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5 from 6 votes

Classic Cheesecake Recipe

This Classic Cheesecake Recipe is ultra-smooth, creamy, and nestled on top of a delicious buttery graham cracker crust. Included are all the helpful tips and tricks for making a perfect cheesecake each and every time!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Cooling & Chilling Time 8 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 35 mins
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: classic cheesecake recipe
Servings: 12
Calories: 266kcal


Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons butter melted
  • pinch kosher salt


  • 4 - 8 ounce blocks block cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs room temperature


  • Making the Graham Cracker Crust
  • Adjust oven rack to the lower middle of oven, so that roasting pan will fit. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs. Pour in sugar and melted butter and pulse together. (You can also crush crackers in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin or something heavy. Then pour medium bowl and stir in sugar and butter until combined.) Mixture will be sandy in texture. Pour crumbs into the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan.
  • If desired place parchment circle or line bottom of springform pan with foil. This makes it easier to remove from pan after baking.
  • Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. I use the bottom of a measuring cup to pack the crust in firmly.
  • Pre-bake crust for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven to a cooling rack to slightly cool while preparing filling.
  • Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees.
  • Preparing the Cheesecake Filling
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice and beat until combined. On medium low speed, add in eggs on at a time. Stop and mix in each egg until incorporated into the batter. Avoid over mixing as this may cause cracking.
  • Preparing the Water Bath & Baking Cheesecake
  • Boil a pot or kettle of water. You need enough water to have 1 inch of water in your roasting pan. As water is heating, wrap the springform pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the graham cracker crust. Use a spatula to smooth the top into an even layer.
  • Place springform wrapped pan into roasting pan. Carefully pour the hot water inside the pan and place in oven. (You can also place pan in over first and pour water into pan in the oven.)
  • Bake cheesecake for 55 to 70 minutes or until the center is almost set. When it is done the center will jiggle slightly if you gently shake it. Turn the oven off and open the door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven in water bath and cool down for 1 hour.
  • Remove from oven and water bath, then cool completely at room temperature. Then refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours to overnight.
  • Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan. Unlock and remove rim from springform pan.
  • Using a clean sharp knife cut into slice for serving.
  • Serve cheesecake as is or with desired toppings.
  • Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.



Serving: 11 serving | Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 160mg | Sugar: 25g