Step away from the supermarket cheesecake, especially if you have the time to make it yourself! Preparing a traditional rich and creamy cheesecake is simple and straightforward using our easy-to-follow instructions.
We suggest preparing this recipe at least seven hours before serving. This way, your cheesecake can get nice and cold overnight. This recipe contains a smaller amount of cream cheese for texture and a greater amount of sour cream to achieve richness in flavor.
Using the water bath method prevents overcooking, cracking and sinking when placed in the oven to bake. See? Success is all about the technique.
Light and Airy Cheesecake Recipe
- 12 graham crackers, ground into crumbs
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 lb cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 21 oz cans cherry pie filling
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter 9" spring-form pan. Set on a large sheet of foil, bring foil up to cover sides of pan then set aside. The cheesecake will be baked in a water bath and this will help make the pan waterproof. Have all ingredients at room temperature.
- Place cracker crumbs and sugar in medium bowl and whisk to combine. Pour in melted butter and combine until all crackers are moistened. Press into bottom of spring-form pan and up sides about 1". When thoroughly compacted, place in hot oven and bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Reset oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese about 2 minutes until fluffy. Scrape bowl. Add sugar and combine 1 minute then scrape again. Add eggs one at a time on low speed, scraping again once combined. Now add zest, juice, vanilla and salt and mix only until combined. Add sour cream and combine on low for about 20 seconds.
- Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared pan. Have a roasting pan or large cast iron skillet ready and place the cheesecake in the larger pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake. Place both pans in the 325 degree oven.
- Bake for 80–90 minutes or until center is firm but still jiggly. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool. When cake is room temperature place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Just before serving, arrange 1 can cherry pie filling on top of cake. (We like lots of cherries and used most of a second can.)
- Serve this and get ready for the compliments!
If you’re lucky enough for leftovers, your pie will keep in the refrigerator (covered, of course) up to 4 days!