This classic New York-style cheesecake is rich, creamy, and decadent. It's made with sour cream and heavy cream for an extra smooth and creamy texture that New York cheesecake is best known for! Read on for expert tips on how to get the best crack-proof cheesecake!
This classic New York-style cheesecake is silky, smooth, creamy, and tall! It's an incredibly easy recipe that's made with simple ingredients and full of tips to get you that perfect, crack-free cheesecake. It's also the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other special occasions because it can be made up to two days in advance.
Crack-proof New York cheesecake
The 3 main techniques for crack-free cheesecake:
The portions and pan size used in this recipe will give you a tall and creamy cheesecake that's quintessential to classic New York cheesecake. The addition of sour cream and heavy cream gives it a silky texture that's light yet luscious. Its tall height, velvety-smooth texture, and generous slices are why everyone loves New York-style cheesecakes.
Ingredients for Classic Cheesecake
Step by Step Photos
- Make graham cracker crumbs using a food processor and then mix with melted butter, sugar, and salt.
- Press them into a springform pan that's been double-lined with aluminum foil and inserted with a round of parchment paper on the bottom. This will help efficiently remove the cheesecake and prevent water from leaking through the bath. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes and remove. Lower the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth and creamy.
- On the lowest setting of the mixer, beat the batter for 1 to 2 minutes to pop any air bubbles. This will help prevent cracks from forming on the cheesecake. You should end up with a creamy, smooth batter that flows like pancake batter.
- Pour the batter into the crust slowly to pop any more air bubbles.
- Insert the springform pan into a larger pan and fill it with hot water halfway up the springform pan. This is called a water bath and will help cook the cheesecake gently and evenly while supplying humidity to prevent the cheesecake surface from drying out and cracking.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 75 minutes. You should see the cheesecake expand as it cooks, this is normal.
- Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside for one hour. Slightly crack the oven to slowly reduce the temperature and avoid the cheesecake from collapsing. Insert a wooden spoon into the door if needed. Afterward, remove the cheesecake from the oven and remove the foil lining. Once it comes to room temperature, lightly cover it and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hour to overnight.
If all goes right, you should end up with a perfect, crack-free New York-style cheesecake that's smooth and creamy. But if your cheesecake cracked, no worries! There are plenty of delicious toppings you can use to cover the crack such as cherry cheesecake topping or chocolate ganache. It'll only make it more delicious!
To serve, cut slices using a thin knife that's been dipped in hot water and wiped dry before each slice. Heating the knife in hot water will get you smooth, clean slices without sticking.
Tips for Classic New York Cheesecake
I hope you enjoy this recipe for classic New York cheesecake! Please leave a rating and let me know how it goes!
More cheesecake recipes
Classic New York Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs - See Note 1
- 2 ½ tablespoons butter - melted
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 8oz packages cream cheese - softened, see Note 2
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup sour cream - see Note 3
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Use a food processor to make graham cracker crumbs. Alternatively, crush them in a resealable bag using a rolling pin or kitchen mallet. Mix the crumbs with the melted butter, sugar, and salt. It should resemble wet sand and hold its shape when pressed. Add the crumbs to the pan and firmly pat down to get an even layer on the bottom and sides. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 2 ½ tablespoons butter, 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, pinch of salt
- Make the batter: Reduce the oven to 325°F. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese, eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and salt until smooth and creamy on medium-high speed. Note: For a smoother, silkier cheesecake, replace half the sour cream with heavy cream.Scrape down the sides and bottom halfway through. Lastly, remove large air bubbles by reducing the speed to the lowest setting for 1 to 2 minutes.2 8oz packages cream cheese, 2 eggs, ⅔ cup sugar, ⅔ cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Water bath: Pour the batter into the springform pan and remove any air bubbles by banging the pan onto the kitchen counter lined with a kitchen towel. Put the springform pan into a larger roasting pan and add hot water a few inches up the side to create a water bath.
- Bake: Bake at 325°F for 75 minutes. Turn off the oven and use a wooden spoon to crack open the oven door. Let the cheesecake slowly reduce in temperature for one hour then remove it from the oven.
- Chill: Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and remove the foil. Once it reaches room temperature, loosely cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours to overnight.
- Cut slices using a thin knife that's been dipped in hot water and wiped dry before each slice. Serve and enjoy!
✎ Recipe Notes
- Graham cracker crust - Reduce the amount by half if you only want a bottom crust with no sides.
- Cream cheese - Use full-fat cream cheese for best results. To soften, leave at room temperature or microwave for 20 seconds at a time at half power until soft (my preferred method).
- Sour cream - Replace half the sour cream with heavy cream for a softer, silkier texture. This will give you a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake that's velvety soft. I highly recommend this for those who prefer soft cheesecakes over dense ones.
- Crust: Use a flat-bottomed measuring cup with straight sides to easily press down the graham cracker crumbs.
- Crack-free cheesecake: Cracks can form in cheesecakes due to air bubbles, over-mixing, and improper temperature. Avoid opening the oven during baking to keep the temperature consistent.
- Once it's finished baking, allow the cheesecake to rest in the oven with the door cracked for an hour to let the temperature decrease slowly. This prevents the cheesecake from collapsing and cracking.
- Once the cheesecake comes to room temperature, cover it loosely to prevent any condensation from dripping onto the cheesecake.
- Chill overnight for best results.
- Make-ahead for the holidays - New York cheesecake can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.
New York cheesecake is a taller, creamier cheesecake that's at least 2 inches tall and made with additional ingredients like sour cream and sometimes heavy cream. Its texture is creamy and luscious and is always served in generous portions. Regular cheesecake is quite dense and more shallow with its main ingredients being cream cheese, eggs, and sugar.
Cracks can form due to air bubbles, improper temperature, and over-beating. Use room temperature ingredients to get a smooth even batter. Pop air bubbles by mixing the batter on the lowest speed for 2 minutes and bang the pan several times on the counter before baking. Avoid opening the oven door during baking as it can cause the cheesecake to collapse and crack.