If you’ve ever wondered how to make a New York style, baked vanilla cheesecake, I’ve got you covered.
This one is rich, creamy, and impossible to resist.
Classic New York Cheesecake Recipe
Cheesecake is my number one weakness. Dense, creamy, and smooth, it is as close to perfect as you can get.
And I’m not a purist either. Give me pumpkin! Give me chocolate! Give me anything with banana in the mix!
But where my heart really lies, is with a classic New York style, baked cheesecake, fully loaded with an assortment of decadent toppings.
For the Base
- Cookies - use any kind of cookie you like, including shortbread, Oreos, or even gingersnaps
- Sugar - just a little for sweetness
- Melted Butter - to help the base stick together
For the Filling
- Cream Cheese - obviously! Use full-fat for the best texture
- Sugar - for sweetness
- Cornstarch - to help the filling set
- Eggs - for richness and to help the filling set
- Sour Cream - for flavor and to soften the texture
- Vanilla - for sweet warmth
How to Make the Best Baked Cheesecake
The key to this recipe is to mix it by hand. If you go in with an electric mixer, you’ll incorporate too much air and it won’t have the same dense deliciousness.
- Make the crust - mix the cookie crumbs and sugar with melted butter until it looks like wet sand.
- Press the base into the pan - use a measuring cup to pack it down flat.
- Bake the crust - just until slightly golden then take it out to cool while you make the filling.
- Make the filling - beat the cream cheese and sugar by hand until smooth. Then add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until well blended.
- Add the cornstarch and sour cream - stir to combine.
- Bake the cheesecake - pour the filling over the base and bake for 10 minutes at 220°C. Then, reduce the heat to 110°C and bake for 1 hour.
- Cool in the oven - turn the oven off, crack the door a little, then leave the cheesecake to cool for an hour.
- Cool then chill overnight in the fridge - let the cheesecake go cold on the counter, cover it, then pop it in the fridge overnight.
Use full fat cream cheese - it’s thicker and gives you the best overall texture. Using something low in fat might seem like a good way to save calories, but the texture will suffer in the end.
Start with room temperature ingredients - it’ll help everything mix easily so you don’t have to over-work it. If you over-mix, you’ll incorporate too much air and risk losing that incredible dense filling we all love.
Use real vanilla - I LOVE to use real vanilla or vanilla paste. Having the flecks spread throughout is beautiful and the flavor is unmatched.
Use a water bath - it helps to cook the cheesecake evenly and keeps the top from cracking
How to Bake Cheesecake in A Water Bath
Don’t panic when it comes to the water bath! I have two fool proof methods to keep the cheesecake dry.
Method One: Before you start baking, wrap the springform pan in alternating layers of foil and plastic. I use cooking bags split in half.
Just place a layer of foil on the counter followed by half of the cooking bag, another layer of foil, and the other half of the cooking bag.
Then, place the pan in the middle and carefully mold the foil around the base.
The foil will keep it in place and the plastic stops any moisture from leaking into the cake.
Now you can pop the pan in a larger container and fill it halfway with water to bake.
Method Two: Bake the cheesecake on the middle rack with another tray underneath filled with water.
It’s not as good as the method above, but the moisture should keep the top from cracking.
For step by step instructions, check out my video:
New York Style, Fully-Loaded, Baked Vanilla Cheesecake
- For the Crust
- 150 grams of Cookies
- 2 tablespoons of Sugar
- 65 grams of Melted Butter
- For the Cheesecake
- 900 grams of Cream Cheese
- 225 grams of Sugar
- 2 tablespoons of Corn Starch
- 4 whole Eggs
- 1 egg Yolk
- 120 ml of Sour Cream
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Paste
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Crush cookies and mix together with sugar and melted butter.
- Press into a greased springform pan and bake for 8 minutes until starting to brown on the edges.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Turn the oven up to 220°C.
- For the filling, whisk together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Sift the corn starch over and stir with a spatula into the mix.
- Add the eggs one at a time and gently stir to combine before adding the next.
- Just before the last egg is totally incorporated, add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Be careful not to overmix.
- Wrap the springform pan in layers of foil, being sure to cover at least halfway up the side.
- Pour filling over the base and smooth out over the top.
- Put the pan into a larger dish or baking tray and place into the oven.
- Pour water into the outer pan or tray and close the oven door.
- Bake for 10 minutes before turning the oven temperature down to 110°C.
- Do not open the door. Allow the oven to cool by itself.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Turn the oven off and open the door a couple of inches. Leave this way for another hour.
- Take the cooled cheesecake from the oven after an hour and leave to cool completely outside of the fridge.
- Put in the fridge to set for at least 12 hours before decorating.
- When it comes to the decorations, more is definitely more! Don’t be afraid to go overboard. I like to use brownies, cookies, meringues, lollipops, candy bars, and more!