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Philadelphia 3-Step Cheesecake

Looking for the perfect cheesecake recipe that’s beginner-friendly? This Philadelphia 3-step cheesecake is your solution!

Sweet, tart, and creamy, it’s like a slice of heaven. Thanks to the minimal steps, it’s also fuss-free.

Homemade Cheesecake with Blueberry and Strawberry Toppings
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Philadelphia 3-Step Cheesecake

Why is it called Philadelphia 3-step cheesecake? Because you just beat, pour, and bake.

Seriously, cheesecake doesn’t get any easier than that. Not only is it beginner-friendly, but it’s also to die for!

The velvety cream cheese filling and buttery graham cracker crust are pure bliss. The whole thing is creamy, luscious, and decadent. 

With just a few ingredients and a pre-made crust, you can nail this fool-proof recipe. 

But what about cracks? Don’t worry, my tips and tricks will take care of that.


Just 5 ingredients?! It seems impossible, but it’s true!

These are the only things you need to make this ultra-creamy and creamy cheesecake.

  • Cream Cheese – You’ll want to pick full-fat cream cheese for the ultimate creamy cheesecake. Use softened cream cheese for a lump-free cake.
  • Sugar – To sweeten the tart cream cheese.
  • Vanilla – To enhance the flavors of the cream cheese and sugar.
  • Eggs – For binding the mixture and giving it structure. Bring them to room temperature before use! Forget to take them out of the fridge? Just dip them in warm water for 2 minutes, and they will warm right up.
  • Graham Cracker Crust. While you can definitely make your own, a pre-made graham cracker crust will make your life a lot easier. 

Tips for the Cheesecake

Cheesecake has a reputation for being a bit tricky. Don’t worry, though, these tips will help:

  • Avoid cracks with a water bath. For a silky smooth top, use a water bath. Just place the cheesecake pan in a larger pan and fill it with warm water halfway. I highly recommend this step if you’re not using any toppings.
  • Bring ingredients to room temp. Use room-temperature cream cheese and eggs. Softened cream cheese yields a smooth, velvety, and lump-free cheesecake. It also helps the cream cheese and eggs mix more easily.
  • Use a springform pan. If you make your own crust, use a springform pan for easy serving.
  • Avoid overmixing. Do so by beating the ingredients on low speed. Over-mixing will aerate the batter too much, which can lead to cracks. Also, mix just until the ingredients are well combined. 
  • Don’t overbake the cake. This will lead to cracks. Just bake until the edges have set, and the center is still a bit jiggly. Don’t worry, it will set and firm up as it cools.
  • Let your cheesecake cool completely. You can even leave it in the oven for 30 minutes to an hour post-baking with the door open. This allows the cake to continue baking and cool gradually, while also preventing cracks.
  • Hide cracks with toppings. If, after all your efforts, the cheesecake still cracks, don’t worry about it! There are lots of cheesecake toppings to choose from. They will hide cracks and make your cheesecake phenomenal.
  • Chill the cake. Resist the temptation to grab a slice, even once it’s cooled to room temperature. The cake needs to firm up, so let it chill for at least 3 hours.
Blueberry and Strawberry Cheesecake

Best Toppings for Cheesecake

Now, for the fun part! Toppings are what make cheesecake look and taste even more mouthwatering.

Here are some suggestions. Feel free to mix and match!

  • Berries – You can’t go wrong with tart and sweet berry compotes! Whether it’s blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, your cheesecake will have lovely sweet, creamy, and fruity flavors.
  • Crushed Candy – If you have a sweet tooth, nothing tastes better than crushed candies on top of a cheesecake. How do crushed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Heath Bars, or Oreo cookies sound?
  • Sauces – I’m talking chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter. Take your pick!

How to Store Philadelphia 3-Step Cheesecake

Leftover cheesecake stores well in the fridge and freezer.

For the latter, don’t add the toppings until serving – some toppings don’t thaw so well and can become watery.

To Store: Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. The cheesecake will stay good for 5 to 6 days.

To Freeze: Let the cheesecake cool completely. Cover it with two layers of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil. Label, then freeze. Frozen cheesecake will keep for up to 1 month.

Philadelphia 3-Step Cheesecake



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Prep time


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This Philadelphia 3-step cheesecake recipe is easy and makes the best cheesecake you’ll ever have! Learn how to make it and get tips for the best cheesecake.


  • 2 packages (8-oz) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crumb crust (store-bought or homemade)


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If using a homemade crust: mix 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter. Press the mix into a 9-inch springform baking dish, and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer on low speed until completely blended. Beat in the eggs until blended.
  • Pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust, then bake for 40 minutes or until the top is light golden brown, the edges have set, and the center is still a little jiggly.
  • Let the cheesecake sit at room temperature to cool. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving. Enjoy!
Philadelphia 3-Step 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 :)

4 thoughts on “Philadelphia 3-Step Cheesecake”

    • Hi Pam, it’s mentioned in the post that you can use store-bought or homemade. But I’ve gone ahead clarified that in the recipe card.
      Hope this helps!

  1. The tips you gave about cracks in my past cheesecakes were very helpful. I will try the less mixing and definitely the water bath. Thank you

    • Hi Stacy. So glad we could help. Cheesecake is my obsession, so I know how heartbreaking it is to see cracks.
      That said, it’s always a good excuse to add toppings!
      Happy baking 🙂


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