If you’ve been searching for the richest and creamy cheesecake, this New York-style cheesecake might just be it. The texture is dreamily creamy, and the flavor is crazy good. There is nothing complicated about this classic cheesecake. What you will end up with is the creamiest cheesecake ever, with a buttery, delicious graham cracker crust. What’s even better about this recipe, is once you’ve tried it, you will see that it’s totally open to being adapted. You can change the crust, mix in fun things like cookie dough, or swirl it with caramel or fudge.
The first thing you will need to do before you make this classic cheesecake recipe is taking all your ingredients out a few hours before you plan on making your cheesecake. The way to ensure the cheesecake will bake perfectly is for everything to be at room temperature For this classic cheesecake recipe, we are sticking with the standard graham cracker crust.
Make sure your graham cracker crumbs are finely ground. Then mix your crumbs with melted butter, granulated sugar, and a little kosher salt. Press this into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9- inch springform pan. A springform pan is a necessity when making cheesecake.
Then find a baking pan that is bigger than your cheesecake pan and fill it about 3/4- inch deep with very hot water. You bake a cheesecake in a water bath, and the foil is just a preventative measure so water doesn’t leak in and cause your crust to get soggy. Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for about an hour. Then cover the pan with foil and it will need to chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
- 12 graham crackers (3-by-5 inch)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 1/2 pounds bar cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the crust: Butter a 9-by-3-inch springform pan. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form; add melted butter, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine.
- Press crumb mixture into bottom and about 1 inch up side of the pan. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
- Set a kettle of water to boil. Make the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down the side of the bowl.
- Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.
- Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan.
- Pour in boiling water to come halfway up the side of springform.
- Bake until just set in center, about 1 3/4 hours. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely.
- Cover; chill overnight before serving.