into a larger pan and carefully pour the water you boiled earlier into the outer pan. Try to avoid splashing water into the cheesecake batter as it could interfere with the custard's baking. 

  2. Carefully slide the larger pan, with the cheesecake pan inside, into the preheated oven and bake for one hour. Take care not to splash the water into the cheesecake.

  3. After the cheesecake has baked for an hour, turn the oven off and prop the oven door open 1-2 inches. You can use a wooden spoon to hold the door open if necessary.

    Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour before removing it. 

  4. After you've removed the pan(s) from the oven, take the cheesecake pan out of the larger pan.

    Remove the foil from the cheesecake pan, then the cheesecake to cool to room temperature on the counter.

  5. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate it, still in the pan, for a minimum of 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

  6. After chilling in the fridge for several hours, remove the pan's collar and slice the cheesecake.

    After cutting, press pieces of parchment or wax paper directly against any exposed parts of the cheesecake to prevent it from drying out. Store this cheesecake in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

Optional Toppings

Nutrition Facts
Classic Cheesecake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 568 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 125mg42%
Sodium 430mg19%
Potassium 139mg4%
Carbohydrates 89g30%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 48g53%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 511IU10%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.