Perfect New York Cheesecake

Create tangy, delicious cheesecake that looks like it came straight from the bakery with this rich and creamy New York Cheescake recipe!

You just need a bit of time, and to follow these step by step directions. You will not be disappointed, it’s scrumptious!  For some cheesecake twists try Banana Pudding Cheesecake, Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake, White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake.


New York Cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries

The BEST New York Style Cheesecake

What is the difference between a New York cheesecake and regular? New York cheesecake relies on cream cheese to give it it’s rich and creamy texture, whereas normal cheesecake uses heavy cream and sour cream. New York cheesecakes can be considered dense, and normal cheesecakes can be considered silkier.

I’ve been dying to share this recipe with you guys! Believe it or not, I haven’t had a whole lot of success with actual cheesecakes. Yes, I’ve made a few in the past, but they’ve always had falling or cracking issues. That’s why I’ve stuck with what works… mini cheesecakes! I love my pan dearly and have had so much fun making all of these bite-size treats!

However, I promised a friend that I would make them a New York Style Cheesecake when they came to visit, which forced me to finally try this recipe. Not only was it easy to slice, but it came out looking like something you’d buy at the Cheesecake Factory. I can’t wait to use this base again and create all sorts of wonderful things with it!

Freshly baked new york style cheesecake

How to Make New York Cheesecake

CRUST. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the finely ground graham cracker crumbs with the sugar and salt. Pour the melted butter over top. Mix until the crumbs become coated. Pour into the prepared springform pan Gently smooth out a nice layer on bottom and side about halfway up your pan (I like to use a metal measuring cup for this). Carefully work the crumbs up the sides so that they are 1 1/2″ tall and approximately 1/4″ thick.

BAKE. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Turn oven down to 325 degrees.

FILLING. Beat the cream cheese, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer (approximately 4 minutes or until smooth and creamy). With mixing speed on low, gradually add the sugar. Turn back up to high and beat for an additional minute. With mixing speed on low, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the sour cream, then the heavy cream, beat on high for 1 minute. 

WATER BATH. Place the prepared springform pan into a large high-sided roasting pan. Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Pour boiling water around the springform pan, taking care not to get any on the filling.

(*Note: You’ll want the water to go halfway up the side of the pan (this was just to the lip of my 2″ tall cake pan)

BAKE. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes. If you like extra firm cheesecake, continue baking for an additional 14 minutes for a total of 2 hours. Turn off the oven, slightly crack the door open and allow to cool for 1 hour. 

CHILL. Remove the cheesecake from the bath and dry the bottom of the pan. Place in the refrigerator on a wire cooking rack to chill for at least 4 hours before serving (I prefer 6+ hours). Wrap the top of the cheesecake with foil after 30 minutes in the refrigerator. 

The Topping

Prepare the topping by combining all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stirring together until smooth. Using a spatula, spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake

*Note: you can also do this at about 3 hours into the chill time so that it can set during that remaining hour

During the chilling process, the cheesecake should come away from the edges of the pan, making it easy and mess-free to remove it before serving

New York Cheesecake with vanilla bean topping

Recipe FAQ

Do you need a springform pan? A springform pan is essential when it comes to making cheesecake because it allows you to easily remove your cheesecake from your pan and cut those beautiful slices that can stand by themselves!

If you don’t have a springform pan then you can easily substitute using a 10 in springform pan with a 9×13 pan, a 9in tube pan, or a 10in bundt pan. To remove the cheesecake from a pan like this you will have to carefully line it with parchment paper and pull it all out at once before you attempt to cut it.

What is a water bath? A water bath is important to baking a cheesecake! A water bath is essential for cheesecake because cheesecake is actually a custard rather than a cake. Custards do best when you cook them slow and low. This is what the water helps to do. The cheesecake isn’t automatically exposed to all of the heat at once, but the water helps to cook it slowly and it gives it a smooth texture.

One tip is that when you get your hot water for the cheesecake you should use a kettle. This way the hot water won’t spill on you and accidentally burn you. 

More Crust Options + Topping Ideas

CRUSTS. Graham cracker crust is typical for cheesecake, but there are lots of other fun options for crust. Simply crust and combine with melted butter to get it to all stick together effectively. Here are a few other options:

  • Oreos 
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Crushed ice cream cones
  • Granola cereal
  • Cornflake cereal
  • Crushed pretzels
  • Coconut macaroons

TOPPINGS. You can add your favorites, but here are a few suggestions…

  • Caramel
  • Syrups/glaze(chocolate or strawberry with fresh strawberries!)
  • Whipped cream
  • Mascarpone
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Crushed candies or crushed cookies

New York Cheesecake Recipe with strawberries on top

How to Store

Storing / Freezing? To freeze New York cheesecake, you need to wrap it tightly in a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before you serve it. Store the cheesecake in the fridge covered loosely with plastic wrap or foil. 

  • How long does it last? It will last about 1 week in the fridge if it’s properly stored.

For more cheesecake recipes:

Perfect New York Cheesecake

New York Cheesecake Recipe

Thick, dense and ultra-rich, this perfect New York cheesecake is so easy it's fool-proof!
4.94 from 15 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 55 mins
Cooling Time: 5 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 14 slices
Calories: 315kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the Crust
  • 2 cup graham cracker crumbs - about 15 sheets
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 5 tbsp butter - melted
For the Filling
  • 4 (8 oz) blocks plain cream cheese - room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs - room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream - room temperature
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream - room temperature
For the Sour Cream Topping
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Instructions

  • Cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with extra large aluminum foil so that the no water can leak in (it's worth a trip to the store to buy the 18" wide foil). Wrap it with two layer for extra security. Crimp the top of the foil around the top edge of the springform pan. You can also place the springform pan in a slightly larger cake pan (10") that has 2" sides (I ran out of big foil but had a nice cake pan that it just barely fit into. I didn't have to worry at all about the foil keeping water out).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, placing the top rack in lower third of oven. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the finely ground graham cracker crumbs with the sugar and salt. Pour the melted butter over top and mix until the crumbs become coated.
  • Pour into the prepared springform pan and gently smooth out (I like to use a metal measuring cup for this). Carefully work the crumbs up the sides so that they are 1 1/2" tall and approximately 1/4" thick. You should have a nice layer on the bottom and the sides should go about halfway up your pan. Place into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  • Beat the cream cheese, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer for approximately 4 minutes or until smooth and creamy. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the sugar, then turn back up to high and beat for an additional minute. With mixing speed on low, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the sour cream, then the heavy cream, beat on high for 1 minute.
  • Place the prepared springform pan into a large high-sided roasting pan. Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Pour boiling water around the springform pan, taking care not to get any on the filling. You'll want the water to go halfway up the side of the pan (this was just to the lip of my 2" tall cake pan). Place in the oven and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes. If you like extra firm cheesecake, continue baking for an additional 15 minutes for a total of 2 hours.
  • After the cheesecake has baked, turn off the oven, slightly crack the door open and allow to cool for 1 hour. This is the key to getting a perfect top without it falling or cracks forming.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the bath and dry the bottom of the pan. Place in the refrigerator on a wire cooking rack to chill for at least 4 hours before serving, I prefer 6+ hours. Wrap the top of the cheesecake with foil after 30 minutes in the refrigerator (giving the cheesecake 30 minutes will help prevent condensation from forming on the underside of the foil).
  • Prepare the topping by combining all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stirring together until smooth. Using a spatula, spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake (you can also do this at about 3 hours into the chill time so that it can set during that remaining hour). During the chilling process the cheesecake should come away from the edges of the pan, making it easy and mess-free to remove it before serving.

Video

Notes

-Fresh fruit, nuts or decadent swirls make great additions to this cheesecake. You can also top it with pretty much anything your heart desires!
-This can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free graham crackers.

Nutrition

Serving: 14g | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 583IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg