The Best Easy Cheesecake Recipe

This Easy Cheesecake Recipe makes perfect cheesecake every time! It doesn’t get much better than creamy, smooth cheesecake baked in a homemade graham cracker crust. In this tutorial I’ll teach you how to make cheesecake using a SIMPLE water bath method that’s totally beginner friendly!

Looking for a no-bake cheesecake? This cheesecake recipe includes a water bath with detailed instructions, but you might also like my favorite No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe!

Picture of the Best Cheesecake

An Easy Cheesecake Recipe Perfect for Beginner Cheesecake Makers!

Cheesecake is one of those recipes that can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. Making cheesecake at home can be super simple with the right technique and attention to detail. In this post I’m going to show you how to make the best old-fashioned cheesecake ever with step-by-step instructions.

My Perfect Cheesecake Recipe is pretty foolproof if you follow the easy steps. There is nothing complicated about this recipe, which is just the way I like it. What you will end up with is creamy cheesecake and 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 be adapted. You can change the crust, or mix in fun things like cookie dough, or swirl it with caramel or fudge. It’s truly the last cheesecake recipe you will need. (Update: I even created a chocolate cheesecake based on this recipe after so many requests, so make sure to check that out, if chocolate is your thing!)

How to Make a Cheesecake

So are you ready to make cheesecake? I’m breaking down all the easy steps for you…Let’s do this!

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

Step 1: Bring Your Ingredients to Room Temperature

The first thing you will need to do before you make this recipe is take 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! I know this can be annoying, but trust me…I want you to succeed!

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

Step 2: Make Your Graham Cracker Crust

For this classic cheesecake recipe, we are sticking with the standard graham cracker crust. Make sure your graham cracker crumbs are finely ground. You can use a food processor or blender to do this.

Then mix your crumbs with melted butter, granulated sugar, and a little kosher salt.

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

Press this into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9- inch springform pan. I use the bottom of a glass to do this step.  A springform pan is a necessity when making cheesecake. The sides are easily removed and your cheesecake will be perfectly intact.

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

I like to pre-bake my crust. I have found that pre-baking lends a crispier, sturdier graham cracker crust. It only bakes for 8-10 minutes, and you can also do this step in advance!

Step 3: Make Your Cheesecake Filling

Like I said, make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. Not only will this ensure it bakes perfectly, it will also prevent your cheesecake batter from being lumpy. If you try and mix the filling up with cream cheese that isn’t quite room temperature, you will get lots of lumps. A few lumps is perfectly fine, too many lumps will change the texture.

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

Another huge tip is to NOT over mix the cheesecake. Over mixing will incorporate too much air into the filling and cause it to crack as it’s baking. Over baking will also cause cracking too, but we will get to that in a minute.

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

You will need 4 packages of cream cheese for this cheesecake recipe.

Just spread the cheesecake filling on top of the crust and smooth it out using a spatula or an offset spatula.

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

Step 4: Bake Your Cheesecake

Baking the cheesecake is where most people start to feel intimidated. There are a lot of stories out there about how hard it is to make a cheesecake, mostly because cheesecake is traditionally baked in a water bath. But I’m here to tell you: baking a cheesecake in a water bath is EASY! You just have to follow my simple technique below.

Why are cheesecakes baked in a water bath? Because with cheesecake the goal is to bake it slowly and evenly without browning or cracking the top. A water bath lets you  insulate your cheesecake so that the outside doesn’t bake too quickly. It also helps keep the oven moist. End result: perfectly baked, moist cheesecake that is all kinds of creamy deliciousness!

How to Bake a Cheesecake in a Water Bath – Easy Method!

First, DOUBLE wrap the bottom of your pan in foil. 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!

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

Then find a baking pan that is bigger than your cheesecake pan and fill it about 3/4- inch deep with very hot water. I use my half sheet pan, but you can use any shape pan, as long as your spring form pan fits inside!

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

Now, carefully place your cheesecake into the oven and allow it to bake for 60 -70 minutes. Check it at 60 minutes. The outside should be set, while the inside should jiggle ever so slightly. This means it’s done. If you bake the cheesecake long enough that the center is set, it is over baked. Over baking ALSO causes cracking, which is what you’re trying to avoid.

But please, if you do get a little cracking, all is not lost! This is when you break open a can of cherry pie filling and turn that cheesecake into a cherry cheesecake!

Step 5: Chill Your Cheesecake

How long does it need to chill?

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.

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

When you’re ready to enjoy your hard work, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator. If any condensation has built up on top of your cheesecake, just take a paper towel and dab the moisture off. Then slice it and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe...creamy, simple and PERFECT!

Tips for the Best Homemade Cheesecake

So what have we learned today? Here is a quick rundown of my tips for the best homemade cheesecake:

  • Pre-bake your crust!
  • Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature
  • Don’t over mix your cheesecake!
  • Line your pan with foil!
  • WATER BATH!
  • Don’t over bake!
  • Don’t skimp on chill time!

Cheesecake FAQs

How Do I Know When My Cheesecake is Done Baking?

When your cheesecake is done baking the outside will be set while the inside will jiggle ever so slightly. This means it’s done. If you bake your cheesecake too long it will look puffy or cracked.

What Do I Do if My Cheesecake Cracks?

All is not lost if you see a crack in your cheesecake! Usually this is just a cosmetic thing. To fix it you can top your cheesecake with whipped cream, or with cherry pie filling. The crack will be hidden and your cheesecake will still taste amazing!

How Do I Store a Cheesecake?

Cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep it in the springform mold to hold its shape and cover it with saran wrap until you plan to serve it. Wait to add your toppings, if any, until you serve it.

Can I Freeze Cheesecake?

Yes! To freeze your cheesecake allow it to cool completely on the stovetop and set in the fridge. Then you can freeze it by wrapping it in a couple layers of plastic wrap, plus a couple layers of tin foil. Cheesecake will keep in the freezer for a few months. When you are ready to eat your cheesecake, transfer it to the fridge to thaw overnight.

Have Fun Making Homemade Cheesecake!

I hope this tutorial has helped you feel extra confident in your next cheesecake adventure! This easy cheesecake recipe will be one you make for years to come. Once you’re comfortable making this homemade cheesecake recipe you can get fancy and add your own flavors and add-ins!

Ready to try more cheesecake recipes? Some suggestions:

Print

Easy Classic Cheesecake Recipe

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 80 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description:

This Classic Cheesecake Recipe makes perfect cheesecake every time! It doesn’t get much better than creamy, smooth cheesecake baked in a homemade graham cracker crust.


Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 3/4 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 15 full crackers)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Cheesecake

  • 4 (8 ounce) packages Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

Instructions:

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a large bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter, granulated sugar, and salt together evenly. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Set aside while you make the cheesecake.

Cheesecake

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed, until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and add the sour cream and vanilla; mix well, scraping sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until mixed. Don’t over mix. Pour the filling over crust and spread evenly.
  3. Double wrap the bottom of the springform pan with foil, sealing it tightly to prevent water from getting into the pan.
  4. Place the springform pan into a larger pan and pour very hot water into the pan, until it’s 3/4- inch deep, careful to make sure the water level doesn’t come up higher than the foil.
  5. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the center is almost set. The center will still jiggle while the edges will be set.
  6. Carefully run a knife around the rim of pan to loosen cake. Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for at least an hour, then cover and transfer into the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
  7. Release the sides of the springform pan before slicing.

Notes:

Store airtight, refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Keywords:: best cheesecake, homemade cheesecake, easy cheesecake, how to make cheesecake, classic cheesecake, philadelphia cheesecake,

Want To Save This Recipe?

 

Save

Save

Save

Save


Easy Cheesecake Recipe

Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

You might also like...

Share Your Comments

Want to share a photo of what you’ve made? Be sure to register or log in and then click the camera icon camera icon located at the bottom of the comment area.

303
Leave a Reply

avatar

newest oldest most voted
Kate Manalo
Kate Manalo

Hello. Can I use cupcake/muffin pans instead? What will be the cooking time? Still in water bath too?

Petra
Petra

Hello,
Is there any possible way to substitute sour cream?
Thank you

Niyati
Niyati

Hello Shelly, I have made this recipe multiple times and it has been amazing. However I do have a bit of trouble getting it out of the pan and the crust always seems to be a bit hard how would I fix that. Thank you

Jill
Jill

Can you make this crust less? This looks perfect and yummy but I’m not a fan of crusts on cheesecake.

Melody
Melody

Hello Shelly, I’m going to attempt to make this tomorrow for my birthday, what fruit toppings do you prefer

axel
axel

Hy !Thanks for sharing your recipe, I m about to do it. I wonder if i use 8 ounce of cream cheese or 4×8 ounce of cream cheese.

cheryl
cheryl

Hi my name is Cheryl. I have never found a recipe yet where my cheescake did not crack so i was excited to try yours with my son. i did everything you advised. Water bath, did not over mix , checked it at 60mins. It was slightly jiggly so i took it out to cool. i served this at a birthday party the next day and the middle was raw and it had cracked. The crack was fine as i had made a strawberry topping. Please help me to understand why it was raw in the middle. Also how would… Read more »

Judy
Judy

I live in Israel and I can’t get Graham Crackers. What can I use instead?

Heleit
Heleit

I’m in Israel as well, I used petiber instead and didn’t add the sugar because they are quite sweet on their own 🙂

Abby
Abby

Made this for my mom’s birthday and everyone loved it! Followed the recipe and had no issues. No cracking or sunken middle. Let my ingredients sit at room temp for about 3 hours prior to making the cheesecake and this was the perfect amount of time. I was so intimidated to make a cheesecake, thank you for the easy recipe.

Carmen Gayle
Carmen Gayle

Good texture I enjoyed the cheesecake feel, and baked perfectly….just too sweet though. I would use less sugar next time

Jennifer
Jennifer

This cheesecake is absolutely phenomenal and quite possibly the best we’ve ever tasted!! First time making one and the step by step with pictures was a huge help and made the process less intimidating for a newbie! The tips were also super helpful!! Can’t wait to try the other delicious recipes here ?
Thank you so much Shelly!

prjmarket
prjmarket

very well written almost covered all the tips

Jessica
Jessica

Been looking for the best cheesecake for a long time (for my husband) and I finally found a winner. This is perfect and came out beautiful.

Monica
Monica

Idk what i did wrong. I followed the instructions very carefully but i came out with a browned top. Almost looks like i baked a yellow cake ?? What could this have been caused from ?

Jasmine
Jasmine

Made cheesecake for the first time ever and chose this recipe! Made two! One for the party and another for myself only because I couldn’t resist to try. The ingredients mixed together, exactly… were just far too tasty. I used the original Lactantia cream cheese for this cake. OMG! At the party everyone complemented the cake, and the base.. and a month after people were still remembering and mentioning the cake. So 5 stars, for the taste and for the instructions!

Jennifer
Jennifer

Absolutely dreamy!!! This cheesecake recipe is delish! Only compliments all around. I wish I didn’t want to eat the whole thing!

Wendy Lynne Jakey
Wendy Lynne Jakey

I added some melted Hershey candy cane kisses and swirled it!! Peppermint cheesecake!!

Brian F
Brian F

My first ever cheesecake and I couldn’t be happier with the recipe. Perfect density and flavor. It browned and cracked slightly bit but I think I just need to lower it a notch in my oven. My only wish is that I made a thicker crust.

Betty
Betty

Have no idea whether this will reach you, but need to try. I have had great success with the cheesecake. Made first for my granddaughter ‘s Birthday, but she gave some way and her friends wanted one, then another friend. Love making them but my dilemma is how to give them the cheesecake and keep my pan’s bottom. Any great tips for transferring to a disposable dish without wrecking it.? Know there must be a secret as bakeries sell them on cardboard, etc.

Sara Sims
Sara Sims

What if I don’t have a spring form pan?? Is there anything else I can use??? Please help!! I can’t afford to go out and buy 1 right now!! And ofcorse I have all the ingredients ready and at room temperature!!! HELP!! WHAT DO I DO???!! What will happen if I just use my regular pie pan or something similar!!! ???? I would normally call my momma and ask her for help right about now, but she passed away August 13, 2019!! ???? I don’t know what to do now!!! #HELP #911 #HUGEDILEMMA #SHOULDHAVECHECKEDINTOTHISMOREFIRST #needmymom #EPICFAIL #missingmymommasadvice #THISISWHYIDONTBAKE

Diana
Diana

Hi! Does anyone know how to adapt this recipe for an instant pot with a 7” springform pan? I tried the Instant pot salted caramel cheesecake recipe and it was delicious but wanted a sweeter more classic version to try for thanksgiving. Any help is appreciated!

Choice Kinchen
Choice Kinchen

This IS the perfect cheesecake recipe. If I want to adapt it to make a key lime cheesecake, how much lime juice would I use?

Lisa
Lisa

I have been baking since I was a teenager and I have tried many recipes but this is by far the best cheesecake EVER and so easy!
I baked it for a friends birthday and everyone loved it. I will never bother with other cheesecake recipes again.

Doreen
Doreen

I am literally the worst cook but I understood these directions perfectly and this was the best cheesecake I have ever eaten! And I always order it in restaurants. Even my guest of honor who travels all over the USA thought I had bought this and said it was the best he had! Thank you so much

Nick Grosdanis
Nick Grosdanis

Just wondering about the type of butter; salted or unsalted. I’m thinking unsalted since the recipe adds 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Would salted butter be too salty even if you omit adding the Kosher salt?

Doeeen
Doeeen

I used salted butter and substituted with sea salt and it was perfect

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

Tips for Baking Success!

Cookies and Cups Newsletter Get 5 Baking Secrets That Will Change Your Life!

Delivered Straight to Your Inbox, For Free:

Recipes You’ll Love

This site participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn a small fee by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Ad Blocker Detected!

Advertisements fund this website. Please disable your adblocking software or whitelist our website.
Thank You!