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Classic New York Cheesecake Recipe

If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that I have a slight obsession with New York cheesecake. And cheesecake, in general.

Seriously, it’s a problem. But it does mean I get to try a ton of tasty cheesecake recipes.

Classic New York Cheesecake Recipe
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And while I love them all, I always come back to this.

The smooth and creamy filling, paired with a buttery Graham Cracker crust….it’s the perfect dessert. 

There’s just something about this iconic dessert that leaves me wanting more. 

So, let’s dive into the world of the iconic New York cheesecake and discover what makes it so irresistible.

Rich & Creamy New York Cheesecake

As I close my eyes, I can already taste the creamy, velvety goodness of New York cheesecake. 

It’s decadent, creamy, sweet, and just a little tangy. And it’s so incredibly delicious, you don’t need anything on top.

I love how the cake looks, too. That perfect dark crust with the white filling – it’s almost too beautiful to eat. 

Simply put, New York cheesecake is a foodie’s dream come true.

Top view of whole New York Cheesecake sliced with a piece removed

What’s the Difference Between Regular and New York Cheesecake? 

Regular cheesecake is typically lighter and fluffier, while New York cheesecake is denser and creamier

This is because New York cheesecake relies mainly on cream cheese. It also gives it that distinct tangy flavor.

In contrast, regular cheesecake relies on heavy cream and sour cream. So it’s slightly sweeter.

New York cheesecake is also known for its height and thick slices. 

Both types are delicious in their own right, providing cheesecake lovers with a range of textures and flavors to enjoy.

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To make a real classic New York-style cheesecake, you need Graham Crackers

But really, any cookies will do the trick. And it’s actually a terrific way to make it your own.

That said, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Graham Crackers – For a crumbly-crunchy case. Substitute them with crushed pretzels or digestive biscuits. 
  • Butter – Butter is an essential component as it helps to bind the crust. Without it, the whole thing will fall apart.
  • Cream Cheese and Sour Cream – Cream cheese and sour cream provide the signature creamy texture, as well as imparting a tangy flavor. Be sure to use full-fat for the best results.
  • Sugar – White sugar brings sweetness to contrast the tangy cream cheese.
  • Eggs and Cornstarch – Eggs and cornstarch provide structure and binding properties. The cornstarch ensures the filling thickens properly.
  • Vanilla Extract – For sweet warmth. If you can, use vanilla paste so you can see the lovely flecks.
Slice of New York Cheese Cake on a Wooden Board

How to Make New York Cheesecake

Believe it or not, it’s super easy to make a New York cheesecake. If you can mix and pour batter, you’ve got this!

Here’s a quick rundown of the steps. You’ll find more detailed instructions below.

  1. Preheat the oven and get the pan ready. The crust will bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C) in a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan while the cheesecake bakes at 325°F. 
  1. Make and bake the crust. Mix the cracker crumbs with melted butter, then press it evenly into the springform pan. Bake for 5-8 minutes, until lightly golden.
  1. Make the filling. Blend the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, then add the eggs. Finally, gently mix in the sour cream, cornstarch, and vanilla extract. 
  1. Assemble and bake the cheesecake. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake for 1 hour. After an hour, turn the oven off, crack the door, and leave the cheesecake for another hour.
  1. Cool on the counter, then refrigerate. After the second hour in the cooling oven, take the cheesecake out and leave it to cool completely on the counter. Then, cover it and refrigerate for 12 hours.

Finally, slice, serve, and enjoy!

Slice of New York Cheese Cake on a Plate

Tips for the Best Cheesecake

If it’s your first time making cheesecake, don’t worry. What’s the worst that can happen, right?

Of course, I do have some tips to ensure the worst doesn’t happen:

  • Use full-fat ingredients: If you want rich, dense, and dreamy cheesecake, you need full-fat cream cheese and sour cream. If you use low-fat, it’ll be watery and kind of sad.
  • Bring ingredients to room temperature: This ensures everything blends evenly. It’s also how you avoid overmixing the batter, which leads to dry cheesecake and cracks.
  • Don’t overmix the batter: Speaking of overmixing – be gentle with the batter. You can beat the sugar with the cream cheese, but after that, stir it gently to combine. Too much air causes cracks, which nobody wants.
  • Use a water bath: Water baths bring moisture to the oven and help the filling cook evenly. And you have two methods:
    • Wrap the springform pan with aluminum foil and place it in a larger pan filled with hot water.
    • Place a pan half-full with water under the cheesecake on a separate rack.
  • Cover cracks with toppings! It’s not the end of the world if your cheesecake cracks. Just cover it with whipped cream, fruits, caramel, or ganache. Easy!

Oh, and if you’re wondering how to fix a cracked cheesecake, check out my new post!

Creamy Thick Slice of New York Cheese Cake With Sliced Strawberries and Blueberries

How to Store & Freeze Cheesecake 

While I could happily eat the whole thing on my own with a fork, chances are you’ll want to store the cheesecake after baking.

Keep in mind, you shouldn’t freeze decorated cheesecakes.

Instead, it’s best to freeze them before decorating or scrape the toppings off if they won’t freeze/thaw well (like whipped cream).

Similarly, if you refrigerate decorated cheesecake, you might see some condensation or bleeding on the top.

For example, fruit will release juices that can discolor the cheesecake. Also, whipped cream will start to seep after a day or so.

Here’s what you need to know.

To store a whole cheesecake in the fridge:

  • Cool the cheesecake completely.
  • Wrap it tightly in the pan with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 3-5 days.

To store cheesecake leftovers in the fridge:

  • Store large portions or slices in an airtight container.
  • Alternatively, transfer larger pieces back into the cleaned springform pan and cover them tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 3-5 days.

To freeze a whole cheesecake:

  • Cool the cheesecake completely.
  • Wrap it tightly in the pan with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate overnight until firm.
  • Take the cheesecake out of the pan and wrap it in plastic and foil.
  • Place it into a large freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.

To freeze cheesecake slices:

  • Arrange the slices on a baking tray and freeze until firm – 1-2 hours.
  • Wrap the individual slices tightly with plastic wrap and foil.
  • Place them into a large freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.

How to Thaw Cheesecake

To thaw frozen cheesecake:

  • Remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator. 
  • Allow it to thaw slowly overnight or for several hours until completely thawed. 
  • Once thawed, keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to serve. 

During the thawing process, some condensation may occur, which is normal. 

Avoid touching or wiping the surface to prevent any damage to the cheesecake. Or very gently blot the surface with paper towels.

More Cheesecake Recipes You’ll Love

Baileys Cheesecake
Lemon Cheesecake
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

Classic New York Cheesecake Recipe



Prep time


Cooking time





If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that I have a slight obsession with New York cheesecake. And this recipe is about as good as it gets.


  • 15 graham crackers, crushed

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 4 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C) and lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Mix until it looks like wet sand.
  • Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan to create a tightly packed crust. Then bake for 5-8 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Reduce the oven to 325°F and set the crust aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  • Finally, stir in the sour cream, cornstarch, and vanilla until smooth.
  • Pour the filling over the prepared crust and bake for 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour, turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake to cool for 1 hour with the door open just a couple of inches.
  • Take the cheesecake out of the oven and leave it to cool completely on the counter. Then wrap and refrigerate it overnight until firm.


  • Use full-fat ingredients for the best texture
  • Mix the batter by hand to avoid overmixing
New York Cheesecake

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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