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This rich and creamy New York Style Cheesecake recipe is what classic cheesecake should be! With a buttery graham cracker crust and a lightly sweetened cream cheese filling, it’s perfect on its own, or topped with your favorite dessert sauce.
The Best New York Cheesecake
When you want the ultimate indulgent, treat yourself, put-on-sweatpants-and-go-to-town dessert, you want cheesecake. Layer cakes are great, brownies can be sinfully delicious, and I would never say no to a warm cookie fresh from the oven — but nothing can compare with a slice of dense, creamy cheesecake when it comes to outright decadence.
This recipe for an ultra-rich New York Style Cheesecake is exactly what comes to mind when you think of classic cheesecake. The ingredients and flavor profile are both very simple, so the tangy cream cheese taste shines through and is the undisputed star of the recipe. It’s built on a buttery, crispy graham cracker crust, and while it’s perfect on its own, I especially love this cheesecake topped with an easy fruit sauce, like strawberry sauce or blueberry sauce.
If you are a cheesecake lover, don’t miss our other delicious recipes, like chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, candy bar cheesecake, deep fried cheesecake, no-bake mini cheesecakes and this incredible 10-flavor cheesecake sampler.
What is the difference between New York style cheesecake and regular cheesecake?
If you’ve never heard of “New York style cheesecake” before, you might be looking at these photos and descriptions and wondering what makes this particular cheesecake different from any other. The main difference between New York style and traditional cheesecake is the inclusion of sour cream in the ingredients.
Traditional cheesecake has a lighter, silkier texture which is created using a combination of sour cream and cream cheese in the filling. New York style cheesecake, on the other hand, is typically made without sour cream, so all of the tangy dairy flavor comes from cream cheese. This results in a richer, creamier, and denser texture. Although both types of cheesecake are similar, New York style cheesecake is an overall more indulgent dessert.
🧾 What You’ll Need
Here are some things to keep in mind as you put together your grocery list for this cheesecake recipe! (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Cream cheese: This is extremely important: be sure to use full fat blocks of cream cheese for the best results. Avoid “light” and “whipped” cream cheese, and any cream cheese sold in a tub. Some of these products have additives or stabilizers that will negatively impact your cheesecake’s texture. I recommend using Philadelphia brand cream cheese if possible. Also, make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature before you begin.
- Graham crackers: you’ll need enough graham crackers to yield 1 2/3 cups of crumbs for the crust. This usually works out to approximately 14 graham cracker sheets.
- Cream: Heavy cream will get you the best results – the high fat content adds to the creaminess of the cheesecake. But whipping cream or half-and-half will also work.
- Eggs: You’ll want to use large eggs at room temperature.
- Vanilla: Vanilla is the traditional flavor, but you can experiment with other extracts, like orange, lemon, and almond.
You won’t need much in the way of specialty equipment to make this cheesecake–just a few baking basics. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Springform pan:a springform pan is a MUST for making cheesecakes. Unlike most cake pans, the sides of this pan expand so you can easily remove the cheesecake from the pan without damaging it. This recipe calls for an 8-inch pan, but you can also use a 9-inch pan to make a shorter cheesecake.
- Mixer: a hand mixer or stand mixer will both work in this recipe.
Here’s an overview of how to make New York Chesecake. Full instructions are included in the recipe card down below.
Make the Graham Cracker Crust
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter, and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
- Pour the crumbs into the bottom of a springform pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Use the back of a spoon or measuring cup to press firmly into the bottom to form the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 350ºF (176ºC), then remove from the oven, and let cool completely.
- See our post on how to make a graham cracker crust for more tips and information!
Make the Cream Cheese Filling
- Add the room temperature cream cheese to the bowl of a large stand mixer.
- Beat the cream cheese on medium speed using a paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
- Add the sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla to the bowl of cream cheese, and mix just until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly stream in the heavy cream and mix until combined, then raise the speed and mix on medium speed for 30-60 seconds, until everything is well-incorporated.
- Mix the eggs together in a small bowl using a whisk or fork. When you add the eggs, you want to be sure to mix as little as possible, because overmixing when after adding the eggs can result in your cheesecake cracking. Mixing the eggs together first helps reduce overmixing the cheesecake batter.
- Add the eggs slowly with the mixer running on low. Mix just until combined–some streaks of eggs remaining are okay! Finish mixing by hand, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Be careful not to overmix, and stir just until everything is incorporated.
Bake the Cheesecake
- Pour the batter into your springform pan with the baked and cooled graham cracker crust and smooth the top.
- Place the cheesecake in the oven on the middle rack and bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes. Without opening the door, reduce the heat to 200ºF (93ºC) for an additional 50 minutes.
- Once the 50 minutes is up, turn off the oven, slightly crack the oven door, and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly in the oven for 20-30 minutes. After 20-30 minutes, you can remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool completely at room temperature.
- Once cooled, transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator and chill for at least 6 hours–overnight is even better.
Slice and Serve the Cheesecake
- Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan by taking a long spatula or butter knife dipped in warm water and sliding it around the sides of the pan to release the cake.
- Cut the cheesecake into slices with a sharp chef’s knife, then top with strawberry sauce, and enjoy!
This New York cheesecake is delicious as-is, but if you’re looking to switch things up a bit, here are some other ideas:
- Make it chocolate-y. Add chocolate chips or swirl in a couple spoonfuls of chocolate espresso sauce.
- Use another crust. Swap the graham crackers out for crushed Oreos, pretzels, gingersnaps, Nilla wafers, or use my homemade rosemary tart crust.
- Top it with whipped cream. Cool Whip is always an option, or you can give it a flavor twist with homemade mocha whipped cream or lemon whipped cream.
- Make a fruity filling. Swirl your favorite fruity jam into the batter before you bake it.
- Use cream cheese bricks. You want full-fat cream cheese bricks for the best texture. “Whipped” or “light” cream cheese won’t have the same effect.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Make sure to bring the cream cheese and eggs to room temperature before using them in the cheesecake. This ensures that everything incorporates together easily.
- Add the eggs last and don’t overmix. You want to mix only just until the yolk disappears otherwise the texture of the cheesecake will be affected.
- To check if the cheesecake is done, gently wiggle the pan. If the edges are set but the center jiggles slightly, it is done.
- Cool slowly. After the initial 50 minutes of bake time, turn the oven off but do not take the cheesecake out. Instead, crack the oven door and let it sit for another 20-30 minutes to allow it to cool down slowly. If it cools too quickly, cracks will form.
- Chill overnight. For the best results, let the cheesecake chill in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours before serving.
- To get the perfect slice of cheesecake, run a large chef’s knife under hot water on both sides until warm. Wipe off with a clean paper towel, then make your first slice. Repeat the process for the other slices until the cheesecake is fully cut.
Leftover baked cheesecake will last for up to 1 week in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
To freeze cheesecake, wrap it in plastic wrap followed by foil, then place it in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
❤️ More Cheesecake Recipes
Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make New York Cheesecake – check out the web story here!
New York Style Cheesecake
For the graham crust:
- 14 graham crackers, to yield 1 2/3 cups (7.5 oz) crumbs
- 2.5 oz butter, melted (5 TBSP)
For the filling:
- 32 oz cream cheese, at room temperature, see Note below
- 7 oz granulated sugar, (1 cup)
- 0.80 oz all-purpose flour, (3 TBSP)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 fl oz heavy whipping cream, (¾ cup)
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- Strawberry sauce, optional
To make the graham crust:
- Preheat your oven to 350° F (176° C). Prepare an 8-inch springform pan by spraying it generously with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.
- In a food processor, add 14 graham crackers, and pulse until they are fine crumbs. Add in the melted butter and pulse until combined, or stir the crumbs and melted butter together in a small bowl.
- Pour the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan and use the back of a spoon to press firmly into the bottom to form the crust. Bring the crumbs about 1 inch up the sides.
- Bake for 10 minutes in the 350° F oven, then remove and allow to cool.
To make the filling:
- Add the room temperature cream cheese bricks to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl if using a hand mixer. Mix the cream cheese on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
- Add the sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt to the cream cheese, and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 30 seconds.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the heavy cream and mix until just combined. Then increase the speed to medium for 30-60 seconds.
- Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. Add the eggs slowly with the mixer running on low. Mix just until combined–some streaks of eggs remaining are okay! Finish mixing by hand, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Be careful not to overmix, and stir just until everything is incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the springform pan, on top of the cooled graham cracker crust, and smooth the top.
- Place the cheesecake in the oven, on a middle rack, and bake at 350° F for 15 minutes then, without opening the door, reduce the heat to 200° F (93° C) for an additional 50 minutes.
- Once the 50 minutes is up, turn off the oven and slightly crack the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly in the cooling oven for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven after 30 minutes, and allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours (overnight is even better!) to allow the cheesecake to completely set.
- To remove the cheesecake from the springform pan, take a long spatula or butter knife,dip it in warm water, and slide it around the sides of the pan to release the cake.
- To get perfect cheesecake slices, run a large chef’s knife under hot water on both sides until it’s warm. Wipe off with a clean paper towel, then make your first slice. Repeat the process for the other slices until the cheesecake is fully cut.
- Serve with whipped cream, strawberry sauce, blueberry sauce, caramel sauce, or just enjoy it on its own!
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
About Elizabeth LaBau
I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me SugarHero! I’m a former pastry chef turned blogger, cookbook author, and baking instructor, and I consider myself sugar’s #1 fan. Learn more from my About page, or connect with me on social media: