February 2019 Recipe of the Month: The Best Classic Cheesecake Recipe

This recipe is near and dear to my heart, not just because it's a recipe from my mother's collection, but because we had it at our wedding! My husband and I got married last May, and instead of doing a traditional dinner reception, we opted for a dessert reception instead (because YUM!). 

There are many cheesecake recipes out there, but nothing rivals a classic. In this recipe, the cream cheese filling is the star. Top it with fresh fruit, cherry filling, glazed strawberries — something to compliment the simple goodness. 

This Valentine’s Day, ditch the chocolates and flowers and make this cheesecake instead. Share it with your husband or wife, your BFFs, your cat—whoever you love most. Even if that means drawing a bubble bath and eating it solo. #loveyoself #treatyoself

giphy.gif

Ingredients:

Crust

  • ¾ cup coarsely ground walnuts

  • ¾ cup finely crushed graham crackers

  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter  

Filling

  • 4 8oz packages of cream cheese, room temp

  • 4 eggs, whisked

  • 1 ¼ cups sugar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Topping

  • 2 cups sour cream

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

All cheesecake photos on this page were taken by the lovely    Angie Jean Photography    at my wedding.

All cheesecake photos on this page were taken by the lovely Angie Jean Photography at my wedding.

Steps: For Crust

  1. Combine crust ingredients and press into a greased springform pan. Channel your inner Paul Hollywood and aim for an even layer of crust.

Steps: For Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer (or by hand, if you have superhuman arm muscles) until smooth and fluffy.

  3. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and beat until smooth.

  4. Spoon the filling into the springform gently, so as not to disturb that even layer of crust you created.

  5. Set the springform on a cookie sheet (in case it leaks) and place in the oven on the middle rack. Baking time varies by cake size (obvs), but for a 9-inch pan, plan for 50 minutes. The cake should get slightly brown on top, and might crack on top a little—but don’t freak out, the cracks will settle when it cools and the topping will cover that up anyway.

  6. Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before you do anything else to it.

Steps: For Topping

  1. Combine ingredients and blend thoroughly. Yup, that’s it.

  2. Spoon onto the top of the (relatively cool) cheesecake, spreading about a half inch from the outer edge.

  3. Return to the oven for another five minutes of baking.

  4. Let the whole thing cool, then pop in the fridge for 24 hours to set.

Serving:

Once the cheesecake has had a chance to set, you can use a knife to loosen it from the springform. Fresh berries look pretty on top. Personally, I like to garnish it with that syrupy cherry pie filling you find in a can, because 1) its sweet sharpness balances the mellow cheese, 2) the red color is pretty on the white cheesecake, and 3) it’s waaaay low effort, which—let’s be real—this cheesecake is complicated enough as it is.

Next step: bubble bath.