Basic Cheesecake Recipe

By Ronnie Fein, JTA


  • 1-½ tsp butter or margarine
  • 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (approximately)
  • 1-½ pounds cream cheese (3 8-ounce packages)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dairy sour cream or unflavored yogurt
  • 1/3 cup cream (whipping cream or half and half)
  • 4 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the butter on the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Sprinkle the inside of the pan with the graham cracker crumbs. Shake the pan to coat the bottom and sides of the pan completely.

Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer set at medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has softened and is smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Add the vanilla extract, sour cream and whipping cream and beat for one minute or until the batter is smooth.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate them. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Place the springform pan inside a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough hot water to come at least 1-inch up the sides of the baking dish.

Bake the cake for 65-75 minutes or until the top of the cake is tanning lightly. Remove the springform pan from the water and let the cake cool in the pan. When the cake has reached room temperature, refrigerate it at least 4 hours or until it is thoroughly chilled. Remove the sides of the pan to serve.