The Best Cheesecake Recipe

Strawberry

Today I’m so excited to show you how to make the best Cheesecake Recipe of your life. Simple, classic, and no water bath required!! The texture is smooth, rich, and creamy, served over a crisp homemade graham cracker crust.

I’ve included tons of detailed tips and important info in today’s post so you can make the perfect creamy cheesecake every time. For a visual how-to, be sure to check out my step-by-step video beneath the recipe!

THE PERFECT CHEESECAKE RECIPE

This cheesecake recipe has been a long time coming.

For a recipe with so few ingredients (cream cheese, eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla & salt), it took a lot longer than you might think to develop the perfect version. I’ve shared a few cheesecake variations in the past, including my No-Bake Cheesecake, but getting a perfected classic version took lots of testing. Finally, here we are.

Oh, and we are skipping the water bath! I’ve always found them to be largely unnecessary with cheesecakes. Cook yours on a low temperature and follow my tips below and you’ll have a perfectly creamy and crack-less cheesecake without all the hassle of a water bath.

MUST-KNOW TIPS FOR BAKING THE PERFECT CHEESECAKE (WITHOUT A WATER BATH!)

USE ROOM TEMPERATURE INGREDIENTS

It’s important that your cream cheese comes to room temperature before you begin making your cheesecake. This will prevent any lumps and ensure a cheesecake with a smooth, creamy texture. However, to ensure that all of your ingredients blend together nicely and give you the desired result, they should all be at room temperature before you begin.

TAKE IT EASY ON THE EGGS

Over-beating your eggs is one of the quickest ways to ruin a cheesecake. Over-beating can ruin the texture and can cause cracks. To prevent this, lightly scramble each egg before adding it into your batter. Keep your mixer on low speed and stir until just combined. Be sure to pause after each addition and scrape down the sides and bottom of your mixing bowl.

DON’T OPEN THE OVEN!

I know how tempting it can be to want to check on your perfect, beautiful cheesecake, but wait until it’s finished baking (or close to it) before opening the oven door! Yes, you will have to test for doneness at some point and there’s a real possibility it will need more time in the oven, but minimize opening the oven as much as possible.

Opening the oven door can drastically reduce the temperature of your oven, which will slow the baking process and might cause your cheesecake to sink or crack.

FREE YOUR CRUST!

Once your cheesecake is done baking, allow it to cool for 10 minutes on top of the stove. Then, run a knife around the inside of the springform pan to loosen the crust from the sides.

As your cheesecake cools, it may to shrink a bit. If the crust is stuck to the pan, your crust won’t give but your cheesecake will (leaving you with cracks). Free the crust from the sides so it can contract with your filling as needed.

COOL AT ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE MOVING TO THE FRIDGE

I always let my cheesecake come to room temperature before chilling. For bests results, let it cool as gradually as possible. I put mine on top of my oven (the warmest spot in my house) so it can gradually cool off as the oven does.

This pre-chilling cooling period can take an hour or two, but it’s worth it. An abrupt temperature change (moving the cheesecake directly from oven to fridge) is likely to make it crack.

HOW TO STORE CHEESECAKE

Cheesecake should always be stored chilled in the refrigerator. When I’m ready to store mine, I’ll usually replace the springform ring and then cover the top with foil.

Cheesecake shouldn’t be left out at room temperature for more than 4 hours (or less if it’s particularly hot/humid!).

CAN I FREEZE CHEESECAKE?

Yes, you can freeze your cheesecake! Fortunately, this cheesecake recipe actually freezes very well. To freeze, first allow your cheesecake to cool on the stovetop and in the fridge as instructed. Once it’s chilled, you can freeze by wrapping thoroughly in plastic wrap and then wrapping in foil. Cheesecake will keep in the freezer for several months.

To thaw, transfer to the fridge and let it thaw there overnight.