An easy, fool proof, classic New York cheesecake recipe that will become your go-to recipe for any occasion!

A slice of classic New York cheesecake topped with strawberries on a white plate with a fork.

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My favorite food in the whole entire world is cheesecake! I would seriously eat it for every meal if I could. So when my son said he didn’t want a birthday cake, he wanted a cheesecake, I was not disappointed.

I went straight to my recipe box and pulled out my Grandmother’s recipe for Classic New York Cheesecake. This recipe has never disappointed me and it is the base for any other cheesecake I make, like this Caramel Pecan Turtle Cheesecake.

A slice o New York Cheesecake on a white plate.

This cheesecake would also be delicious topped with your favorite fruit jam or drizzled with this Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache.

A spoon with salted caramel ganache over a bowl.

Cheesecake Recipe 101

Before we dive into this recipe, let’s go over a few FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) about cheesecake.

What is New York Cheesecake?

What makes New York Cheesecake different from other cheesecakes is that it uses heavy cream and sour cream. It is very rich, dense, and has a creamy consistency.

Can You Freeze Cheesecake

The answer is yes, you can freeze cheesecake. In fact, the sour cream used in New York-style cheesecake makes it more resilient to freezing, so this recipe is perfect if you want to make your dessert ahead of time!

Cheesecake batter in a springform pan, placed in a roasting pan being filled with water.

Do You Need to Bake Cheesecake in a Water Bath?

The answer to this question is both yes and not. While it is not absolutely essential to bake your cheesecake in a water bath, it is definitely the method that I prefer to use and produces the most consistent results.

If you’re new to baking cheesecakes, you might wonder what is a water bath? It is basically a pan of water in the oven that provides moisture and even baking of your cheesecake.

Classic New York Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients

A handful of graham cracker crumbs.

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/2 Finely Ground Graham Cracker Crumbs (I used Vanilla Wafer cookie crumbs this time)
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

Cheesecake batter in a springform pan.
  • 4 (8 ounce) Cream Cheese Blocks
  • 1 1/3 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2/3 Cup Heavy Cream

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How To Make Classic New York Cheesecake Recipe

Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Begin by crushing the graham crackers or cookies using a food processor.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the crumbs, sugar and melted butter.A bowl of melted butter being poured over graham cracker crumbs.
  3. Press the mixture onto the bottom and part way up the sides of a spring form pan.
  4. Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes. Graham cracker crust in a springform pan to make Classic New York Cheesecake
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

How to Prepare the Springform Pan

  1. To prepare your springform pan to bake in the water bath, lay three rectangles of foil on the counter.
  2. Place the springform pan on top of the foil layers.A hand holding a springform pan with a graham cracker crust over pieces of foil.
  3. Fold the first piece of foil around the pan.
  4. Repeat with the other two pieces of foil so that the bottom and sides of the pan are completely covered.

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How to Make Cheesecake Filling

  1. Add  the softened cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer. I have used a Bosch Mixer for a few years and highly recommend it. You can check it out here or on Amazon.A bowl of sugar being added to cream cheese.
  2. Beat the cream cheese for about 4 minutes until it is smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the sugar and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes.A spoon of vanilla extract over a bowl of cheesecake batter.
  4. Pour in the vanilla extract and mix.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat the mixture for about 1 minute after each.A raw egg being added to cheesecake batter.
  6. Mix in the sour cream followed by the heavy cream. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to get the cream cheese the the mixer missed.Sour cream being added to New York cheesecake batter.
  7. Pour the cheesecake batter into the foil-lined pan.
  8. Place the springform pan into a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to go half way up the springform pan.
    Cheesecake batter in a springform pan, placed in a roasting pan being filled with water.
  9. Put the cheesecake and water-filled roasting pan in the oven to bake at 325° for 90 minutes.
  10. After 90 minutes, leave the cheesecake in the oven, but prop open the door about one inch.
  11. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for about an hour. (Cooling the cheesecake this way helps prevent cracking.)A fork in a slice of classic New York cheesecake topped with strawberries.
  12. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cover loosely with foil.
  13. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours but ideally over night.
  14. Serve the cheesecake plain or with your favorite topping!
Classic New York Cheesecake

Classic New York Cheesecake

Yield: 1 Cheesecake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

An easy, fool proof, classic New York cheesecake recipe that will become your go-to recipe for any occasion!

Ingredients

  • Graham Cracker Crust
  • * 1 1/2 Finely Ground Graham Cracker Crumbs (I used Vanilla Wafer cookie crumbs this time)
  • * 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • * 6 Tablespoons Butter, melted
  • Cheesecake Filling
  • * 4 (8 ounce) Cream Cheese Blocks
  • * 1 1/3 Cups Sugar
  • * 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • * 4 Large Eggs
  • * 2/3 Cup Sour Cream
  • * 2/3 Cup Heavy Cream

Instructions

Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Begin by crushing the graham crackers or cookies using a food processor.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the crumbs, sugar and melted butter.
  3. Press the mixture onto the bottom and part way up the sides of a spring form pan.
  4. Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Prepare Pan

  1. To prepare your springform panto bake in the water bath, lay three rectangles of foil on the counter.
  2. Place the springform panon top of the foil layers.
  3. Fold the first piece of foil around the pan.
  4. Repeat with the other two pieces of foil so that the bottom and sides of the pan are completely covered.

Cheesecake Filling

  1. Add  the softened cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer. I have used a Bosch Mixerfor a few years and highly recommend it. You can check it out hereor on Amazon.
  2. Beat the cream cheese for about 4 minutes until it is smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the sugar and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour in the vanilla extract and mix.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat the mixture for about 1 minute after each.
  6. Mix in the sour cream followed by the heavy cream. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to get the cream cheese the the mixer missed.
  7. Pour the cheesecake batter into the foil-lined pan.
  8. Place the springform pan into a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to go half way up the springform pan.
  9. Put the cheesecake and water-filled roasting pan in the oven to bake at 325° for 90 minutes.
  10. After 90 minutes, leave the cheesecake in the oven, but prop open the door about one inch.
  11. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for about an hour. (Cooling the cheesecake this way helps prevent cracking.)
  12. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cover loosely with foil.
  13. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours but ideally over night.
  14. Serve the cheesecake plain or with your favorite topping!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 115mg Sodium: 253mg Carbohydrates: 47g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 36g Protein: 5g
Text “Perfect New York Cheesecake” over a picture of cheesecake topped with strawberry sauce.