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New York Style Cheesecake

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Prep Time: 20 mins    Cook Time: 1 hr

5 from 7 votes

New York style cheesecake is a true American staple. The secret of this iconic dessert lies in its simplicity. It’s super-easy to make and the resulting dessert offers wonderful flavors of vanilla and lemon, along with the tang of cream cheese.

A slice of New York style cheesecake on a white plate with a fork and the rest of the cheesecake in the background.
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A sweet graham cracker crust is topped with a sweet, creamy filling. The hardest part of making this cheesecake is being patient while it’s baking in the oven for an hour. Don’t worry, the results are well worth it!

Unlike a lot of no-bake cheesecake recipes, this one isn’t topped with fruit or chocolate. The charm is in the rich, delicious, creamy flavor and texture you can expect from every indulgent mouthful.

This cheesecake is both luxurious and understated. It makes a perfect dessert after any kind of main course. I can say the same for this marble pumpkin cheesecake, or these raspberry cheesecake cookies if you want to add a fun twist!

Main Ingredients

This dairy-rich dessert is all about creaminess, tang, and delicate flavors. Here are some of the main ingredients you will need to make your own:

  • Graham crackers: For the crust. When combined with butter and sugar, these cracker crumbs make a tasty crust. Since graham crackers are just cookies, you could always sub gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, or another favorite.
  • Sugar: To add sweetness. White sugar balances out the filling flavor against the tang of the cream cheese and the plain taste of the butter. If you have a semisweet, rather than sweet, tooth, use less sugar in the filling mixture.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: To balance the sweetness and add moisture. Don’t use evaporated milk in its place, since that is completely different.
  • Cream cheese: The star of the show. Since this is one of the most important ingredients in the recipe, make sure you use a good quality, full-fat cream cheese. Also, ensure it’s at room temperature before starting on the recipe so it’s soft enough to blend in well.
  • Lemon: To add citrusy flair. A delicate lemon flavor pairs beautifully with the cream filling. You could use lime or even orange zest in its place.
  • Vanilla: For a subtle flavor. Vanilla goes with pretty much anything and it’s delicious in this recipe too. Add some extra drops for a stronger vanilla taste. You could also omit it if you don’t have it to hand, in which case add extra lemon zest to make up for it.

Instructions Overview

If you’re more used to making no-bake cheesecakes, this one is going to be slightly different. But don’t worry, it’s still simple to prepare! First of all, let the cream cheese come to room temperature and melt the butter.

Next up, combine the graham crackers with the sugar and butter to make the crust, then press the mixture into a greased springform pan. Beat the cream cheese until fluffy then gradually add in the condensed milk.

Now add the flour, eggs, vanilla, and lemon, and then you can pour this mixture over the crust. Bake the cheesecake for an hour then let it cool completely.

Common Questions

Can I make this cheesecake ahead?

You can make this ahead, either the whole cheesecake or just the filling, which will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Either cover and refrigerate it for up to 5 days or freeze it.

How should I store it?

Once the cheesecake is fully cooled, move it to the refrigerator (still in the pan) for an hour and then transfer it onto a plate or cake board. Unless you’re serving it the same day, wrap it in plastic wrap or foil to stop outside odors from being absorbed and to stop it from drying out. It should keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, but if you aren’t going to eat it all in a few days, it’s probably best to freeze it.

How do I freeze it?

Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and then put it in a large Ziploc bag. I like to freeze mine in individual portions, each one in its own plastic wrap and then in the Ziploc bag together. Thaw the cheesecake on the countertop for a few hours or in the refrigerator overnight.

What should I serve with it?

Cheesecake makes a delicious dessert whatever you have it with, be it tea, coffee, or another drink. You don’t need to serve anything on the side like whipped cream, but I like to garnish mine simply, with a sprig of mint perhaps.

Don’t I have to use a water bath?

Some cheesecake recipes use a water bath which is a container of water releasing steam to ensure the cheesecake doesn’t crack on top. However, a long, slow baking time does the job just as well. I never use a water bath with this recipe and it always comes out great!

Chopnotch Tips

  • Not all cream cheese is alike. Use full-fat for best results, and mix it only at room temperature.
  • If you’re making it ahead and concerned about the foil or plastic wrap sticking to your perfectly smooth cheesecake top, use a few toothpicks around the outside of the cheesecake to keep the foil off the filling.
  • No springform pan? No problem. Cover a regular pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, letting it hang over the edges, so you can lift the finished cheesecake out that way.
  • Take care not to over-mix the filling mixture or else you risk getting too much air into the filling mixture and this can result in a cracked top.

New York style cheesecake is a classic dessert that is easy to bake and always makes an elegant dessert for a special occasion.

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

New York Style Cheesecake

This elegant and rich cheesecake offers delicate lemon and vanilla hints along with a rich and creamy filling.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 cup graham crackers, crumbled
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 32 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 eggs
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F. Mix graham crackers, butter, and sugar in a bowl.
  • Prepare a springform pan, spray with cooking spray. Press cracker mix into the bottom of the pan and spread.
  • Beat cream cheese in a bowl until fluffy. Slowly add condensed milk and beat until smooth.
  • Add eggs, flour, vanilla extract, and lemon zest, mix well to combine. Pour into the pan over crackers.
  • Bake for one hour. Let cool completely and serve.
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Notes

  • Not all cream cheese is alike. Use full-fat for best results, and mix it only at room temperature.
  • If you’re making it ahead and concerned about the foil or plastic wrap sticking to your perfectly smooth cheesecake top, use a few toothpicks around the outside of the cheesecake to keep the foil off the filling.
  • No springform pan? No problem. Cover a regular pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, letting it hang over the edges, so you can lift the finished cheesecake out that way.
  • Take care not to over-mix the filling mixture or else you risk getting too much air into the filling mixture and this can result in a cracked top.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 493kcal (25%), Carbohydrates: 34g (11%), Protein: 10g (20%), Fat: 36g (55%), Saturated Fat: 20g (125%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 163mg (54%), Sodium: 356mg (15%), Potassium: 267mg (8%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 26g (29%), Vitamin A: 1340IU (27%), Vitamin C: 1mg (1%), Calcium: 185mg (19%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
Print Recipe
course:
Dessert
cuisine:
American

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