Here’s a beautiful, easy recipe for perfect, Classic Cheesecake.
So there is something you should probably know about me. Something that only a select group of friends know about me. It’s this, people. I love cheesecake more than any other dessert goodie ever.
Not just any cheesecake, though. It’s gotta be plain! I love classic cheesecake with absolutely nothing on it. Nothing is needed! That sweet and creamy filling is perfect all on its own.
This particular classic cheesecake recipe has a shortbread crust and a thin layer of sour cream topping. The cheesecake you know of with the graham cracker crust is known as a New York Cheesecake. I love that one too!!
The creamy texture in this cheesecake is darn near perfect.
Fun fact: When I got married, I joked that I wanted my wedding cake to be ALL CHEESECAKE. Pressure for a traditional type gave way to spice cake instead, but I always wished I had just done it!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
- 1/3 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- berries for serving, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare the crust: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; blend in the egg. Add the flour and mix until well- combined. Spread the dough on the bottom and 1 1/2-inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese, sugar, zest and vanilla at medium speed until well-blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour the filling on top of the baked crust. Bake for 50 minutes. OPTIONAL: you can bake the cheesecake with a water bath, if you'd like (see tips below).
- Prepare the topping: Stir together the topping ingredients in a medium bowl and spread evenly over the baked cheesecake; continue baking for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a cool stove. Loosen the cake from the rim of the pan; cool before removing the rim of the pan completely. Chill for a few hours before serving.
- Serve with fresh berries.
- Here’s how to bake cheesecake in a water bath:
- Wrap outside of pan in a double layer of foil, covering the underside and extending all the way to the top. Although a good crust keeps filling from leaking out, foil helps protect against water leaking in.
- Set wrapped pan in a large roasting pan, and pour hot water into roasting pan—to a depth of 2 inches or about halfway up the sides of cheesecake pan.
- Carefully transfer to a preheated oven and bake according to your recipe, until center jiggles when you bump the pan from the side. The outer 2 to 3 inches should not move, and the middle should wobble ever so slightly, like Jell-O.