New York Cheesecake Recipe

This classic, New York cheesecake recipe is probably the only cheesecake recipe you ever need - a lovely buttery crust filled with tangy cream cheese filling and topped with plain sour cream - the most perfect combination for a cheesecake!

New York Cheesecake RecipeNew York Cheesecake Recipe

This is a classic baked cheesecake recipe. It is slightly different than my easy cheesecake recipe in that this recipe calls for the use of sour cream while the easy cheesecake recipe is made without any sour cream.

This is a recipe worth trying and keeping as you can use this as a base for all other varieties of cheesecakes - lemon, blueberry, strawberry, etc.

I have used sour cream as the topping for this cheesecake. You can always serve it plain if you wish, or garnish it with a simple drizzle of salted caramel or melted chocolate for a even more delicious cheesecake! 

New York Cheesecake Recipe

Here is the full printable version of my classic New York cheesecake recipe. And while you are at it, don’t forget to read up my cheesecake recipe notes just below it. With the right recipe and techniques, you can bake the best cheesecake every single time!

New York Cheesecake Recipe

By , November 28, 2019

New York Cheesecake Recipe

This classic, New York cheesecake recipe is probably the only cheesecake recipe you ever need - a lovely buttery crust filled with tangy cream cheese filling and topped with plain sour cream - the most perfect combination for a cheesecake!


Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook time: 60 Minutes
Yield: 7 inches round cheesecake
Keyword: New York Cheesecake Recipe
Category: Dessert


  • 100 g Digestive cookies (or Graham Crackers)
  • 15 castor sugar
  • 50 g butter (melted)
  • 450g cream cheese (softened)
  • 150 g castor sugar
  • 20 g plain flour
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp fresh grated lemon zest
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 120 g sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 g sour cream (optional)
  • Divider


    1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
    2. Break the cookies into crumbs by processing them in a food processor or by putting them in a zip lock bag and pressing them with a rolling pin. Place the crumbs in a bowl, add the castor sugar and melted butter, and mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
    3. Transfer the crust mix into a parchment paper-lined 7 inches round springform pan and press it down evenly and firmly. Set aside.
    4. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth for 30 seconds.
    5. Scrap the sides of the bowl, add the sugar, flour, salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat again for 20 seconds.
    6. Scrap the bowl. Add in both the eggs and vanilla essence. Beat for about 10 seconds until the eggs are just combined. Scrap the bowl and continue beating for another 10 seconds until the batter is all smooth and creamy. Do not overbeat to avoid the batter from incorporating too much air.
    7. Fold in the sour cream with a spatula until it is evenly combined into the batter.
    8. Pour the batter into the prepared crust and bake in a water bath for 60 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius. When done, the sides should be firm and the center of the cake still wobbly. Turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for another 10 minutes.
    9. Remove from oven and let the cake cool for another 20 minutes before loosening the cake tin and removing the cake out.
    10. Let the cake rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
    11. Garnish the top with sour cream before serving.
    12. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

    New York Cheesecake Recipe - Success Factors

    • Reduced oven temperature - when baking cheesecakes, the oven temperature should be lower as compared to when baking other cakes. A general guide would be to lower your oven temperature by about 10 degrees Celsius from the temperature you would normally use for other baking. Too hot an oven can cause cheesecakes to brown too much on the top and crack. 
    • Mix your batter until just combined, do not over mix - Unlike cakes where butter and sugar need to be well creamed, when mixing cheesecake batter, you only mix the ingredients until they are just combined. For the recipe above, suffice if the cream cheese is creamed for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and then for the sugar and eggs,  another 20 to 30 seconds each. Over beating the batter can cause too much of air to be incorporated into the batter. These air bubbles will cause your cheesecake to have unsightly bubbles on the surface after baking.
    • Place the cake on the lowest rack in your oven - This helps avoid the top of the cake from getting too heated. Placing the cake on the lowest rack helps avoid cracks as well as over browning of the top. 
    • Keep the oven interior moist by baking the cheesecake in a water bath (bain marie) - this is done by placing your cake tin in a baking dish filled with water in the oven and let the cake bake with the water in the oven. The water will help keep the interior of the oven moist, preventing the cheesecake from drying out as it bakes and potentially avoid cracks. When using spring-form pan, to avoid water from the baking dish seeping into the cheesecake, you can wrap the sides of your pan securely with foil and then place it in the water-filled baking dish. The other way is to place your spring form tin in another slightly larger baking tray and then placing both in the water filled baking dish. This will also prevent the water from seeping into the cheesecake as it is baking. 
    • Choose a 'non-fan' option for your oven setting. If you oven comes with a fan function, disable the fan function. This helps in avoiding cracks as well.
    • Keep to the baking time indicated in the recipe - Cheesecakes should not be baked until the top is all set. Ideally, you should turn the oven off when the side of the cake is firm and the center is still wobbly. The cheesecake will continue to cook as it cools down and that is how the cheesecake should be handled. Let the cake rest in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to avoid sudden temperature change to the cake which can also cause it to crack.  
    • Use fresh lemon zest and lemon juice - The amount mentioned in the recipe above gives the cheesecake a mild  tangy taste and if you prefer a stronger lemon taste, you can always increase the amount of lemon zest and juice in the recipe. 
    • Baking a larger cake - If you wish to bake a larger cake, double the recipe above and bake it in a 9 inch round tin.  Add 10 minutes to the indicated baking time. 

    How to Make Classic New York Cheesecake

    Here are the standard steps in making this cheesecake: 

    • Prepare your cake tin. Spring form tins are the best as trying to flip a cheesecake out of a normal cake tin can be totally frustrating. For easy transferring of the cheesecake into a serving plate, line the bottom of the cake tin with parchment paper. 
    Prepared cake tin.

    • Next, prepare the crust. Crush your cookies in a food processor or fill them into a zip lock bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they turn into fine crumbs. Transfer into a bowl, add the sugar and melted butter and mix until the crumbs are evenly dampened with the melted butter.  

    Mix crumbs, sugar and butter.

    • Transfer the crumbs into your prepared cake tin and press down evenly using the back of a spoon or the back of a flat drinking glass. Once the crust is done, set it aside. 

    Prepared cheesecake crust

    • In a deep bowl, cut cream cheese into small pieces and beat until creamy. Beat at 10 seconds interval, scraping the sides at each interval. If your cheese is cold, you would need a longer time, if warmer, a short time would be sufficient. Rule of thumb is to not over beat it, approximately 30 - 60 seconds will do. 

    • Next, add in sugar, flour, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest all at once and beat for about 20 seconds until the ingredients are just combined. Scrap the bowl at each 10 seconds interval. 
    Flour, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl

    • Scrap the bowl again. Add vanilla essence and both the eggs at once and beat again for 10 seconds. Scrap the bowl and beat again for a final 10 seconds until the batter is all smooth and well combined. If you see tiny specks of cream cheese in the batter, it is perfectly alright. You need not try to achieve a perfectly smooth batter. Over beating at this stage can cause too many air bubble in the batter, so it is important to keep note of that. 
    Adding eggs and vanilla into cheesecake batter

    • Fold in the sour cream with a spatula and mix until it is well combined.
    Sour cream in the cheesecake batter

    • Pour batter in the prepared crust and level the top.
    New York cheesecake batter in a springform panNew York Cheesecake Recipe

    • Place the cake tin in a slightly larger cake tin and place both tins in an even larger baking dish filled with water. This will avoid you from having to wrap the sides of your spring form pan with foil. If you don't have fitting cake tins, wrapping the sides with foil is the only option.  
    Fill a large baking dish with water.
    Place a smaller cake tin into the baking dish filled with water earlier.
    Place your springform pan into the dry cake tin.
    The second cake tin helps avoid water from seeping into the springform tin.

    • Bake the cake on the lowest rack in your oven (with the fan function turned off) until the sides are firm and the middle is still wobbly. Let the cake rest in the oven for about 10 minutes before removing it from oven. Once removed from oven, let it rest at room temperature for another 10 to 15 minutes before loosening and removing the sides of the cake tin. 

    • Refrigerate the cheesecake (along with the bottom of the cake tin) for at least 4 hours (or overnight). If you wish to remove the bottom of the cake pan, do it after the chilling the cake. That way, the crust will be firm and not break as you slide the cake (with the parchment intact) onto a serving plate or cake board. Before sliding the cake off onto a plate, run a knife underneath the parchment lining to loosen it. 

    • Garnish the cake top with a thin layer of sour cream. 

    Top view of New York cheesecakeNew York Cheesecake Recipe

    And that is about it on my New York cheesecake recipe. Give this a try and let me know how it goes!

    Pin this New York cheesecake recipe for later here: 

    A slice of New York CheesecakeNew York Cheesecake Recipe

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