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A slice of classic cheesecake on a plate with whipped cream and a strawberry on top
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Best Classic Cheesecake Recipe

This Classic Cheesecake Recipe has a graham cracker crust and a smooth and creamy filling. You'll love how easy it really is to make - and how amazing it is. Top it with whipped cream or chocolate sauce, caramel or fruit - this is the best versatile cheesecake recipe!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 295kcal
Author: Dorothy Kern
Cost: $12



  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons (99g) melted unsalted butter


  • 3 8 ounce packages (678g) cream cheese, room temperature*
  • 1 cup (245g) sour cream room temperature*
  • 1 ⅓ cups (267g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature*
  • ¼ cup (31g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Prepare the pan: lay out two or three long stips of foil. Wrap the bottom and up the sides of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan with the foil making sure that the foil comes up at least halfway all the way around.
  • Make the crust: stir together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar, then stir in the melted butter. I like stirring this with a fork so it doesn’t get clumpy. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Chill while you make the filling.
  • While you’re making the filling, set a kettle of water on the stove to boil.
  • Beat cream cheese and sour cream with a stand or hand mixer until smooth. Add sugar and mix until smooth. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the flour, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  • Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth the top.
  • Create a water bath: Place the cheesecake in the bottom of a roasting pan or large oven-safe skillet (mine pictured is a 12-inch cast iron pan). Place the pan in the middle of the oven. Pour the boiling water into the pan until the water goes about 1-inch up the sides of the pan – do not go farther than the edges of the foil.
  • Close the oven and bake the cheesecake for 50-60 minutes or until it looks set and passes the “wiggle” test: it should wiggle slightly when you tap the edge of the pan but not move in a rolling or jiggly motion.
  • Gently remove the pan from the oven and remove the springform pan from the water bath. Place the cheesecake on a rack to cool to room temperature, then cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • For serving: use a butter knife to loosen the edges as needed, then remove the outer ring. Serve with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel, fruit, or plain. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  • Make sure ALL your ingredients are ROOM TEMPERATURE. Leave them out at LEAST 2 hours before making the cheesecake. I recommend longer if your house is cold or if it’s winter. It is SUPER important that your ingredients are room temperature to avoid lumps in your cheesecake.
  • Note: if it's really cold inside your house I recommend cracking your oven and cooling the cheesecake in the oven so it can cool slowly. After an hour, remove it to the counter to finish cooling.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 403IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg