Classic New York style cheesecake

Cheesecake can be a pretty intimidating dessert to make. Since cheesecake is custard, it needs to be handled with care so you don’t accidentally crack the cakes surface, as well as over or undercook it.  However, with the right recipe and a few pointers, a creamy, crack-free, perfect NY-style cheesecake is totally doable, even for beginners. This is the only cheesecake recipe you’ll ever need.

This recipe makes a classic New York-style cheesecake with a buttery digestive cracker crust and rich, dense filling made from cream cheese, eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, a hint of lemon, and a few tablespoons of flour. The flour might seem like an unusual addition, but it’s the secret to success: a little starch helps prevent the cake from cracking and also makes the filling just a bit lighter.

Serves -8



  • 1 1/2 cups digestive biscuits made into fine crumbs
  • 2 tbsps unsalted melted butter
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • four 8oz blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3  tbsps all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon packed lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Special equipment: 9- or 10-inch springform pan; 18-inch heavy-duty aluminium foil

Method for the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C and set an oven rack in the lower-middle position. Wrap a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with one large piece of heavy-duty aluminium foil, covering the underside and extending all the way to the top so there are no seams on the bottom or sides of the pan. Repeat with another sheet of foil for insurance. Spray the inside of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Stir until well combined. Press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until set. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C. Set a kettle of water to boil.

Method for the batter

  1. Make the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour together on medium speed until just smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure the mixture is evenly combined.
  2. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt; beat on low speed until just combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing at low speed until incorporated, scraping the bowl as necessary. Mix in the sour cream. Make sure the batter is uniform but do not over-mix.
  3. Check to make sure your oven has cooled to, then set the cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan.
  4. Pour the batter on top of the crust. Pour the boiling water into the large roasting pan to come about 1 inch up the side of the cake pan. Bake until the cake is just set, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  5. The cake should not look liquidy at all but will wobble just a bit when the pan is nudged; it will continue to cook as it cools. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack. Cool the cheesecake in the water bath until the water is just warm, about 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the springform pan from the water bath and discard the foil. If necessary, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it’s not sticking to the sides (which can cause cracks as it cools), then cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cheesecake can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place the cake in the freezer briefly, unwrapped, to firm it up. Then double-wrap it tightly with aluminium foil or plastic freezer wrap. Thaw in the refrigerator the night before you plan to eat it.

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