BEST Cheesecake Recipe EVER without the Water Bath!

4.77 from 999 votes

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This is literally the best cheesecake recipe ever. Seven simple ingredients. No water bath. No cracking ever. Friends, I have tested and re-tested this no-water bath cheesecake recipe to make sure it is the absolute best out there! It is the only recipe you’ll ever need for classic, jaw-dropping, super creamy cheesecake. Don’t take my word for it though…read through the 1300+ reader reviews in the comments and see that my method has been successful for many others as well.

Not into the whole baking thing? Check out my No-Bake Cheesecake! Looking for a holiday cheesecake? Try my to-die-for Pumpkin Cheesecake.

slice of cheesecake on white plate

Seriously, this is the BEST Cheesecake Recipe

I am thrilled to be sharing this creamy dessert recipe with you today. Not only did I test this recipe a several times, but I also had 5 devoted readers test this recipe to double down my claim that this cheesecake doesn’t crack. Y’all, their cheesecakes looked just as good as mine did with no cracks! Every.single.one looked great. The cheesecake gods are smiling down on this recipe and I hope you love it as much as we all did.

Why Do Cheesecakes Crack?

There are several reasons why cheesecakes can get a grand canyon-sized crack down the center but through my recipe testing and research, I’ve found the main three reasons are: air bubbles, lumps in the batter and baking and cooling. Here’s how I’ve dealt with and adjusted my recipe to ensure these three things don’t cause any issues:

How to prevent air bubbles in Cheesecake

When you are using a hand or stand mixer, it has a tendency to incorporate air into any batter you make, not just cheesecake. Particularly after you add in eggs. When eggs get whipped, they hold that volume. So, we want to reduce the mixing time after we add in the eggs and remove any extra air bubbles.

How do we do this?

  1. Crack all four eggs into a bowl
  2. Whisk with a fork before adding them into the cheesecake batter
  3. Stir in the eggs last and mix until they are just incorporated
  4. Before pouring the batter into the graham cracker crust, tap the bowl on the counter for 30 to 45 seconds to remove as many air bubbles as possible

How to prevent lumps in Cheesecake batter

  • Using room temperature cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream makes everything incorporate easier, thus more of a lump-free batter.
  • Be diligent in scraping the sides of the bowl.
  • You want to ensure the cheesecake batter is lump-free before adding in the eggs.

How to bake and cool Cheesecake to avoid cracking

Baking a cheesecake in a water bath helps moderate oven temperatures not only for baking but for cooling too. Since I hate water baths and think they should go die (see next section below), I had to MacGyver this whole cheesecake recipe to ensure it was baking at a lower oven temperature for a longer period and also cooling very slowly.

Once baking is finished and the oven gets turned off, you’ll notice the cheesecake still spends over an hour in the hot oven, not only to help finish baking it (called carryover cooking) but also to cool it gently and slowly. This is what gets you that beautiful, crack-free top.

Looking for even more mouth-watering desserts? See here: Actually Perfect Chocolate Chip CookiesThe Best Homemade Brownie Recipe*AMAZING* Peach CobblerEasy Cannoli RecipeThe Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, and Ultimate Banana Pudding Recipe.

graham cracker crust

Is a water bath necessary for a cheesecake?

NO! Use these recipe, and save yourself a headache! Cheesecake is a time-consuming, somewhat expensive dessert to make. I’d hate for you to wrap your springform pan in foil only to discover you didn’t wrap it well enough and now water is seeping into your cheesecake before it even hits the oven. That has happened to me a handful of times and I MAKE FOOD FOR A LIVING. It totally sucks. It not only wasted your time but it wasted that perfectly good food!

So, don’t give in to those other online recipes that call for water baths (filling a huge roasting pan with water for the springform pan to sit in). Me and my five recipe-testing readers proved otherwise. You can do better, even if this is your first time.

Cheesecake Ingredients

Like I mentioned above, you only need SEVEN simple ingredients for this recipe. Only 7! This is a classic cheesecake recipe, so really it’s all about using the best ingredients and enjoying the simplicity of this thick, extra creamy cheesecake.

  • Graham Cracker Crumbs: Honeymaid is my favorite, but any brand is fine. You can grind your own or buy them as crumbs.
  • Granulated Sugar: to sweeten the crust and the filling.
  • Melted Butter: to hold the graham cracker crust together.
  • Cream Cheese: I like using the Philadelphia brand; I think it’s slightly tangier than other off-brands out there. Make sure you are using room temperature, soft cream cheese.
  • Sour Cream: adds an extra tang. This also needs to be at room temperature.
  • Vanilla Extract: for flavor since this is a classic cheesecake.
  • Eggs: needed for structure. Absolutely have these at room temperature and beat together before adding in.
pouring cheesecake filling into graham cracker crust

How to make a Cheesecake

If you want to make sure your cheesecake doesn’t crack, please please please follow these directions as carefully as possible. Don’t be all Suzy-Homemaker thinking you can change this recipe however you like and still have it come out perfectly. I mean, maybe it will but I have tested this recipe as written so you can have success with this recipe as written. All the specific directions for this cheesecake recipe are in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Make the Buttery Graham Cracker Crust

Stir graham cracker crumbs (store bought or crumbed yourself in a food processor) , sugar and melted butter together and press into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 7 minutes in a 350° F oven. Set aside to cool.

Step 2: Make the Cheesecake Filling

In a large bowl, stir very soft cream cheese together with the granulated sugar. Stir in the vanilla and sour cream. Scrape the sides really really well and stir again to ensure there are no lumps.

Whisk eggs together in a separate bowl and slowly add to the cheesecake filling with the mixer on low speed. Once eggs are incorporated turn mixer off. Scrape the sides really well to ensure a very smooth batter. If there are lumps, stir them in by hand.

Step 3: Remove Air Bubbles

Tap bowl on the counter for 30-45 seconds to remove air bubbles. Air bubbles can contribute to why cheesecakes crack and we definitely want to prevent that. This is a small step, but makes a big difference.

smoothing cheesecake batter into pan

Step 4: Bake the Cheesecake (without a water bath!)

Pour batter into graham cracker crust, smooth the top and bake. Bake for 30 minutes at 325° F. Reduce temperature to 250° F and continue cooking for 45 minutes more. Keep the oven door closed this entire time!

Once this time has elapsed, turn oven off and keep cheesecake inside for another 30 minutes for some carryover cooking without opening the oven door. After 30 minutes, crack oven door to let cheesecake cool slowly for one hour before removing.

At this point, cheesecake should be slightly warm. Bring cheesecake to room temperature on the counter (3-4 hours) before covering with plastic wrap and transferring to the fridge.

Do I Have To Use a Springform Pan?

The best baking pan for this cheesecake recipe is a 9-inch springform pan and don’t have a suggestion for an optional pan to use instead. You can definitely put this into a 10-incher, but definitely won’t fit into an 8.

Also, I know you can buy larger 9″x 3″ cake pans without the springform option, but just don’t see any good way to remove the whole cheesecake without ruining it. Moral of the story? Splurge and get the springform pan. Or find a friend and borrow one.

I’ve had readers bake this recipe in a 9×13 pan and it has absolutely worked! So keep that in mind as well. If you’re ok with cheesecake bars, then this is a great option for you.

Step 5: Refrigerate & Serve Cheesecake

Once the cheesecake is at room temperature, you can cover and refrigerate until completely chilled. The beautiful thing about cheesecake is it’s a great dessert to make in advance because it stores so well in the fridge.

Refrigerate until chilled completely (6 hours to overnight). To serve, open the springform pan and remove the collar. Decorate as desired. Dip a sharp knife into hot water, wipe off any excess water and slice. I like to dip my knife in water between each slice to get really clean-looking pieces.

whole cheesecake with pieces removed

How to store Homemade Cheesecake

Like I mentioned above, cheesecake is a fabulous make ahead dessert because it stores so so well in the fridge and freezer! Here’s how to do it.

How to store Cheesecake in the fridge

After your fully baked cheesecake has come to room temperature, refrigerate covered for up to one week.

How to store baked Cheesecake in the freezer

If you are a kitchen expert, you’ll know cream cheese by itself doesn’t freeze well but baked it does! Cheesecake is a perfect candidate for freezing! The best way to do so is to first, un-mold the cheesecake from the springform pan. Place into the freezer uncovered for about 4 hours or until its mostly solid. Remove springform bottom and wrap the cheesecake well in two layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It will stay good for up to 3 months in the freezer.

To defrost, simply unwrap and transfer to a plate. Cover gently with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to defrost. Once defrosted, cut into slices and serve.

Cheesecake with whipped cream

Best Homemade Cheesecake toppings

Since this is a very basic, beautiful, and delicious cheesecake recipe, try to find delicious toppings that will help enhance the flavor. Here are a few classic ideas:

For more ideas for your special occasions or next dinner party, be sure to check out all of my other cheesecake recipes here!

Best Homemade Cheesecake Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between New York style cheesecake and regular cheesecake?

New York style cheesecake” typically uses cream cheese as its main ingredient which gives it its dense, creamy texture and rich, tangy flavor. Regular cheesecakes use more cream (and sometimes sour cream) for a thinner, silkier texture. This allows it to take on a variety of other flavor profiles, such as fruit or chocolate.

How can I adjust the crust ingredients to get a thicker graham cracker crust?

If you would like a thicker graham cracker crust, use 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, 5 tablespoons granulated sugar and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Press into the pan and bake for 8 minutes.

Slice of Cheesecake with Chocolate Sauce and whipped cream

Love Cheesecake? Try These Sweet Treats:

More Favorites from Lauren’s Latest

I hope this will soon become your favorite cheesecake recipe! If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

Slice of Cheesecake
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4.77 from 999 votes

Best Baked Cheesecake Recipe (No Water Bath!)

This is literally the best cheesecake recipe ever. Seven simple ingredients. No water bath. No cracking ever. It is the only recipe you'll ever need for classic, jaw-dropping, super creamy cheesecake. Follow my directions and it is simply fail proof!
servings 12 servings
Prep Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 40 ounces cream cheese at room temperature (five 8 oz. packages; 2 1/2 lbs total)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • any desired cheesecake toppings

Instructions

  • Place oven racks in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In a medium sized bowl, stir graham cracker crumbs together with sugar and melted butter until well incorporated and mixture looks like damp sand. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, press crust into the bottom and half way up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325° F.
  • In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix cream cheese 30 seconds 'til smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add in granulated sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Mix again until incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again briefly.
  • Crack eggs into a liquid measuring cup and using a fork, beat until well scrambled. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the eggs into the cream cheese mixture and stop stirring once egg has been incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape the sides and bottom again, ensuring the entire mixture is smooth. If there are a few small lumps, try to fold in using the rubber scraper.
  • Once the batter is completely smooth and ready, tap the bowl on the counter for 30-45 seconds to remove as many air bubbles as possible. You should see them popping on the surface as you tap the bowl. Pour filling into the center of the graham cracker crust and gently smooth the top. Will be very full!
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 325° F. Reduce temperature to 250° F and continue cooking for 45 minutes more. Once this time has elapsed, turn oven off and keep cheesecake inside for another 30 minutes for some carryover cooking without opening the oven door. Crack oven door to let cheesecake cool slowly for one hour before removing. At this point, cheesecake should be slightly warm. Bring cheesecake to room temperature on the counter (3-4 hours) before covering with plastic wrap and transferring to the fridge.
  • Refrigerate until chilled completely (6 hours to overnight). To serve, open springform pan and remove collar. Decorate as desired. 
    Dip a sharp knife into hot water, wipe off any excess water and slice. I like to dip my knife in water between each slice to get really clean-looking pieces.

Video

Notes

If you would like a thicker graham cracker crust, use 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, 5 tablespoons granulated sugar and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Press into the pan and bake for 8 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 573kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 194mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 192mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1606IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert, Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheesecake, Cheesecake Recipe, classic cheesecake, NY Style

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Recipe Rating




1,559 Responses
    1. Christine

      3 stars
      Made this and my bottom crust stuck to the bottom of the spring form pan, couldn’t even scrape it off. If you use this recipe, put some parchment paper down first. This was such a waste of time

        1. Patty

          5 stars
          This cheesecake was easy to make.. totally caught my oven on fire though.. there was liquid dripping from the pan… but hey the cheesecake looks amazing.. so now I am just calling it a smoke cheesecake… lol.. this is the first recipe where it didn’t crack or burn the top of the cheesecake! I will be making this again.

          1. bek

            5 stars
            I am following your instructions exactly but I still get a GIANT crack across the middle every time. Any other ideas of what could be going wrong? Thanks! BTW, it still tastes amazing and everyone who eats it goes crazy for it!

          2. Lisa

            5 stars
            Made 3 in the last week and every one turned out the same “perfect” I did lay a pre-cut piece of parchment paper in the pan,it worked great

      1. Karen Leigh Crissey

        5 stars
        I make this cheesecake recipe all the time, it has become our go to and it is truly our favorite and best tasting cheesecake. Never had any issues with bottom sticking.

        1. Terri B

          You may be over beating. Overbeating incorporates too much air. Make sure your ingredients are room temperature before you start mixing.

      2. Karen L

        5 stars
        I make this cheesecake recipe all the time, it has become our go to and it is truly our favorite and best tasting cheesecake. Never had any issues with bottom sticking.

        1. Eruva

          How long do I bake at 350 before turning the temperature down and then how long do I bake at that temperature? I didn’t see that in the recipe or I must have missed it

      3. Leah Stevens

        5 stars
        Made this DELICIOUS recipe SEVERAL times, it has NEVER stuck. I would encourage you to thoroughly read the recipe and try again! Enjoy!!!

        1. Stephanie Marko

          5 stars
          I’ve been using this recipe for 4 years now and I have to search for it every year even tho I save and screen shot in not tech savvy and lose it but as soon as I see it I know it’s it and it NEVER fails!!! Just wish it didn’t take 9 hours so I could make more to share with everyone I know because I love this so much and am proud of being able to bake something incredible and edible!

      4. Melody

        5 stars
        Love this chresecake. Great directions! Great flavor. Many compliments. Will be my go to!

        PS. If your cake stuck to pan, don’t downgrade the recipe…. That was the baker’s fault.

        1. Allyson

          5 stars
          I make this every year for my mom’s birthday and it’s always perfect. Key points are room temp cheese, eggs, sour cream. Yes really-it’ll be fine. You will serve this cheesecake from the springform pan base once you remove the collar. I always use the “thicker crust” suggestion at the bottom of the recipe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

      5. Sarah Wainscott

        5 stars
        Perfect cheesecake been making it for years same recipe but I buy a cake round cover it in foil and spray oil tiny bit just on the sides all around lay parchment paper the sides of a springform pan perfect every time just let it set 24h or overnight and take paper off . Parchment paper will stick if you gob it on Spray only what you need to cover

        1. Mollie R

          5 stars
          Best cheesecake ever!! Was trying to find something without a water bath and I’m so happy I found this!! Hubby doesn’t even like cheesecake but highly enjoyed this one!

      6. Floss

        Christine, I’m guessing that you can read, maybe next time or for any other recipe’s sake read the recipe 3 times before even attempting it, also any other recipe, you need to have common sense and don’t blame the creator of this recipe, think before you post frivolous claims as it all boils down to your lack of common sense, I hope this helps, please read a few times before moving on 😤

      7. Amanda Marie

        This is the only recipe I use for my cheesecake and never had a problem. Maybe try adding a little more butter next time? I like it buttery so I bake it with a sheet underneath incase the butter leaks 🙂

      8. Christie

        Did you not mix butter into your graham cracker crumbs? I’ve made this numerous times as I am a baker and I love not needing a water bath, and I have never once not had it come right off.

    2. Susan Hammond

      5 stars
      I made this yesterday for a NYE get together and everyone raved about it. I did get a small crack, but I know what I did wrong. It was so delicious and better than any cheesecake I have had since moving to Tennessee.

    3. Sandy

      5 stars
      The best cheesecake ever! Easy to make and delicious! I found that you must bring cream cheese, eggs and sour cream to room temp for it to come out perfect. I do get a small crack sometimes but I use a raspberry topping which, by the way is delish, to cover it up! I butter the bottom of my spring form pan to keep from sticking. The bottom of my pan is glass which I let stay on and just cut it from there.

      1. Frank

        Hi Sandy, I’m curious as to where you bought your glass Bottom Springform pan, I would buy one in a minute if I could find out where, Thanks…Frank

    1. Ruth

      5 stars
      I have never baked cheesecake before. My grandson asks for it all the time so I made this for the first time a few months ago and had a friend who bakes all the time said that this was the best cheesecake she has ever had. Even her husband said it was better than hers. I was super excited. Will be making it again.

  1. Sam

    5 stars
    This was the very first cheese cake I have ever made. It was super easy to do and came out amazing! It was the envy of some seasoned bakers when I showed it off!

    1. Angela

      5 stars
      Best cheesecake ever!!! I’ve been using this recipe for several years now and everyone loves it. I’ve made different variations with Oreo crust and Oreo swirl or crumbles on top. I’ve made it with a nut crust, and also swirled fruit pie filling on top. All have come out amazing. I even made a keto friendly version. I will never use another cheesecake recipe again. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

      1. Heather

        How did you do the Oreo crust? Just replace Oreo sandwiches crushed up (same quantity) and including the crème?

        1. Laura Cummings

          I always scrape out the cream and only use the cookie portion of the Oreo as a sub for the Graham crackers. Great recipe! I have made it many times and it always comes out perfect.

      2. Brittany

        Yes! This was the comment I was looking for. I have already tried it with a homemade berry sauce on top, but was thinking about experimenting with adding in some things and changing up the crust. 🙂

        ** Instead of posting a separate comment about this recipe- I’m just going to add it here. I am more of a pastry and bread baker, so when I got asked to do muffins (my specialty), cupcakes, AND a tiered cheesecake I was instantly anxious. I hadn’t made many cheesecakes. Finding this recipe relieved so much stress after the first cheesecake finished up. I do put a small pan of water in the bottom just to be safe because I’m paranoid, but I did it once without (because I forgot) and it was still perfect!

  2. Joanna

    If I cook this using a muffin sized portions, would the times for each Fahrenheit still apply? 30 min at 350 and 45 min at 325?

      1. Conni

        Thank you for this EASY, UNINTIMMIDATING recipe! You mentioned using a 9×13 pan successfully. Could you (or someone) tell me if you used the same temps & times as for the springform?

          1. Bonnie

            I made for thanksgiving every one told me it was the best chesse cake they have ever eat. going to make for xmas this year I AM 80 YER OLD GRANDMA I live in Iowa

        1. Guen

          How could I make this strawberry flavored? I want to use roasted strawberries pureed into sauce. I’ve looked at a few but most of the recipes I found when I Googled strawberry cheesecake were regular cheesecake with strawberries on top and I want the filling flavored. Would I need to adjust any of the other ingredients or can I just add strawberry puree?

          1. Laurie H

            5 stars
            I have made this cheesecake 4 or 5 times and I have another one in the oven at this very moment. It hasn’t failed me yet! My husband says it should be illegal, lol. I have shared and newbies to baking have also had success with this recipe. Thank you so much!!

    1. Lauren

      I’ve never tested this recipe with anything but cream cheese so, I have no idea. You are welcome to try! And I’m not sure a blender would work as this mixture is very thick.

  3. JENNIFER Raye

    5 stars
    I’ll echo the others: this is really the best! Made it for my husband’s 42nd birthday last night, and he declared it the best he’s ever eaten!
    I, too, have ruined good cheesecake with a water-bath gone wrong and always thought there had to be a good method for foregoing the whole thing. Thanks for a wonderful recipe that I plan to use many times!

    1. Ashley Yates

      Question: how do you keep the top of your cheese and so White and light in color? Mine is browned all across the top.

      1. Rick

        I have made this recipe several times!
        Comes out great!
        Left the light on once & caused the top turn brown.
        I struggle with moist crust!

    2. Sheila C

      5 stars
      I have had several people tell me also that this is the best cheesecake they’ve ever had. It’s the ONLY one I will ever make again. The flavor and the finished beauty make it the best out there.

  4. DeAndra

    5 stars
    Lauren
    This is the BEST EVER….thank you and thanks to all of you out there sharing your cheesecake experiences. Please be safe and stay well!!!

    1. Christina

      Hello, this recipe looks lovely and I’m planning to make it for my husband’s birthday. Do I need to line the springform pan with parchment paper or spray it with pam/butter? Thanks in advance!

      1. Ray

        Very late reply to Jess, but PLEASE do not use a store bought crust. Obviously you are going to go to the store to buy that crust – buy graham crackers instead, no substitute for making your own crust and it is so very easy. I use a slightly different recipe than this, but I’ve had so many compliments to my own ‘from scratch’ crust which was super easy to make. You will never get a compliment on a store bought crust – people know. It’s literally a 5 minute process and so easy to do.

        1. Kat

          This recipe is similar to a recipe I had about 40-50 years ago (& lost) but it called for 6 packages of cream cheese. I am definitely going to make this, its sounds perfect! Do you think I could make it without the crust! Or if any times need to be changed if I dont use the gramcracker crust?

          1. Judy

            Any crisp cookie will work. Graham Crackers are just the traditional choice. There are graham cracker recipes online, or you could substitute in sugar cookies, gingersnaps, or shortbread. There are many possibilities.

        2. Dianne

          Ray, perhaps Jess is not in North America. Graham crackers don’t exist in all parts of the world (Australia for instance – ask me how I know, lol).

  5. Amanda Jewell

    5 stars
    WOWOWOWOWOW. I’ve made cheesecakes for years and none have ever turned out as perfect as this one. Followed the recipe EXACTLY with a little extra mixing to ensure a smooth batter. I used gluten free chocolate chip cookies for the crust and it is 100% the best cheesecake I’ve ever made.

    The recipe is also really well written and super easy to follow!

    1. Pauline

      5 stars
      Made this for the first time and got rave reviews from the family. Substituted vanilla greek yogurt for sour cream, added some lemon zest and dash of cinnamon to crust. Absolutely no cracks after backing and it was so so creamy. Thank you, definitely a recipe to keep.

      1. Yohrling

        I really want to try this but nowhere in the past do I see how long to bake it for. It just says 325 then down to 250 with the door closed. But no times. Can you tell me baking times please

  6. Donna

    4 stars
    Can’t wait to try this but I have a question: with my standard cheesecake recipe (which has a tendency to crack), I usually add a sour cream, a little sugar, a little vanilla topping. When the cheesecake is done, I add the topping then bake an additional 5 minutes. Can I do that with this recipe?

    1. Lauren

      I have not tested this recipe with any topping because in my opinion its not needed. I think your cheesecake might crack because either you’re cooling it too quickly or pulling it out of the hot oven to add the topping and throw it back in the oven is messing with the temperature too much. I wouldn’t recommend adding a topping to my cheesecake for the reasons stated above.

      1. Donna

        5 stars
        Well, when done I took it out of the oven and let it cool till barely warm. Covered it with the sour cream topping, put it back in the oven for 5 minutes, then let it cool completely. Chilled. It…was…FABULOUS!!!

        1. Nancy

          Donna, Hoping you’ll see this a year later!! I’m wondering if you still put the 1/2 cup of sour cream in the filling in addition to your sour cream topping?

          1. Donna

            5 stars
            Nancy, this is so old, I’m sure you won’t see this! But yes, I also added the sour cream to the filling. I’m so sorry I’m just now replying, I don’t know how I missed seeing this!

  7. Lystessa

    5 stars
    I just made this the other day and it really lives up to the hype! It might well have been the best cheesecake I’ve ever had. I tweaked it because I can’t leave well enough alone, but nothing that would mess with the ratios. Thank you so much!

    My tweaks:
    Added pecan bits to the crust (this was seriously awesome)
    Subbed 8 oz ricotta for 1 brick of cream cheese (I had already bought the ricotta before hunting a recipe)
    Added zest of lemon and 2 tbsp lemon juice (lemon flavor was not very perceptible but it was nice in the background, tanginess was excellent but I don’t know whether it was actually tangier than the original)

    I can’t wait to experiment with more flavors on your awesome recipe. I ordered a non-springform style cheesecake pan because I have discovered that I hate springforms. I will have to have another go when it arrives. 😀

  8. MJohnson

    5 stars
    I’ve made cheesecake (a dozen at a time) for a high-end hotel in Scottsdale AZ for years, always using water baths and always getting mixed results. It’s too bad I had not stumbled upon these techniques then.
    Put simply, this recipe kicks hind-end.
    A few modifications made with spectacular results:
    Used ginger snap crumbs instead of graham.
    Added guava paste to the batter (between sugar and sour cream stage).
    Piped lemon curd into, and swirled within the batter for a little eye catching design.
    Going to be subscribing to Lauren’s latest. I’m very very very impressed.

  9. Cristina

    I am going to be making this and wanted to know I only have 32 ounces of cream cheese (4 packs of 8oz) I don’t have the 40 ounces of cream cheese so I know I have to change the measurements of the rest of the ingredients…how much would all the other ingredients would measure up to?

    1. Tracy Taylor

      If it were me… I’d zip to the store for more cream cheese which is exactly what I intend to do, as I am 8 ounces short myself.

  10. Lindsey Solots

    5 stars
    Been doing a lot more baking at home since the quarantine was put into effect, and my husband and I made this recipe last night for my birthday “cake”. We were super pleased with the results. The filling was superb, but the crust to me was a little sweeter than I would have liked, so I think I’ll try less sugar next time. Totally book-marking this page though – thank you Lauren!

  11. Nicki Quarne

    5 stars
    I followed your recipe exactly and it turned out perfect. I’ve made other cheesecake recipes and I love yours the most. My husband doesn’t like traditional cake for his birthday so I made this cheesecake and it was a hit. My children were very skeptical to eat cheesecake as they had never had it before. They gave it two thumbs up!

  12. Peggy

    5 stars
    LOVED this cheesecake. I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday and he said it was one of the best he has ever eaten. Very rich and since it is just the two of us due to the pandemic, I will freeze half of it. Thank you Lauren for the most perfect cheesecake.

  13. Robert

    5 stars
    This Recipe turned out great instead of using sour cream I used plain yogurt. It taste awesome. hope to get more recipes from you thank you 😘👌

  14. Lauren

    5 stars
    I love love loved this recipe! I halved the recipe since it was just for my husband and myself, and used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and it still tasted delicious! Used a 7” springform pan, which was perfect for halving the recipe. On the side I made a blueberry compote with grapefruit juice, and used this to top the cheesecake. Looking forward to making this again, but full portion next time.

    1. Lauren

      correct! Foil is meant to protect the cheesecake if you were baking in a water bath. Since this recipe does not call for a water bath, no foil is needed!

      1. Maria

        I made this and it was perfectly delicious. First time not having the cheesecake crack which was awesome. I will definitely make this again

  15. Lauren

    5 stars
    First cheesecake I have ever made that came out literally, PERFECT! Bonus points for this recipe not needed a water bath. I wish I could post a picture of how great it turned out as it really was the only one I’ve made that didn’t crack. I will however add more graham cracker/butter for a thicker crust, not because it necessarily needs it, but because I love a good thick crust.

  16. Teresa Hopfner

    4 stars
    Absolutely LOVE this recipe. I have not made cheese cake in a long time ( the last time it did not set all the way through). I followed the recipe exactly as written and it was PERFECT.

    The only “issue” I had was with the crust. First of all, I will make it thicker next time. Secondly, it was very soft and soggy, almost like the butter was separating from the crumbs. I’m thinking I needed to bake it longer or let it cool longer. What do you think??

    1. Lauren

      Did you use the thicker crust directions in the recipe card notes? I think that would fix your issues. I’m not sure what would cause the butter to separate from the crust.

      1. Staci Gregson

        5 stars
        I had my stepson assist with this, its my birthday cake. He didn’t mix the crust overly well and I noticed a few specks of butter separating after the crust came out if the oven. It is outstanding regardless! And I am a cheesecake snob lol.

  17. Priscila

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe producing excellent cheesecake! I followed the recipe *except* I did cut it all in half since it’s just far too much cheesecake for us here at home – even considering my pregnancy cravings! That said, the only tricky part was ‘guesstimating’ the cook times for each temperature setting (I did not alter temps!), so I’d say for my half recipe I probably shaved off 1/4 – 1/3 of each of the cook times.

    The cheesecake turned out great, yielding more than enough to share with my in-laws! None of us even added any toppings because we were well pleased with the flavour of the cheesecake all on its own.

  18. Priscila

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe producing excellent cheesecake! I followed the recipe *except* I did cut it all in half since it’s just far too much cheesecake for us here at home – even considering my pregnancy cravings! That said, the only tricky part was ‘guesstimating’ the cook times for each temperature setting (I did not alter temps!), so I’d say for my half recipe I probably shaved off 1/4 – 1/3 of each of the cook times.

    The cheesecake turned out great, yielding more than enough to share with my in-laws! None of us even added any toppings because we were well pleased with the flavour of the cheesecake all on its own.

    1. Lela

      5 stars
      I have made this cheesecake exactly as the recipe was written a couple if times and each time it turns out perfectly! It’s one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had! Thanks for the recipe! I was wondering, do you think adding a little PB2 (powdered peanutbutter) to the batter would turn out ok? I’m kind of craving peanutbutter cheesecake with chocolate ganache. Have you tried this before? Thanks!

      1. Lela

        Ok, I tried it. I added a heaping 1/3 c of PB2. It still tastes great and had a great consistency, didn’t crack. It didnt have much of a peanutbutter flavor though.

    2. Marcie

      5 stars
      I have made this recipe for the last couple of years for the holidays. Huge huge hit with everyone. Even received a compliment from my big brother which never has happened lol. Curious to try this recipe with chocolate in the mixture. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it?

  19. Cam

    5 stars
    SO GOOD. And so worth the time!
    You can do this! Follow the recipe exactly and it’ll be perfect!
    Also the knife trick for cutting is a game changer!

  20. Rhonda Sharp

    5 stars
    I have been making cheesecakes my whole life and this is the first one that did not crack. It’ turned out beautiful! I followed each of your steps and it was so easy. Thank you!

  21. Cindy Bottcher

    5 stars
    I followed this recipe exactly how it is written and it came out absolutely perfect!!! My mom is 83 years old and looooooves cheese cake, and has made many cheese cakes in her 83 years. She said this was the best cheese cake she’s ever tasted. She is now throwing out her recipe and putting this one in its place! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  22. Cristyn

    5 stars
    Your recipe was the first cheesecake one I’ve tried, precisely for the same reason you created this one. I didn’t want to mess with the water bath.

    This was so delicious! It was a lot easier than I ever thought cheesecake could be. The hardest part is keeping track of the different timings while baking. It’s a perfect thing to bake while stuck inside during shelter-in-place, when you don’t have anywhere else to go and don’t mind hanging out near your oven.

    We’re trying out lots of your recipes right now. Thanks for continuing to post them on Instagram. It’s a good way to get inspiration for meal planning.

  23. Cody

    Hello Lauren,
    I have never made a cheesecake before. Just wondering how long would you say the cream cheese needs to sit out to come to room temp?

      1. Cody

        Thank you. Quick question- when I first mix the cream cheese with the sour cream/sugar before the eggs go in, what hand mixer speed should I use?

  24. Wayne

    5 stars
    I followed the recipe to a T with the exception of thr refrigeration time due to massive time restraints. The cheesecake was out of this world. The only hangup was my fault because I was only able to allow it to refrigerate for 2 1/2 hours. It outter portion was set up perfectly. The inner 4 inches was still a little soft. I was able to get the slides out if the springform but it was difficult. No one cared that the slices were not picture perfect because it tasted so good. Next time I may double the crust portion of the recipe since I’m a crust kind of guy. Thanks for posting this recipe on line.

  25. Pauline Cheesecake

    I have been making Cheesecakes a long time all types of combinations many many have had and love them. As far as water bathes we need the moisture so it won’t dry out as for leakage put the spring pan in a slightly larger regular pan place it in the water bathe no water in your cake. And type of cream cheese I use one from Walmart 80 cent a block not to salty excellent I usually use of brands they are perfect ……Enjoy !

    1. Dolly

      Most disappointing comments are the ones where folks that haven’t tried the recipe tell you what they would do differently 🙁 Tell us how this recipe that we all came to read worked for you instead.

  26. Rebecca Shields

    5 stars
    I made this exactly as written. And it is the most perfectly beautiful un-cracked and delicious cheesecake that I have ever made. This recipe is a definite keeper! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  27. Susan Olthof

    5 stars
    My granddaughter is not a cake fan but LOVES cheesecake and requested it for her 16th birthday. I’ve been watching you test this recipe and had to try it. I followed directions EXACTLY as written and it turned out perfectly! Smooth and creamy and it cut beautifully. Most important, my granddaughter and everyone else at the celebration LOVED it! Thank you Lauren! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  28. merry

    5 stars
    Cheesecake is my favorite, it is so soft and creamy to eat, probably the best dessert you can think of plus the amount of flavours you can add to it. The pointers given in the article how to make a perfect cheesecake are really helpful.

  29. Torey

    5 stars
    Made this today and used greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. It turned out fabulous! There were no cracks and it tasted delicious! Thank you for the AWESOME recipe!

      1. Rachel

        5 stars
        I’m looking forward an adjustment to minis as well. Haven’t seen anything scrolling through. Did I miss a response?

        1. Penny

          Look online for Mini Cheesecakes. I have been making those for years. It uses the cupcake tins with liners and a vanilla wafer in the bottom for the crust. So easy! You don’t need to worry about this small ones cracking.

  30. Ashley Dobbin

    5 stars
    I made this recipe and it’s absolutely perfect! There is not a single thing I would change. Thanks Lauren for all the amazing recipes you share!

    1. Sharon

      5 stars
      This is my second time to make this cheesecake. It is very delicious!! This will be the only recipe I will use since I didn’t have to change a thing! No cracks just wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Spela Dillard

    5 stars
    First cheesecake I ever made! Perfection! I’ve never been much of cheesecake fan (made it for my husband), but I must say it is amazing…I’ve been converted into a fan!

  32. Steve

    I once bought a cheesecake from a local expert, best I ever had. Taste was perfect, and just a little crumbly. She said that it was an indication cheesecake was made properly. I’m down found anyone that could make it like that again. Is this true?

    1. Lauren

      I wouldn’t necessarily equate crumbly cheesecake to good cheesecake but I understand the sentiment. If it’s literally crumbly, it has been over baked. I think when you cut into a cheesecake, it should look as if it has a crumble to it but should stay together when you cut smaller pieces off with a fork. It should eat moist, as if you wouldn’t need a drink.

    2. Lindsey Herchert

      5 stars
      I love This recipe! New family favorite. I’ve made it 3 times and everyone raves about it. However, i tried and tried and I still get cracks every time. Doesn’t affect the flavor by any means but I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong.

      1. BEVERLY BIGELOW

        4 stars
        I have made this recipe 5 times. 2 times it was perfect with no cracks and 3 times it cracked. I know I have done something wrong but I cannot for the life of me figure out what. But it is by far the best cheesecake and I will continue working to figure out what I am doing wrong. I follow this recipe to the finest instruction….even timing each step. Thank you Lauren for this recipe!!!

        1. Naba

          5 stars
          I’ve made this recipe twice (third time is in the oven right now) and my tip to avoiding cracks is after the 30 minutes with the oven off, take the cheesecake out briefly and run a knife around the edges. I find the cracking happens as it’s cooling and is shrinking a bit, so if it’s stuck to the edges, the cheesecake will pull and make cracks. After running the knife, I put it back in the oven with the door open and follow the rest of the cooling steps. Turned out perfect the second time after cracking the first!

      2. Judi

        5 stars
        I would guess one of two things-
        1) you aren’t whisking the eggs enough to the point of well-whisked, so you’re over-mixing the batter. Make sure you which well, use a fork if you don’t have a whisk and mix them like you’re making an omelette.
        2) you aren’t tapping the bowl on the counter long enough to remove the air bubbles. Air bubbles equal cracks.
        Or a combination of 1 and 2.
        The eggs are the last thing you add and you should be using the very lowest of the low setting on your mixer, and mixing just enough to blend the batter, no more than that. Then use your spatula to scrape the bottom and sides to ensure good blend, then bang the bowl for a bit.

        1. Carmen

          Hello I’ve never made a cheesecake before and I’m wondering..do you remove bottom of springform pan or does it stay on when cutting and serving the cheesecake?

          1. Lauren

            I always keep the springform pan bottom for serving (it makes it much easier!), but it really is personal preference.

      3. Linda

        5 stars
        To avoid cracking: as soon as you finish baking time, run a thin knife around the edge. This will release the cheesecake from the sides. It’s the sticking to the sides of the pan while cooling that causes cracks.

  33. Laurel

    I have the recipe of an outstanding restaurant. The secret to the best cheesecake is to never use sour cream or ricotta. Just cream cheese and maybe 1/4 cup of heavy cream if mixing in certain flavors

      1. Andrea

        I can not find sour cream in my country 😪 what is a good substituto? I wanna make a perfect cheescake.. It is a dream!!

      1. Alissa Z.

        5 stars
        This cheesecake absolutely blew me away. I made it for Christmas and my entire family could not stop raving about it (and they are not the easiest critics) . This will be my go to recipe for every holiday & special event going forward. Thank you thank you thank you!

    1. Tracie Viehweg

      But your recipe calls for sour cream. I’m trying to understand & not be rude..If the best restaurant recipe doesn’t use sour cream, why would you?

    2. Judi

      You only think you have the recipe to CKF- I’m sure it’s just a copycat version that someone swore to an aunts friends sister that it came directly from there.

  34. margie

    sounds like a lovely recipe but you neglect to write how long it should bake at 325 degrees before reducing the heat to 250. help!!!

      1. Audrey Vivian

        I made this recipe last weekend and it turned out perfectly! I was wondering if you could make a key lime version of this same recipe. Have you done a variation like this before?

          1. Jeanette

            5 stars
            How well will this come off the spring form plate? Do I need to put down parchment paper or wax paper before I do the crust to get it to remove easier from the spring form plate part ?

        1. Tracey

          I have made many variations, chocolate, raspberry swirl, lemon, PB. My next try is banana. Comes out tasting wonderful every time. A few have them have cracked but nobody knows once you add your topping

  35. NA

    What can I use instead of graham crackers? Would digestives work? Should I use the same quantity of digestives as graham crackers?
    Thanks 🙂

  36. Priscila

    This looks fantastic and I can’t wait to try it!
    Silly question: can I halve this recipe and still obtain the same great results?
    Thank you!

      1. Lauren

        I haven’t tested it with low fat ingredients or sweetener. But as long as you bake it according to the directions I think it should work? But not giving you any guarantees. I am not familiar with swerve.

        1. Lynette

          5 stars
          This cheesecake is perfect. It’s delicious and easy to make. I’ve made it several times with consistent results each time.

          1. Emily Johnson

            5 stars
            I made this recipe today for Thanksgiving and OMG. It turned out beautiful. Perfectly smooth no cracks and cooked just right. Have you ever incorporated any add ins to this recipe? Like raspberry puree or could you take half of the cheesecake batter and add some cocoa powder to make a marble cheesecake? Just wondering…

          2. Amy

            5 stars
            Currently in the oven! It’s my third time making it and it comes out perfect. Thanks for a great recipe! I will never ever do a water bath again.

        2. Harry

          5 stars
          Lauren , I made in 9 inch springform pan and came out perfect. Would the baking time change if I made it with 2 – 6 inch springform pans instead of 1 9 inch pan . Again best cheesecake ever. Thanks

        3. Margaret McIntosh

          5 stars
          Lauren’s right! This recipe is AMAZING. I followed the recipe to the letter and the result was stunning..no cracking, no sinking. It was divinely creamy and delicious and will be my go-to cheesecake from now on (despite comments about the banging on the counter to dispel air bubbles sounding like I was demolishing the house!) I took a photo and wish there was a way of putting it up on here!

          1. Alexa

            Most amazing recipe ever, everyone I made it for said it was the best cheesecake they’ve ever had (and they’re picky)!! For thanksgiving, I’d like to make it with pumpkin, ideas on how much I should add? Should I remove some of the cream cheese??

          2. Kathy

            Can I use this baking technique with any of your cheesecakes? I made your pumpkin but I followed your recipe by using the water bath? Loved both these cheesecakes!!

          3. Lauren

            I haven’t tried my pumpkin cheesecake with this baking method but you are welcome to try!! I probably will next Thanksgiving!

          4. Alaina

            5 stars
            This cheesecake turned our perfect! Very smooth and creamy, people were saying it was the best cheesecake they’ve ever had!!! And I love that it could be so perfect without a water bath!

        1. Susan

          5 stars
          I made it with 1/2 regular sugar and 1/2 monk fruit. I could detect a slight difference, but my family could not! Still amazingly delicious and will make again!

        2. Sandra

          5 stars
          Best cheesecake ever. Made this for Christmas and turned out great. A little time consuming but well worth it. I just received a piece of cheesecake from an Italian restaurant tonight and it was nothing to this cheesecake. Getting the ingredients together to make another this week. Thank you for sharing.

      2. Kristin S

        5 stars
        This recipe is the BEST one out there & there was NO CRACKS, which makes it even better! Simply delicious. The BEST! Thanks

      3. Kristin S

        5 stars
        1st time making a cheesecake, and all I can say is WOW!!! There were NO CRACKS, and it looked beautiful (honestly it’s probably magazine worthy)! The BEST recipe out there! Delicious & creamy, it’s just perfect! Thank you Lauren, now I’m check out your other recipes! Thanks again!

        1. Kathy

          5 stars
          Me too, my first one and it was truly amazing. It is so good I am making another one this weekend… this is my favorite cheesecake by far.. thanks so much..

        2. Sahara

          5 stars
          My 10yr old daughter was craving Cheesecake. Being in quarantine, I’ve been teaching her how to bake, so we decided to try and make one together. It was a first time for both of us.
          This is the best Cheesecake we’ve ever had! She said it was even better than any we’ve had in restaurants,and I agree! We are definitely saving this recipe to make again soon!

        3. Josie

          5 stars
          I totally agree. Super simple, but plan to be home most of the day when you make it. Next time, I will double the crust. That is the ONLY change I will make, and only because my family likes more crust. Absolutely amazing cheesecake! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

      4. Renea Jones

        Ive baked with swerve before and had awesome results with regular cake, so just my opinion, but I think it would probably be fine. Try it and tell us how it is!! 🙂

        1. James E Walker

          Very tasty dish. I subbed cream cheese for neufchatel (- 16 oz) and added the zest of a lemon and 2 tap of cardamom.

      5. Billy

        5 stars
        So I’ve made this recipe 4 times. The first two were perfect
        The second 2 have cracked
        I added one extra brick of cream cheese on second two. Otherwise exactly followed the recipe

        Any thoughts. Would doing the whole cooking phase at 250 stop cracks?

        Fyi it’s amazing even with a crack!!

        1. Penny

          You added the extra brick to the second two? The two that cracked? Don’t you think that might answer your question? lol

      6. Jessy

        5 stars
        I made this cheese cake for my own 55th birthday.
        Followed it exactly, except the crust, reduced sugar by half.
        This cake was a perfect 10. Thank you
        Silky and smooth, not too sweet. Added home made coulis, strawberry.
        Yum x 10 !

      7. Amy Weaver

        I made it with the lower fat cream cheese & actually used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It was still absolute perfection! 😋

        1. NONNA

          5 stars
          This is by far the easiest and best Cheesecake recipe I have used. My family requests this all the time and said tastes better than a real bakery one. Thank you!!!

      1. Kim

        5 stars
        I tried this for the first time back in April during the pandemic lockdown and it was great. I’m trying again and I forgot to buy the cream cheese. Can I do it with out the cream cheese?

        1. Clarissa Cuff

          5 stars
          Omg! I can’t tell you how many cheesecakes I’ve attempted over the years. All the struggle to make a perfect cheesecake with NO cracks. I was skeptical when I saw this recipe because it seemed like I’ve attempted some in the past that were similar to this but the would always crack. I followed this recipe to a T and guess what? No cracks. No unnecessary browning around the edges. No jiggly questionable center. Literally perfect. I can’t thank you enough for your recipe ❤️❤️

          1. Lauren H

            5 stars
            Followed the recipe to a T!
            I forgot to pull out the eggs and sour cream early to get to room temp. So I just put my eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot!) water for 10 mins. And I measured my sour cream and spread it out on a plastic plate for the same amount of time and I didn’t have any issues. I always take my cream cheeses out of the box and flip them every 30 mins and move them because the counters get cold underneath them. I’ve never had any cracks whatsoever and my moms cheesecakes are always a little dry and always crack. So when I showed her mine she was shocked at how well it turned out 😁

        2. Tracy Taylor

          You have got to be kidding! Did you seriously just ask if you could make cheesecake without cream cheese? What the what what is wrong with you?

          1. Lauren

            If you scroll to the bottom of the post where the recipe card is, you will get all the specific baking details:

            Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Reduce temperature to 250 degrees and continue cooking for 45 minutes more. Once this time has elapsed, turn oven off and keep cheesecake inside for another 30 minutes for some carryover cooking without opening the oven door. Crack oven door to let cheesecake cool slowly for one hour before removing.

        1. Ellie

          What is the purpose of pointing out someone’s spelling mistake? You should check your accuracy before correcting someone. She used the would halve correctly.

    1. Lisa P

      5 stars
      Best cheesecake recipe ever! Only problem so far, I have made it 3 times in 3 weeks! Everyone keeps asking for it. And now, I am passing out the recipe. Thanks for this! 🙂

      1. Mike

        5 stars
        I’ve made it three times now (in a month) with three different crusts.

        1) Galletas grageas (took off sprinkles)
        2) Graham Cracker
        3) Oreo

        I don’t care for the crusts anyhow, that’s just for my girlfriend. The cheesecake is phenomenal, especially with a raspberry sauce. The Oreo one is cooling down now and I can’t wait to eat it!

    2. :)

      Wish I saw this sooner, started my first cheesecake today and not sure if it went well but I’ll definitely share how it goes when I try this one next time!

      1. Eric R.

        5 stars
        Made this cheesecake this morning for the second time ever. (for the work family tomorrow) The first time was last week and it was perfect. This time it was requested with a strawberry topping. So I made a strawberry glaze and mixed in the syrup before baking with a toothpick and will put the remaining glaze (with chunks of berries) on top after the baking has finished. I’m praying it turns out just as amazing as the first go. Thank you so much for posting this recipe

    3. Linda A Craig

      5 stars
      Omg, it is the best cheesecake recipe!!!! Everyone loved it!!!!! So rich!!! So delicious!!!! Thank you for all your great tips!!!!! I’m making it again, second time in 2 weeks, of course it is Xmas❤️

    4. Dawnette

      5 stars
      We have made this as direct and absolutely love it, but would like to know what changes may be necessary if we make these in 2 4″ springform pans instead. A 9″ cheesecake gets wasted at our house.
      Thank you for sharing this recipe it is delicious!!
      Dawnette

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