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If you like cheesecakes with a rich and thick filling, you must try this Creamy Homemade Cheesecake. Each bite is a luxurious treat!
Rich, Creamy Homemade Cheesecake
It’s no big secret that I’m a huge cheesecake fan. I’ve tried all types, from the most basic recipe to the fanciest. While I love a decadent chocolate cheesecake or a good no-fuss no-bake cheesecake, time and time again I find myself coming back to a traditional homemade cheesecake – one that is rich and creamy, with a graham cracker crust.
Sometimes, there’s really no beating the original and that’s why today, I wanted to share this Creamy Homemade Cheesecake with you. It’s based on the cheesecake I just described above.
Part of the reason this is my favorite cheesecake recipe is the thick and extra creamy filling. My secret to the extra creamy filling? Egg yolks. By simply adding in a few extra egg yolks, I was able to transform a basic cheesecake into the most rich, thick and creamy cheesecake I’ve ever tasted!
Each bite you take will feel like a decadent indulgence!
What You’ll Need
For the Crust
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: I’ve found it easiest to use a food processor to grind the graham crackers. Of course you can buy them as crumbs as well.
- Brown Sugar: I prefer brown sugar over white sugar, for taste and texture, but if you don’t have brown sugar, white sugar will work.
- Unsalted Butter: You’ll want the butter completely melted before starting.
For The Filling
- Cream Cheese: Be sure you’re using full-fat cream cheese, as low-fat will not provide the creamy texture we’re looking for.
- Granulated Sugar: Adds the sweetness to balance out the other ingredients.
- Sour Cream: Again, ensure you’re using the full-fat version.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: A touch of flavor for the filling.
- 2 large eggs: For these two, we’ll use the egg yolks and the egg whites.
- 4 large egg yolks: Adding these extra egg yolks is the secret to the rich, creamy filling.
The cream cheese, sour cream and eggs should all be at room temperature before beginning.
How To Make a Homemade Cheesecake
Make the Crust
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom.
Grind the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Mix together with the brown sugar and add the melted butter, stirring until well combined. Press the crumbs tightly into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake at 325°F for 8-9 minutes. Allow the crust to cool. Then wrap the crust with a slow cooker liner and tie a knot in the side of the bag to secure around the pan. Set aside.
Make the Filling
Combine the cream cheese and sugar. Beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes until free of lumps then add the sugar and beat on low speed until completely smooth, scraping down the bowl occasionally.
Add the sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until well combined.
Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together. Slowly add to the batter, ensure it’s well mixed before adding more. Scrape down the bowl occasionally.
Fill the pan. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles on the surface or use a toothpick.
Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with approximately 2-3 cups of warm water so it about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake at 325°F for approximately 60 minutes. The center should be set, but still slightly jiggly. Turn off the oven and leave the door cracked open for one hour. This allows the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly, which helps to prevent cracking.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath. Cool for at least 1 hour on the countertop, then cover and move to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours until the cheesecake has set.
How To Make A Cheesecake Water Bath
Making a water bath may sound complicated – and it’s why many are intimidated to try baking cheesecake in the first place – but it’s actually simple!
A water bath just means that we set the cheesecake pan inside a larger pan, which we fill with 2 inches of warm water.
I find it easiest to use a 12-inch cast iron pan but a large roasting pan would also work. Basically any pan that is at least 2 inches deep and will fit the springform pan. I use a measuring cup to microwave the water and then pour it into the pan.
It’s important to ensure that no water seeps through the springform pan. The easiest way to do this is with a slow cooker liner. My friend Lindsay introduced me to this idea and wrote a great step-by-step guide.
If you don’t have a slow cooker liner – no worries! You can always double wrap the pan with aluminum foil up to the top edge.
Why all this bother with a water bath? It’s what prevents the cheesecake from cracking and helps it to bake slowly and evenly, so the outside doesn’t cook too quickly.
Tips for Success
After making all types of cheesecakes, I’ve discovered a few helpful tips and tricks to making it perfect.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Remove the cream cheese, eggs (and yolks) and sour cream from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Don’t skip the water bath. Following the tips described in the section above will help prevent the cheesecake crust from cracking.
- Cool on the countertop first. Allow the cheesecake to cool on the countertop before moving it to the fridge.
- Avoid over-blending the cheesecake filling. This can cause it to puff up in the oven and then collapse.
- Resist the temptation to open the oven door frequently! You want the oven to stay hot and moist to avoid cracking.
Serve cheesecake directly from the fridge, when it’s had time to chill for at least 6 hours.
A slice of this rich, creamy cheesecake is perfect on its own and I often eat it that way. It’s also equally as good when toped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. You can also drizzle chocolate or caramel syrup on the top, for an added sweet touch.
How to Store
Cheesecake will store for up to 5 days in the fridge. Keep it tightly wrapped with plastic or foil and in the original springform pan, if possible. Do not add any toppings until you’re ready to eat it.
Can I Freeze Cheesecake?
Absolutely. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely in the fridge before attempting to freeze. You can freeze in slices or the entire pie. If freezing in slices, put parchment paper between them. If you can, freeze the cheesecake on a cardboard base. Wrap it tightly in plastic and then in foil, to prevent freezer burner.
Cheesecake can stay in the freezer for 2-3 months.Print
Creamy Homemade Cheesecake
- Prep Time: 60 minutes
- Chill Time: 6 hours
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 8 hours
- Yield: 8-10 slices
This Creamy Homemade Cheesecake features a thick, rich filling and a homemade cheesecake crust.
For the Crust:
- 1 3/4 cups (157g) graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons (28g) brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons (84g) unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 32 ounces (904g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (143g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (96g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons (10g) pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Remove the cream cheese, eggs (and yolks) and sour cream from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
For the crust
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom.
- Grind the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Mix together with the brown sugar and then stir in the melted butter until well combined. Press the crumbs tightly into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan
- Bake at 325°F for 8-9 minutes. Allow the crust to cool. Then wrap the crust with a slow cooker liner and tie a knot in the side of the bag to secure around the pan. Set aside.
For the filling
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes until free of lumps then add the sugar and beat on low speed until completely smooth, scraping down the bowl occasionally.
- Next add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together and slowly add to the batter, ensure it’s well mixed before adding more. Scrape down the bowl occasionally. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles on the surface or use a toothpick.
- Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with approximately 2-3 cups of warm water so it about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake at 325°F for approximately 60 minutes. The center should be set, but still slightly jiggly. Turn off the oven and leave the door cracked open for one hour. This allows the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly, which helps to prevent cracking.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath and cool for at least 1 hour on the countertop, then cover and move to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours until the cheesecake has set.
- Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature prior to starting, approximately 1 hour.
- Top this cheesecake with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
- Don’t skip the water bath. Following the tips described in the blog post will help prevent the cheesecake crust from cracking.
- Resist the temptation to open the oven door frequently! You want the oven to stay hot and moist to avoid cracking.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: homemade cheesecake, graham cracker crust
I learned a lot about what I have been doing wrong with my cheesecake. Will write more after making this one following the directions.
Can foil be used instead of the plastic bag?
Yes but foil is still water permeable so I suggest to double wrap it
Wow wow wow this is restaurant quality cheesecake! It turned out so great! I followed all her suggestions, room temperature ingredients and water bath. This cheesecake is recipes!! I added a white chocolate mousse on top for fun. Yum!!!! This will be my go to recipe.
I also did vanilla bean instead of extract
Aww, thank you so much, Michelle, I really appreciate that!
This is a must try cheesecake recipe!! It’s easy to follow & absolutely delicious! The graham cracker crust is light and buttery with the perfect touch of sweetness. Any cheesecake lover would adore this recipe. 🥰
Amazing Mia!! Thank you so much for sharing- this makes my day!
I don’t own a pan big enough for the water bath what do I do 😭
Hi Sabrina, can you buy a disposable pan that’s 10-11 inches wide? Or do you have any type of roasting pan?
My husband requested cheesecake for his birthday and I’ve never made it before. I came across this recipe and thought it was going to be difficult. There was a lot of prep and I wouldn’t recommend trying to make this on a busy day but…. I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect. Many compliments.
Thank you so much Lauren!! A bit of planning involved for the room temperature ingredients and the cooling process. So happy you found this recipe!
I was just told that I needed to get an award for the cheesecake I made using this recipe. I followed the directions exactly and weighed all ingredients. At the end though, I added zest from a lemon along with a little fresh lemon juice (2 tbsp?) and it was truly heavenly. Definitely will be my go to recipe.
This is amazing Lori, I am beyond excited to hear this!
This is absolutely the best cheesecake recipe I have ever tried.
Yeees Wendy! Thank you so much!!
Best Cheesecake hands down! I am So Very Happy with everything about this recipe!❤️
Yes yes yes Jeanie! I am obsessed with this cheesecake and so glad you love it to!
Thank you Tori!
This recipe is easy and delicious. I skipped the water bath and my pan did just fine. I loved that this wasn’t overly sweet. It was just perfect. Now I want to add pumpkin purée to make a pumpkin cheesecake! Do you have any similar recipes for pumpkin cheesecake?
Hi Renee! Thank you so much! I am so so glad to hear that. Yes, I do have a pumpkin cheesecake, Here’s the recipe: https://beyondfrosting.com/pumpkin-cheesecake/
Merry Christmas to you and your family Julianne!!
I earmarked this recipe to make for Christmas dessert. Then all over the news last week they were talking about a cream cheese shortage. Fortunately, my supermarket had cream cheese…yay! So I was able to try this recipe. Let me tell you,,,,it was the best cheesecake recipe I ever made. It did not crack and was incredibly creamy and not heavy or dense at all. Thank you for another great recipe!!
I look forward to more recipes from you in 2022.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Thank you Christine! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well! So glad you enjoyed this recipe!
Can you add Oreos to the batter for a Oreo cheesecake?
Hi Jill- I haven’t tested it that way, it is a denser cheesecake, for me personally I’d put Oreos in a lighter cheesecake. You can always try but without testing it myself, I can’t say
I need to make this in a 9 x 13″ pan so I can cut it into rectangles. Would I need to double the recipe for the filling.
Nope, this should work just fine. You will want to increase the crust recipe for a 9×13 inch pan. I use 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs and 6 tablespoons of butter.
Best cheesecake recipe, I followed instructions and it did not crack and came out so creamy, it was the second time I’ve made this and it is a definite keeper. Thank you so much .
Thank you Ann Marie, this makes me so happy!
I love the helpful step by step instructions you provide. They’re useful for experienced bakers and incredibly helpful for novices. I an somewhere between the two, having baked one awesome cheesecake and one from an “easy” recipe. We all know how miserable an outcome that produced. 😆 With a cheesecake you can count on doing several crucial things in order to achieve great results.
Yes! It happens to the best of us, even if we follow the recipe! Every scenario is different when it comes to cheesecakes