Light, creamy, Easy Homemade Cheesecake, prepared with a made-from-scratch graham cracker crust. The perfect recipe for special occasions.
Watch the video for this recipe!
This recipe is going to knock your socks and have your friends and family thinking this recipe can't possibly be homemade!
Making a cheesecake can seem like an intimidating task. That's why this post is loaded with all the tools you need to prepare your cheesecake.
This recipe is a plain cheesecake; however, you can add various toppings such as caramel, strawberry topping, chocolate, whipped cream, etc.
So let's get into it so I can show you how it's done!
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What do you need to make a cheesecake?
- Hand or stand mixer: A stand mixer was used to make this recipe, but either will work.
- Food processor: This tool is needed to grind the graham crackers to form the crust.
- 9 Inch Springform Pan: The base of this pan is removable which makes removing your cheesecake from the pan a breeze!
- Heavy-duty foil: The thickness of this foil will assist with the prevention of the water from seeping into the cheesecake from the water bath during the cooking process. It is also needed to cover the cheesecake once it's time to store it in the refrigerator.
- Parchment paper: It is needed to cover the cheesecake for storing in the refrigerator. Cover it with parchment paper and then follow it with a layer of foil.
- Cream cheese: This recipe calls for 4, 8-ounce blocks of full-fat cream cheese.
- Unsalted Butter: Place the butter in the microwave for 30-45 seconds until liquified.
- Sour Cream: Full-fat sour cream is needed for this recipe.
- Lemon or lime juice: 1 teaspoon of lime juice was used for this recipe, but either will work fine.
- Graham crackers: 12 pieces are needed to make the crust.
- Granulated sugar: 1 ½ c for the filling plus ¼ c for the crust.
- Large eggs: Three whole eggs are needed.
- Vanilla: 2 tsps of this vanilla goodness
How To Make a Graham Cracker Crust?
You definitely want to make your crust from scratch versus buying a pre-made crust for this recipe. It is really easy to make.
Place your graham crackers in the food processor and blend until the mixture is fine and similar to sand. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter and ¼ cup of sugar.
Mix the ingredients together with a spoon until they are combined. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan and spread it evenly, pressing while spreading the mixture.
How to Make a Cheesecake Water Bath?
A water bath is a must when making cheesecake. It is simply a pan of hot water. The steam from the water bath assists with the cooking process and prevents the cheesecake from cracking. Recipes such as cheesecake love moisture.
The hot water creates this moisture and creates the perfect environment for making a cheesecake. You don't need a ton of water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
Make sure that your water bath is not too deep to prevent the water from seeping into the foil during the cooking process. About ½ inch of water is enough. I recommend using heavy-duty foil as it is thicker than regular aluminum foil.
Steps After Baking the Cheesecake:
There are two ways to cool the cheesecake. The cheesecake can be left in the oven for an hour after it has finished baking.
Crack the oven for this process. After one hour, remove it from the oven and the water bath and place it on a cooling rack.
Or you can remove it from the oven and water bath and directly transfer it to a cooling rack. Either way, the cheesecake should be completely cooled before placing it in the refrigerator.
I recommend refrigerating the cheesecake overnight to make sure it is fully set. Cover the cheesecake with parchment paper and also a layer of heavy-duty foil.
Once the cheesecake is set, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. The cheesecake can be frozen for up to three months.
Make sure to tightly wrap the entire cheesecake or individual slices in plastic wrap. And if possible, store the slices an airtight container.
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- To prepare the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place graham crackers in a mixer and mix until fine like sand.
- Add the graham cracker mixture to a bowl. Mix with melted butter and ¼ cup of sugar until combined.
- Pour the mixture into your springform pan, spread it, and press evenly.
- Place the crust in the oven and bake it for 8 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven and sit the pan to the side.
- To prepare the filling:
- Mix the cream cheese and sugar ( 1 ½ c) until well blended.
- Add the sour cream, vanilla, and lime juice. Mix the ingredients together until blended.
- Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.
- Wrap the springform pan in foil (see video for instructions).
- Pour the filling into the pan and smooth the top of the cheesecake.
- Place the pan in the water bath, then place the cheesecake in the oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and remove it from the water bath.
- Allow the cheesecake to stand until it is completely cooled.
- Once it is completely cooled, cover it with parchment paper and foil. Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight.
- Serve and enjoy!