I love a creamy, rich, moist cheesecake with a graham cracker or cookie crust. It’s hard to beat this plain cheesecake; however, I also like to mix it up with some pumpkin for a Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake or top it with a Strawberry Sauce.
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What Goes Into a Cheesecake?
Cream cheese and more cream cheese is the key to extra creamy and moist cheesecake—a total of 4 boxes of this creamy goodness. Otherwise, you will need eggs, flour, sour cream, and vanilla. Make sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature. Here is an SIS (simple is smart) trick if you forgot to take the eggs out ahead of time. Place the eggs in a bowl of warm water for 15 – 20 minutes.
Make the Graham Cracker Crust
The crust of your cheesecake is the place where you can get creative. Mix it up by using cookies instead of the Grahams. Oreo cookies are a favorite or add some nuts to the crust.
This cheesecake has a traditional graham cracker crust made with graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Mix it all together and press the mixture into the Cheesecake pan. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Make the Cheesecake:
Step by Step Instructions for Making a Cheesecake:
1. Preheat the Oven to 325-degrees F. Combine the cream cheese flour, and sugar in a stand mixer and mix on low. Don’t turn the mixer above low to avoid mixing air into the mixture. The air bubbles will rise to the top during baking and cause blemishes on the cheesecake’s top. To ensure a smooth texture, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often during the mixing.
2. Add the salt and vanilla and mix in. Then add the eggs one at a time mixing well on low after each egg. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl after the addition of each egg.
3. Finally, add the sour cream and mix it in by hand.
Baking the Cheesecake:
- Pour the cheesecake into a pre-greased 10-inch springform pan. And place the pan in a silicone outer pan. The outer silicone pan wraps around the springform pan and protects the cheesecake from getting soggy in the water bath.
- Place these pans in a water-bath with about 1 inch of hot water in the bath. Bake for 60 -70 minutes at 325-degrees. At 50 minutes, take the temperature of the cheesecake 1 inch from the edge with an instant-read thermometer. Once the temperature of the cheesecake is 170-degrees F, one inch from the edge of the pan. The cake is done enough to turn off the oven. Note it is still a little wobbly in the center.
- Crack the oven door and let the cake cool for 1 hour in the oven. Then remove from the oven and let it cool completely before removing the springform pan.
Make a Strawberry Sauce Topping:
The cheesecake is delicious without a topping; however, a strawberry or cherry topping adds a festive touch to the dessert. For my SIS (simple is smart) way to make a fruit topping for your cheesecake. (click here) If there is any topping leftover, it is delicious on icecream, waffles, or pancakes.
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- 10-inch springform pan
- Cheesecake silicone water-bath pan
- 1½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (150g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar(99g)
- 6 tbsp melted butter(85g)
- 4 8oz Packages of cream cheese(908g)
- 1¾ cup granulated sugar(347g)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour(30g)
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup sour cream (115g)
- ¼ tsp salt
- preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
- Crush enough graham crackers to make 1 ½ cups of crumbs. (about 1½ sleeves)
- Add the sugar and melted butter to the crumbs and mix well.
- Press into the bottom and ½ inch up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
- Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. Let cool while you mix up the cheesecake. Reduce oven temp to 325° F.
- Make sure the eggs and cream cheese are at room temperature.
- Put the cream cheese, sugar, and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low until smooth and no visible lumps. Scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl at least twice.
- Add the vanilla and salt Mix in on low. Scrape the bowl sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the eggs one at a time. Mix well on low between each addition of eggs. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through adding the eggs, and again after the eggs are all added.
- Stir in the sour cream by hand.
- Put the Springform Pan in a cheesecake silicone waterbath pan. Add the cheesecake mixture to the springform pan with the prebaked crust.
- Bake the cheesecake in a pan with hot water about 1 inch deep.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 60 - 70 minutes. Start checking the temperature of the cake with an instant-read thermometer at 50 minutes. When the cheesecake is 170 degrees, 1 inch from the edge of the cake, turn off the oven, crack the door, and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour. The center of the cake will still be a little wiggly.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool another 2-3 hours before removing it from the springform pan. Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and cover the cheesecake once it is completely cooled.
- Slice into wedges and top with your favorite fruit topping. For a strawberry topping recipe (click here)
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