New York Cheesecake

This is the easiest and tastiest New York cheesecake recipe! Creamy, rich, and smooth cheesecake with a graham cracker crust.

The cheesecake is topped with a sprig of mint to beautifully garnish the cake.

New York cheesecake

If you love delicious pie recipes, check out this pumpkin pie with maple whipped cream, caramel Dutch apple pie, or my favorite- authentic key lime pie with meringue topping.

It’s about time this cheesecake recipe hits Sea Salt Savorings! When Levi and I were stationed in New York, we made it a point to try cheesecake every chance we had. There is no cheesecake like a New York cheesecake- this I can promise!

What is the difference between a New York cheesecake and a regular cheesecake? A regular cheesecake uses more heavy cream or sour cream to thin the batter, making it silky and light. New York cheesecake uses more cream cheese, making the batter more dense and creamy. This results in a thick, luxurious, rich cheesecake that will have you running back for seconds (and thirds!).

Now, I’ve made a few cheesecakes in my day, and I’m here to tell you that water baths are no more! I made this recipe super simple so anyone and everyone can make a perfect cheesecake- no cracking, no water bath, no fuss.

Of course, this cheesecake is completely customizable which is why I’ll be including all my tips and tricks to make this recipe your own. You will be blown away at how easy it is to make such a perfect cheesecake!

Cheesecake ingredients are displayed individually like cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, etc.

New York cheesecake ingredients

  • Cinnamon graham crackers– Crushed cinnamon graham crackers are used to make the buttery and delicious graham cracker crust.
  • Butter– Salted butter adds the perfect flavor and helps bind the crust.
  • Dark brown sugar– Since dark brown sugar has more molasses than regular brown sugar, it creates a more rich, deep flavor.
  • Cream cheese– Opt for good quality, full fat cream cheese since this recipe relies heavily on the flavor.
  • Sour cream– Sour cream adds a little tang and thins the batter just enough!
  • Eggs– Eggs not only help bind the cheesecake but add a rich layer of flavor.
  • Vanilla extract– I love using my homemade vanilla extract because it has contains the little vanilla bean seeds!
  • Salt– Salt adds just the right amount of balance to this recipe.
  • Sugar– Granulated sugar is used to sweeten the cheesecake while maintaining that creamy, tangy flavor.
  • All purpose flour– Flour is used to help bind the cheesecake filling.
Evelyn is holding a plate with a cheesecake slice on it and is smiling wide!

Chef’s tips

Use room temperature ingredients

Room temperature eggs and cream cheese cream more smoothly when they are brought to room temperature. This step is very important for making this cheesecake recipe.

Letting the cream cheese come to room temperature also ensures you will not have clumps of cream cheese. You want the batter to be nice and smooth!

Leave the cream cheese out of the fridge overnight or you can pop it in the microwave in at 50% power for 20 seconds. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, you can place them in a bowl in warm water for 10 minutes.

Cheesecake filling is whipped in a mixing bowl until is is creamy and silky.

Use a springform pan

This recipe uses a springform pan. This allows the pan to be removed without compromising the form of the cheesecake. A regular cake pan will make it hard to cute and serve the cheesecake without making a mess.

The cheesecake filling is poured into the springform pan after the crust is baked first.

Keep the oven door closed

Do not even think about opening your oven door. Keep the oven door closed for the hour it takes to bake, and the hour it rests in the turned off (but still warm) oven. It’s okay to turn the light on and take a peak through the closed door, though!

The cheesecake is baked and refrigerated so the filling has time to set.

Make it your own

There are so many ways to add to this recipe and make it your own. Let’s start with the crust. You can make the crust from any kind of cookie that you like! Oreo’s, Biscoff cookies, Digestives, etc. all make really flavorful and delicious crusts. Simple sub out the graham cracker with your prefered cookie and continue with the recipe steps as you would.

You can add raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry purè on the top of the cheesecake and swirl it with a fork or toothpick before you cook it. This will add a little flavor and a beautiful color and design!

Lastly, garnish the cheesecake! You can keep it super simple and just add a few mint leaves on top or whipped cream. You could also keep it super classic and add cherry pie filling or sauce on top.

Cherry pie filling tops a sliced cheesecake and topped with mint.

Tips to avoid cracking cheesecakes

There is nothing worse than working on a cake only for it to cool and crack. If you’ve ever made a cheesecake, you know the kind of heartbreak I’m talking about. What happens is that the edges of the cheesecake cook faster than the center while the center is still soft and undercooked. The edges will rise faster than the center, creating the cracks.

No worries, I have a bunch of tips on how to avoid this mess while still avoiding a water bath!

  1. Place your mixer on the lowest setting. You want to use your mixer on the lowest setting so it does not whip too much air into the batter. The more air that is introduced in the batter, the more chance you have of a cracked cheesecake.
  2. Get the air bubbles out. After you mix the cheesecake batter, take the mixing bowl out of the stand mixer. Wiggle the bowl back and forth a few times, then tap the mixing bowl on the counter for 30 seconds. Repeat this process a few times. Once you pour the cheesecake batter into the pan, do this same process, but make sure you do it lightly as to not break the crust.
  3. Low and slow. Cook your cheesecake at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time. This will allow the cake to warm up and then cook evenly.
  4. Do not open the oven door. Keep that oven door closed for at least the first 60 minutes. Opening the oven door will let in a rush of cool air into the oven and can affect the cheesecake and also lower the temperature of the oven.
  5. Let to cheesecake sit in the oven after it’s done cooking. When the cheesecake is done cooking, turn the oven off and keep the door closed. Allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for another hour.

Cheesecake can be a rather finicky dessert to make. A crack in the cheesecake does not mean game over, it’s still delicious, just not as pretty. There are a few different reasons a crack can form.

Troubleshooting: Why does cheesecake crack

Air bubbles

Air bubbles are the most common reason for cracking. Stand mixers and handheld mixers tend to incorporate a lot of air into the batter, no matter how slow the speed of the mixing is. Eggs also add a lot of air when they are whipped, which is why they are added to the batter last. Crack the eggs in a bowl, whisk until they are mixed well, then slowly add them to the batter while mixing. When the egg is incorporated into the batter, turn the mixer off.

Uneven cooking

Sometimes cheesecake can cook around the edges faster than the center can warm and cook. This will create uneven cooking and will cause cracks when the cake is cooling.

To avoid this issue, this cheesecake is cooked at a lower temperature, then is left in the turned off oven that is still warm ( this is called carryover cooking). This allows the cheesecake to slowly cook and slowly cool, making it less likely it will crack.

Lumpy batter

Bater that has lumps can really mess up any cheesecake recipe. Cold cream cheese will make a really lumpy batter, which is why it is so important to bring the ingredients to room temperature.

I like to place my cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs on the counter overnight so that everything is ready to go the next day when I want to bake.

When you are mixing the batter, be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl often to ensure there will be no hidden lumps when you pour the batter in the pan.

A slice of cheesecake is plated in front of the cheesecake on a cakestand.

How to make New York cheesecake

  1. Make the crust. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cinnamon graham crackers in a food processor and blend until they are fine crumbs. Pour in the butter and brown sugar, then blend until the mixture is well combined. The mixture will feel like damp sand. Place the mixture in the bottom of a springform pan, then use your hands to press the crust to the bottom and sides of the pan. Use a glass jar to help press and even the crust out. Bake the crust for 9 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Reduce the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Make the batter. Place the cream cheese in a stand mixer on low speed and mix until it is creamed. Next, add the sour cream, then mix until it is well combined. Add the vanilla extract, salt, and sugar, and all purpose flour slowly and gradually while whisking the mixture until it is well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next. Mix until everything is just combined.
  3. Bake the cheesecake. Place the pan on a baking sheet. Pour the batter into the pan, then place it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees, then bake for an additional 40 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the closed oven for 1 hour.
  4. Refrigerate the cheesecake. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator while it is still in the pan. Let the cheesecake chill for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Slice and serve when ready. Mangia!
A fork is pulling a bite away from the slice of cheesecake to show fluffy texture.

More Delicious Desserts

The slice of cheesecake has a bite taken out of it to show the fluffy texture.

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The slice of cheesecake is topped with cherry pie filling and a sprig of mint.

New York Cheesecake

Sea Salt Savorings
This is the easiest and tastiest New York cheesecake recipe! Creamy, rich, and smooth cheesecake with a graham cracker crust.
5 from 27 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
resting time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 inch cake
Calories 402 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment
  • baking sheet
  • 9" springform pan
  • Glass jar

Ingredients
  

Graham cracker crust

  • 1 1/2 cup cinnamon graham crackers about 15 graham crackers
  • 6 tbsp salted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

Cheesecake filling

  • 4 8 oz packs of cream cheese brought to room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 5 eggs room temperature

Instructions
 

For the crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the graham crackers in a food processor and blend until it is fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and sugar, then blend until everything is mixed well.
  • Pour the mixture into the bottom o the springform pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan. Use a glass jar to press the crust against the edges of the pan. Press lightly around the edges of the top of the crust to better compact it. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a baking sheet and set it to the side. Reduce the oven to 325 degrees.

For the cheesecake batter

  • Attach the whisk attachment to the stand mixer. Add the cream cheese to the mixing bowl and cream it on low speed for about 1 minute. Add the salt and sugar gradually to the mixer and mix until the sugar is well combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract. Sprinkle the flour into the bowl to prevent the flour from clumping.
  • Add one egg at a time, allowing each egg to be fully incorporated before adding the next. Mix the cheesecake batter until everything is just combined. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer and wiggle the bowl, then tap it on your work surface for 30 seconds to release air bubbles.
  • Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan. Wiggle the pan and lightly tap it for 30 seconds to release any air bubbles. Place the baking sheet and pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven to 300 and cook for another 40 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven when the cheesecake is done baking and allow the cheesecake to rest in the oven for 1 hour. Do not open the oven door. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to set and cool in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Slice the cheesecake then top with whipped cream, fresh berries, and mint leaves. Mangia!

Nutrition

Calories: 402kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 5gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 344mgPotassium: 86mgFiber: 1gSugar: 54gVitamin A: 454IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.

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5 from 54 votes (32 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




26 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yum! This cheesecake looks absolutely delicious! Such a tasty and festive dessert for the holidays. Saving this for my Christmas dessert!

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      My all time favorite thing to bring for holiday dinners- it’s a show stopper!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never tried this type of cheesecake before – but your pictures have be convinced I need to do it soon!

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      You will love how rich yet light it is!

  3. 5 stars
    Gorgeous! My cheesecake always cracks, so those tips are perfect. Extra cherries on mine please!

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Oh yes! It’s all about the cherry sauce!

    2. Britton Browne says:

      Water bath works great I have never had one crack.

      1. sherry brubaker says:

        They certainly work great, however, this recipe is written to create an easier, fail proof method of cooking a cheesecake. I hope you enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    This was a great classic New York cheesecake! Everyone loved it!

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Hi Mary! I am delighted to hear it was well enjoyed!

  5. 5 stars
    This cheesecake looks so divine, creamy, luscious and unbelievably yummy! I am a big cheesecake fan, so this recipe is a keeper for me!

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      YAY! You are going to love how rich yet light this cheesecake is!

  6. 5 stars
    I am embarrassed to say I have never successfully cooked a cheesecake. Until now! Follow the detailed tips for a smooth top and no cracking. Je

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Woohoo!! A great success!

  7. Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry says:

    5 stars
    A New York cheesecake always goes down a treat in my home! This looks so smooth and tasty, it would be hard to stop at just one slice!

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Super smooth! A second plate is def tempting!!

  8. 5 stars
    This is almost exactly the recipe I make for cheesecake that I got from my mother. You are right! It is the best cheesecake to be found. Love how it’s always so dense and super moist and no water bath is ever needed. You’ve got great taste in cheesecake!

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Thank you so much!

  9. 5 stars
    OMG, this New York cheesecake looks AMAZING. I can see it has the kind of texture I like but man, I wouldn’t want to be the first one to cut something this beautiful!

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      I agree, the first cut is the deepest *enter Cheryl Crow*

  10. 5 stars
    I can see why you say it is the tastiest cheesecake recipe – even the photos make my mouth water! Can’t wait to make one at home.

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      This is why it’s everyone’s favorite!!

  11. 5 stars
    This is the best classic New York cheesecake! Super easy and made with basic ingredients. Will make again very soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Woohoo! Happy dance over here!