by: Baker Guy

Very little can go seriously wrong with a cheesecake, and even when struck with that most common of woes-cracking-a cheesecake is still perfectly edible. The secret to preventing cracking is to make sure the cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream are at room temperature and to bake the cheesecake in a water bath so that it cooks evenly and never gets too hot. If despite all your efforts, your cheesecake cracks, spread a thin layer of sour cream over the top before serving. Cheesecakes are easily flavored by adding cocoa, strong coffee, spices, vanilla, or fruit purees. You can also serve cheesecake with a sauce. Pureed and strained frozen raspberries are especially good because their tart acidity sets off the sweetness of the cheesecake. Many cheesecake recipes call for a graham cracker crust, but this isn’t always worth the bother because the cheesecake filling releases a small amount of liquid as it bakes, making the bottom crust soggy. One solution is to coat only the sides of the cheesecake with graham cracker crumbs after it has baked. This step, too, is optional.


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serves: 1

butter (for the pan)

2 8 oz packages cream cheese (at room temperature)

3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs (at room temperature)

1 egg yolk (at room temperature)

1 1/2 cups sour cream (at room temperature)

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 graham crackers (optional)

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 1

Amount per Serving

Calories: 2484

  • Total Fat: 182.2 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 100.1 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 1166.8 mg
  • Sodium: 1978 mg
  • Total Carbs: 175.4 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  •     Sugars: 173.6 g
  • Protein: 43.3 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush an 8- to 10-inch springform pan with butter.

2.  In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. On low to medium speed, add the eggs and egg yolk, one by one. Don’t add another egg until the one before it is completely incorporated. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt, mixing for about 30 seconds, or just long enough to combine the ingredients.

3.  Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.

4.  Wrap the pan in aluminum foil.

5.  Place it in a baking pan or roasting pan at least as deep as the springform pan. Fill the baking pan with the hottest water from the tap until the water comes halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

6.  Place in the oven and bake for about 90 minutes, or until only a 1-inch-diameter bull’s-eye in the center of the cake moves when you jiggle the pan.

7.  Put the graham crackers in a resealable plastic bag and crush them with your fingers or a rolling pin. If you want them very fine, work them through a strainer after crushing. Or, puree the graham crackers in a food processor.

8.  Remove the cake from the springform pan, but leave it on the base. Hold it up with one hand while using the other to pat the sides with the graham cracker crumbs. Allow to cool. If cracks appear, they can be disguised by covering the top of the cheesecake with a layer of sour cream.

Cooks' note:
The cheesecake may be flavored with spices, 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) cocoa, 1 tablespoon strong coffee, 1 tablespoon vanilla, or 1/2 cup fruit puree. If you are adding more than 1/3 cup liquid flavoring to the cheesecake, you should adjust the amount of egg, egg white, or egg yolk in the recipe. Add 1 whole egg per 3/4 cup extra liquid, 1 egg white per 1/3 cup extra liquid, or 1 egg yolk per 1/2 cup extra liquid.

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