Perfect New York Cheesecake

This is hands-down the best cheesecake I’ve ever made! A thick graham cracker crust provides the perfect base for an incredibly creamy, melt-in-your-mouth filling. Your search for the perfect New York style cheesecake has ended!

New York Cheesecake Recipe Video

A huge thanks to Chef Richard for sharing his incredible cheesecake recipe! As a big fan of New York-style cheesecake, I knew his recipe would be a winner (and it is)! This has quickly risen to the top of my favorite dessert recipes on Inspired Taste.

This cheesecake is hands-down one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Before trying Richard’s recipe, Adam wasn’t the biggest cheesecake fan, but now, he can’t get enough! For cheesecake bars, see these delicious blueberry lemon cheesecake bars.

Key Ingredients

  • Graham cracker crust: Our crust is made with crushed graham crackers, sugar, and butter. Non-US bakers can substitute digestive biscuits for graham crackers.
  • Cream cheese: Use full-fat block cream cheese for cheesecake. Make sure it is at room temperature.
  • Sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice: Our cheesecake filling is not too sweet and has a hint of vanilla and lemon (we only add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, but it makes a big difference in flavor).
  • Eggs: We use a lot of eggs in this recipe (7 whole + 1 egg yolk). We wanted this cheesecake recipe to be in the style of New York cheesecake, and the eggs help us with that! Thanks to so many eggs, the filling is incredibly creamy, sturdy, and rich.
A slice of Classic New York Cheesecake

How to Make Cheesecake

If you’ve never made cheesecake before, don’t worry. I’ve outlined everything you need to know for success and shared a helpful recipe video that walks you through making it.

I use a stand mixer for this cheesecake recipe and recommend you do, too. It makes making the cheesecake filling easy. Also, I know I already mentioned this, but before making the filling, check that your ingredients are at room temperature. Otherwise, they will not mix as well for the smoothest cheesecake filling.

I start with my graham cracker crust. It’s easy to make. Melt your butter and then mix it with graham cracker crumbs and sugar. I like a thick crust when making cheesecake, so I’ve done that in my photos and the video. If you prefer a little less crust, no worries. Use as much as you like.

Making a graham cracker crust for cheesecake

The trick for the crust is to really pat the graham cracker mixture into your cheesecake pan. You want it well packed to hold up when you pour in your filling. I build up the walls first and then fill the bottom, using my fingers and a flat-sided glass to push the crust into place. I also use a trick from Sally at Sally’s Baking Addiction and use a spoon to round the bottom edges of the crust before adding my filling.

Smoothing edges of a graham cracker crust before adding cheesecake filling

Now we have our crust in place (no pre-baking required), you will make the filling. You’ll mix the cream cheese with sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice for about 2 minutes, and then add the eggs (and the egg yolk) one at a time. We mix until blended, but we do our best not to overmix since this adds too much air, adding bubbles to the filling. Once you see an egg is blended into the filling, add the next one, and so on, until they are all added to the filling.

Pouring cheesecake filling into a graham cracker crust

Pour the filling into your crust. Then, bake your cheesecake in a water bath for 1 ½ to 2 hours. I use the classic jiggle test to check if my cheesecake is done baking. Using oven mitts, I give the pan a gentle shake and watch the center. If the outer edges look set but the middle still has a slight wobble, I know it’s finished baking.

We want to avoid overbaking cheesecake, which leads to a dry texture and possible cracking. (Some cracks with our recipe are okay; we just want to avoid big ones!) When my cheesecake is done, I turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake inside with the door slightly open. Letting it cool down slowly helps prevent significant temperature shifts that can cause additional cracking. When my cheesecake is cool to the touch (1 to 2 hours), I refrigerate it overnight, which firms the middle even more.

Baked and cooled New York cheesecake with whipped cream and strawberries

Do I Need a Water Bath for Cheesecake?

I use a water bath to bake cheesecake. When baking cheesecake, we want to do it gently. The water bath acts like insulation, surrounding the cheesecake with gentle, even heat, preventing hot spots that could cause the edges to cook too quickly or overbake. Remember that we have 7 whole eggs in this cheesecake recipe. Eggs are sensitive to temperature. The steam from the water bath creates a humid environment in the oven, which helps the cheesecake cook slowly and evenly for that ultimate silky-smooth texture.

To make a cheesecake water bath, you will need a large roasting pan, hot water, and something to protect your cheesecake pan from the water. Many bakers use foil to wrap the pan and protect the cheesecake from water leaks. While using foil works in a pinch, I prefer using a large cake pan (slightly bigger than my cheesecake pan) and setting my 9-inch cheesecake pan right inside it. The cake pan creates a foolproof water bath without foil wrapping. If you have to use foil, double-wrap your cheesecake pan.

Can I still skip the water bath? Yes. You can make this cheesecake without the water bath; that’s how Chef Richard makes it. Since this recipe’s graham crust is so thick, it acts more like an insulator than if it were not there. You can skip the water bath if you go with the thick crust up the pan’s sides. (I still prefer this cheesecake when I use a water bath and think of it as my insurance policy, but know that you can still make the recipe without one.)

Best Cheesecake I've Had with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

Perfect New York Cheesecake

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

This classic cheesecake recipe is a new family favorite! Our recipe makes a rich, creamy, and perfectly dense cheesecake. Relying only on cream cheese and eggs (with no sour cream or cream) for the filling creates a texture similar to a New York style cheesecake. I love adding whipped creamy and fresh strawberries for serving, here’s our whipped cream recipe.

We use a water bath for this recipe and recommend a 10-inch cake pan with the cheesecake pan (springform pan) set inside to protect it from water leaks. If you do not have a large enough cake pan, wrap the cheesecake pan with two layers of heavy-duty foil before placing it in the water bath. Read more about water baths in the article above.

Makes 1 (9-inch) cheesecake

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

Graham Cracker Crust

3 ⅓ cups (405g) graham cracker crumbs, from 27 crackers (14.4 ounce box)

1/3 cup (80g) sugar

1 cup (226g) salted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

32 ounces (907g) full-fat block cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup (200g) sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

7 large eggs, at room temperature

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

Directions

  • Prepare Crust
  • 1Preheat the oven to 325°F (162°C).

    2To prepare for the water bath, you’ll need a large roasting pan, a 9-inch springform pan, and a 10-inch cake pan or foil. Place the springform pan inside the cake pan. If you do not have a large enough cake pan, wrap the bottom of the springform pan tightly with two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent water from leaking in.

    3To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Pour in the melted butter, then stir until it is the consistency of wet sand. Let cool to room temperature.

    4Lightly spray your springform pan with cooking spray. Add some of the crust mixture and begin building the sides (about 1/2-inch thick).

    5Once the sides are formed, fill in the bottom of the pan, pressing the mixture down using the bottom or sides of a glass. Firm up the top edge by holding the glass against the side of the crust and gently pressing down with your fingers. I also like to run a spoon along the bottom edge of the crust, creating a rounded shape. This will help prevent crumbling. See Joanne demonstrate this in the video.

  • Make Filling
  • 1Bring a large pot or kettle of water to a boil, set aside for later.

    2In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, pausing halfway through to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

    3Reduce speed to low and add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing briefly after each addition. Try to add all of the eggs within a minute.

    4Scrape the bowl again and mix for another 20 seconds until the batter is smooth.

    5Place the springform pan (inside a larger pan or wrapped with foil) into the roasting pan.

    6Pour the cheesecake filling into the prepared crust, filling it close to the top. You may have some filling left over.

  • Bake Cheesecake
  • 1Carefully place the roasting pan with the cheesecake into the oven. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it reaches 1 inch up the sides of the pan.

    2Bake the cheesecake for 1 ½ to 2 hours. It’s done when the top barely starts to brown, and the center has a slight jiggle.

    3Turn off the oven, slightly open the door, and let the cheesecake cool completely inside for about 2 hours.

    4Remove the cooled cheesecake (still in the springform pan) from the water bath and refrigerate overnight. Store in the fridge (covered) for up to 1 week.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Salted butter: I love the salt in this crust. If using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt to the crust mixture.
  • Graham cracker substitute: Non-US bakers can substitute digestive biscuits.
  • Use less crust: I love a thick graham cracker crust for my cheesecake, but you can reduce the amount of crust in this recipe. Pack the crust as high as you like up the sides of your cheesecake pan.
  • Room temperature ingredients: Do not skip room temperature ingredients. The filling will not mix well if the cream cheese and eggs are cold.
  • Filling pulls away from sides: Slowly cooling the cheesecake is key to preventing cracks and the filling pulling away from the sides, but sometimes, even when we do everything right, it still happens. (See our video). I don’t mind when homemade desserts look homemade, so don’t worry too much about it. You can always use a little whipped cream to cover any cracks.
  • Storing: A freshly baked cheesecake can last up to a week in the fridge, which is lovely because it means I can enjoy it for days! I store it in a container or wrap it with foil to stop it from picking up any fridge odors.
  • Nutrition facts are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/10 of the cheesecake / Calories 686 / Total Fat 54.1g / Saturated Fat 31.3g / Cholesterol 289.1mg / Sodium 555mg / Carbohydrate 41.2g / Dietary Fiber 0.7g / Total Sugars 32.9g / Protein 11.1g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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25 comments… Leave a Review
  • Missy May 11, 2024, 2:34 pm

    I have never made a cheesecake in my life, I came across this site and have looked at a few Recipes. I love how informative, and clear the instructions are, and the videos are an added bonus! I can’t wait to try some out. So I have attempted the cheesecake, It’s in the oven now. I was wondering when I put the cheesecake in the fridge overnight do you cover it with anything? Or just put the pan as is in the fridge.

    Reply
    • Joanne May 23, 2024, 3:44 pm

      Hi Missy, I just slide it into the fridge uncovered. You can loosely cover it if you want, but it is not necessary.

      Reply
  • Judith Susskind May 8, 2024, 11:08 am

    Fantastic cheesecake: thank you so much for sharing your talent/. Should the crust be prebaked? Thank you

    Reply
    • Joanne May 8, 2024, 12:50 pm

      Hi Judith, We do not pre-bake the crust for this recipe.

      Reply
  • Robert May 5, 2024, 11:01 pm

    Hello Guys. Thanks for the amazing recipe! Ive dabbled over the years, unsuccessfully trying to make the perfect Cheesecake.That is until I discovered your recipe.Ive never made a baked cheesecake before but this turned out Amazingly perfect! It taste so beautiful. I went with the thick edges, so much nicer. This will definitely be my go to recipe in the future. Thank you again Regards Robert.

    Reply
    • Joanne May 23, 2024, 3:44 pm

      I’m thrilled our recipe worked so well for you, Robert! Thanks for coming back and letting us know.

      Reply
  • Cheryl May 4, 2024, 3:22 pm

    Cheesecakes are not usually my favorite to make but after watching the video I could see it wasn’t the least bit fussy. So I took a chance, made it for my daughters birthday and it’s a huge hit! She wanted a chocolate crust so I added some chocolate cookies to the graham crackers. We also made a peanut butter sauce and a salted caramel so people could customize their slice. This one goes in the book for family favorites!

    Reply
    • Joanne May 4, 2024, 3:51 pm

      Wow, Cheryl! I am so happy that you took a chance and tried our recipe. Thank you very much for coming back and sharing. All of your additions sound lovely!

      Reply
  • Carlos April 30, 2024, 2:10 pm

    My second time ever making cheesecake. Although my crust is not perfect, the Cheescake as a whole came out amazing. It is delicious , creamy, and smooth. Thanks so much for all your hard work and for sharing so many recipes… you guys rock!!!!!

    Reply
    • Adam May 1, 2024, 3:47 pm

      Wonderful! You are so welcome 🙂

      Reply
  • Laura April 8, 2024, 2:49 pm

    It was my first time ever making a cheesecake and this recipe was superb! it was super easy to follow! I added another extra tsp of lemon juice and could have added another one but I love citrus flavors! It cooked a bit quicker,it was browning a bit in 1 hr. so I just covered it with some foil and left it in opened over until cool. I had all my ingredients at least 5 hrs. at room temperature and will be leaving them longer next time – important!. I absolutely will be making this for parties or to bring to friends and families! It’s half gone already, only a day later! Easy, super delicious and quick! thank you guys for sharing!

    Reply
    • Adam April 8, 2024, 4:26 pm

      We are thrilled that you loved it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Julie April 4, 2024, 1:16 am

    Love your recipes. You are both delightful.

    Reply
    • Adam April 4, 2024, 11:34 am

      You are too sweet.Thank you so much 🙂

      Reply
  • Dolores April 3, 2024, 6:41 pm

    Your step-by-step guide to each recipe preparation is easy and inviting. I appreciate your expertise and style of cooking.

    Reply
    • Adam April 4, 2024, 11:35 am

      You made our day with this comment 🙂

      Reply
  • Annencia March 31, 2024, 5:17 pm

    Thank you for all these amazing recipes.stay blessed.

    Reply
    • Adam March 31, 2024, 9:37 pm

      You are so welcome! 🙂

      Reply
  • Sureen Mitchell March 31, 2024, 7:27 am

    Looking forward to trying this cheesecake! Is there any way of reducing the size for 2 people please? I know some recipes don’t like to be halved! 🙂

    Reply
    • Joanne May 4, 2024, 3:51 pm

      Hi there, unfortunately, we would need to test this. I have only made this recipe with the ingredient amounts listed above.

      Reply
  • Victoria Hasskerl March 31, 2024, 6:05 am

    Haven’t made this yet…but you guys seem to always get it right. Problem is I live in Germany and the creme cheese is not the same.

    Reply
  • Cheryl Kloscak March 30, 2024, 3:47 pm

    Every recipe I’ve tried from your blog has been amazing and delivered as promised! I’ve had mixed results when it comes to cheesecakes so I’m hoping this one is the one!

    Reply
    • Adam March 30, 2024, 3:55 pm

      You are too sweet! You are going to love this cheesecake. We have a video coming in a couple of days to help you nail it 🙂

      Reply
  • Christine March 30, 2024, 2:05 pm

    LOVE your recipes. Can’t wait to try this cheesecake. A big thank you for all you do, your sharing and a big thank you to the Chef Richard for sharing!

    Reply
    • Adam March 30, 2024, 2:31 pm

      You are too kind! You are going to love this cheesecake 🙂

      Reply

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