New York Style Cheesecake

With this recipe, creamy, beautiful, crack-free New York style cheese cookies can really be done, even for beginners!

New York-style cheesecake is my husband Michael's favorite dessert. In fact, the first time I met my future mother-in-law almost 20 years ago, she told me that the path to Michael's heart was through her stomach and that every time she wanted him to do anything as a child, he bribed her with a piece of cheesecake. She may be a traditional woman, but I got a loud and clear message: learn to make delicious cheesecakes!

To be honest, taking a New York cheesecake can be a little scary. Even though the ingredients are simple, you should worry about the water immersion leaking into the cake, cracking the surface, and cooking too much. But after making a few cheesecakes over the years (for birthdays and such, not bribery!), I found that with the right recipe and a few pointers, a cream-free, crack-free New York-style cheesecake can really be done, even for beginners.


Before we get to the recipe, you will need a nine or ten-inch pan-shaped pan and 18-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil. The springform pan features sides that can be removed from the base, so you can release the cheesecake easily without having to flip the entire pan (this will be a disaster with the cheesecake!).

Springform pans, however, are famous for leaking. Because cheesecake is made in a water bath, foil paper prevents water from seeping when baking. Please do not try to use standard 12-inch aluminum foil - you cannot have foil on the bottom or sides of the pan. I can tell you from experience that no matter how well (or how many times) you wrap the pan if a layer is exposed to water, water will find its way in.
Servings: 8 to 10
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes, plus at least 8 hours to cool


  • 1-1 / 2 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 12 whole crackers
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, thaw
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • 32-ounce cream cheese (four 8-ounce blocks), at room temperature
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Special equipment: 9 or 10-inch springform pans; 18-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Berry sauce, to be served (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ° F and set the oven rack in the bottom center position. Wrap a 9 or 10-inch springform skillet with a large heavy-duty aluminum sheet, covering the bottom and extending to the top so there are no layers on the bottom or sides of the pan. Repeat with another sheet of paper for insurance. Spray the inside of the pan using non-stick spray.
  2. Making the crust: In a medium bowl, mix the graham crackers, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Stir until evenly mixed. Press the crumbs into the flat layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it's ready. Then lift the pan from the oven then set aside.
  3. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 325 ° F. Adjust the water to a boil.
  4. Make the dough: In an electric mixer bowl equipped with a paddle or shaker, shake the cream cheese, sugar, and flour together at medium speed until fairly smooth, about 1 minute. Rub the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure the mixture is evenly distributed. Add vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt; shake at low speed until just combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mix at low speed until mixed, drag the bowl as needed. Mix in sour cream. Make sure the dough is uniform but don't mix too much.
  5. Then check and make sure your oven has cooled to 325 ° F, set the cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan. Then pour the mixture over the crust. Pour boiling water into a large roasting pan about 1 inch above the side of the pan. Bake until the cake is only set, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes (the cake should not look liquid at all but will waver slightly when the pan is pushed; it will continue cooking when it is cold). Remove the grill pan carefully from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Chill the cheesecake in a water bath until the water is warm, about 45 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the water bath and discard the tinfoil. If necessary, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it doesn't stick on the side (which can cause cracking when it's cold), cover with plastic wrap and then transfer it to the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight to cool.

To serve:
  1. Remove the side of the spring plate. Serve the cheesecake directly under the pan; or, to move it to a serving plate, run a long, thin spatula between the crust and the bottom of the pan, and then use two large spatulas to carefully move the cheesecake to the serving plate. Slice with a sharp knife, clean the knife between the slices. Serve with berry sauce, if desired.
  2. Make-Ahead: Cheesecakes can be made and stored in a springform pan in the refrigerator, tightly closed with plastic wrap, up to two days in advance.
This recipe is inspired by once upon a chef

Freezer-friendly Instructions: Cheesecake can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place the cake in the freezer for a moment, open, to tighten it. Then wrap it twice tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Melt it in the fridge the night before you plan to eat it.

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