new york cheesecake

New Yorkers have a reputation for being pushy and over-the-top — these are things you learn when you leave the city for a weekend, and a ticketing agent at the airport in Tulsa, for example, informs you that you’re so much more polite than she thought a New Yorker would be. We apparently like things bolder and taller and shinier and more intense and while I’m not sure if this really applies to your average straphanger commuting from walk-up to cubicle and back again everyday, I am absolutely certain that it applies to our cheesecakes.

(No, the other kind, silly.)

soft cream cheese bricks, wouldn't stackgraham crackers to be groundmelted butter into crumbscheesecake battera tall crumb crustfilled nearly to the brimthe baking process vexxed mecheesecake, it fell a bit

How is a New York Cheesecake unlike any other cheesecake? To begin, it’s very very tall. Most cheesecakes — like my Bourbon Pumpkin, Cappuccino Fudge, Key Lime and a Brownie Mosaic riff — use 3 bricks of cream cheese; this uses 5. Most cheesecakes are cut or lightened with sour cream; not here, where firm and intense is the goal. Often they’re scented with a bit of lemon; nobody knows why, only that it tastes good. And finally, they’re often topped with gooey heaps of fruit that will, without fail, not taste as good as their pretty-pretty picture. Why? Because, in most cases, they’re actually canned pie filling.

new york cheesecake, drippy

This is where I come in, with your ticket to Big Apple bliss, but better because it is can (and also roving crazies that crack up at jokes they imagine in their heads) -free, in your kitchen. It turns out, making a goopy, drippy and glorious cherry topping at home from natural ingredients is possibly easier than opening a can. And it tastes a heck of a lot better too — howabout that?

new york cheesecake

This cheesecake is something else entirely and I know this because (shh, don’t tell anyone) despite having no less than four cheesecake recipes on this site, I’m not actually a cheesecake person, whatever that would be. Oh, I’ll have some but mostly I find it too rich, too intense to eat in the mega-wedges that it’s usually served in.

new york cheesecake, tumbled

But this. I went to town on a slice of it, tackily murmuring “oh this is good, this is very very good” as if I wasn’t the one who baked it, as if I had no sense to avoid tasteless braggary. It’s so intense, so perfectly sweetened, so deliciously accented with drippy cherries, it may have even made a cheesecake person out of me. And I have only myself to blame.

new york cheesecake

One year ago: Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers)
Two years ago: Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake
Three years ago: Arborio Rice Pudding

New York Cheesecake
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, a perfect example of why I miss it so

The changes I made to the original recipe were to one and three-fifths (yes, exactly that) the crumb crust because I like those that go up the walls (you still might have a smidge more than you need but I figure it is less annoying than measuring the recipe in 7 tablespoon amounts), significantly reducing the zest (because as far as I’m concerned, the entire zest from two citrus fruits is an absurdly high amount), fudging (unsuccessfully) with the baking time and adding a completely optional cherry topping. That is not from a can. You are welcome.

Crumb crust
8 ounces (15 4 3/4 x 2 1/2-inch sheets of graham cracker; yes, I am crazy enough to both count and measure) finely ground graham crackers or cookies such as chocolate or vanilla wafers
8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Very tall cheesecake filling:
5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (Philadelphia is recommended for cheesecakes but if you’ve had success with other brands, feel free to use them again)
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cherry topping
10 ounces sweet or sour cherries, pitted (they’re not in season here so I used frozen; worked just fine)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar*
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Make crumb crust: Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and up the sides, stopping one inch shy of the top rim**, of a buttered 9 1/2-inch (or 24 cm) springform pan. You can fill it right away but I like to pop my into the freezer so it quickly sets while I prepare the filling.

Make very tall cheesecake filling: Preheat oven to 550 F degrees***. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, flour and zest with an electric mixer until smooth. Add vanilla, then eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated. Scrape bowl down between additions; I cannot stress this enough as if you do not, you’ll end up with unmixed stripes of cream cheese. I always find at least one, despite my best efforts.

Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan (to catch drips). Pour filling into crust (springform pan will be completely full) and baking in baking pan in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes or until puffed. Please watch your cake because some ovens will top-brown very quickly and if yours does too fast, turn the oven down as soon as you catch it. Reduce the temperature to 200 degrees (see Note below about my baking drama) and continue baking until cake is mostly firm (center will still be slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken), about one hour more.

Run a knife around the top edge of the cake to loosen it and cool the cake completely in springform on a rack, then chill it, loosely covered, at least 6 hours.

Make cherry topping (optional): Place all ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, cook it for an additional one to two minutes then remove from heat. Cool completely.

Remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate. If you had any wonky baking issues (see my Note below), you might need to trim the cake flat. I promise not to tell anyone what happened to those scraps, okay?

Spread topping (if using) over chilled cheesecake. The original recipe says to bring this to room temperature before serving, but I never have!

Do ahead: Cheesecake keeps, covered and chilled, 2 weeks.

Baking drama: As some of the pictures might suggest, I really borked (an actual word, thank you) the baking of this cake. First, I was convinced that 550 degrees would singe my cake so I did the first step at 400, to see if you can get away with it. Yes, I am guilty of not following a recipe from time to time too. It turns out, 550 would have been just fine. Then, although I turned my oven down to 200, I didn’t check the thermometer inside my junky oven, and had I, I’d have realized that what my oven calls 200 is more like 150. And an hour later, was almost completely raw. Then I upped it to 300, which my oven told me was actually 250, where it still took another hour to bake and gained many cracks. I blame the fact that the oven didn’t start hot enough, as many others have made this recipe crack-free. What’s the point of me sharing this? To give you a heads up that oven wonkiness may ensue. What matters is that, in the end, you do not take the cake out before it is ready. An accurate oven helps too. I’m going to get right on that.

* You might dial this up by up to another 1/4 cup if you’re using sour cherries. However, if you’re using sour cherries I’m going to assume it is because you like them, and the more tart taste they impart, thus you probably will enjoy this sauce just as much with only 1/4 cup sugar. Look at me, psychologizing!

** This is updated based on responses from commenters. Thank you, intrepid home bakers!

*** Yes, this is correct, but updated to note 9/12/10 that please, if you are using a Teflon-coated pan, note it’s temperature limit, often around 475, and only start your baking temperature there.

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803 comments on new york cheesecake

  1. I can’t imagine baking at 550! My mom scared me away from ever doing that. :) Every cheesecake I have ever baked has cracked, not matter how much I band the air out of it and don’t mix it.

    Still looks like a delicious classic, though. :)

    1. deb

      Jessica — The high and low temperatures are, specifically, to avoid cracking without using a water bath. Which is why you should try it.

      1. Riley

        Tried this and my cake burnt to a crisp. I kept watching it, until I didn’t and boom. It turned black. And cracked. I must have done something wrong. :/

  2. I moved from the South to the Northeast, and I had a few friends visit who expected curt and impolite behavior all the time. They were usually surprised by what they found.

  3. I’ve been experiencing severe dessert disappointments lately. Everything I’ve baked turns out ok, but not nearly as transcendently delicious as I expect. I’m wondering if this might be just the thing to turn that bad streak around?

    Also, HOLY MOLY your kid is cute. I cannot get over it.

  4. nicole

    u, my dear, are HILARIOUS and i AM indeed a cheesecake person and intend to make this well.. as soon as possible. and then again once cherries are in season.. oh, and the chocolate wafer crust suggestion.. NY cheesecake.. cherry topping.. and a chocolate crust OH MY!

    1. Pip

      O-Kay. I’ve followed the baking instructions to the letter (oven thermometer) and it’s been baking nearly two hours and is still liquid in the middle. I’ll keep baking until it’s done, but is this just me or have others had problems?

      1. Rebecca Thebeau

        Yes, I have made this three times now and every time it has taken at least two hours after the initial high temperature bake, following the directions as written as well. I don’t own an oven thermometer (mine got left in a move and we just haven’t replaced them…), but I am wondering if a low oven temperature may be the problem. Still delicious though! Just need to plan ahead and make sure the oven isn’t needed for dinner!

      2. This blog is one of the reasons I gave up my career and went into pastry life as a professional.

        I made this in 2010 and a few times a year, every year after that.

        What I do with the baking time is that after the first minutes I put it on 165 degrees Celsius.

        I hope that helps :)

  5. Nechama

    Kinda critical typo here, I believe. You write:

    Run a knife around the top edge of the cake to loosen it and *cook* the cake completely in springform on a rack, then chill it, loosely covered, at least 6 hours.

    I believe you mean *cool,* but some nudnik who cooks a cheesecake for the first time may have a meltdown.

  6. jen

    I happen to have a box of graham cracker crumbs in my pantry (and an absurd love of cheesecake) but I lack a kitchen scale – do you know how many cups 8oz of crumbs make?

      1. Mimi

        This comment is a little belated but in case you’re still listening: I just came across this cake, and absolutely plan to make it soon, this weekend if possible. But, after a year of scratching my eyeballs out while limping through pre-algebra with my middle schooler, I immediately reduced your fraction in my head to “okay, so that’s 2 and 2/5 cups”. Sorry, totally irrelevant, but it made me laugh out loud.

  7. Rachelle

    This may just be an old wives’ tale, but my mom always told me that cooling cheesecakes down slowly helps you avoid cracks.

    When the cheesecake looks about done, I turn the oven off and leave it in the oven with the door cracked while it cools. Usually works!

  8. Casey

    Hi Deb. This looks amazing (as always) — your cheesecake tips seem to work like a charm as I started with your bourbon pumpkin and have only had none-cracking delicious cheesecakes since (knock on wood). Wanted to let you know I made the k for p lemon cheesecake from epicurious last week and it was a big hit. The crust (combo almonds and matzo meal) was quite brittle and hard to cut but still very tasty. Anyway highly reccomend (I would love to see your adaptions) and can’t wait to make this one. Also Jacob is the absolute cutest.

  9. KKP

    Hi Deb, looks delish and I love the height on it! I think, maybe, after “Philadelphia is recommended…” you mean ‘success’ not ‘suckles’. Jacob is just too cute!!

  10. *Drool*
    With that being said, I would love a recipe for cheesecake that makes a thin cake. That way, you can have a larger piece. 5 packages of cream cheese is just too much for me to put in my grocery cart all at once. I wish I was as bold as you!

  11. Pam

    Thanks so much for the cherry topping recipe since one could presumably use it with other cheesecake recipes too, or even ice cream. Of course I do aim to make the whole cheesecake one day, but in the meantime I may just try the topping.

    Maybe another typo? Suckles? I think your spell checker messed with “success”.

  12. Laura

    My trick for crackless cheesecakes is mixing by hand…it’s a pain, for sure, but i’ve tried the water-baths, the extreme temperatures, and this is what works for me every.single.time.

  13. Wow, this is truly kismet. I just returned from a 6-day vacation in NYC (haven’t been there in 10 years) and my biggest lament? Not having A SINGLE PIECE OF NY CHEESECAKE! Oh, I took pics of them in the window at Carnegie Deli, but I was never in the exact mood to tackle one of those King Kong-sized portions. Hence, I left even more disgusted at having not eaten it than I would have after eating it (didn’t think that was possible). Anyway, thanks for your fortuitously timed, delicious offering. Now I can bake a whole cake for the price of one of those $10 slices.

  14. Shannon O’Connell

    I haven’t made a cheesecake in ages. This sounds incredible. BTW – I am obsessed with your blog. I have way too much fun with the “surprise me!” feature. Love it! I made your carrot cake for my mommom’s birthday on Easter and it was a hit! You’re the best!!!

  15. Kate

    Looks amazing! My boyfriend loves cheesecake and he is coming over for dessert on friday! Thanks for the great recipe.

  16. Rebecca

    mmmyumyumyum. I always liked to make strawberry topping for mine, add a little chocolate ganache or even just plain melted chocolate, which then gets a little crunchy and great. Ooooh, going to make this this week.

  17. I made this recipe several months ago and I agree it is over the top amazingly delicious. I did not make the homemade cherry topping, but plan on it. I even blogged it, although my pictures don’t capture it the way yours do.

  18. I’ve read your site forever and it makes me laugh that this is the post I am choosing to comment on. Cheesecake is always my last choice on a dessert menu but I love what you did here. Why did I never think to bring my crust up the sides of the pan? The crust is my favorite part – the only part I really like. Whenever I get a cheesecake request in the future, I’m trying that. Keep up the terrific and inspiring work.

  19. Jil

    Wow – that cheesecake is absolutely stunning. I have to agree about the toppings…most of the time – though the fruit is glossy and beautiful…it tastes like…crap. I think this also stems from the fact that I cannot justify eating canned fruits or vegetables of any kind.

  20. How many miles do you think I would have to run in order to eat the whole thing?

    Thanks so much for providing the cherry topping part of the recipe. It looks divine!

  21. Christie

    This looks so very very good. Do you really have to bake it at 550 though? you can’t bake it at 425 or 450 or something?
    Regardless, I am going to make this as my first attempt at a cheesecake. I wish I had a baby as cute as Jacob to go along with it!

    1. KAD

      I have been making cheesecakes for over 20 years using this exact recipe .However I baked it @ 500 for 10 min. Then 200 for 60 min. In all those years maybe 5 had cracks. Got a new oven, following exact recipe EVERY CAKE CRACKED. Made 16 cakes at
      Christmas & ALL CRACKED. I don’t know what to do.. HELP!

      1. rosalie

        I bet the new oven is hotter. Get a thermometer that either sits in the oven or has a cord that sits in the oven and you can set it out on top of the counter so you can read it and just see how it reads at various temps. That way if you have it set for 500 and it reads 550, you can lower it. Try it at 475, 450 etc so you can see what temp you need to set it at to get an actual 500 and 200 reading. Annoying but once you’ve done it you won’t have to do it again.

  22. I came to New York for my first visit 2 years ago, and I could not figure out for the life of me why New Yorkers have the reputation that they do. I couldn’t pull out a map without fifteen people offering to help me. New Yorkers are alright in my book, and so is this cheesecake.

  23. Susan

    First of all, Deb, THANK YOU for saving my Passover with those fabulous hazelnut thumbprints. Everyone raved about them, though I’ll admit my crappy Pesach chocolate chips did not melt in the center. No matter, they were great. (I also adapted your cocoa brownie recipe, swapping cake meal and potato starch for the 1/2 cup flour, to rave reviews.)

    Now for the cheesecake, which looks like all my cheesecake dreams come true (yes, I do have those) – how would this taste with homemade graham crackers, do you think? Mine tend towards the extra-buttery (I use Karen DeMasco’s recipe) which might be a bit much with all that cream cheese. Is there another graham recipe you might suggest?

  24. holy moly. i haven’t actually posted a cheesecake recipe before, so i can’t really call myself a cheesecake person either, but i do like them alright. this is one hardcore cheesecake.

    and yes, i use the “New Yorker stereotype” all the time on a grad school friend from Long Island. When she starts yelling down the street due to the lack of cabs in NM, I tell people, “dont worry, she’s new york”. not that i can complain, as a chicagoan :)

  25. Stefanie

    I AM a cheesecake person and this has to be the most temptation I’ve ever had on a Tuesday morning. Thank you thank you thank you. I’m 100% making this at some point this week.

  26. Wow this looks delicious and very easy . . . . yet despite my love of cheesecake I’ve never understood cherry topping in any form. I’d probably go with *strawberries* if they were in season, or chocolate. :-D Too bad I only have a mini cheesecake pan!

  27. Oh, my. How can you NOT be a cheesecake person? They are the best, well, only if it is a good one. Yours looks just wonderful. I can’t believe it uses 5 bricks of cream cheese.

  28. Judy

    Deb, not quite sure where I should post this, but just wanted to let you know that I made your chocolate caramel cheesecake for Easter. It was the hit of the dessert buffet! Everyone raved about it. And I took your advice and doubled the cookie crumb crust ingredients. Wow!! Thanks for a great recipe.

  29. Lilly

    Ok your recipe is a bit simpler than my moms, which is also a NY cheese cake which turns out very well. Or at least I THINK it’s a NY one….it’s tall, but it’s not as dense as most commercial ones. It’s actually a little fluffy.

    um, ok now I’m confused. which do we have?

    Second…her recipe is very strict. You must not open the oven door for X minutes after turning it off, or down. you must then carefully place on counter and NOT TOUCH until 100% cooled.

    Is all that hullabaloo necessary? Will it ruin if you open the oven? Sounds oddly like the fabled souffle recipes, to me.

  30. Abby

    I’m thinking I might have to buy a springform pan after all. The only cheesecakes I have made, I *gasp* have cooked in the premade graham cracker crusts; but this recipe is too much deliciousness to fit in a puny store bought crust. I think the topping looks fantastic, canned fruit just cannot compare; and as an added bonus, it will nicely cover the cracks that all my cheesecakes seem to develop :)

  31. Keren

    Are the bottom pictures (in your series of smaller images) of different cakes? The one on the left is all puffed up, but the one on the right shows cake that ends at the crust. Is that just because of the baking temp? Is it supposed to puff up like the one on the left? I am confused.

    PS – If I had to answer the question “what website do you visit most frequently,” it would be this. Love your photos, and have tried (and loved) dozens of your posts. You do not disappoint.

  32. deb

    Daryl — 24 cm, as the recipe suggests.

    Keren — Same one. My puffed and deflated. I trimmed it a little on top. I’m fairly certain nobody else will have this issue (see my note at the bottom about the dumb things I did baking this).

  33. 5 blocks of cream cheese!? eek!!! Oh, it looks divine though!
    I am guilty of using pie filling a lot!… It seems fitting if I make my own crust. If I buy a pre-made crust then I must make my own filling, to even out the laziness :)
    And I can NEVER get the pie crust up the sides, it always falls down. What’s the trick!?

  34. Lisa

    My grandmother was making a grain/ricotta pie for Easter this weekend and she said the same thing about letting cheesecake cool completely – it prevents cracks forming. She cooks it until about a half hour before the recipe says to take it out, then shuts off the oven completely and leaves it in there for at least an hour. She’s the only person I know not employed by a bakery who can make a crack-less cheesecake. I, for one, don’t have the woman’s patience and therefore mine are always cracktastic.

  35. OH my goodness that looks INSANE. The Cheesecake factory should just close down right now. *drool* My boyfriend would LOVE this recipe…I know EXACTLY what to make him for our 3 year anniversary!!! Thank you so much for the inspiration!!

  36. Susan

    This is what a cheesecake is supposed to look like, to me. I don’t love them, especially with lemon in them (flavor too soured tasting) but I’ll never pass one up flavored with almond/vanilla, and with cherries on top – ideal! I’ve made your pumpkin bourbon cake and it is devine..if short. A little whipped cream added the needed height. I also liked Giada’s almond crusted mascarpone cheesecake, but it’s short, too. I’ve found, regardless of the recipe, that not overcooking it is the key to crackless tops. It’s got to still wobble in the center when you take it out. It’s the hardest thing to do to let the center look undercooked, but take it out anyway!

  37. I’ll have to try this. My standard for cheesecake is Munchers bakery in Lawrence, KS. They taught me to love a cheesecake with no crust and no topping, just the cake. Wonderful texture.

    Yes, I’ll try it without a crust. Yes, I will…

  38. weeeeee!!!! I need to bake a cheesecake for Friday night’s party and I had planned on baking your caramel chocolate cheesecake, but I couldn’t believe my eyes when i saw today’s post!!! I might hafta do this one instead…..
    FWIW–I have done cheesecake topping with jar of Trader Joe’s Morello Cherries and they work really well!! And you can use the juice for the sauce–just add a bit of cornstarch, sugar and Grand Marnier in a saucepan…..mmmmmm.

  39. Emily

    If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion for the cracking problem– somebody mentioned mixing by hand which I would recommended because stand mixers can overwhip the batter and incorporate too much air and that causes the cracks. But! Once the baking has finished I would turn off the oven and leave the cake to cool in the oven. A slow, gradual decrease in temperature helps the cake deflate slower and cracking would cease or be kept at a minimum. Then switch to the fridge for 8 hours or so. It’s a tortously long process, and it might not be worth it if topping is planned to be slathered on top, but it does bother me when I bring one to friends with a giant crack in the middle. D:

    Oh, and also– long time reader first time poster! Big fan. :]

  40. I *just* made Caramel Brownie Cheesecake (on my website)… otherwise I would be making this soon!

    Two cheesecakes in less than a month is a bit much for us!

    Kathryn (Comment 63), LOVE Munchers Bakery!! Will have to try their cheesecake now.

  41. This … is … the most INDECENT cheesecake I’ve seen here
    I read your blog anytime you publish Deb, and I have to write that anytime you make me mouthwatering, especially with this !
    thank you very much :)

  42. Liza

    Is it blasphemy to attempt with low fat or fat free cream cheese? I am hoping that with all the other flavors, I could get away with it… or maybe a mix of some fat free and some regular? Thoughts?

  43. ooo, this is the cheesecake of my childhood. i think i may have forgotten that i may be a cheesecake person!!
    also, how do you get anything done with your adorable boy looking on??

  44. You are my cheesecake hero! I can’t wait to try this. Truthfully, I have never used my springform pan because I’ve never seen a cheesecake recipe that seemed like it would be worth the effort. This post, however, changes everything. Especially because of the fruit topping! Thank you!

  45. Elizabeth

    Dear Lord woman, you are going to kill me. Or, at least, kill this diet I’ve been pretending to be on since New Year’s. This looks utterly fabulous and I fully applaud the murmurings of “oh this is so good”. It’s only tacky if the object in question *isn’t* good. And given my experimentation with your recipes, I would never believe that it’s not fantastic! Can’t wait for an excuse to bust this out!

  46. JennyC

    I just wanted to let you know how much joy you bring to my law-school-studying-wedding-planning-bar-exam-studying life. I have become famous in my clinic for making fantastic desserts for class, and I’ve spent more time baking (hazelnut brown butter cake*2) than studying. And, at a shabbat dinner, my friends couldn’t believe that their goy-friend made the best challah there. Thanks so much, Deb.

  47. This looks absolutely heavenly! I’m typically not a fan of fruit on my cheesecake, but this recipe – made with real cherries – might just be enough to change my mind…now, for what upcoming event can I justify whipping this up….

  48. I JUST CAN’T TAKE THESE PHOTOS – THIS IS ABSOLUTELY DROPDEADGORGEOUS and DO I EVER WANT A SLICE RIGHT NOW! I can only make this for company – not enough in my household to consume this – well there are only 2 of us and if we ate it all up we would never make it out our front door!

  49. Deb – That looks so good. I just made a ricotta cheesecake (with fresh ricotta, a raspberry sauce, and lemon-curd-whipped-cream…I may have gone overboard), so I don’t think I should feel the need to make another one. But Oh. MAN! does this look good.

    Also, congratulations on the Saveur awards!

  50. Wow… that looks fantastic! I love cheesecake, and can’t wait to try out your cherry topping! BTW, your pictures are ALWAYS awesome… I can almost smell the cheesecake!

  51. Howdy Deb! I am SOOO making this soon. Quick question, because I don’t use springform pans. You mentioned this cheesecake is tall, so I assume a regular springform pan won’t be deep enough. What is the height or cup capacity of the springform pan you used? Thanks so much!

  52. Kendall

    Hi Deb,
    This looks amazing! What is the the purpose of the flour in the cheesecake please? I only ask as I would like to make it for a gluten free friend but would have to omit the flour (and obviously use GF cookies for the base), would I substitute a gluten free flour in or would it be fine to leave it out entirely?
    Also – I love reading your posts and think you are a fantastic writer, you should write a cook book :)

    1. deb

      Kendall and others with gluten-free questions — The flour thickens it. However, I see no reason why rice flour wouldn’t do the same trick, since it’s about the thickening, not the gluten in it.

      JennyC — “Goy-friend”. You guys are full of the best words today!

  53. This is superb and so much easier than my favorite (labor intensive) cheesecake recipe, which has you lower the heat at 15 minute intervals for a while before baking it for an hour or so at low heat and then leaving it in the oven with no heat.

    I love the recipe, but have a stupid knack for deciding to make it at 9 p.m., starting with the cookies for the crust.

  54. Wow. I have officially died and gone to cream cheese heaven. I would love to make this as my next cheesecake but your Cappucino Fudge has already been requested.

  55. Sade and others!

    mmmmmmm but to find beautiful cherries here in london? maybe i’ll switch to cinnamon peaches……

    Also from a 22 year old cooking/tasting enthusiast and Eng Lit. student, I really do find your blog wonderfully informative, funny (!) and generally… well…filling! there are so many, (well, i want to say foolproof but without undermining anything), beautiful treats I’ve made and shared, especially from the sweets section around exam time :/

    Much love from the household (All 5 of us lol)


  56. Anne

    Oh, this looks delightful.
    Quick question, though. Could I possibly use orange and lemon extract, rather than zest? If so, how much?

  57. Yay! Looks fantastic! I’ll have to try this method, though I’ve had pretty good success with a waterbath (which really isn’t that hard to do) and tapping the pan a couple of times to get the air bubbles out before putting it in the oven.

    The other thing is, who cares about cracking? If you are covering the entire top with the faux cherry filling (which looks awesome by the way) the cracks are totally going to be filled in and unseen!

    Also. The side crusts is genius. Too often the bottom of the crust are totally soggy (no way around that, even if you pre-bake) and I’ve actually added graham cracker crumbs to the side of a cheesecake after it’s baked (a suggestion from Cook’s Illustrated). I don’t know why it never occurred to me to just make more crust and put it up the side. Duh.

  58. Allison Rosen

    This almost exactly like my mother’s recipe – our go to cheesecake for decades.

    One thing we’ve found over the years – room temperature ingredients really matter here for smoothness and a uniform consistency. It matters more with this recipe than with most our baking.

  59. Annie

    This looks fabulous. And, as absolutely gorgeous as the fruit-topped cheesecake looks, I must say that I love the look of a craggy, cracked cheeecake, too.

  60. Jem

    Deb, I’ve been reading your site for a couple of years now and just love it and have been inspired to make many of your dishes. Today’s really grabbed me. I immediately emailed my best friend the link and asked her to make this for me for my upcoming 50th (OMG) birthday. My only other bday request is to steal away the beautious Jacob and all his curls and dimples. I have a feeling I might be disappointed on that one. But not the cake–my friend immediately emailed back, “of course!” Yay, can’t wait! Thanks a thousand times, Deb!

  61. Holy cow, that is the most perfect cheesecake I have ever seen! I feel like I could live safe and protected within those graham cracker walls.

    I could live inside of it because I ate all the filling out first, of course. I would hold off on the graham cracker crust for my own protection. Not for very long though, probably;-)

    Absolutely gorgeous!


  62. Angela

    Thanks for posting the weight equivalents for some ingredients in your recipes. I’ve been enjoying using my kitchen scale and it’s often a whole lot easier than measuring everything out.

  63. Kat

    Hi Deb~
    Making this cheesecake for a party this weekend! I use a convection oven, and I’m comfortable with decreasing temps and times down in the “normal” cooking range but this recipe is outside of my comfort zone on both ends! Can you suggest what I should do to modify this recipe to convection?

  64. My boyfriend, a cheesecakeaholic, is going home for a wedding he’s dreading this weekend, so I will welcome him home with this beauty, that’s for sure!

  65. Amanda

    I made New-York Style Cheesecake not too long ago, with strawberry swirls. The first time I made it, the filling was CRAZY a lot, and it cracked as well. The second time I made it, I reduced the amount of filling, so it wasn’t filled right to the edge of the springform pan, and when it cooked, it also wasn’t right at the edge. No cracks for me! Now, I never get cracks when I make cheesecake :). — Also, I let it cool for a really long time in the pan before loosening it from the pan, but you already mentioned that.

  66. Emily

    Hi! I love the website, and this recipe looks great. I was just wondering what is the big deal about cracks in cheesecakes? They are edible, is it just an apperance thing?

  67. Amanda

    I think it’s an appearance thing. But when I made cheesecake for the first time, and it was really cracked on top, it also fell apart more easily.

  68. liz

    I am making this SOON, before I leave the country and can’t find simple ingredients I took for granted all this time. It looks amazing.

  69. moo

    lowfat cream cheese (neufchatel) is not a good substitute for cream cheese where it is going to be baked/heated (it works great for frosting/dips though). it has more moisture, so the texture will be affected and it is more likely to separate. I would watch my portion size and invite more people to share it rather than substitute (and I write that as someone who counts ww points twice a year – I do understand the desire to cut calories).

  70. Leen

    Hi Deb, my husband loves New York cheesecake! Would you do another baking story/ recipe but this time with a water bath? Please… Thanks

  71. I’m posting here instead of the link that matches the recipe. I just made the homemade marshmallows! I don’t listen too well and scraped the bowl anyway. MAN was that hard to clean up, all of it. It is still cooling in the fridge, my lord did that fluff taste GOOD. Thanks in advance for the mallows. Now I have to make this too, my husband saw the picture and is currently hounding me.

  72. Shauna

    I think I felt my insides squee a little just now at the thought of this cheesecake.

    Question: If someone doesn’t like cherries, would an equal amount of blueberries or strawberries still work for the topping recipe? Thanks!!

    1. deb

      Cybercita — Yes, room for a sour cream topping. On “plain” cheesecakes, that is my favorite.

      Sherell — And my parents always say “I have been educated.” :)

      allison — Water baths almost guarantee a crack-free top and a more delicate, custardy cake. However, this technique (should you follow it, and not invent your own, as I did) promises the same.

      Dee — Just make it as hot as it goes, and preheat it for a long time so it likely goes past that.

      Deeza — If so, I’d skip the water (it’s for more of a sauce consistency). And of course, you’ll need a lot more.

      Shauna — I’m sure blueberries or strawberries would work.

  73. Sherell

    I had to laugh when you used the word “wonky”. My three year old daughter uses wonky and froinky(rhymes with groin-key) all the time.(as in: my hair looks all wonky/froinky) Didn’t know if either was really a word! I have been educated.

  74. James G

    I’m from New York City and am a big fan of cheesecakes, but it has always been my contention that the gloopy, fruity toppings were strictly for tourists–no New Yorker I ever knew would consider anything but plain cheesecake for their own tables. Now that I live overseas, I will have to make this for a taste of home. Thanks!

  75. A Seattle Cook

    I use low-fat Philly Cream cheese all the time in my cheesecakes and never had a problem with them. They are a little fluffier and lighter but taste great. You just won’t get that true New York style denseness in your cheesecake.

  76. allison

    ditto to the one who commented about how much joy you bring to her “law-school-studying-wedding-planning-bar-exam-studying life,” except subtract the law school/bar exam and add medical school/board friends and classmates love me because of you (most specifically because of your peanut butter frosting from the chocolate peanut butter cake).

    anywho, on to my water bath?..i’m an avid cheesecake baker and always go with the water bath, however i’ve never made a true new york cheesecake so maybe this is just something us southerners do..please enlighten me. :)

  77. Kathleen

    Crazy beautiful cheesecake! I can’t help but throw in a suggestion: If you have problems with cream cheese streaks, have you thought about one of the new self-scraping beaters (assuming you have a KitchenAid)? I bought one recently and they are amazing, especially for just exactly this sort of thing where gluten development isn’t an issue. Honestly, it was the best $40 splurge I’ve made in a long time. They even aerate creamed ingredients faster.

  78. Katie

    WOW! that looks so good, my pregnant self is seriously considering running to the store to buy a slice of cheesecake. I would make one, even try this one, but I am afraid with just 3 of us here (my 3 year old shouldn’t really count even since he won’t eat it) I would eat the whole thing. That would not be good. As for using low fat or fat free cream cheese, I would never ever ever try the fat free as it is just too fake for baking. I have successfully made cheesecakes with low fat, though I always go half and half with regular. I also always put a pan of hot water in the bottom of my oven to add moisture and it really helps with cracks without messing with a water bath.

  79. Seriously. You must be stopped:) I just slammed 3 of your lemon bars in the last 24 hours, which were crazypants by the way. I will be bookmarking this for use at a later date.

  80. Rachel

    Not sure if you’ve tried a cheesecake for Passover, but I had one this year with a macaroon crust – heavenly. It is easy to switch out the flour for matzo cake meal in the filling.

  81. Tonia

    To those wondering about adding flour to cheesecake: I have never added flour to my cheesecakes (and I’ve made a LOT!) I really don’t feel like they need the flour. On the crust, to keep it from shrinking down the sides when baking: put unbaked crust in freezer for about 5-10 minutes then bake as directed. I also put a pan of water in the oven with my cheesecakes (don’t put the cheesecake in the water), the water seems to help maintain moistness in the oven. Also, pulling the cheesecake out when the center still jiggles really is essential along w/running a thin knife around between the crust and pan. Sometime, no matter WHAT you do your cheesecake will still crack in the center. . .that’s why you put a topping on it!!

  82. I made a kosher for Passover cheesecake this week and thought that 3 bricks of regular cream cheese was intense enough – but now that I know that real NY cheesecake uses 5, I may just have to try it. I have also used cornstarch rather than flour in the filling in the past – dissolve 1 tbs cornstarch in water, then mix into filling.

  83. Oh MAN… I have to try this right now! But it will have to wait till Sunday for a potluck at church! Thanks for the info in cheesecakes, didn’t know the difference.

  84. Kyla

    I am a cheesecake person but, sadly, I am the only cheesecake person in my house. Do you think this would work as a 1/2 recipe in a smaller pan?

  85. Have I mentioned that I’m an avid follower of the religion of Cheesecake? My life is lived in pursuit of the ultimate cheesecake, and I spent my honeymoon in New York among other things, trying to find the best NY Cheesecake in New York. I have not yet found a recipe to my liking for New York style cheesecake though I tried a fair few and since my pregnant belly has been demanding (and I’ve been ignoring) Cheesecake lately, this is on my baking list this week!! It looks like the recipe I’ve been searching for.

  86. I don’t care one bit that this might crack on top. I don’t care one bit that my husband doesn’t like cheesecake. The only thing I care about right now is finding cream cheese on sale STAT!!

  87. Calla Nassif

    CONGRATS on being the big DOUBLE winner for food blogs! I absolutely love your blog and check it on an almost creepy basis. Your irish car bomb cup cakes are perhaps the greatest thing I have ever made. Thank you for all your tips, recipes and musings. I was so happy to see that you are being awarded for all your work.

  88. Tula

    Love, love, love cheesecake. I always make the crust go all the way up, too. This looks so fabulous, I’ll have to try it as my base recipe. Cheesecake is one dessert that is great for doing low-carb diets, since you can easily substitute splenda or other bake-able sweeteners like erythritol, and skipping the flour doesn’t seem to hurt it at all. Sometimes I like to mix in some fruit or sugar-free jams/fruit spreads. My favorite lately was raspberry cheesecake with chocolate crust made from sugar-free chocolate cookies. Tastes great and is low in carbs.

  89. Interesting… I’ve always wondered what made a cheesecake a NY cheesecake but don’t think I’ve ever tried one myself. I guess I’ll just have to rectify that.

  90. Heidi

    Cheesecake is delicious, and that is most definitely one of the most engaging recipes I have ever read. I’m going to try it! Cheers :-)

  91. I am in charge of mixing and baking 14 cheesecakes (more than 50 lbs of custard!) at work every week. We also bake them without a water bath and to avoid cracks we set the temperature of the oven very low. In a 285 degree oven the cakes take approximately two and a half hours to bake, almost always completely crack free. Make sure you are mixing everything at low speed to avoid incorporating too much air into the cake. Patience definitely pays off when making cheesecakes.

  92. Tessa

    I’ve been told that a crack in a cheesecake just means that it was baked correctly. Strange, huh? I can’t wait for an excuse to try this recipe. Rather, I can’t wait until I’m not sick so that I can make up an excuse to make it, so that I can eat it.
    Thank you so much!!
    Do you think I could substitute blueberries for the cherries in the topping, and have it work just the same??

  93. mim

    Oh this looks so delicious! I love firm cheesecake, but I didn’t know that that’s one of the differences between NY and other cheesecakes!

    BTW, I have used cranberry sauce as a cheesecake topping. But I have to admit, I like cranberry sauce and have been known to eat it by itself.

  94. I read your blog almost religiously, and this post finally made me want to ask about your gorgeous photos. I’m curious what lens you use, and what camera also. How do you post process them? They have this lovely feel to them. Do you use a prime lens?

    (ps – I know this is off topic slightly from your cheescake recipe itself, but the photos are mostly what caught my attention. sorry if this goes against your comment guidelines . . . i just couldn’t help myself asking!)

  95. Judith

    This looks amazing! I am also not a fan of canned pie fillings. To those asking about low fat or fat free.. DON”T DO IT! I tried that and it didn’t set up and runny cheese cakes, are, well, just not cheesecakes at all but flops!

  96. I wanted to reiterated for a third time that the blade beater for the KitchenAid mixer that Jessica (142) and Kathleen (126) is great for recipes like this and for cake batter in general. It’s not so good with stiffer batters though.

    If you do get it, watch it carefully the first few times you use it to get a feel for it. You can easily overbeat your batter with the blade beater. But in general it’s great and save time without having to stop the mixer and “scrape down” the sides with a spatula.

  97. I’ve heard of the New York cheesecake but I’ve never had it. I’ve seen recipes all around for it, but Deb you are a New Yorker so I trust you for this recipe. The natives know better! So, I’ll give it a try!

  98. Roxlet

    I have finally solved the cheesecake cracking problem by using the Magic Baking Strips that I always use on regular cakes. I read somewhere that the cracking is caused by the uneven heat of the cake — the outside that touches the pan being much warmer than the inside. The Magic Baking Strips alleviate that problem by keeping the exterior cool and closer in temperature to the interior of the cake. They have them on Amazon.

  99. I happened to bake my very first cheesecake a month ago, for my boyfriend’s birthday, and I guess I was blessed with a huge stroke of beginner’s luck, as it came out perfectly leveled and uncracked. I followed a Martha Stewart’s recipe adapted for a much smaller cake pan, as there were only the two of us (and still we had cheesecake for three days :) I did use a water bath, low temp from the start (350°F) in my fan oven which is known for browning on top a little too fast, so I used the bottom-only option. I used a handheld electric beater, took care not to overmix (but scraped down sides dutifully :) and made sure all ingredients were at room temperature before mixing. Just my two cents! btw I love high cheesecakes, even if this means you can only have a small slice at a time :) I will definitely try your recipe, Deb, the next time we have a bit of company. But the topping is so glorious I might have a try before that!

  100. Philippa

    WOW! I love cheesecake. Am going to have to try this one – so thank you, thank you for putting most of the quantities by weight as well as by volume, as I’m in England and find it much easier to use scales, especially as things like blocks of cream cheese don’t seem to exist here. (Cherries do, though, so am puzzled by the person in London who said she couldn’t get them!)

  101. Vidya

    As much as I feel like I’m committing blasphemy by admitting this, I’m not a big fan of citrus zest in New York cheesecake. I’m more for upping the vanilla and eating it plain with no adornment. It also has to be ice cold, dense and not annoyingly moussey and cloying, and barely sweet. The crust also needs to be thick, high and crisp. Yes I am annoying. The cherries do look enticing though…may have to try this. At the same time, as a student, buying 5 blocks of cream cheese, which where I am, is ridiculously overpriced, is going to break the bank. Guess I’ll just settle for black bottom cupcakes, then.

  102. Your timing is perfect. Just last night at dinner my husband and I were talking about cheesecake and I touted the NY as above the rest. And then here you are with a recipe to prove it! (When you live in Tennessee no one will just take my word for it that NY Cheesecake rocks the world). Like you, Jen, I’m not a huge cheesecake fan, but it I’m gonna indulge, it’s gotta be worth it. Thanks for hits!

  103. Heather

    My husband makes a wicked NY cheesecake, dense, firm, doesn’t crack. He has on occasion subbed neufchatel with no problems in consistency. He also lets it cool for hours in the oven before taking it out. He uses lemon juice in his instead of zest, and I believe he uses 3 bricks of cheese and one can of sweetened condensed milk, as he says it helps make it silky smooth. He always uses Philly cheese.

    One other tip, try subbing some (half?) of the sugar in the crust with brown sugar. It makes it DIVINE.

    I never in my life liked cheesecake, until I tasted his when we were dating (is it any wonder I married him?). I still won’t order it when I see it on the menu, as I’ve never had one I like as well as his.

  104. Mel

    I am definitely making this… swapping in the chocolate wafers for grahams, and the cherries for raspberries. But I’ll probably make it as written anyway for the mother-in-law, who is a purist.
    Thanks Deb!

  105. Oh, my! I have always loved cheesecake and do remember the first time I had a slice in New York. It was so very different (altho i was not far away in Philly growing up). I have tried both versions – the creamier one and this one like yours. I think I do still prefer the more traditional New York style with the gooey fruit topping! I will definitely try this recipe! Thanks!

  106. I can see making this some day. However, I made your monkey bread for Easter and we are still recovering from the sugar shock. That’s a good thing. Thanks!

  107. I am in love. Nah, lust. Lust after this cheesecake. While I like lighter cheesecakes because they are light, the dense, New York-style is the variety that makes me swoon. And that topping? Oh my. Yum.

  108. Raphaela DeAngelis-Frech

    I tried this and it is out of this world!! I did the higher temp because with all new recipes I am a rule follower and then not so much.

    I have the best, yes, the best Italian ricotta cheese cake that is wheat free gluten free and low sugar…

    Jessica, I am with you, this one is very rich, but a big, fat crowd pleaser!!

  109. Brian

    Could I change out Strawberries for the Cherries in that topping recipe? Call me crazy – but I’m not a fan of Cherries….something about the texture of them…ick.

  110. Maria

    Wow, that looks totally yum! Just checking that’s 5 x 8 ounces of cream cheese because it sounds like alot. Not that I have a problem with cream cheese but my growing butt does.

  111. Christina

    That looks fantastic. How did the topping hold up the next day, though? Did it seep into the cheesecake and make it soggy at all?

    1. deb

      Christina — The next day? Oh, I think you underestimate how long this cheesecake lasted at a party of 15! (P.S. I don’t think there would be any seepage issues. Unless you had major cracks. It’s like water + oil…)

      Brian — No reason strawberries wouldn’t work.

      Anna — Yes, they are scaled up. You might even have a couple tablespoons extra. (See head note.)

  112. Chelsea

    where oh where was this recipe two three days ago…looks AMAZING and soo TASTY…wayyy better than the back of the cream cheese box recipe that i succumbed to on Sunday (Easter dinner…my part cheesecake). Deb amazing recipes…beautiful pictures and that baby of yours…adorable :-)

  113. Hi Deb, I’ve been reading your blog and making some of your great recipes for some time now, but never felt the need to write. However, this past weekend, for my son’s 11th birthday, I made your Tangy Brisket–it was fantastic! I also made the Amaretto Cheesecake from the recent Fine Cooking, and it was good, but I was a little disappointed. I thought I would write, asking if you had a good cheesecake recipe…but you beat me to it! This looks like the Holy Grail of cheesecakes. Thank you so much. And I also have to say, except for my two kids, your son is the cutest baby I have ever seen…truly!

  114. chavi

    Since I make cheesecakes for a living (just one of my many jobs) it might help to place a roasting pan filled with water on the wire rack BELOW the cheesecake – this keeps the oven humid as opposed to dry and reduces the chances of a cracked cheesecake. Also – important to let the cheesecake cool in the oven once you shut the oven off. I think the dramatic drop in temperature makes the top crack easily and if you let the cheesecake cool down slowly that will also reduce the chance of cracking.
    My cheesecakes also call for 5 bricks of cream cheese, but if you are in the mood to be seriously sinful, then substitute one of the bricks for Italian marscapone cheese. You’re in for a surprise!
    Hope that helps….

  115. Jane

    Is it possible that you don’t know about the “Beater Blade?” It scraped down the sides and bottom of your kitchenaid as you mix. Every time I make cheesecake, I bless the inventor. I literally no longer scrape the bowl. There are several variations, none made by kitchenaid by the way, that all work very well. I bought them for everyone I know. Google or froogle “beater blade” and you will thank me every time you use your mixer. Just get the one for your size bowl. Love your blog. Jane

  116. This is a GORGEOUS cheesecake! I was never much of a cheesecake eater, either (and was careful not to admit that when I lived in NYC), but have grown rather fond of them over the years.

  117. Marguerite

    OMG! Utter heaven! 20 years ago I was stationed in Germany, I worked along side Rogelio Gibbs from NYC, we would sit and talk about the things we missed from home, me – BBQ from the great state of Texas, he – the cheesecake from NY, he went on and on about the line you had to stand in to get one and how delicious it was-I remember rolling my eyes at him; he went home on leave for Christmas and handcarried back a small pink box with a perfect little cheesecake, I don’t know which bakery it came from but to this day I compare all cheesecakes to that one – yours has to be the recipe. Thanks for sharing and for reminding me of my friend.

  118. Wow God bless the quick response you get through comments! I wish one day I achieve that loyalty.

    I have enjoyed your pictures, you do not know how much I miss the taste NY cheesecake. I miles and miles away and your fotos have given me a great eye feast.

    Have a great day!

  119. Susan

    This is the cheesecake recipe I have been using for years! I have a friend who requests it every time we get together – I’m pretty sure I could use this cheesecake to convince him to divorce his lovely wife and marry me if I were so inclined — and single. I’m actually glad my husband doesn’t love it as much as my friend because I wouldn’t want to become a one-trick dessert pony.

    Baking this does get wonky and mine always cracks and burns a little around the edges but it’s so delicious that no one ever cares.

  120. Ram

    I was craving for a cheesecake, now this! What a blessing! Thanks for posting it. My only problem is, I’m so afraid to crank up my oven to 500F let alone 550F. I’ve never done it before that’s why I don’t make homemade pizzas even if I wanted to. I hope this cheesecake will give me a courgage to finally do it. By the way, do you use convection oven? I only have the regular one.

  121. Lisa

    Hi Deb,

    My absolute ideal cheesecake is from the Two Little Red Hens. What i love about theirs is the lightness/denseness ratio and that really robust graham crust. If you happen to have had it and can compare your recipe to theirs, i’d be ever so grateful as i consider that one the holy grail of cheesecake and i am also not a cheesecake person. Yours certainly looks gorgeous and never has one of your recipes failed me, so i am inclined to assume that this, too, is perfection.
    Thanks for yet another compelling recipe!

  122. C Ho

    I want to make a mini version of this cake in a 6″ or 7″ pan but most, if not all recipes on the Internet, use 9-10″ (way too much cake for a few people).

    My question is, how do I scale down the recipe? Internet says measure the volumes, which I did……so do I just halve all the ingredients? Is it really that simple? How should I halve an egg? Hand beat it in a bowl and pour half into the mixture? How would a smaller version affect baking time? Less baking time of course but how little?


    1. deb

      C Ho — I mentioned in an earlier comment that you can halve the recipe and put it in a tall 6-inch round. I haven’t made it so can’t guess as to the cooking time; you’ll just have to check in every 10 minutes.

      Ram — No, I don’t have a convection oven.

      :) — Ha, no. Prayer? With tarts, I find it easier because they’re lighter. This cake is sooo heavy, it’s doable, but you’d probably want two big, long flat spatulas and to get them under from either side, take a deep breath, lift it a half-inch at a time and then get someone to slide a cake circle or plate underneath as soon as possible.

  123. JanetP

    Those photos are absolutely beautiful. Gorgeous!!! Seriously, have you thought about being a food photographer?

    (and Jacob!)

  124. Lindsay

    Congratulations on your TWO saveur awards! Your blog is my must read every morning and I can’t get enough of the adorable Jacob pictures. :)

  125. Caroline

    I’m not a cheesecake person either, but your beautiful pictures almost make me want to try this, were it not for the 5 blocks of cream cheese scaring me away!

  126. I often read your blog but this is the first time I have posted. This cheesecake looks beautiful and surprisingly easy. What would you recommend as a main course with this? I want my guests to have enough room in their stomach for something as rich as this afterwards…

  127. oh my…. this looks amazing. BTW- i tried your peach and creme fraiche pie for easter and it was outstanding. thanks! this cheesecake is next on my list!

  128. Deb — good point about New Yorkers liking things bolder, taller, shinier and more intense. Definitely applies to things like cheesecake, muffins, Dunkin Donuts x-large coffees and, of course, the buildings. Curiously doesn’t apply to New York pizza, which has a reputation for being thin-crust, minimalist and everything the Chicago deep dish is not. Hmmm. Go figure.

  129. I am a pie person but have avoided learning cheesecake because of the potential dangerousness of knowing how to produce one. This might force me to finally do it.

    Also, glad to know I’m not the only one struggling with ghetto oven.

  130. Jennifer

    I have a GREAT easy tip for making cheesecake. Put the cheesecake in at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Then, turn off the oven and let the residual heat cook the cheesecake for 6-8 hours. I tend to do my baking at night, so I do this right before bed and when I wake up, I have a perfectly cooked cheesecake! The cheesecake is rich and creamy yet firm with not a crack or speck of brown on the top !

    Sara’s Test Kitchen- Use a glass or a measuring cup to pack the crust in tightly to prevent it from crumbling. I think I got this tip from Deb from another cheesecake recipe. :)

  131. Karyn

    I really love all your recipes (though this one looks maybe too challenging for my basic cooking skills/ambitions) but is it wrong that I always scan for the baby picture first before I pay any attention to the actual recipe? That kid is adorable!

  132. Toni

    Gosh that looks wonderful. I love making cheesecakes and this is a definite do. May I say as an Oklahoman who is fortunate to travel to NYC a couple times a year, I have NEVER had a native New Yorker be rude to me – ever!

  133. Stefanie

    Looks scrumptious! Was away for my Mom’s 80th birthday (Thank goodness the
    siblings had the parties). I told her we’d have a celebration when I returned and
    this cheesecake will be the perfect dessert.
    Congratulations on being the winner in TWO catagories of the Saveur Best Food
    Blog Awards

  134. fluffs

    Deb, deb, deb… I love you. I love your site. I love your recipes and I love how divine this cheesecake looks; so much in fact that I rushed home from work 5 packs of philly cheese in hand, salivating at the thought of it! It’s sitting in my oven downstairs right now all puffy and golden and the whole house is filled with the most ridiculously gorgeous aroma ever. But… it cracked. Like majorly. I followed every little step, I really did :( Thing is I brought the temp down to 200, then came to check on it half an hour later only to find it totally cracktastic (word)- and the temperature still hadn’t come down to 200 but was hovering at say 350. How is it supposed to come down to 200 so quickly? Im guessing this is the source of my cracking problem? Made the topping with blueberries instead cos thats what I had in my freezer and its delish!

  135. Meaghan

    That cheesecake looks absolutely stunning. Stunning. And I didn’t think I would ever use the word “stunning” to refer to a picture of a piece of cake. I’m also absolutely addicted to your wonderful blog.

  136. Mindy

    I made this cake, but the center came out gooey. I’m kind of afraid I may have undercooked it. It was my first cheesecake, and I was not sure how wobbly the center should be? Should it make rings (kind of like the rings made by throwing a pebble in water)? Or waves? Or maybe I just didn’t chill long enough, I only had 3 hours to chill, instead of 6.

  137. wendy

    Hi Deb,

    I have been reading your blog for some years now and often make your recipes. However, sometimes I am unable to get all same ingredients as I live in Australia. Could you please tell me what ‘graham crackers’ are?

    1. deb

      wendy — You can use digestive biscuits.

      mindy — More like jiggle. You don’t want to see a suggestion of sloshy/splashiness under the surface when you tap it. More like loose Jell-O.

      fluff — Did the cracks form in the oven and disappear (or “heal”) as the cake cooled/when it deflated? Or were these cracks that developed as it cooled and kinda shrunk up? I got the former ones, but they were not visible in the end (even before the cherries); I’ve always thought that the latter ones were the ones that drive people bonkers.

  138. Erica

    I think, like you, that I am not as big of a cheesecake fan as I thought I was. However, I will continuously make them as both my boyfriend and my younger brother love it so much. And I like to please those males in my life.

    In that regard, I just showed this to my boyfriend and he said “ooooooooooooo” and now I know I’m going to have to make it because he knows the high regard I place in your website.

    But, I am glad that you made your own cherry topping! I do tend to think that canned filling is just not as good.

  139. Sunshine

    Just told the boss to bring in a bag of cherries tomorrow (from her tree, she freezes them). What’s the deal with the cracking obsession? Are cracks some kind of cheesecake faux pas? They never bothered me in the slightest.

  140. fluffs

    Deb, the cracks were of the former variety, they happened in the oven. Cooling actually seems to have helped as the cake has deflated and sort of come together a little if that makes sense? But honestly WHO CARES when it tastes this good? I just woke up now and cut myself a slice and wowza I have died and gone to cheesecake heaven. And I only have you to blame.

  141. Bunny

    Oh my god, Deb.
    That last photo with the smudge of the cherry topping is ridiculously gorgeous.

    Just a quick question- where exactly in the oven do i place the cake? In the middle? ‘Cause it’s so tall, I’m afraid the top part of the cake will brown very quickly. I think you should place it in the level which will make the entire cake kinda be in the middle, rather than just the bottom [which is not exposed to direct heat anyway] being in the middle, but i’m not sure.

    1. deb

      Bunny — The recipe suggests the middle of the oven. But you know your oven best, so if you think it might do better in another part (I often move my cakes around to avoid or encourage top-browning) definitely use your instincts.

  142. Lydia

    I have followed your blog for some time, but not commented. just wanted to let you know, my 75 year old mom and I escaped South Dakota to spend a week in the big city for our birthday. We found everyone to be wonderful! No snarky, pushy, or rude people in the Big Apple. Just enjoyable and helpful. I love New York!

    Oh, by the way, the cheesecake looks WONDERFUL. yum!

  143. Wow. Nobody would ever dare to use five packs of philadelphia for one cheesecake here in Europe – that is just gorgeous. Look how tall it is.
    Am I the only one here actually liking the cracks? It makes the topping go inside and ooze into the cake- sure that cannot be a bad thing, can it?

  144. jazmin

    Deb! here from Paraguay, south america, my problem with cheesecakes is that they end watery, will try this, (when I find philly creamcheese) love your blog, it is really fun to read and have awsome recipes (I am a fan of the homemade oreo cookies, make half with the white filling and half with dulce de leche) thanks! gracias!

  145. Riva

    My babies have become grown up cheesecake fans – Jacob might like to skip the cereal mush and go right to cheesecake.
    Cooks Illustrated has a good discussion on why cheesecakes crack. (They advocate high then low baking temp, and add a tiny bit of cream and sour cream, but that might be for taste, not cracking)
    I use a cross of the Bon Appetit 3/00 recipe with the CI method. I just made 4 beautiful crack-free cakes for my Dad’s 100th birthday party.
    You can move a fragile cake with a cake spatula – I bought one at Sur La Table, though it’s not on their website now. It’s about 8×10, and works really well.

  146. it seems like a lot to eat. i would worry that i wouldn’t be able to finish it. but then , after eating the entirety of this cake, I would only worry that i was able to finish it. such delightful sins.

  147. CJ

    Deb, I’ve spent untoward amounts of time over the last couple of days pondering how to best adapt this luscious recipe for our 2-person household. It reminds me of a favorite kind of cheesecake I’ve had in Germany, where a layer of morello cherries is placed *within* the cheesecake, just above the crust, as pictured here:

    And, like @Lydia (#240) and her mother, my daughter and I just enjoyed our annual spring-break get-away from the Midwest to Manhattan and, as usual, encountered friendly and helpful New Yorkers at every turn. Ate well, too!

  148. bettieblur

    I have never commented before, but I just love cheesecake, (I placed 2nd in a cheesecake competition last week!) and feel moved to offer my no cracking advice. :)

    1. Cornstarch, cornstarch, cornstarch. If a recipe calls for flour, sub corn starch, I don’t know why it works, but it does. If a recipe doesn’t call for either, I still add 1 tbsp of cornstarch every time.

    2. I use a Kitchenaid mixer, instead of beating by hand, and haven’t had cracking issues. Before I add the eggs, I mix the filling really, really well, scraping the bowl repeatedly. But once you start adding the eggs, on the lowest setting, mix it as little as possible. Mix just until mixed and then stop. Something about over beating the eggs can be a cause of cracks.

    In the end, you’ll have a beautiful, firm, crack free cheesecake!

  149. Wow – I have to go and buy fat jeans. I am shoing this to everyone at work, and they insist I make it, so I guess it’s going to happen. A little more ambitious that I normally attempt but I’m looking forward to dig in my heels and get to it. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the delicious picture!

  150. Alice Givan

    The best “cure” for cracked tops on the cheese cake is to realize that the cake tastes just the same whether or not the top is cracked. And a cracked top makes everyone realize that you made the cheese cake yourself. So, live with the cracks when they occur. No problem !

  151. Oh my gosh! I gotta make this. I’ve been for ever and ever planning on trying to make cheesecake but I never made one. Well that’s no wonder though, cheesecake has nothing to do with Hungary. But I think the time has come. Thanks for this recipe and the beautiful pics. Make me drool.

  152. Anna

    That looks delicious! I love cherry filling from a can though….guilty. I might be a convert after making this recipe.

  153. Rhema

    @ Half Assed Kitchen:

    Regarding your dairy restrictions, have you tried Tofutti better than cream cheese? I’ve made cheesecake recipes before by replacing the cream cheese with Tofutti. You can find it at any Whole Foods or well-stocked grocery store right next to the cream cheese.

    Hope this helps!

  154. Making this right now! I used 3 bricks or 1/3 less fat cheese and 2 regular. I’ve had good luck with lower fat cream cheese with other recipes, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Mine is browning quickly, but looks and smells amazing. And the cherry sauce? Ugh, so good. I used 2 – 14 oz bags of frozen sweet dark cherries. One bag just didn’t seem like enough since I really like the fruit topping, plus more is always better than less. I had just the right amount of crust to go almost to the top of the pan – no leftovers, so the perfect amount.

    This is for dessert tomorrow night. There’s only going to be 4 of us – think there will be enough? ;)

    Thanks for the recipe!

  155. mixette

    I went a serious cheescake binge a few years ago after meeting a friend at a then-newly-opened restaurant called Manny Hattan’s (I know: so dorky!). The slumbering beast has been awakened and I’m going to have to jump in with the rest of the “halfers” and convert this one to weights and bake away…

  156. CathyB

    I am in the process of making this lovely creation right now! My husband asked me why I was making it and I just replied”cause I can”. Ok all going well, popped it in at 550 about half way through the top of my crust burned so I popped the temp down quick. Its puffed and nice with 30min to go but I have cracks :( I just figure it will hold more of the filling. Can’t wait to taste!!!!

  157. Brian

    I make this cheesecake last night. Turned out very well. I had no cracking at all, but I’ve been a cheesecake maker for a while. I think next time I will skip the 550 degree initial baking and stick with the more traditional approach.

    One tip for those suffering cracked cheesecakes: Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin…eggs and cream cheese, etc. No cracks when you follow that rule.

  158. Ashley B

    Yup, made this last night. Looked delicious for my father in law’s 50th birthday.

    Then this morning before putting it in the fridge I promptly dropped it on the floor. Goodbye $40 worth of ingredients :( Oh well. Floor cheesecake, the parts not directly on the floor, tasted fantastic. Who doesn’t love floor cheesecake for breakfast?

  159. Kathy in Madison

    Ashley, you reminded me that I did the same thing last weekend with Deb’s buttermilk cake! I whipped it up quickly for friends, and dropped the whole pan on the floor as I pulled it from the oven. Talk about butter-fingers. I grabbed it quickly, though, and we still ate it. It detached from itself in an odd way, sort of slicing itself in half lengthwise. Looked funny, but still tasted good!

  160. Lauren

    Hi Deb – i just made this and browned the butter before adding it to the graham cracker crumbs. it tastes awesome. have you tried this? if not, you should. i also swapped out the cherry topping for ganache, omitted the zest, upped the vanilla, and sifted the sugar and flour together before adding to be sure no clumps of flour would linger.

    p.s. – love the site! this is the first place i come to when i’m fixin’ to make something new. also, keep the baby pictures coming, please!

  161. Kat

    Vanilla is listed in the ingredients, but the recipe directions omit it’s addition.
    This is in the oven now and looks/smells so good!

  162. Alex

    I’m from Tulsa, and my entire family found New Yorkers to be (admittedly, to our surprise) absolutely splendid people (some of the most helpful in the world, in fact)!

  163. Elaine

    I really am a good baker and this cheesecake looked delicious. I got all the ingredients, the only substitution I made was to use lemon and lime zest as I forgot the orange. My spring form pan is a nine inch. It is metal with a pebbly bottom. I dont’ think that should make a difference. I did not think I had quite enough crust so I did three extra crackers with the right amount of sugar. Make the filling, but mine did not go to the top of the pan or the top of the crust. It also did not puff as much as yours. Not over the top. My crust was exposed on the top so it started burning. I am just going to take it out of the oven. I hope it tastes good. I wish I knew what I did wrong.. I am sad…

    1. deb

      Hi Elaine — No worries. You know, I’m not sure mine was supposed to puff. It was not something I’d really wanted to happen, and I figured it had more to do with me messing up the baking process significantly (see note at the end) than an intended effect. Which explains the burning edges… thanks for the feedback. I’m going to give others a heads-up that they might want to keep the walls of the crust one inch shy of the top.

  164. Elaine

    Just reread my comment and it sounded kind of miserable!! The cake is out of the oven now and I am glad I made it.. I love all your posts and recipes. I am sure I did something, and it was not the recipe! Am making blueberry topping as that is what I have in the freezer.. Thanks

  165. caleal

    Ha! I had the same problem Elaine did. I think my pan is too big, though, and I just didn’t pay attention- that’s what you get when you see a recipe, get impulsive, and go and buy the things (pan included) at 11 at night. Neither my crust nor my filling came all the way up. But it still looks wonderful, so hopefully tomorrow when I can actually try it, it isn’t an issue.

    I’ve never commented before, but I want to say I simply love this site. This is the first time I’ve tried to make anything, but the directions and possible substitutions are always super clear. This is the first cheesecake I’ve ever, ever made, actually. So thanks for helping me out with that!!

  166. Elaine

    Had to pop back on here and say that after giving the dog (yes, the dog) her insulin shot at 6:30 this morning my next stop was the fridge where I had deposited the glorious looking cheesecake. Then, I could not stop myself. I cut it!! It had no cracks on it by the way. The most perfect looking cheesecake I have ever made. It tastes wonderful, but I should have left it in a bit longer. The center is a little soft. Ate it anyway!! I should have used my common sense when it came to the crust. Had I just left it as it was and poured the filling in, it would have been covered. But I HAD to make it go to the top of the pan. I ended up cutting off the burnt bit. I will make this again. OH, someone said it cost them $40 to make.. Wow! I figured it cost me $10 tops. I already had the pan and cream cheese is only 88 cents here in Idaho. I had the blueberriesin the freezer (I picked them last summer) and graham crackers were only $2. Fantastic dessert ! I do believe my pan is just a tall pan. It was my mother’s and is English..

  167. Whoa, my crust got WAY burned around the top! I cut the heat down after less than 10 minutes, hopefully only the top of the crust burned. Also, that temperature pretty much cleaned my oven ;)

  168. caleal

    My crust totally burnt, all over the outside of the edge. I almost cried when I took off the spring form part of the pan.

    And then I ate it, and I totally forgave it for burning. I just didn’t eat the edge crust. :)

  169. Baking Buddies

    Well It turned out beautifully except that we got impatient and grabbed some forks and dug in to one of the edges before it had finished cooling. Result: leaky cheesecake which had to be held up with a spoon. Sad days!

  170. Deb,

    Oh my goodness – delish!!!! Thank you for sharing what is sure to be a crowd pleaser at my next dinner party.
    I just wanted to quickly share with you that I have included this post on my weekly Cups of Tea with a mention and a direct link to your blog.
    Truly love your site – keep the amazing recipes coming. =)

  171. laurel

    I looked for a cheesecake recipe for Easter and I was told from an excellent cook to search your website. I found the Three Cities of Spain Cheesecake that you linked to on Epicurious. I made it with my husband and it was soooo good. It’s only a week since Easter and we have made two of these cheeseakes. I can’t wait to try this one out.

  172. Katherine

    Made this last night – browned the top but had no affect on taste. No cracking either. Like others my crust burned, particularly around the top but I just trimmed that off and it was fine, although the whole crust was darker than I’d envisioned. Mine did puff but then deflated upon cooling. The citrus taste was delicious in the cake. I used blueberries for the topping but preferred my piece just plain. I think watching my oven carefully will take care of the browning of the top and crust. Thanks Deb, this was awesome!!

  173. I think you may have just solved the issues I’ve been having with my New York cheesecake recipe (spongecake “crust”) that I have been attempting to recreate for a friend. Before I try again, though, I’m making this one. It looks delicious. Cherry cheesecake is my absolute favorite.

  174. Diane

    I did bake a New York Cheesecake last fall and was very scared that it would crack. I followed the recipe to a ” T ” and when I turned the oven off, I allowed the cake to FIRST – cool down in the oven with the door opened slightly, SECOND – the cake cooled down COMPLETELY with a very loose piece of Aluminum foil over it, (not to shock the cake when coming out of the oven) and THIRD – when the cake was cooled down completely, I refrigerated the cake for the day. NO CRACKS, nothing, the cake was perfect visually and especially in taste :)

  175. Despite the burned crust, and almost doubling the cooking time, this recipe worked perfectly! The crust really only burned on the very top, we just took off the burned bits before serving. Best of all, this is my first “real” cheesecake, and NO CRACKS! We didn’t even make the topping, it was beautiful on its own. Somehow, just like the real thing, it came out amazingly fluffy and just a little lemony. Thanks for the great recipe, I can’t afford to come to NY as often as I crave cheesecake :D

    1. deb

      Does anyone have a photo of their burnt crust? I didn’t get this on mine, so seeing how/where it’s happening will help inform me of why it’s happening and what I can suggest so that it doesn’t happen to others. Thank you.

  176. No pictures of the “burn”, but I made this recipe over the weekend, and it was awesome! The burning occurred at the top 1/4″ of the crust caused by (I believe) not enough filling (before baking). I got a little nervous when this part of the crust started smoking during the first 12 minute cycle, and turned down the heat to 200 after 7 minutes. The final product only had one small crack, and I broke off the burnt parts of crust (and ate them) before spreading the topping. Next time I’ll follow the recipe more closely (“springform pan will be completely full”) or make a little extra filling to fill to the rim, or break off the extra rim of crust before baking.
    Keep up the great work, and thanks Deb!

  177. I made this cheesecake this weekend with a few changes…. and it might have been one of the best cheesecakes I have ever made… I had the recipe from gourmet mag as well (just another reason to be sad its gone) but you inspired me to make it… thank you. I only had one small crack but its because I kept opening the oven to check if it was burning at 500 … next time ill just trust my self.

  178. Katherine

    I think that the burning of the (my) crust was definitely due to the filling being below the top of the crust. I can’t speak to the sides for anybody else, I just assumed I should turn my oven down sooner. I don’t know if this would contribute but this was my first time using a graham cracker crust and I don’t know that it was evenly spread out in the springform pan -well I know it wasn’t b/c some parts were really thick (where the bottom and sides meet) and some parts were really thin (on the side and on the bottom). The cake is about to get polished off tonight but if I can snap some pics that highlight what I’m talking about, I will. Regardless of the cosmetic appearance, this cake is absolutely delicious and I’m already thinking about making it again!

    1. deb

      Thanks for the feedback. I’m pretty sure the solution will be to bring the crust only up to one inch short of the top of the sides. I’ll wait for a couple other comments to trickle in but that definitely sounds like what’s happening. Sorry you guys had to be the guinea pigs but of course, at least the cakes were still delicious, right?

  179. Completely delicious! The crust below the filling line was absolutely fine (actually the best texture I’ve ever had in a cheesecake crust), it only burned at the very very top of the crust. I may just wrap the top in a little bit of foil next time..

  180. LGrant

    I used to swear by Philly Cream Cheese because I read most store brands have water in them and it certainly seemed that the cheaper brands didn’t work as well. I have found, since, that both Trader Joe’s Cream Cheese and Whole Foods Cream Cheese works as well if not better (in my opinion) and are half what Philly can cost unless you find it at a good price. This cheesecake looks amazing. I’d probably err with the temperature too because I don’t tend to like browned tops or drier cheesecakes and go for a more creamy one but I’ll stick with the recipe when I try it. Is there a trick to keeping the crumbs on the sides? I’ve tried before to get high sides and they don’t seem to stay put. I do like the freezer idea. I’ve done that and I’ve baked them for 10-15 minutes as well. Both seem to work. Thanks for another great recipe!!

  181. I love cheesecake…well a good cheesecake. I hate when people tell me they are giving me cheesecake and it turns out to be the kind you can make from a box. Now I enjoy those, but they aren’t Cheesecake. And yes, you are very brave to make a cheesecake, they are so tricky. But when you make a good one, my oh my, it is so worth it. I can’t wait to try this one out. Thanks!

  182. abi

    ohhhh…. :) now i am craving pies and
    cheese cake in particular… <3
    i usually dont crave sweet things…
    but your cakes look sooo amazing XD
    i wish i had the enough skill to make them :'(
    i am going to practice. thank you so much. xx

  183. Sandra

    Gorgeous photos as always! Just wanted to add that using arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch for fruit toppings is a good way to go. It makes them super shiny in addition to thickening them! I underestimated the loveliness of arrowroot starch until I tried it this past holiday season, now I’m huge fan. It’s worth it; I got it from Penzeys. You probably don’t need as much either, perhaps 2 tsp, instead of 1 TBSP. Cheers!

  184. Sandra

    Oh another thought… with the temperature… I usually do my cheesecakes at 350 degrees for an hour… then cut the heat WITHOUT opening the oven door and let it cool in the oven for another hour… plus at least an hour on the counter before it heads to the fridge. Time consuming? Yes. Cracks from cooling? Definitely not. The catch? My cheesecakes are usually only 3/4 as tall as this one.

  185. Do you think this cake (or cheesecake in general) would freeze well? I know you are the goddess of the empty freezer, but for me it is always super-helpful to know what I can make in advance and hide in the freezer.

    1. deb

      Sara — Ha! Empty freezer goddess… not with all of those baby food cubes vying for space these days! I do think it would freeze well because I ran out of fridge space and threw a slice in there and we did not wait for it to defrost when we discovered it. Yum.

  186. I gave this recipe a shot on Saturday and the taste of eggs was really strong and the cheesecake was not quite sweet enough – any suggestions on how to tone down the egg taste?

    1. deb

      Eran — Yes on the 200 degrees. Philadelphia is anywhere from $2 to $3 a pack (though if you live outside the city it goes on sale all of the time for less than $2, I understand). At your steep prices, you might try halving it? It won’t be as tall, but you’ll definitely get to enjoy the flavor. Another idea, which of course is a totally different recipe; previous to this towering one, this recipe was my go-to cheesecake. It’s perfect every time, and only uses 3 packs.

  187. Susan

    I tried this recipe and it turned out amazing. Mine didn’t puff up much during the cooking process but as soon as I brought it out of the oven a massive crack opened up. Good thing you can cover up that crack with delicious topping! I did not use a cherry topping, instead I used blackberries. It reminded me of blackberry cobbler but with graham crackers and cheese. I recommend trying it with blackberry next time!

  188. cheyenne

    I accidentally left out almost half the sugar (I added 1 c, then left my 3/4 c I had measured out on the counter!), but my cheesecake came out fine anyway. I even used all the zest from my orange and lemon, so I was especially worried about how it would work out.

    Anyway, if anyone was wondering if they could cut back on the sugar in this recipe (not that the sugar really seemed excessive), my experience says yes.

  189. ditis

    322 comments! but no wonder… Even though ALL your posts are mouthwatering, this one had a something extra to it. So I finally got the time to bake, and being a cheesecake addict, and having allways loved NY-style cheesecake, it was easy to decide what to do next. Yes, I thought of this cake almost daily.

    I followed the instructions (including the 550°), except I used corn starch instead of flour and reduced the amount of sugarby 1/4, and have concluded the following:

    Initial temperature is indeed too high if you have a new-ish oven with rather good isolation and where 550° are 550°. Although the filling did cover the crust, and I did intently watch the cake and dutily turned down the heat to 200° BEFORE it started to brown, I got a burned top (and not only the crust, it went about ) and the bottom edge. Next time I’ll follow your mistakes, Deb, and start at 400°. Two tiny cakes baked wonderfully when placed in the oven just when I turned the temperature down. Of course, my oven being such an “efficient” one, the temperature took ages to fall, so after 40 minutes it was still over 300°…

    But no matter, I do like the toasted taste of, let’s say, dark caramel, so I wasn’t particularly worried. I turned off the oven after 45 minutes, when the center of the cake was still slightly wobbly, and left it in the cooling oven for another half hour or so. The two little cakes were removed after about 30 minutes in the oven, no burns, no cracks, nicely puffed up. The cake didn’t crack at all (I think letting it cool down slowly helps) and after a night in the fridge and a cover of fresh rhubarb compote I must say it is delicious. I didn’t even bother removing the burnt rims (one on top the other one down at the bottom). The cake was also intended for an expat Eastcoaster who was planning to visit today but (mouthwatering gasp!) got stranded in the UK by the volcanic ash. My husband also got stranded, so I have a date tonight with the no-longer-whole diva all by myself! Didn’t even think of inviting people over! Maybe I should…

    What I also learned is that for those living in Switzerland there is a great and unexpensive alternative to Philly: Migros Budget Frischkäse. I had never tasted it before yesterday, now it already belongs to my staple.

    Oh, and this is one of the easiest cheesecakes ever. All plusses around it. Thank you. Keep it up.

  190. I made this exactly how how spelled it out. It is my first attempt at a REAL cheesecake and it came out PERFECTLY!! I had a little extra filling so I poured into a few ramekins so my son (who manned the mixer) and I could sample right away and they were good too just plain.

    Thanks so much for the great recipes and lovely site.

  191. Trisha

    I made this for my birthday last weekend, and it was a hit! Mine also burned on the top and around the top edges, but nobody seemed to mind. I don’t think I’ll cook it at such a high temperature next time around. I really loved the cherry topping- so much better than canned pie filling! The other dessert I made was your caramel cake- SO good! By the end of the night there was one tiny piece left. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  192. Erin

    I am doing a test right now for my son’s 1st birthday next month. I think it will be the perfect first dessert! I am curious how it will turn out because I guess my pan is really huge because neither the crust or the filling came anywhere near the top of the pan. Also I don’t think it “puffed up” very much. But after close to 20 minutes at 550, I went ahead and turned it down. New apartment (to me) so maybe the often temp. is not too accurate. I have no way of knowing at this point. No worries since this is my dry run, I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I just need to figure out what to do with all this cheese cake!

  193. Stacia

    Hey Deb. I love your site and have made many of your recipes with never a problem. However, I made this one and had nothing but! I’m sure it is just because I have never made cheesecake before but I thought I would tell you what happened and see if you have any ideas what went wrong. I did everything exactly as it said but I hand mixed instead of using a blender. The cake did not puff at all so I waited probably too long before turning it down. I think that is why my crust burnt. It did crack, no big deal. The main problem was that it tasted like egg. A lot. Could I have not mixed enough? Also, will it always puff up like that? I can’t figure out what I did wrong :(

  194. Deanna

    This is such a great recipe! i just made it for my mothers birthday, and she loved it! it turned out so rich and fluffy, and didn’t even crack! i used the glaze recipe too, but instead of cherries i used strawberries, and i added some strawberry extract instead of vanilla in the cheesecake too and it gave it such a good kick. my only problem was that i used a basic crust recipe, gram, brown sugar and butter, and the edges and sides got a bit burnt. i think its from the high temperature of the oven [oh and btw my oven only goes to 500 and that worked out fine too] or has anyone else experienced burnt edges? but in all, this was SOO good!! thanks a bunch!

  195. bethany

    this was a great tasting recipe but my cheesecake didn’t set up in the middle. do you think it’s because I used trader joe’s cream cheese instead of philadelphia?

    1. deb

      Bethany — I haven’t baked with Trader Joe’s so I cannot say. Does it seem softer or more watery? Almost all cheesecake recipes are tested using Philadelphia. It’s just one of those standards…

  196. I made this yesterday, with a few differences. It was not very towering, because instead of one deep 9-inch cheesecake (I covet your pan, by the way) I made one slightly less deep 8-inch cheesecake and 12 cheesecake cupcakes. The cupcake versions cracked and sank, but they were a pale creamy yellow (I baked them at 550º for about six minutes, then 20 or so minutes at 200º). The 8-inch cheesecake rose into a smoothly rounded flat dome, turned a deep golden brown – I caught it just before it started to burn – and then cracked around the perimeter.

    Also, instead of making a cherry topping, I simply tossed some sliced strawberries with balsamic vinegar and a touch of sugar.

    I’ll definitely make this again.

  197. Julie Anne

    I’m a little late to the party, but had to comment. I made this cake on Saturday night for a Sunday night birthday party. Today is Monday and my family members called to tell me they ate their left over/take home pieces for breakfast. It truly was better still today. My Mother called to say it was the best cheesecake she’s ever eaten. She said she was so proud of me! I’m 54 years old . . . now that’s saying something!

    I also have a new oven and at 550 degrees . . . and not being vigilant about checking during those first 12 minutes, my cake was very dark and burned around the edges. I was worried like everyone else. But like the others, I simply cut away the burnt bits and the yummy cherry filling covered the darkish top of the cake anyway. The crust was definitely well cooked, and difficult to make nice clean slices like you have pictured, Deb, so I think next time I’ll bring the initial temp down to 500 and watch it like a hawk. My cake was also a little soft in the middle, but no matter. I don’t care much for citrus flavored desserts, so I omitted the zest and added more vanilla . . . like a heaping tablespoon running off the measuring spoon amount of vanilla. By far, this was the best and easiest cheesecake I’ve ever made. Thanks for sharing . . . look forward to reading your site each week. Question tho . . . do you have some trick for making the bottom of that springform pan not slide all over the place when you’re trying to cut slices? I had a terrible time with that, which I know contributed to my sloppy pieces. Thanks again!

  198. omg I made this friday night at like 12am as a last minute dessert for a dinner saturday night and it was so beyond delicious and easy to do! My friends were laughing at me when I came home clutching an arm full of cream cheese and graham crackers at almost midnight but it was so worth it I will definitely make it again. The only thing is that my crust was very hard I’m not sure if it was due to cooking time or maybe I will jsut cut some of the butter out next time? any thoughts?

    1. deb

      Lisa — It may have had to do with the kinds of cookies you used — did you use standard old grahams or something else? The grind may affect it as well.

  199. Pegs

    I made this last night, and of course I didn’t read through the comment about making the graham crust one inch from the top. My crust burnt and the top of the cake cracked. I’m going to make a strawberry topping to cover up those cracks today! ;)
    Deb, I love all your recipes and pics!

  200. I had decided to not do any more big dessert projects this month. Budgetary and too much work at work issues, you know? Now with this… You have me caving in. I am going to do this and report back to see how it went.

  201. Wow! I am a cheesecake fanatic! I would really like to eat some, right now. Damn beautiful pictures. I can’t wait to make it. I hope it turns out well for me. I love baking, but things don’t always turn out well for me. Wish me luck. Love your blog!

  202. cait

    Deb – I just made this last night, and oh my goodness, this is the best cheesecake I’ve ever – and I mean *ever* – eaten. It was also my inaugural cheesecake, and I was amazed at how easy it was to make! I brought half of it to work today, and it was literally gone in a matter of minutes.

    I have to agree with the women who said to leave the cakes in the oven and crack the door to allow them to cool, to avoid cracks from forming on the top.

    DC <3s your website (and your cheesecake!)

  203. Pat Junko

    I made this cheesecake and it was the best and most beautiful one I’ve ever made. This is now my go-to recipe for cheesecake. I did cringe at the 550-degree oven so used only 450 for 12. One question: Is there any danger of bacteria in eggs not being killed with the low temp, (200F) baking? Thanks, Deb, for a great site and a great recipe.

    1. deb

      Hi Pat — No. Just because it is cooked at a lower temperature doesn’t mean it doesn’t get cooked — it just takes longer. All that matters is that the cheesecake is set.

  204. Lisa

    Cheesecake perfection. Yes, it is a lot like the Hens’. I modified slightly (double the lemon zest and no orange, 6 whole eggs and only one yolk, reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup, and no fruity topping). I baked it for 10 minutes at 525 to achieve a gorgeously even brown top, then baked at 200 for the remainder. No burnt crust. No cracks. I also beat the heck out of the filling so that it puffed beautifully like a souffle and remained very light and airy rather than dense and heavy inside. Also, Costco sells 48 oz. blocks of Philly for only $6. Oh, it is the cheesecake of my dreams…no turning back after making this! The only problem is that it is beyond addictive:)

  205. Nadia

    I don’t think my pathetic oven could ever get to 500F but this cheesecake still looks worth a try. I don’t like cheesecakes at all myself but I have friends who do and I’d love to make this for them. I tried making the Magnolia Bakery almond and heath bar cheesecake and was pretty disappointed with the result.

  206. Angela

    I used this recipe to make my VERY FIRST CHEESECAKE EVER for a party and it received rave reviews. I was informed that it will be required at all potlucks from now on. I did let the top get too brown so trimmed it and put a chocolate glaze on it. I made the cherry topping but served it on the side instead; I used bottle lemon juice and that was a mistake. It was still good but I could tell. This was the only dessert that was completely polished off by the end of the night!

  207. Shelly

    I am definitely going to have to make this. I have been craving a creamy dessert with fruit, but nothing I’ve tried has done it for me. I have a feeling that this one will. Oh, and I LOVE homemade fruit compote. Nice replacement for the canned stuff.

  208. Louisa

    I baked this last night for a friend’s birthday today. It worked beautifully and made a delicious cheesecake with a very rich, but delicate flavor. Everyone raved about it.

    I did have an issue with the cherry topping. I used unsweetened, frozen cherries, and followed the recipe (including using fresh squeezed lemon juice) and it tasted like pie filling – overly sweet and bland, completely lacking in complexity. I’ve used the same brand of frozen cherries in other applications and always enjoyed them, so I’m not sure where I went wrong. I ended up adding more cherries and more lemon juice, then lemon and orange zest, and then lime juice. (Next time I’ll just start with less sugar and see if I can avoid all my insanity.) I did however finally end up with a lovely cherry flavor, just sweet enough, with hints of citrus for complexity.

    Every recipe I’ve tried off your website has been a winner, and this one was no exception. Thank you!

  209. Mandy

    Mmm… Made this with a friend this past weekend and it was incredible! We ‘borked’ the baking a bit too – started at 500F (the highest the oven would go, but lowered to 200F when we saw the top was browning too quickly. Baked it another hour at 200 but then raised it to 350 when it was still really wobbly. It took another 15 minutes after that, and the top looked overly browned. But it was hidden with the cherries, and the taste was still awesome.

    @Louisa, above – Regarding the cherry topping – I used 16 oz bag of frozen sweet cherries (rather than 10 oz), and only added half the sugar called for in the recipe. I also used just a tad more lemon juice. It ended up being the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. I bet if you dialed down the sugar, it would taste less like the canned stuff.

    Thanks for the recipe Deb!

  210. Terry B

    I can not find frozen cherries of any kind in northwest CT. We haven’t any Trader Joes of Whole foods near by, any ideas I wanted to make this for mother’s day.

  211. deb

    You can use any kind of berry that is available to you — maybe strawberries this time of year? You’ll barely need any sugar.

  212. I am planning on making this cheesecake next week, but I have a question. You say it can be made 2 weeks ahead. Will the crust get soggy if it sits for a week? If I can is it better to make it closer to serving it? I am very excited about it and want to make sure it is as tasty as can be. I am using my last bag of sour cherries frozen from last summer for the topping. Thanks

  213. Terry B

    I went with frozen mixed berries flavored with a few tablespoons of port wine, I really feel in love with that dark juice in your photos. I also made carmel sauce for my son the non fruit eater and served both on the side A big hit.
    Baking Drama: Set my oven for 500 and checked it with a oven thermometer about 6 minutes in it started to brown a lot around the edge, turned it down still browning too fast, made a quick foil collar and opened the door to cool it off faster, and hour later it was still liquid finally, at the hour and half mark I turned it up to 250 for about 20 minutes then using an instant read thermometer I took it out at when the internal temp reached 160. I have to rethink the baking method there has to be a way for it to work the way it is written.
    After all that it came out perfect, flat and browned nicely on top, no cracks, crust not burned.
    I even got it off the bottom of the spring form pan using parchment on the bottom.

  214. Shelly

    Okay, so I did make the NY Cheesecake. OMG! Best cheesecake I’ve ever had! It turned out so creamy and heavenly with that little hint of citrus. Just what I had been craving.

  215. Alison

    I tried to make this last night. I baked it at 550 for 12 minutes and 200 for right around 1 hour and it was burnt. I don’t know if my oven temp is too high or what. In the past, I’ve tended to think it was actually on the low side. The center of the cheesecake is fine, but the outer crust and top are burnt. Not sure if I can save this one before book club, but here’s hoping.

  216. Krahe

    I’ve made this twice now. Twice in two days, to be exact. My husband’s friend is coming in to town, and I owed him a cheesecake. Well, I made this on Saturday, and his friends comes in today, Monday. My husband decided that the top was “a little too brown”, to offer to his friend. He figured he needed to taste it, first. To ‘see if it was good enough’. Well, he managed to eat just over a QUARTER of the cheesecake, HIMSELF, in one night. ONE NIGHT. Oh, was he ever sick last night. :D I told him not to do it. So, with that much cheesecake missing, I had to remake it, so his friend could take it today, and run off with it. That’s the only way he’ll get some to himself.

    Terrific recipe. I up the vanilla, to about 1 and 1/2 tsp, I used Vanilla Wafers for the crust, and added some cinnamon to the crust, and cut the lemon zest to 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Odd note, My crust crystallized. Oh yes. I don’t know if it was the butter-sugar mixture, and the high temperature. I don’t know if I used a bit much butter.

    Also, my oven DID rather brown the top at 550 degrees, so I started it off at 450 today, cooked it for 15 minutes, and then dropped the temp to 250 for an hour.

  217. Krahe

    Sooo… my oven borked. It did a total, complete, awful, borking. My oven didn’t change the temperature from 450 to 250. It STAYED at 450. I noticed, 29 minutes into the baking. I gasped. Died. Ripped the cheesecake out of the oven. I let it cool for a few hours, trimmed off the ENTIRE BURNT TOP, I cursed my oven. I wrapped it in tin foil, and stuffed it in the fridge. I made the fruit topping, only I used strawberries.

  218. Nadia

    I made this yesterday, and must have had the oven on too high (I have a wonky gas oven with no thermometer) as the cake cooked quickly, even though I reduced the heat after the edges got a bit burnt. But I did make 3/5ths of the cake amount, with your pan size, so that must also explain the shorter cooking time. I found the cheese part a bit too rubbery for my liking, so I think an even lower heat would have worked better. I skipped the sugar in the crust part too, as I’m (over) sensitive about excess sugar in cakes, especially cheesecakes, and was very glad I did that. And since I couldn’t find frozen cherries, I experimented with both cherry pie filling and good quality cherry preserves for the topping. The pie filling was gross — I can totally see why you made your own topping. The cherry preserves were terrific. This is a lovely cake, but I need to work on making the cheese a bit softer and less rubbery next time. You’re also so right about the zest — it can dominate and take over if I’m not careful.

  219. hannah

    This cake is resilient! I experienced similar baking drama–which included me thinking it was done, leaving for an hour, then coming home to find a still-wobbly center–but I returned it to the oven and it STILL ended up being the star of my cousin’s wedding shower. If I hadn’t read about your baking issues I probably would have just dumped it and started over. Thanks!!!

  220. Vanessa

    Ugh, I had a total, unmitigated baking disaster here. I don’t know if it’s because my oven is way hot or what, but the high-temp bake at the beginning burnt the crust to a black crisp within a matter of 2-3 minutes. I then turned the oven down to 200, hoping to salvage part of the cake, but the top of the cake very quickly became a dark, unappetizing brown. I am about to try again, baking it around 325, which is what I see you’ve used for other cheesecakes. Maybe it’s because I have a gas oven? Anyway, your site is great in general, I’ve successfully made tons of things from here.

  221. BJ

    Hi, all!
    FYI–I bake a similar cake for 10 minutes at 475, an hour at 200, and then a final hour with the oven off. Keeping the oven door shut the *entire* time (no peeksies whatsoever!) keeps the oven temp and air pressure steady, preventing drama-inducing troubles like cracks, falls, and unevenly-baked spots. Hope this helps!

  222. I tried this recipe 2 weeks ago, it turned out wonderful! Thank you, this was my first cheesecake and I had a bit of anxiety about the whole process! Especially because I am at high altitude, but all turned out as expected.

  223. Lizzie

    I think I really messed up this one – but I can’t figure out how! Its still in the oven, but its already very brown on the top and my crust has started to burn (which I’m not too worried about b/c I can cut the burnt pieces off. But there is also a big crack on the side. Started the over at 550 turned it down to 200 at 10 mins because it started browning. It still has about 35 mins left to go, but I might need to pull it out sooner. It’s already a deep wood color. But at least the cherry topping will cover the imperfections, so as long as the taste is amazing, no one will know! Thanks for the recipe, I love so many of your recipes.

  224. Sarah

    I was totally thrilled to have a chance to make this cheesecake for my love’s upcoming birthday — until she informed me that her *ABSOLUTE FAVORITE* is key lime cheesecake. But I love the height on this, and want to make something really stunning and dramatic. I’ve done a side by side comparison of the keylime/mango cheesecake with this one, and am a bit baffled how to go about it — while I’d like it to be so simple, I’m almost certain the addition of 1.5 cups of lime juice to this recipe will result in an unmitigated disaster. Any suggestions for appropriate modification?

  225. Hi Deb, I was just studying this recipe again and eeeppp! My oven only goes to a max of 240 Celcius. Should I still give it a try or do anything differently??

  226. Mary

    I just made this for the bible study I attend on Wednesday nights. It turned out great! the graham cracker crust was AMAZING! the crust is normally my least favorite part of a cheesecake but THIS. Was. GOOD.
    Two people said ” You can bring this every week! ” :)
    Only one little piece left!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  227. Meredith

    I just made this for my husband’s birthday– he is a cheesecake connoisseur and says that this is now the ONLY cheesecake he wants to eat! I followed the recipe EXACTLY and it came out perfect (cracked a little, but the deliciousness far outweighed any cosmetic imperfections.) Though I do a lot of baking, I’m usually afraid of making cheesecake– but this recipe was pretty easy and turned out an excellent cake!

  228. SC

    My oven didn’t go up to 550. It stopped at 500, so I did that for about 14 min before stopping down to 200 for an hour. Worked perfectly. No cracks whatsoever.

  229. @ Vanessa – I had a similar problem with a gas oven, stopped at 500 so I had to guess at somewhere in between there and broil, and I noticed some serious browning after about 4 minutes. I lightly tented the cake in foil and did about 4 more minutes at just 500, then reduced to 200 and took the tent off after about 20 minutes.

  230. Leah

    Oh my dear lord that was delicious! Thanks for making me look so good in front of my friends on the 4th.

    I made mine with a fresh-picked strawberry/blueberry combo topping and an entire vanilla bean instead of extract. (The only way to go in my opinion) Also, I used the uber cheapskate cream cheese that was on super sale and it still tasted and looked great.

  231. Kim

    I don’t know if i’m doing it right but when i mixed the ingredients for the crust, the mixture was extremely wet. I just need to clarify, you mix the 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 cup of crackers (8 ounces) and 1 stick of butter right? Because i did that and it was REALLY wet.

    1. deb

      You might have been thinking of 8 liquid ounces, which would be one cup. This was 8 ounces, weight, or half a pound. That definitely would have caused the problem.

  232. Erica

    I finally got around to making this and…shame on me for trying to make my first cheesecake in my new apartment with an oven I’ve never used… without an oven thermometer (I lent it to someone and they broke it–how do you break an oven thermometer?) As it turns out, I have one those ovens that “top-browns very quickly”. I am so lucky that my boyfriend truly enjoys the taste of things that are almost burned.

  233. Hilary

    I had the opposite of Erica. Mine was undercooked.

    I used a slightly smaller pan (an 8.5″) and cooked it exactly as the recipe called. I wish I had cooked a tad longer. Thing is, when I checked it, the middle wiggled a tad, and I thought it looked perfect. How sad when I cut into it for my dad’s birthday and the center was like a mousse.

    The cooked part, crust, and everything else, however, was wonderful! Truly great recipe.

  234. Bekah

    Just made this yesterday and didn’t have a problem with the top browning but my crust began to burn so I turned the oven down earlier than planned. Once I removed the ring (today) I was able to knock the brunt pieces off but I was bit nervous that the whole crust was going to be burnt. Definitely think I could have extended the crust up a bit closer to the top…the recipe said 1 inch but the pictures make it seem a bit closer to 1/3 of an inch which I would recommend.

  235. caitlin

    I’m working with an extremely accurate oven and this recipe FLOPPED. First of all my oven only heats to 525 and even 12 minutes in 525 completely burned the crust and top of my cake. Then, after turning it down to 200 it only cooked 25 minutes before it was completely done. The cook times and oven temperature were COMPLETELY off. I was disappointed and wasted a bunch of ingredients! I’m also pregnant and tired and couldn’t work up the energy to try again. BUT alas, every other recipe I’ve tried from your site has been wonderful so I will stick by guns and stay a smitten kitchen fan :)

  236. Erica

    I actually made this cheesecake for my eighth grade class and they loved it! You inspire me deb and everything that i have made so far from your blog has turned out amazing! Quick question, after the intense 12 minutes of 550 degree weather in my oven, the top of the cheesecake got a little brown. So, i cut off the thin layer of brownness,after that it looked fine. was it okay to cut it off?

  237. kelly

    best. cheesecake. ever. I made this yesterday for a birthday party tonight. The top didn’t brown at 550 degrees, but about 10 minutes into the 200 degree period i started smelling it. The top was a beautiful light brown. I covered it with foil and continued cooking. Unfortunately, the crust burned all the way around, but not on the bottom. I just held a knife horizontally and scraped off the very outer layer. It still left plenty of crust. I decided not to trim the top because it was so beautiful. Not a single crack. Of course, I had to cut it because I was a little leery of the cooking times. Oh my. So the cake for tonight’s party is short one teeny tiny piece. I’m sure no one will notice!

  238. Monsieur K

    Can’t wait to make this… Just wondering though (and apologies if this has already been questioned) do I set my oven to use the fan or without? Also, as I’m in Australia and we go by metric measurements, I just wanted to double-check that I should be using 225grams (8 ounces) cream-cheese. BIG THANKS!!

  239. Maria

    Deb, I tried to make this recipe last night but was met by an unexpected obstacle: toxic fumes rising from my Teflon-coated springform pan! I had set the oven to 500 but the thermometer was north of 550, almost 600, and a horrible smell was emanating from it. My eyes were tearing as I tried to get the pan out of the oven, and *everyone* in the house had a headache.

    I’m sure that lots of people use nonstick pans, so I strongly suggest either an upfront caveat about that, or finding a way to do this with different temperature settings.

  240. hans

    I made this over the weekend – GREAT RECIPE

    a) my stove doesn’t go to 550° – so I baked at 500° for 20 minutes, dropped it to 200° for about 45 min/hour until it firmed up a little and then increased heat to 300 for the last run until it was fairly firm – with a hint of “jiggle”. Came out with only one tiny crack in it and was amazing!

    b) I swapped out the graham crackers with chocolate graham crackers. served with fresh rasberries and drizzled chocolate syrup over it.

    Thanks for posting this!

  241. Made this last weekend as a birthday present to myself complete with cherry topping (though was on the verge of trying to make a strawberry topping, but am not quite at the point where I can “mess with” other people’s recipes yet) and apart from a couple of oven mishaps it was fantastic! Thank you for a lovely and relatively easy recipe! Already posted it to my friends’ delight (with credit where it’s due, of course!)
    Now all I have to do is to figure out how to make my pictures look as fantastic as yours…

  242. i love, love, love this website and all your recipes. you are awesome. ?

    every once in a while i try a recipe, when i get a little time during my medicine-studies, but i try to cut it down in calories, so i dont have to have a bad conscience.

    for my dads birthday i came down from college and right now there is this cake in my mom’s oven. luckily, the oven didn’t burn down the whole kitchen, as i had thought for a couple of minutes.
    the story started like this: after only six (!!) minutes (of not watching the oven) at a temperature of 550°F, the white baking sheet (to prevent the thing from dripping) had turned black, just like the edges of the crust. they were black as heck. bad smelling fume was filling the kitchen, my mom yelling “it smells sort of burned” from one story of the house higher. i pulled the thing out of the oven, super paniking that the smoke detectors in the den would go off.
    i tried to remove the black edges (that were a little too high) cause the taste ruins the entire cake. a smaller part of the crust is black as well, the rest is still pale.

    this was 20 minutes ago and now its still hanging in there at 300°F. i won’t try another temperature experiment.

    maybe german ovens go crazy with high temperatures like that – so i definetely do not recommend ever turning up the oven that high!

    i still wonder what in the world went wrong, when you other people all were super successful with this method of almost-burning down the entire neighborhood?!

  243. I made this for my mom’s birthday and oh man, it was fantabulous. She said it was one of the best cakes I’ve ever made, and I’ve made a lot of them. Thanks, Deb.

  244. Bea in Rome

    Made this yesterday for my kids’ second birthday and it was delicious, It was my first cheesecake ever (I am italian and we don’t do cheesecakes over here, but ricotta pies wich are entirely a different thing).
    Thanks Deb! I am not a cake person, not good at them, never do them, but it was a huge succes despite an uncollaborative oven.

  245. I’m happy to report that I FINALLY gave this recipe a go for my boyfriend’s birthday despite the lot of horror stories going with reviewers burning their cakes down and what not.

    I baked mine at 240 C (highest possible setting) for 10 minutes then 90 C for 1 hour 20 minutes. No burns and no cracks but came out a little underdone in the center. I will make this again and change it to 230 C for 15 minutes then 100 C for 1 hour 30 minutes and see the difference. I’m using an electical convection oven (fan on) in case anyone else out there is curious.

    Topped mine with a chocolate coffee glaze adapted from your dulce de leche cheesecake square recipe and it is del-i-cious! Can’t wait to make it again.

  246. Abby

    Thank you soooo much for this recipe!!!! I wanted something different for my 21st birthday, and I have been craving cheesecake ALL summer. So my sister was so sweet and made it for me. We made a strawberry sauce instead of cherries and I loved it! Oh my GOODNESS! It was amazing!!!!!
    It took way longer than an hour to cook and the middle was still a really thick pudding like consistency, but it was WAY worth it, we ate it and will definitely be making it again:)

  247. Tiffany, UK


    I’ve been by friends that “this is literally the best cheesecake in the world”! I even caused an argument between a boyfriend and girlfriend when he accidentally said mine was better than his girlfriend’s!!!!!!

    This is a total legend and I am always asked to make this cheesecake for friend’s parties and I’m about to make mini versions with different flavours for mini Christmas presents.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH and keep up the good work!

  248. Smithie

    I’d like to make this recipe but not nearly as tall (sorry). I’m a native NYer currently based in China with only a small electric convection oven to work with (i’ve made layer cakes, one layer at a time). Can anybody chime in with modified cooking times for a shorter cheesecake, using say, 3-4 blocks of cream cheese?

    Thanks in advance!

  249. Rene

    I made this for Christmas because I was looking for something new to make for my dad. This cheesecake was fantastic..thank you so much for this recipe!

  250. Mamanita

    This was really cute and perky , but a waste of time and effort and money for me. Too little butter in the crumb crust = major tsuris
    It was dry, dry, dry.
    I live in Paris, I’ve been making cheesecakes since before you were born, probably (1973)
    It’s in the oven now – after all the problems with the crust evidently I wasn’t going to listen to any more mishegoss about a 550°F oven, so I just followed my instincts.
    orange zest

    Thanks – the illustrations are beautiful, and if the cake is cracked, I’ll just cover it up with sour cream.

  251. nora

    that cheesecake looks amazing … so i made it to day but unfortunately the top was burnt even though i baked it on 550° for onley 8 minutes and turnd it down to 200 it was only puffed with golden edges after 10 minutes it looked like a chocolate cake! … does anyone have any tips for me?

    thanks <3

  252. nora

    after chilling it i tasted it and it was unbelievably delicious … the only thing aside from the burnt part was the crust … i couldn’t find graham cracker so i used digestive biscuit it was’t easy to spread it evenly and my crust was thick on the edges but it was delicious anyway … so waht do advise me to do regarding the burn problem and the crust problem?


    i love your site by the way … your talented

  253. deb

    Folks who are reporting that the tops of their cakes get burned, please please “watch your cake because some ovens will top-brown very quickly and if yours does too fast, turn the oven down as soon as you catch it.” as I suggest in the recipe. I know that 550 is a very high temperature, and that most folks don’t have calibrated ovens and/or oven thermometers at home so it’s very likely that an oven might be running hotter. Or, is just a more powerful oven than my dinky one at home. Watch, watch, watch at first, and no cakes will end up burnt.

  254. Rissa

    Hi Deb, I just want to know more or less how many hours you have to cook the cheesecake? in your experience? Thanks. I really love your website. I’m so amazed. I am so thankful that you share your experiences and your recipes. I really learned a lot.

  255. deb

    The recipe above reflects my baking times. I keep a thermometer in my oven, so they should match a calibrated oven but when it comes to those high temperatures, as I mentioned a couple comments ago, you should keep a close eye on it just the same.

  256. Rose

    First let me say that I dared to make this cheesecake, and it’s awesome! Secondly, I messed it up.

    I was so scared of that super-high heat, but went with it. I hovered around the oven until the 12 minutes were up, and it had not “puffed up”, so I kept it going at that heat for a bit longer (20 minutes in total) – bad idea. When I turned down the oven to 200, it only took another 20 minutes (big surprise).

    The sides of the cheesecake were overdone, but I have to say that otherwise it was wonderful. No cracks, about 2 inches tall, and delicious. Given that I’d messed up so much, I was amazed that it turned out so well.

    I only had a 10 inch springform, so not enough crumb base to go up the sides, so next time I’ll double the ingredients for the crust. I also did the cherry topping (amazing) and doubled it – my husband likes a lot of extra topping. The hint of citrus in the cheesecake was perfect too.

    Next time, I’ll do as the recipe says – 12 minutes! And I believe it will be incredible. This recipe is a keeper! Thanks Deb!

  257. Amy

    Found your recipe. I’m a fanatic over cheese cake. Everything went perfect. had oven at 550, and yes it browned very quickly like 5 minutes into baking, I proceeded to turn it down to 200, checked it then i realized at eyes level temp wasnt perfect more closer to 175 so i turned it up to 200 and will lat it bake a few more. I know it wil be divine…. the batter was amazing!! im using strawberries…their my favorite on cheese cake!!! Thanks

  258. Amy

    So I don’t think my cake came out good.. I did 550 and 200 for an hour half, it’s still very wobbly.. My parter said it just has to set. It’s been sitting on my table cooling and still wobbly… Hmmm now what?

  259. i made this for the super bowl party and everyone LOVED it. the cake baked at 450 first/then 200 for over an hour/then off in the oven with the door open for another hour…..came out perfectly. the cherry topping was TERRIFIC. i didn’t add any sugar as the canned cherries seemed sweet enough. over night chilling worked wonders and the cake came out perfectly. cut perfectly and the taste—yummy, yummy, yummy. give this recipe *****

  260. Just wanted to let you & your readers know that this cheesecake got the following review from the host of the joint birthday party that I baked this (& the Chocolate Stout Cake) for: “My Dad tried the cheesecake, he said it was the best cheesecake he had ever had in his life. He is almost 65 years old and he also never says stuff like that.”
    Thank you!!!

    Some fun tweaks we made:
    The birthday girl was reported to love strawberries & white chocolate so we (I, of course, was too sick to attend & sent my partner & friend trekking to New Hampshire with 30 pounds of cake decorating supplies for assembly while I consulted by phone) add a thick sprinkling of white chocolate chips between the crust and the filling. We drizzled the top with melted white chocolate chips & decorated the top with fresh strawberries.

    And thanks for your warnings about the 550- very helpful.

  261. Geetika

    Hi Deb,
    I am a huge fan of your blog and have been a secret reader and recipe-tryer for years, finally coming out.
    I love all your recipes and how fail-proof they all have been for me always. I made this cake for Valentine’s day and it was my first ever cheesecake and came out nothing short of extraordinary. I have also used your crepe-cake recipe as it is and with modifications previously to stunning effects!
    Thank you so much for all the recipes and the accolades that come to *me* for them, while they really are yours in a big way!
    I love your blog :)

  262. Lise

    I just made this recipe and I’m a self-proclaimed loser in the kitchen. Mixing everything went spectacularly and the only concern was the oven thing – mine was in for 7 minutes at 550 before it got spots of dark brown on it. I don’t know if really “puffed up” persay (cause that makes me think of pannekoeken) but it looks like a nice cheesecake. At the 7 minute mark of being at 550, I turned down the over to 200, kept the door open for about a minute to help the oven cool (I didn’t want to burn anything!) and I turned my baking sheet so that the cheesecake might cook more evenly. About 20 minutes at 200, I noticed the color darken to a quite golden brown so I put tinfoil on top to make sure the color would stay. Five minutes before an hour was up, I took the tinfoil off and it looks like it hasn’t darkened any more.

    However, the beeper just went off and as I was slowly removing the cake, I noticed it was QUITE jiggly. I filled the crust and there was so much filling I took a spatula and spread it above the top of the crust (instead of keeping it in the crust like a mini-mountain). I’m wondering now if I shouldn’t have done that. At any rate, I’m going to keep it in the oven for another 5-10 to see if that’ll help any.

  263. Lise

    *I mean WHEN I filled the crust, I spread it above the top of the crust to the sides of the springpan.

    I let the cake sit in the oven for another 10 minutes (so a total of 1 hour 10 minutes) and took it out. It’s still really jiggly to me, but the top is firm to the touch, which another website says is an indicator that it’s finished. Apparently cheesecakes also keep baking inside for a few hours after taking it out of the oven? I hoping that when I dig into this cake in a few hours it’s not undercooked!

  264. Lise

    After chilling it for 12 hours, I regret to say my cake, although appearing fine on the exterior, is WAY UNDERCOOKED. It’s pudding inside!

    So anyone who attempts this recipe and has the same symptoms as me, keep your cake in the oven until it cracks! At least you’ll know it’s cooked!

  265. Lise

    Not to post every 12 seconds, but just wanted to say that at the advice of a culinary-savvy family friend, I put the room-temperature pudding-esque cake in the oven at 325F for 25 minutes and that did wonders! It’s firm enough to eat now, thank god! No more pudding!

  266. Kelly

    Well, I couldn’t print this recipe off and I didn’t feel the need to write it down, so I wonked it up a few good ways. I added too much sugar and not enough butter to the crust, an extra Tablespoon of flour to the cheesecake mixture, and I accidentally used 1 neufschatel (spelling) block instead of all five blocks being regular. I also found that my lemon had gone bad and I had no orange, so I just added too much vanilla and a wee bit of orange extract. And I added everything in the wrong order.

    But, it looks gorgeous, with no cracks, and taste tests prove amazing – so let’s thank my good luck for today, and thank you very much for the recipe!

  267. Tried this recipe out for dessert last night. It was excellent! One of my guests said, “Best cheesecake I’ve ever had, and I don’t even like cheesecake.” She finished her entire piece.

    I had to raise the temperature because it wasn’t cooking at “200” at all. I raised it to 300 and it still took a couple hours. But, it tasted great and was a huge hit. Thanks for another great recipe!

  268. sarah

    my oven only goes up to 482, as I live in the uk, will this still work? I cant wait to make this and hopefully impress my friends and my self!

  269. Deborah

    I decided to ‘master’ the art of baking cheesecakes last Fall, and have to say that my friends are pretty pleased with the results (my Triple Chocolate Threat is to die for!). I can’t wait to try this recipe!
    I did learn that putting a dish of water in the oven while baking your cheesecake can help prevent it from cracking. I always use a glass bread pan and fill it with boiling water and set on the bottom shelf. It works, usually, but sometimes cracks are just determined and I’m forced to hide them under a nice layer of chocolate ganache!

  270. Anna

    I LOVE your blog! I’m Catholic and just married into a Jewish family – and I’m in charge of desserts for Passover this year… a little scary but I’ve been to Passover for the last few years so I have some idea what I’m getting into. I’m going to make your almond macaroon torte and a cheesecake – do you think changing the 3tbsp of flour in this recipe to matzo meal or matzo cake meal?

  271. Hi,

    The cake looks quite fab and tempting. I have never made cheesecake before but i’m thinking about doing so soon for some friends i’ll be having over.

    I would like to use your recipe however, i’m concerned that you don’t use whip cream or sour cream. All the other recipes has these ingredients,,,not sure if i’ll get the same great taste without using these.

    What do you think?


  272. Jessica

    Hi there,
    Love your blog. Just made the french onion soup Monday night – my fiance’s favorite. And it was a true success! Question for you. My mom can’t have gluten and I’ve often made New York style cheesecakes that do not include the flour. If I did this recipe as is, but left out the flour, do you think it would hurt? I will be using gluten free graham crackers, of course!
    Many Thanks!

  273. deb

    There’s so little it may not be missed. But you also might use a cornstarch (which is gluten free, I think?) or a gluten-free flour as a replacement.

  274. DawnMarie

    Well I thought this looked very good!! it is in the oven for our Easter Dinner Dessert it smells wonderful I like no bath. my sringform pan is only nine inches so I’ll be able to make some small treats with what is left..

    Thanks for the recipe and tips many blessings to you enjoy your day!!!

  275. Josh

    Would I be crazy to try inverting the cooled cake and removing the spring-form pan bottom before topping with the cherries? I’m worried about slicing it with the bottom still attached, as I have a tendency to ruin good cookware that way.

  276. This looks so good. I’m going to bake it right now. Though I am using a can cherry topping. Cause the fresh cherries weren’t here and the frozen where increadibly expensive. But we’ll see.

  277. Kelsey

    Smitten Kitchen – this is amazing. I totally just burst my comfort bubble, as this epic monstrosity of a cheesecake is currently in my oven. It’s my first cheesecake. Well, first big one. I made a tart-sized one last summer from a Martha recipe and it came out perfect. It was a bit creamier than normal cheesecake but it was delicious. I see this as my first big-girl cheesecake. I was worried because my oven only goes up to 500 but it was just starting to brown by the time 12 mins came around so I’m guessing it worked out. I hope so. I mixed everything by hand, as suggested by a few commenters and it never puffed up so I’m also hoping this means no cracks! It is getting a bit more brown around the edges than yours looks but I’m willing to bet it’s still going to be tasty. How could it not be, coming from this gem of a foodblog? Thanks for everything!

  278. Laurie

    I made this cheesecake for the second time this weekend. The timer must have gone off when I was out of hearing range, because by the time I thought to wonder how my cheesecake was doing, I had been baking it for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Amazingly enough, at that temperature (200), it didn’t overbrown or dry out at all (and actually turned out perfectly crack-free). Very forgiving cheesecake. Also would recommend using Raskas cream cheese ($5.50 for a 3 lb block at Costco or Sam’s Club) as a very cost effective (and equally tasty) alternative to Philadelphia cream cheese.

    As far as cherries, I’m a big fan of Oregon Fruit Company’s canned tart red cherries in water. The juice can be used instead of water in your recipe and turns out a very tasty sauce.

  279. Giselle

    I’m looking at the recipe, thinking this looks absolutely gorgeous and delicious, and the best part is that it doesn’t call for me to buy a long list of items in the store. Yet I’m looking at recipe and having a tiny panic attack at one detail. I’m confused about the exact baking temperatures to bake it in. Are you baking in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius? I know, stupid question…it’s probably Fahrenheit…but I want to be absolutely sure so…here I am. Also, are we supposed to bake the cheesecake at 550 degrees (C or F) for the whole hour, or do we lower the temperature somewhere part through?

  280. Kate

    Just had to tell you – I made this as 24 muffin size individual serves (baked at 180C for approx 30 mins because I wasn’t going to play around too much with smaller serves & the higher temperature) and gave them to the charity bake sale at work – they were a HUGE hit! Great recipe, and I’ll definitely make it again!

  281. I split the recipe between two smaller springforms for lack of a big one and then ran out of crust. The good part is, that it works just as well with the crust only covering the bottom of the forms and crust-free sides. Just barely more than 1 cup of sugar also worked (ran out as well – I should measure what’s in my pantry before I start next time!).

    I also have to say, this is a very resilient cake! I had to convert the temperatures to Celsius for my oven and baked it at 275°C for the first ten minutes. When it was time to turn the heat down I forgot to convert and only turned it down to 200°C (about 400°F) and baked it for almost an hour at that before I noticed. It still turned out really well, so thank you for the awesome recipe!

  282. Jennifer

    First off, a definite THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the cherry topping. As per tradition, I make a cheesecake for Christmas, and have always used the canned topping. But last Christmas, I made yours and it was insanely delicious. And yes, as easy to make as opening the can.

    The cheesecake recipe I use is one of the 3 cream cheese plus sour cream types, but it does come out extremely tall. However, the recipe uses standing lady fingers around the perimeter, and crushed ones as the bottom crust. While it looks beautiful, I am wanting to try in with your graham cracker crust for other times of the year.

    Do you have a guess (or know for certain) if I would need to adjust baking time from my original recipe for the change in crust? I also wonder about turning it into mini cheesecakes (using a cupcake pan?), or maybe even cheesecake bars in a 13×9. I see someone already had success using muffin pans, but I know nothing about celsius! Thanks in advance for any suggestions…

  283. Gabriella

    I will be definitely be making this for my husband with a chocolate crust for his birthday, he is a big chocolate and cheesecake fanatic. I do have a question, can I substitute the same amount of cherries for raspberries?
    Your site is amazing, so glad I found it!

  284. Penny

    I have made this cheesecake twice in the last month and it always comes out magnificently. It was a perfect birthday cake for a friend and a dessert for an all-girl’s dinner. Thank-you, this recipe is virtually life changing!!!

  285. Sophia

    Hi Deb, LOOOOOVE your website. I think I’m going to make this for my mom’s birthday. Just one question: how rich is it? She doesn’t like her cheesecakes overly rich. Therefore, I think I may use only 3 packs of cream cheese – should I modify anything else in the recipe/baking instructions to accommodate this or just go on ahead with the recipe? THANKS! :D

  286. Ailin

    For everyone wondering about halving the recipe, it works with an 8″ springform tin. Halve the batter, but use 3/4s of the crust and topping recipe. The crust should stop about 1 inch short of the rim.

    As for cooking times, I baked at 500 degrees for 8 minutes, then opened the oven door and turned down the temperature to 200 degrees and only closed the door when the oven thermometer read 350 degrees. It then took about 30 minutes (from the time I turned down the temperature and opened the door) to set with a wobbly centre.

  287. Laura

    Made this in a 10″ springform pan last week and it was utter perfection, with zero cracks. I have been looking for several years for the perfect NY cheesecake recipe, and I’ve finally found it! I might use about half the sugar in the crust next time, but that’s the only change I’d make. I followed the instructions exactly, with two minor exceptions:

    I panicked when it hadn’t “puffed” or tanned quite enough at 12 minutes, so I left it in an extra 3 minutes. Totally not necessary, as it almost, but not quite, overbrowned. It never did “puff” for me.

    I also left it in the oven for an additional hour after turning the oven off (fanning the oven door once or twice to cool it down just a bit). Might have been perfect without this step, but I wanted to err on the side of overdone, rather than underdone, as I’ve had with other recipes.

    Cooled it for another hour on the counter before covering, wrapping in towels, and setting in the refrigerator, my idea being to allow a nice, gradual cool-down, so as not to tempt any cracks! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  288. to be honest, i’ve never done a cheesecake myself at home, but every cheesecake attempt by my mom at home was a failure :S, will try this one hopefully a true cheescake taste, but won’t use the lemon. Thank you.

  289. Jennifer W

    This cake looks great! I have to make a splenda version for a friend. Do you think it’s as easy as replace the sugar 1:1?

  290. kmac

    Jennifer W: I understand that Splenda behaves exactly the same as sugar does, but I would not do 1:1 as I believe it is actually sweeter than sugar. Check the pack, it should tell you.. But I know the 1g sachets we have in the office for coffee say they are the equivalent sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar which is about double. I am doing one with Splenda for the office next week, so I’d love to hear any feedback you have!

  291. So. I made this on Friday. Awesome. Never using another recipe.

    My oven is evidently hotter than yours so next time I’m starting out at 425. :)

    I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup and used the zest of one medium lemon rather than the advised lemon-orange mixture.


  292. kmac

    The splenda version (someone is diabetic in my office) that I baked last night worked really well! I cut the sugar amounts by about 1/3 to make up for the extra sweetness of the substitute, taste was fine but would probably have been ok 1:1 too. Also, I left the zest out (swapped for an extra splash of vanilla) and I used 4x light and 1x regular cream cheese which was worked fine. Could have been richer but that was the idea as none of us is getting any younger or thinner.
    I only had a few superficial cracks on the surface which I covered with cherry topping (from a can! eek! My excuse: I tried 5 different supermarkets and called a sixth last week and could not find fresh or frozen cherries, sweet or sour, anywhere!!) and it was a huge hit. My supervisor is taking the other half home with him and I suspect he will bring me back an empty platter tomorrow.
    Thanks again deb and SK! Only downside is, now everyone is giving me orders for Xmas cookies etc and I am now doomed to make all the birthday cakes forever more, because I have been deemed a cake genius.

  293. Dee

    I’ve used this same recipe – minus the topping – when I found it on a cooking site. It is fabulous! I would say though, to bring this thing to room temperature. It makes it that much creamier if you do!

  294. Arkay

    I have made this several times and each time it is absolutely amazing. However, I am desperate for a version with pumpkin-yes I have seen the ‘bourbon pumpkin recipe’ and it looks divine, but I am addicted to the richness and heft of this new york style cheesecake.

    (I usually make several pumpkin mascarpone pies for our ‘friendsgiving’ the weekend prior to thanksgiving, but I am feeling slightly adventurous…I need to figure this out in the next couple of days though, oops!)

    1. deb

      I think it will be hard to get the kind of heft you do from a pumpkin cheesecake in this style because the pumpkin itself is a diluting, softening ingredient. For a hefty cheesecake, you need little other ingredient clutter (like this one has). That said, the pumpkin cheesecake isn’t particularly soft or loose. It feels like a true cheesecake, just not the brick that this one is.

  295. Kellymo

    Hoo boy, was this a success! My pan is Teflon coated, so I followed BJ’s baking times/temps and that worked out nicely – only one small crack that was easily covered by raspberry sauce. I did use a 1/2 tsp of salt in the graham cracker crust, zested 1/2 of each fruit, and put in a 1/2 tblsp of vanilla… With that much sugar & cream cheese, the additional flavoring was nice and subtle. Turned out to be an excellent birthday cake for my husband – thanks!

  296. Kelly

    This looks delicious. I’ll be entertaining a large group for a holiday dessert party, and I am considering getting a 12-inch springform to make a larger cheesecake (rather than making 2 smaller ones). I could likely figure out how to increase the quantities to have more batter, but I’m a little skittish about how to adjust baking times and temps. Do you have any advice? (Or … maybe your archives includes a recipe for a 12-inch cheesecake?) LOVE every one of your recipes I’ve tried!!

    1. deb

      A 12-inch round holds slightly less than double what a 9-inch round does, keeping the cake height the same. So, you could probably safely double the recipe. As for cooking times, you’re just going to have to keep an eye on the oven unless you have another 12-inch cheesecake recipe that can give you a good cooking time estimate. Good luck!

  297. Kelly

    Hi Deb, thank you. One last Q: I would imagine I could use the temperatures and technique you’ve suggested (given that the 12-inch pan is the same height as the 9″) and just keep an eye on the cooking time? Some cheesecake recipes say not to open the oven to check doneness, but yours looks like a “test” is if the center is wobbly when wiggled — so, I would think it’d be safe to open the oven to check doneness of the wider springform. Does this sound right?

    1. deb

      I always open the oven door when baking cheesecakes but that’s because cracks on top don’t bother me — especially when it will be hidden with a topping. I suspect your baking time will be 150% of the original, but your safest bet is of course to just keep checking it.

  298. I wish I had read all of the comments before baking the cheese cake. I followed your directions to bake at 550 for 12 minutes and it totally burned. I think it is ruined and may have to be tossed out. What a shame and waste of food. :( Is this an advanced baking recipe? Just a suggestion: Since so many people seem to be having problems, maybe you should make a note of baking discrepancies at the top of this page. Thank you.

  299. Made mention of you on my blog post about my first attempt at a NY style cheesecake. I actually used a self-ammended version of a recipe from Irma Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking, but after the cake was done….I stumbled across your blog and found your commentary to be similarly consistent with almost all the recipes I consulted. I was curious by the color of your cherry filing, which looks delish. Next time I will give it a try!

  300. tj

    Mine was also way to brown on top and also almost burned I caught it in the nick of time. It was not as high as I would have liked either and I used the exact pan in the recipe. However it had great flavor and everyone raved about it. I will definitely try it again. Thanks very much. I have used your recipes before and appreciate the work you put into them.

    1. rhandy

      Just made this cheesecake, I followed the directions exactly and it looked amazing. I was hesitant because of the high temperature but figured I would watch close and give it a try.

      -ALMOST burnt my cake, caught it just in time and its way too brown (might as well of burnt), and still cracked on the sides. Would much have preferred to cook it at a lower temp using a water bath.

      This ones a fail for me. sorry.

  301. renee

    This cake is in the oven. I found the 550 to be high, but it’s probably just my crazy oven. The portion of the crust that was just a tad higher than the filling burned in minutes! I’ve now gotta figure out how to get the burned part off . Hmmmmm. I’m not topping it, but serving raspberry sauce on the side. Will let you know how it turns out. Can’t wait.

  302. Kez

    Thanks Deb – it is perfect!
    To anyone reading this please do not be worried by the negative comments, if you follow the lovely instructions given you should be fine. I made it with no problems, even though finding all the ingredients in New Zealand proved a challenge.
    Now have a lovely crack free cheesecake to serve to the North American in-laws :)
    Deb I have been a long long time follower, and this my first post – thank you for all the inspiration that you provide (along with much laughter and food envy…)

  303. Rena

    This beauty is currently cooling (in the oven as some have suggested) in preparation for our big themed Super Bowl party…so of course one would have to have a NY cheesecake for a NY Super Bowl! Thanks for the great recipe :)

  304. Rena

    I wanted to come back and say…days later, people are still RAVING about the cheesecake. What a fantastic recipe, and I’m not even a big cheesecake fan…but this was da bomb!

  305. Troy

    I made this yesterday for my dads 86 birthday and it turned out great! I found some fresh blackberries and got two packages, cut one of the packages berries in half and added them to the mix, made the topping from the rest and strained through a tea strainer, wow well worth the six dollars for the berries. I used a microwave/oven at 450 deg. until mix was browning then turned heat down to 350 and baked until it had risen out of the oven. You will love this recipe!

  306. Anne

    I followed this recipe and it was delicious. There were a few that I noticed.

    1-my bottom crust was a little soggy (my side crust was perfect)
    2-the crust where the bottom and side meet is pretty hard

    Do you have any tips to improve this?

  307. Saskeah

    Baked this one starting at 475, followed by an hour at 200. Substituted gluten-free ginger cookies for the crust, and a gf flour blend for the all-purpose. Modified cherries to blueberries due to lack of availability… and voilà! I haven’t tasted it yet, but so far, so good.

  308. Iva

    Love this cake…I did make few changes to the recipe and I found it better tasting.
    Used 5 eggs only, did not use flour and added 200gr. of sour cream.
    As the baking goes, I did it at 165-170 for an hour and 20 min.It was perfection and no drama.

  309. baking with two mad boys

    As cheesecakes go – they dont vary much and this one is good but really no different to any other I’ve made. I halved the recipe for smaller tin as most cheescake recipes are huge and only wanted it for Mothering Sunday lunch. I used digestive biscuits as base (layer of greaseproof first). I didnt have quite enough cream cheese (used supermarket value – Sainburys) so substituted some yogurt and cream to top up. Baked mine on 240 deg c. But what you have to watch is when you turn down to 100 deg c it takes absolutely ages for the temp to drop. My top was brown but delicious. Good tsp of vanilla and vanilla paste and a whole lemon zest. Because I used a good layer of greaseproof I managed to easily remove it off the base once it had been chilled. Used the same amount of ingredients for the topping (frozen sweet cherries) for a 15cm tin and incoporated a good couple of tsp of arrowroot to thicken the sauce as mine was too thin. Would recommend adding topping just before serving as it seaps in and runs off sides. I find ‘cups’ a nightmare of measuring and convert into grams which is very accurate.

  310. Jayson

    One way to help with the cracking is cover the cheesecake with a piece of aluminum foil setting lightly with a the spring form pan sitting in another pan with 2″ of water. Also grease the sides or asap cut the edges after pullin it out of the oven b4 it sets.

  311. Janine

    I have made this recipe two times now – once for Christmas and once for fun. The first time I overcooked the cheesecake so that the whole thing was firm all the way through.

    the second time I followed the time on the recipe exactly – the biggest advice for anyone making a cheesecake is DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN UNTIL THE CAKE IS DONE!!!!

    As for the burning – everyone needs to read the portion of the recipe that says that you must turn the oven down the second you see browning. For the second cake I watched it and at 8 minutes my cake started browning. I turned down to 200 and got a perfectly, uncracked, cheesecake with a golden brown top.

    Thank you so much for this recipe it is beyond amazing!

  312. michelle

    ugh! followed directions-watched for that first sign of browning when cooking at 550 degrees. took it out when the top started to brown but alas all the graham cracker crust totally burnt black! going to try to cut it off and salvage the filling.

  313. Megan

    This is cooling in the fridge in preparation for tomorrow’s Easter dinner! It’s the second time I’ve made it – and didn’t experience any of the problems some have written about. I think you just have to really watch it at 550 – and after 2 hours at 220 I reset the timer in 10 minute increments and kept checking it. No cracks, and the centre didn’t really sink at all, it looks heavenly!

  314. I made this cake last week for a dinner party and it was great. No cracks, and perfectly done. Next time,though, I will halve the sugar. I found it a bit sweet, but I really don’t have a sweet tooth.Thanks for this recipe!

  315. Michelle

    I burned it! Argh! I waited too long for it to puff up and burned the top and the crust, bummer! Mine didn’t seem to puff so don’t wait too long!

  316. chris moore

    this is a good recipe, as stated with numerous people, the temperature can have greatly varying results depending on your own model. some ovens will insulate that 550 for a lot longer than others, mine for example, came out rather colored and burned around the edges even after taking out 10 minutes early. the flavor is right on. i’ll make it again with a slightly lower temp, or vent the oven for a few seconds after dropping the temperature. obviously this is stated to be watched, unfortunately my oven light is currently out ( my issue not yours) but no problems here, it tastes fantastic and i don’t mind a little color/skin. thanks for the recipe!

  317. Cathy

    I have made this cheesecake numerous times. It is the BEST, no cracks and perfect consistency and height. But, I need a tip for firming up the middle. The recipe is ambiguous for how long to leave it in the oven except to say, until firm. I followed the recipe exactly the first time around. Even then, a small portion of the middle was still a bit raw. Due to the cost of making this wonderful cheesecake, any closer baking time would be appreciated. Additionally, everyone that I gave the cheesecake to stated, It needs more tart (lemon) flavor. Therefore, off I went trying to perfect perfection. I added 4 tablespoons of Real Lemon Lemon Juice. In doing so, the center does not solidify no matter how long I keep it in the oven. The last time I added 1 teaspoon of flour even though I was afraid of flattening the flavor. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I have been asked to make another one very soon for a gift.

  318. Cathy

    Thanks for the input. So, should I not increase anything to compensate for the additional (lemon) liquid I put in the recipe? I was afraid if I kept cooking it I might risk burning the crust. Thanks, again.

  319. deb

    It’s hard for me to say without trying it myself, but I suspect that 4 tablespoons might increase the baking time slightly, but shouldn’t keep the cake from eventually baking. It might be softer in the end, since the proportion of batter to egg (which firms things up) is increased, but just slightly. By the way, you probably know this but you can punch up the tartness and lemon flavor by decreasing the sugar a bit and also by adding lemon zest. Then, you might find you need less actual lemon juice. Hope that helps!

  320. Stefanie

    I only have a square springform pan. It’s 10″x10″. Can I still use that pan for this recipe, or should I go out and buy a 91/2″ round springform pan?

    1. deb

      Hi Stefanie — Weirdly enough, the 9 1/2-inch springform will hold just 70% of what the 10×10 will hold. So, you can make it in the 10×10, of course, but it will be 30% thinner and probably need less baking time. That I cannot estimate, you’ll just have to keep an eye on it. Good luck!

  321. I

    If you make the cream cheese pomade before adding the rest of the ingredients, you won’t have the unmixed stripes! :)

  322. Stefanie

    Thanks deb! I ended up buying myself a 9 1/2″ round springform pan anyway. I’m sure it will get a lot of use in the future!

    I made this yesterday (for tonight) and I followed the directions to the letter. I turned the oven down to 200 from 550 after about 10 minutes when I noticed the top browning a bit, but even after turning it down it continued to brown quite a bit. I guess it’s a good thing I’m putting the cherry topping on it tonight. For some reason my filling didn’t come near the top of the pan (it was about 1/2″ or maybe more below the rim). It has no cracks on it though! Not even one teeny tiny one (and it has come down from puffing as it was in the fridge overnight). It has sort of slumped inwards a bit near the top though, which I thought was odd.

    I did take photos of the process if you want to see them! Just tell me where to send them and maybe you can tell me what I did wrong! (I’m assuming my oven just top browns too fast and I should start it at 475-500 next time for less than 10 minutes).

  323. Stefanie

    And I just read in note 477 that you used a 9″ springform pan! The recipe says to use a 9 1/2″ pan. This must be why my filling didn’t reach the top!

    1. deb

      Stefanie — So sorry about burying the lede there. I actually hadn’t realized this until just recently, that my pan wasn’t the size I thought. However, it’s not uncommon for me to buy pans advertised as one size that actually measure to be something different.

  324. Stefanie

    Just wanted to report back that the cheesecake was a huge hit! Everyone loooooved it! The cherry topping was raved about too (I used fresh cherries as I couldn’t find any frozen ones). I ended up cutting off the browned top (and I may or may not have eaten those scraps…) and just put the cherry topping on it right before I served it (before anyone saw it). It looked and tasted spectacular! Even those who don’t normally even like cheesecake loved this one! I’ll definitely make it again. I’ll try a 9″ springform pan next time and modify the starting temp/time bit.

  325. Erin

    I made this at Christmas, just as you posted, and it was great! Still not as dense as the cheesecakes I have tried in NYC but for my first time making a cheesecake at home, I loved the recipe. It was easy and it turned out beautifully! Thanks!

  326. Laura

    Always love your recipes! So I made this tonight, but my cake did not puff up the way yours showed in the pictures. Is that alright? Is there something that I didn’t get quite right? My oven didn’t quite make it to 550. More like 500. (I have a thermometer in my oven.) I made your Pink Lady cake for a friend’s birthday and it was such a huge hit. :-)

  327. Lara

    Hello again
    Quick questions: can you guess how many mini cheesecakes (made in a muffin tin) these measurements would make? Want to make around 12 so need to know by how much i should scale down the recipe
    Thanks a lot

    1. deb

      Hi Lara — Sorry, I’ve never made these as minis. However, my mini-cheesecake pan is very tiny and this cheesecake is enormous. My guess is you’d want to at least 1/3 the recipe.

  328. Hi! Made this for my stepdads birthday, everyone were ecstatic about it! I bake a little, and the expectations are usually high. I served this with just pure pureed strawberries and it was great! Delicious! Rich, decadent, lovely citrusy zing, so so so soooo amazing.

    Mine didn’t puff up at all, but did brown quite a bit in the start, turned the temperature down after about 10 minutes and then had to keep the oven door wide open for a while, just to make my oven stop browning it – eek! I also placed a thin shit of aluminum foil over it just it case, which I removed when the oven had snaaailed down to 200 degrees. It baked for aaabouuut 70 minutes, and then I just turned the oven off and left the door ajar until it was cool enough to handle (as suggested by many here). Mine didn’t crack at all. AT ALL. Deb, you are a legend! I will definitely be making this again.

    But before that, there’s still that piece we couldn’t stuff down, which I will enjoy tonight. Straight from the cake platter. Oh yes.

    Thank you!

  329. Bree

    Hello! I first want to say how much I love your recipes and blogging. You are absolutely hilarious! I frequently read aloud to my Mom the things you write because they are so incredibly funny! We are big fans here in Southern CA : ) I love love love your Cheesecake recipe. I am a HUGE cheesecake fanatic and have been since I was a very little girl, so I’d like to consider myself a cheesecake connoisseur haha! I love this recipe because it has all the elements of a perfect cheesecake: buttery graham cracker crust, thick dense cream cheesy filling, and monumental height! It’s the kind of cheesecake we cheesecakers dream about : ) Anyway, I’ve been having a problem when I make the recipe. I’ve made it about three times and the first time the top didn’t burn during the sauna session (550 wow), the second time i didn’t watch and it burned a teeny bit, but both times the inside of the cheesecake didn’t harden/solidify enough and when I cut into it it sort of leaks/ appears gooey. I bake it for the length of time mentioned (granted my oven is very strong, I usually take at least a few minutes off of every recipe I try because I can’t stand burnt treats) and it still doesn’t hardened. Eventually I end up removing it from the oven and let it sit in the fridge for at least 24 hrs but this still doesn’t seem to do the trick. I really really really don’t want to look for a new recipe because the taste of this one is PERFECT (the outer edges, as you move away from the center of the cake, are to die for but I just don’t know how to get the whole cake that way). Do you have any suggestions or ideas to fix this little conundrum. Additionally, I’ve cut the filling in half in hopes of it having an easier time hardening, but it still didn’t work. Sorry to bother you with all of this! I was hoping to make my brother an Oreo Cheesecake this weekend (he’s been begging for one) and I wanted to use this same filling recipe and just substitute crushed Oreos for the grahams. Thank you again for creating such a beautiful site.

  330. JudyCraig

    As we speak I am making your New York Cheesecake. Mine did brown quickly on top, I covered it loosely with foil till temp went down to 200.
    I am attempting to make three layers of this cheesecake for my daughters wedding. The 8 inch layer I can figure out but to increase the ingredients to produce a 10inch layer is more daunting.
    In one of your responses you said a 10 inch holds 30% more filling.
    So is it safe to increase the ingredients by 30%? Not sure how the science of baking
    accepts these changes. 1 and half eggs? round up or down?
    Thank for any tips.

  331. Renuka

    I’ve been an avid fan for years (your red velvet cake is my go to recipe) but this is the first time I’m writing. I owe my father in law a NY cheesecake (lost a bet) and this one looks gorgeous and delicious.

    One question: I’m used to cooking cheesecakes using a water bath. Would you recommend cooking it in a water bath at 325 or 350 instead of the method you have above. I’m not questioning your methods; I just have the wonkiest oven and a deathly fear of not cooking the cheesecake properly. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Hi Renuka — This will totally work with any cooking method you are comfortable with for cheesecakes. The very high start temperature, then lowering it, was a method that was supposed to avoid cracks without a water bath. However, frequently folks have still struggled with this method, as you can see in the comments, as their cakes burn too fast. So, there’s no reason not to use another method + water bath.

  332. HanNing

    Hi deb,
    I’m planning to bake this cake tomorrow for my husband’s birthday.
    I would like to replace the cherry topping with ganache.
    But I’m unsure when should I apply the ganache?
    After the cheesecake is baked and cooled?
    Or after the cheesecake is chilled for 6 hours?
    Please advice.
    Thank you.

  333. Judy

    I have looked through all of the FAQ’s and comments and haven’t seen anything about servings per cheesecake. I am making this for a wedding of about 90 guests. In addition to the three layer cake, I’m makeing 10inch cakes to slice and serve also.
    With a 3″ thick x 10 diameter cheesecake, is it possible to get more than 12 servings?

    Tank you,

    1. deb

      Judy — I definitely think so. I’d expect this to serve 16 easily. And really, if there are other desserts, people especially may only want a sliver, meaning you’d get more.

  334. Enas

    Hi deb,
    This looks amazing I have to try it but one question,
    The highest my oven goes is 500 and lowest is 300 so how would that work?
    Should I start it with 500 then lower to 300 or try a different method?

  335. Judy

    I must share my success. I did complete the three layer (stacked!) wedding cheesecake and the perfect outcome could not have been accomplished without this fabulous recipe!!!
    Three Fabulous, THICK, dense, rich layers.
    I made a total of six layers, 16 pieces per layer (yes, we could have gotten more out of each layer, but this worked perfectly), 4 10″ layers, 1 9″ layer and one 8″ layer.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    For those of you who were not as successful, practice makes perfect and the cost~about $12 per layer.

  336. Jenna

    I baked this with a shortbread crust and it was amazing. The top did burn but i was able to scrape it off and it was fine. Incedentally the burnt top didn’t alter the flavor much (yes I did eat some of the scraped off part). If i had put topping on the burnt part you wouldn’t have been able to tell. I hope no one throws it out if they see a burnt top! I should have been watching the oven, but after all that work I sat my butt down.

  337. Karen

    Delicious! Loved that you have a weight for the graham crackers. And I followed the Cook’s Illustrated instructions for their New York style cheesecake – 500 deg for 12 min and then 200 deg for 1.5 hrs with an internal temp was 150 deg. I had a 9″ teflon coated pan, otherwise I would have cooked it at 550 deg. Next time I make, would probably use less lemon rind, or maybe use lime, since my husband is a lemon hater (sad!).

  338. Kristin

    If I wanted to use this recipe to make mini cheesecake cupcakes, would that be doable?
    How would I go about adjusting baking time/temperature?

    1. deb

      Hi Kristin — I haven’t tried it but usually you keep the temp the same but greatly reduce the cooking time. See also my suggestion in Comment #503.

  339. dori

    I have been using this recipe for over 25 years and still hear that it’s the best cheesecake ever. I get requests all the time to bring it as a party dish. DIrections are right on and it’s actually fairly easy!!!!

  340. I don’t pretend to be an expert cook, but I have mastered the cheese cake (almost) and have some ideas to offer. I like a lighter cheese cake and use Shirley Corriher’s Bake Wise recipe primarily. This recipe uses 2 blocks of CC, heavy cream and sour cream. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. then turn off the oven and let the cheese cake continue to cook and slowly cool for another hour in the oven. I always use a bain marie (water bath) and put the cheesecake in a Turkey Roasting Bag (they don’t leak) and put a small dishtowel in the bottom of the water pan as the vibration of the boiling water will cause the cheesecake pan to vibrate and wear a hole in the bag or the tin foil you may have wrapped the baking pan for the CC in. The towel also is better to help some of the heated water get to the underside of the pan. The Turkey Roasting Bag is far and away the best method to keep the Spring Form Pan from leaking. HOWEVER: I need some help in figuring out how to keep the crust from getting SOGGY. I think the major reason is that some of the ingredients weep out of the CC and wet the crust. SO! I have heard that after pressing the crust material down (I use a combination of graham crackers and Pecan Sandies) with the bottom of a smooth bottomed glass or something similar, baking it for 9 min or so, and THEN: BRUSHING THE TOP OF THE CRUST WITH EGG WHITES might seal it from the liquids (probably baking for a few minutes would then harden the egg whites). I also thought that a thin layer of chocolate spread over the crust/egg white construction might also be helpful. But the chocolate will melt in the heat of the oven and may not work so well. I want to do this for Thanksgiving and while the cake itself is FANTASTIC I am very put off by the soggy bottom. Any help/ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If you have some solution to this you could give me a call at 703-690-1942 Thanksgiving is just around the corner and thanks to Diane Rheam for having Deb Perelman on her show, I now have a forum to ask my question and maybe even get an answer. Thanks so much in advance.

  341. Chris

    I’ve made this a few times and it’s always been a big hit. I made it at my in-laws this Thanksgiving and there’s a few things that made it even a bigger success this time around.
    1. In the past I’d used a Microplane or zester to zest the lemon and orange. This time I used a very fine grater which produced more of a powder instead of small strings of zest. Flavor was noticably improved.
    2. We had enough desserts that, for the first time, there was left over cheesecake–and it’s even better the next day. In the future I’ll plan on giving this a day in the fridge for all of the flavors to blend and mellow. The texture was also smoother.

  342. Janan

    I used this recipe for my first ever attempt at cheesecake! I was so nervous, but it turned out perfect, and was a big hit! No cracks, creamy perfection!! Thank you!!

  343. Krista

    I made this cheesecake as written for my son’s 5th birthday (he requested a cheesecake). It tasted absolutely amazing. Thanks for the great recipe, tasted just like my favorite cheesecake store located here on Long Island. I was scared about it burning so the only alteration I made was to bake at 500*F for 10 mins then at 200*F for 1 1/2 hrs, then left in oven to cool with door open for a while and brought out to cool on counter till room temp, and chilled in fridge till the next day. Came out perfectly cooked with absolutely no burning.

  344. Frank Hamilton

    Gotta ask this. Carnegie Deli cheesecake is the bar by which I measure cheesecakes. It’s great that there are restaurants around the country that now have it shipped to them for serving in other locations.

    Does this recipe create cheesecake that is comparable to Carnegie Deli cheesecake?

    Thank you.

  345. Lenora Rose

    Wanted to know if anyone has had a problem with the crust when baking the first 12 minutes at 550 degree oven? I followed the directions exacly and some of the crust burnt. I did go up to about 1″ from the top rim of the pan. But it’s in the oven and it looks like some of the crust on one side of the pan burnt. It appears that the cheesecake didn’t “puff” up on that one side like the rest. Is there something else I should do to avoid the crust burning?

  346. Yolanda

    Yes! I also had a terrible problem with the cake top and crust BURNING after only being in there for 8 minutes at 550. I don’t think the 550 degree temp is a good idea at all. But since I couldn’t find any comments from people who actually made the cake (until I see the end comments of course:(, I trusted the recipe, and now am left with a burnt cheesecake for Christmas. Boo.

  347. Christi

    I found your recipe over a year ago & I think I’ve made this cheesecake about 10 times now. Hands down – the BEST one ive ever made & I have no need to look further. I’ve done the water bath before & mine ALWAYS cracked. I admit – I was terrified of 550 but I did it anyway. Holy SMOKES!!! It WORKED!!! First cheesecake I’ve EVER made that didn’t crack…& neither did the 9 or so ones that followed. Thank you so much – I’m SO glad you shared this recipe so I could finally master this dessert! A few tips to those who’ve scorched their cheesecakes – get an oven thermometer. Make sure your oven is the right temp. HOVER!!! Lol – I don’t set the timer & walk away. If this is the first time you’re doing this, you want to watch. The author says 12 minutes but if you’re noticing its puffed up – turn the temp down so you don’t inadvertently scorch it! Baking is kind of an art – you need to keep on top of what you’re baking so you don’t burn what you’re working on. Good luck to you all & a HUGE Thank You to the author for sharing! You have no idea how many people ask me for this cheesecake recipe & I always direct them here!! ;-)

  348. Beth

    This was the recipe I turned to when making a cheesecake for the first time ever for a bunch of company (I know)- it turned out great! Thanks for always being a source of reliable recipes!

  349. Vanessa

    Thank you so much for this recipe! This is probably the first cheesecake I’ve ever baked and it turned out really well (obviously since it was my first time there were some errors (too much crust on the bottom, not enough on the sides), but those were all my own. The cheesecake turned out absolutely delicious and I’ve gotten rave reviews. I do wonder though if I measured the 1″ incorrectly–I actually used a measuring tape but my crust only came up to about the middle of the cheesecake. And the cherry topping was delicious. I will definitely make this again!!

  350. Megan

    So I LOVE cheesecake but have found that I can be very picky about it… particularly I have never had it at a restaurant that was better than The Cheesecake Factory (surprise surprise) and I cannot stand if I can pick out a citrus-y taste in it because then I am thinking about key-lime pie instead which I really don’t care for. So basically, I had key-limy cheesecake-ish at a Longhorn once and I want with all of my being to never make something like that. My question is: Will the zest in this recipe do what it is that I have explained to the cheesecake, or will it be very very VERY subtle and just enhance the surrounding flavors? I have never made it before but so far this recipe looks like it will be as close to perfection as possible when it comes to my new-born endeavor to make cheesecake at home.
    BTW, recipe looks DELICIOUS!

  351. JD

    This is my go-to cheesecake recipe and if I show up at a family function without it, the dirty looks I get from my family burns through.
    However, with the cake in hand, there always ensues a gluttonous scene where everyone stands around the dessert table spoon feeding themselves from the serving plate the cake is on. Shame thick in the air.
    I even had one relative cry because the cake was finished before she had a slice.

  352. MG

    As an Australian – we love lemon flavoured cheesecakes (must be NY thing not to overdo this), but I was nervous about the no sour cream (would it be too heavy? and thick?) but no, it was perfect and I am making it again today for a luncheon tomorrow.

  353. karen ridgeway

    I made this today, I am serving for Easter dinner tomorrow. It looks fantastic although it did crack. I’m not worried, my family is very forgiving lol!

  354. Stephany

    I made this in addition to the chocolate caramel cheesecake for easter dinner tommorrow and of course you have to have a taste for quality control-right!?!?! Can I just say on my yumminess!! I will proudly hold my head high and take all the credit, ok some of the credit, for the heavenliness on a plate! Thank you for letting me look so good :)

  355. Dina

    A person who feels inspired in the kitchen, inspires me! I have tried out your New York cheesecake recipe and found it extremely delicious – thank you so much! I modified the recipe slightly to avoid gluten, so I used Schar graham crackers for crust and cornstarch instead of flour. It came out great, the only flaw was a slightly burned side crust – I presume this happened during the first 12 minutes at 550 degrees. I wonder if putting the crust only on the bottom would solve that issue for next time.

  356. Thanks for writing such a great article about cheesecake. My cake is cooling down in the oven as I write.

    However, already now I see that the middle is sinking slightly. And I remember some of those cakes I got at The Cheesecake Factory in New York, they were perfectly raised. With the middle being the tallest point on the cake. How do they achieve that?

    Is it just technique? Or is it some of those nasty chemicals certain people use+

  357. Sherry

    Hey, I just found this blog and read over the recipe. I have been making my grandmother’s New York cheesecake for 33 yrs now. Over the years I have made a few changes but not many. Yours is very similar to hers however she started at 450 for about 10 min. then down to 300 for an hour or til done. I always had cracks and no matter how careful I was to not over mix it still happened. So one day I simply started baking the cake at 350 for an hour to an hour 15 min. Oh! Don’t open the oven unless absolutely necessary the change in temp can cause the cracks. It has helped a lot and if I catch it before it rises too much but is done (i.e. center wobbly) then it usually doesn’t sink too much either. My old oven used to brown the top too much I just put foil over the top of the cake-usually it doesn’t stick because it is already set. Hope this helps someone.

  358. Madam tutu

    I love cheesecake. My boyfriend loves cheesecake. But despite all the love I have never managed to bake a cheesecake that wasn’t cracked or tasteless or too sweet. That is, until my Estonian housemate suggested this recipe. It works! Yay! Every frickin time! And it has never cracked, which is nothing short of a miracle.

  359. Hi Deb,
    I had been marvelling at your most beautiful cheesecake for a while and now I gave it a try with a few little changes (I used matcha in the cheese filling and made the cake in jars). It’s just fantastic, great creamy texture, thank you for the wonderful input! Of course I mentioned your recipe in my post as my source of inspiration – I hope this is ok for you.
    Best and thanks

  360. Rebecca

    The top is BLACK after 8 minutes; ack. I knew I should’ve waited until the kids were out from under (my feet) :(

  361. Paul

    Well this may be a gender thing, but I’ve never turned down a piece of cheesecake because it cracked, & don’t seem to recall the last time I even noticed. I also tend to be a bit daring with recipes, and often take many liberties. I have a half sheet cheesecake in the oven now. I prefer cutting my cake with a little ricotta, I just like it a bit lighter most of the time. I also do away with zest altogether. I used almond extract or butter rum for flavoring, & it’s always been well received. I really enjoy your site, Thank You:)

  362. Paul

    ps, I followed your baking instructions to a T, it came out beautiful, one very minor crack near a corner, the half sheet is for twelve young men, I didn’t feel like baking two cakes. I hope I dont offend you, by my changes. Have a wonderful mothers day! Thanks again

  363. Louise

    I made this for my sister-in-laws baby shower. I overcooked the crust but otherwise it was PERFECT. A huge hit. I’m adding it to my smitten kitchen arsenal. Thanks, Deb!

  364. Natalie

    Has anyone made this as mini’s cheesecakes instead? Am thinking of using a muffin tray and am wondering if anyone has tried it and if they have any tips? I do have quite a few ramekins I could try as well, but felt with the muffin trays, I could (in theory) lift them out and serve them like sweet canapés.

    1. deb

      Hi Natalie — FWIW, mini-cheesecake tins do exist (I have one, but admit to rarely using it). I have had some luck removing mini-cheesecakes from muffin tins. The sides get a little messed up as you cut around, but with a firm base crust, it can be done. Good luck!

  365. Tammy

    This cheesecake looks delicious! I have a recipe I usually use but wanted to try a different one this time, one that has more flavor, and is tall. I am making it for my dad for father’s day since he is requesting another homemade cheesecake from me :). I just have a few questions and was hoping you could help me?
    1. Lately, when I make cheesecakes it falls in the the center…when making this cheesecake what can I do to prevent it from falling? I want a tall cheesecake!
    2. Do you pre-bake your graham cracker crust? Or do you just pour the filling into the the uncooked crust? (I just want to make sure, I am just so used to baking it first but my crust always turns out too hard to cut or bit into :(
    I can’t seem to get a firm, but tender, flaky graham cracker crust….any suggestions?
    3. When the recipe says: cool the cake compelely in springform on a rack….are you keeping the cheesecake in the oven on the rack to cool or are you taking it out of the oven and placing it on a rack to cool?
    Thank You in advance for your help!!

    1. deb

      Hi Tammy — 1. It has more to do with the recipe, but I think that all cheesecakes sink a tiny bit. It’s because they’re really baked custards. 2. I don’t find it necessary or call for it here. 3. Cool on a cooling rack — at room temperature. Happy baking!

  366. Ashley

    Hi Deb,
    I have made this twice now, and while the cake itself comes out delish, the pan that I bake it in gets filled with what I am guessing is melted butter while it bakes, and the crust turns out too hard to eat, almost caramelized. Any ideas what might be happening?


    1. deb

      Ashley — I find that with almost all crumb crusts (the oil seepage) but I don’t find the crust too hard to eat — I mean, even with cheesecake inside? I think it’s just a limitation of springforms (which are all a tiny bit leaky) and the idea of a crumb crust (the crumbs don’t really absorb the butter the way we wish they would).

  367. Charlie

    I’ve made this recipe several times. My cheesecake has never done the ‘puffed’ thing. Using room temperature eggs & cream cheese, but my oven will brown the top of the cheesecake within 6 minutes as well.

    Not sure if I should just skip the 12 minutes at 550 degrees or not.

  368. Followed the instructions to the T and it was the best cheese cake I had ever made and tasted! Thank you for your recipe and illustrations!

  369. Chris

    Hi Deb:

    I baked one cheesecake many years ago and that’s it…….hated it…….recipe called for sour cream and I know that’s what made it creamy…………yech!
    I just LOVE a cheesecake that is tall, dry (not at all creamy), and very dense…….a REAL New York cheesecake! I WANT the dark brown top! Not “burnt”, but dark like you used to see them years ago. How do I get this kind of top? Do I just watch the cake and once it gets to the darkness I want, THEN turn down the temp. to finish baking? OR…….if I do this, will it get even darker once it continues to bake at a lower temp? In other words……..once it gets to the dark brown shade I want, how much darker will that top get after cooking the rest of the way at the lower temp.? I’d love to try your recipe, but would hope it would come out the way I want it to.

  370. Michelle

    Can the cherry topping be made and then frozen for later use? My dear friend from OR sent me 3 lbs of sweet cherries straight from the orchard. Wanted to make a batch or 2 of the topping for future cheesecakes. Thoughts?

  371. Lisa

    This cheesecake looks divine and would welcome your guidance regarding preparing this incredible edible 2 weeks prior to serving . . . . Should I leave the cake in its springform pan without releasing it? Or, release the outer rim and then cover and wrap, etc?

    1. deb

      Lisa — It’s not going to be good for two weeks unless you freeze it after you bake it. Add the cherry sauce right before you serve it. I usually cut around the sprinform ring, remove it carefully, wash it, then replace it for longer storage. I.e. It will not gum itself back to the cake pan. It should absolutely be wrapped on top too.

  372. Libby

    My graham cracker crust got incinerated during the 550 time. I smelled burn but thought it must just be crumbs in my oven. The top is also blackish brown (no cracks!) but that will be easy to cut off and disguise with the fruit topping. Hoping I can cut the crumb sides off. Maybe this was because I have a convection oven?

  373. Glenda

    I have now made this three times in the last month, as my husband is convinced that this is the best cheesecake he has ever eaten. The first time I made it, I did it just as described, there were no cracks, but the crust seemed a little burnt, although still delicious. I’ve shortened the time at 550 twice now, and there are cracks, but they are around the edge, so no problem. I made the fruit topping for the first cheesecake, but my husband and sons got to it before I could put it on top. I’m not even going to attempt in the future, as they like it so well without.

    The one that I made today will go to work on Monday with my husband, as he has been talking about it so much.

    Thank you for a great recipe.

  374. Heather

    Hi! Thank you for the recipe. I was making this for a dinner party tonight and after 8 minutes the top was totally brown and some of the crust burnt. Boo! Looks like I will be whipping up some brownies after this. Am not sad that this may be staying home with me…..

  375. Laura

    Thanks for the recipe! I made this yesterday and it turned out great! Tastes divine. Is it supposed to be slightly creamy?It holds its shape but its not as thick as cheesecakes I’ve had from the store, for example (though not sure that store cheesecake is a great model to have). :) love your recipes! Did your slow and low dry rub oven chicken the other day and it was a huge hit! Thanks so much for sharing your gift with others!

  376. Ava

    I made this a few weeks ago and it was the first time I ever baked any kind of cake. It turned out delicious and no cracks! I used an oven thermometer to make sure I had things a the right temperature. Turned out my oven is 55 degrees hotter than it says! So I adjusted for my oven being crazy-hot, and it ended up taking several hours at a low temp before the middle didn’t look raw. Then I turned off the oven and left the cake in there for an hour. Then I opened the over door for another hour, before finally removing the cake. Delicious, and flawless! My family was shocked!Since then I’ve made 2 more cakes because your recipes are so delicious, I can’t seem to stop!

  377. PeteB

    We have home made Fromage Blanc coming out our ears. Our friend has a milk cow and Fromage Blanc is the go-to way to deal with it. I’ve never had storebought FB, so I can’t compare, but this stuff is good. We spread it on toast and spread joy by giving it away. Anyway I’m going to try this cheesecake using the homemade FB. From the commentary it sounds like I should be using the driest batch I have. Other than that I expect to just sub it for the cream cheese in this recipe. I’ll update when I’m done.

  378. PeteB

    Success! I used 2 1/2 pounds of home made Fromage Blanc instead of the cream cheese and 4 duck eggs (It’s what my local egg supplier had. They are like super duper extra large eggs) instead of 5 large eggs. I had frozen blueberries so used them instead of cherries. The top was a little browner than I had hoped, so next time I will use a slightly lower temp and be even more vigilant about reducing the temp.

  379. Made this over the weekend for a friend’s birthday. This thing had cracks like the Grand Canyon, but it didn’t matter. It was PHENOMENAL. So many people said it was the best, or one of the best cheesecake they ever had. I am also not really a cheesecake person either, but agree that this was excellent. However, I AM a sour cherry lover and the topping was perfect. Will definitely make this next time I need to feed dessert to a crowd.

  380. I have made this cheesecake recipe over a dozen times and it comes out deliciously every single time! However, I’ve recently tried this recipe with a water bath and I had literally NO CRACKS! It was flawless! Thank you for sharing such a perfectly delicious recipe!

  381. Nanci

    This is the first time I’ve ever seen someone else using this cheesecake recipe! I’ve been makingit for years. It is the best! It’s funny, some years they come out perfect and others, cracks galore. I get myself all worked up about it!! Thanks for the tart cherrie topping recipe,,that’s what drew me here today and now I have a new blog to subscribe to!

  382. Lauren

    Well, it’s in the oven and I let it get too brown on top but hopefully it’s still salvageable! I tasted the batter and it is so. good..thanks for the recipe!

  383. Cage

    This recipe is very very similar to the one offered up by Cook’s Illustrated. They have you start at 500 degrees, not 550, so maybe that will help some folks.

  384. Safrina


    I have been reading and rereading this recipe for over a month (yes, I’m obsessive and I research my recipes incessantly). I have decided to halve the cheesecake filling as cream cheese is very expensive in India. But I am using the rest of the proportions as is because I love the thick crust too. (Is that okay?) I am using fresh strawberries for the topping instead of frozen cherries.

    I have one pressing question. Can I make the strawberry topping three days in advance and freeze it? I am baking it for someone’s birthday but we are going on a short trip for a couple of days before the birthday and I would love to just assemble everything after we come back and have the “cake-cutting” celebration!

    Baking it tomorrow night so I will be checking back here a 100 times before that in case you respond. Please don’t get a restraining order! Hehe :)

    1. deb

      Safrina — I am not sure. I haven’t tried freezing the topping. My only concern would be that cornstarch-thickened things don’t always stay thick once frozen and defrosted. But even if it was on the thinner side after defrosting, I doubt it would be the end of the world. Just puddle it in the center. It would taste just as good. Enjoy!

  385. Amy

    I tried to convert this recipe to bake in a 6″ pan and had no end of trouble :( I turned down the heat to 200 degrees right when it started to brown, but when I came back 20 minutes later, the top was already a deep chocolate color. It took about 45 minutes total to cook through. The cake rose very high but collapsed once I took it out – and to add insult to injury, the graham crust was totally carbonized.

    Despite all that, the innards of the cheesecake were very tasty. Did I need to bake it differently? I’ve didn’t have trouble baking half a regular cake in a 6″ pan, but maybe cheesecake is different…

  386. deb

    Hi Amy — I’m sorry that you had trouble. I urge in the recipe to please keep an eye on the first step as some ovens will brown the tops of foods faster. A full-sized cheesecake will take, at best, 12 minutes (not 20) to brown without overcooking and in many cases less. If you’re making it again in a 6-inch, do check it after 5 minutes, then every two minutes after that. Better to turn the oven down too soon than too late. Which is little consolation to you now, I realize. I would recommend shaving the top off with a serrated knife, and nobody will be the wiser if you put a topping on it.

  387. bill


    I was comparing this to my recipe as I’m always on the lookout for a good cheesecake. The one I use is almost the same (but 4 pkg cream cheese, 4 eggs etc) and no zest.

    I make the cherry goop separately so people can top as they wish when served. I use less sugar and more vanilla but that’s probably just taste.

    But I’m not sure I can agree that this is a NY cheesecake (I was born in Brooklyn so I surely would know?). To me, a NY cheesecake needs a sour cream top.

    I cool the basic cake for 1/2 hour. Mix 1 1/2 cup sour cream, 3/8 cup sugar, & 1 tbl vanilla (I am a vanilla addict). Pour over top and return to a 475F oven for 15 min.

    Then, when served pour the cherries on and let them flow over the top on to the plate. I use canned tart cherries in water. I can’t get them locally any longer so I get them from Amazon.

  388. Karen

    Hi Deb,

    I made 2 of these for Thanksgiving – one went to a friend’s and one stayed home. I agree, this is the best tasting cheesecake ever – even people who don’t like cheesecake like this recipe. I had some problems this time that I hadn’t before. Both of the cheesecakes were very, very soft in the center and the graham cracker crust was too hard to eat. I think the crust issue may be that I pulverized the crackers and bakers’ sugar, therefore, too fine a crumb – what do you think? I was very careful to follow your instructions for starting temp: 550: browned in like 8 minutes. I then lowered to 200 and let it cook for 70 minutes and then 5 minutes longer when it looked too loose. I use a 10 in pan like you do and I don’t have a thermometer either but mostly things turn out OK. How much of the center should be “jiggley” when you finally take it out, any general suggestions? Can weather be a factor? Thanks for the great recipe, Karen

    1. deb

      Karen — It’s hard for me to say what happened with the crust. As for the cake itself, I agree, it can be really tricky. If it’s any consolation, I think you’ll know for next time because you’re going to look for it to be a step less jiggly than these were. Nevertheless, I like to think of it as a true cake and often stick a toothpick or thin knife into the center, about 1-inch in. Yes, it makes a small crack (though, almost all of my cheesecakes have something on top that will eventually hide it, as this does) and look for it to come out without wet batter on it. So, jiggly is fine, but wet/sloshy is not. Hope that helps.

  389. Amy

    Thanks for the tip on the cooking time! I’ll have to give it another shot when I have an excuse. Fortunately the recipient isn’t picky and my family just thought it was hysterical. Might not have been pretty, but with the scorched bits cut off it tasted fine.

  390. Shannon

    This recipe has made me into one of the most popular people at work. We have a large and diverse lunch group at work, once a month we celebrate the birthdays for that month. Before we would all chip in and buy an expensive cake (that I didn’t think was worth the money), and not everyone could eat the cake. But everyone could eat cheesecake. So I set out to find a recipe….whaa-laaa I stumbled upon yours. So I am the official birthday cheesecake maker, and the birthday people get to pick the fruit topping for that month. I use the same recipe as the cherry, just switch up fruit.
    I have made five, the first was perfect, no cracks, perfect crust, perfect texture, the second, was the same but when I pulled it out of the oven I discovered I had several lady bugs cooked into the mixture. That is when I discovered I had been invaded and they had congregated in corner of my kitchen. So I scrapped it and started over. Well, I rushed the second one, and it wasn’t cooked thoroughly in the center, but it still tasted wonderfully, and no one complained. So I guess I’ve made six. These last three were for the Holidays, I and they all cracked, which was okay, because I put the fruit on top, but what perplexed me was the crust pulled away from the pans, which it hadn’t done in the past.

    Thank you for the great recipe

  391. Karen

    Hi again Deb, Thanks for the hint about testing the “doneness” with a knife. I’ll try that next time. And, yes, there will be a next time. No matter how this cake looks, it always tastes great. Thanks again.

  392. Richard

    OK, I was more than a little intimidated by the thought of making a cheesecake for the first time. But after reading this recipe, I realized I could do it as long as I paid close attention to detail and technique. Wow, what a result! Beautiful top, no cracks, and unanimously the best cheesecake we’ve ever had. The subtle citrus notes are really what differentiates the flavor of this cheesecake and the texture is sublime. Thanks for taking the mystery out of making a top shelf dessert!

  393. Ana

    I debated about Philadelphia vs generic cream cheese before making this and it turned out that the generic worked just fine. I also substituted 14 oz. of strawberries for the 10 oz. of cherries in the topping and just added a touch extra of all the other topping ingredients. I baked mine for 15 minutes at 475 degrees F until it just started browning, but if never really puffed… In the end, however, it was just great. This is everything I look for in a cheesecake: rich, creamy, sweet but not overly so, slightly citrus-y, easy to put together. The fruit topping also conveniently hides any imperfections:)

  394. Aiste

    Dear Deb, I used to make Italian cheesecake a lot (sometimes substituting ricotta with some Philadelphia cheese) and one thing I was recommended to do was to keep it for two-three days in the fridge so it would mature. What about NY cheesecake? Do I have to mature it? How would the taste differ? With Italian one the taste would be always a lot deeper and complex after few days. Thank You in advance for Your answer!

  395. Kate

    So, I just pulled my cheesecake out of the oven. I had the butter seepage that I saw others comment about. I wonder if less butter in the crust would make a difference? I never had that happen before, then again I’ve always prebaked my crust and, well, the truth is, I didn’t have enough graham crackers so I used a handful of wheat saltines to make up the difference. My family will never know. HA!

  396. Aiste

    Hey Deb, thanks for Your answer. I made the cheesecake three days in advance and kept it in the fridge covered. Can’t tell yet how the taste differed as I have never tried the same recipe without maturing but it turned out to be one of the best cheesecakes I made – very soft and light, with a nice tone of cheese.

  397. ellen

    Hi Deb, I’ve read this recipe through multiple times and don’t see anywhere that it says you are baking in a water bath. Does the pan really just go into a larger, dry baking pan? If so, do you still need to wrap pan with foil?

  398. deb

    Hi Ellen — I do not bake this in a waterbath. The extra pan is to catch drips. There is no need for foil. That said, if you’d like to do a waterbath with this recipe, you can.

  399. Marielle

    So I tried this out. I have an accurate oven and have made quite a few cheesecakes (even one that I would dare to call perfect). My cake came out, quite frankly, burnt. It wasn’t so bad that it was inedible, but the cooking time and temperatures just didn’t work for me. And did I ever get some unholy cracks! I have made quite a few crackless cheese cakes, but it’s only ever worked with a water bath for me. Just wanted to give some feedback.

  400. par_parenthese

    Making this tomorrow and will likely need to do some adjusting — I’m almost certain looking at your springform pan that it’s quite a bit taller than mine. Any guidance on how deep yours is?

  401. Michael

    NO CRACKS! I know, I know, it still tastes the same with cracks and if you cover it up – who cares? Me, gosh darnit . . . If I am going to spend the money, take the time to scape down the bowl that many times, and stand guard at the oven rotating that sucker every 15 minutes to stop hot spot scorching – you’re darn tootin I care if my cheesecake cracks.

    My methods for no cracks after much research. Kitchen aid on low for as little time as possible, with lots of scrape downs of bowl and paddle (like 5, I ended up going 50/50 between hand mixing and mixer), and adding the eggs last pretty quickly as these hold more air. I hand mixed at the end to ensure that it was JUST homogenous and not a second more. Then, I banged and shook the bowl on the counter for like a minute. So many air bubbles came out that would have been trying to push up (and after the top had formed a skin . . . aka CRACKS). Poured it in the pan, and then a couple more giggles and taps, more air. My oven is a GE Profile Electric Convection, so nothing gets 550 except the pizza stone. I did 525*. I also preheated the oven with a pan of water, so it was very steamy (stand back when opening the door!). One of my 3-4 rotations happened after 6-7 minutes to ensure even coagulation on top at the beginning. After 11 minutes in my oven, down to 200*, 60 minutes (with rotations that helped cool the oven down more quickly and thus cook the cheesecake more gently). I actually left it in the oven with the door open to cool more slowly (a la Ina Garten) so for 30 minutes. Then room temp, then fridge. Perfection.

    Good luck folks!

  402. arlene

    what changes to the recipe do i need to make if i want to make 2-6 inch cheesecakes? can i just split the cheesecake batter into two pans or do i need to adjust amounts? what about oven time?

    1. deb

      arlene — It will depend on if your springforms have the same pan heights as this 9-inch one does — about 2.5 to 3 inches. If they do, you should be fairly safe splitting them. If they’re shorter, you’ll want to put 1/3 the batter in each to be safe. Same baking temperature; wouldn’t know the baking time without testing it out but if you know the baking time for another 6-inch cheesecake, you can use that as a rough estimate.

  403. Katie

    I’m making this right now, as a gluten free edition for a couple of my co-workers—but my oven doesn’t go up to 550, so I did it at 500. It definitely didn’t bubble the way yours did, and now the top looks extra dark and overcooked. Ideas on what I did wrong? Other than making it gluten free :)

  404. Lori

    I just took this out of the oven after 40 minutes at 200 degrees. It looks done and feels done. The top is overly brown but no cracks. I really hope I didn’t take it out to early but could it have cooked faster because I had a Teflon pan?

  405. Kate

    Hi Deb! I don’t know if you can answer a question on this recipe so long after the fact, but I was just wondering if you have any tips on crust — I’ve just taken this cheesecake out of the springform, and it’s stuck to the edges of the pan a bit. Nothing major, but it’s definitely not beautiful like your photo and this always happens to me when I make crumb crusts. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I used graham cracker crumbs (the pre-ground, out-of a box kind) and I greased the sides of the pan first (perhaps insufficiently?). Is it a matter of pressing too hard, or not hard enough? Thanks very much!

    1. deb

      Kate — I’d say you should always press in very hard, and make sure it chills in full so it re-solidifies before filling it. I imagine that the sticking comes from batter that has come through the crust or over the top so just be careful that the cheesecake it a bit below the crust rim before baking and that there are no visible holes.

  406. dave shultz

    you don’t like canned cherry topping but will use frozen to make yours-i’ll stick with the canned

    also-to make sure your cheesecake doesn’t crack-at the end of the cooking time, turn oven off, crack door slightly and leave cheesecake in oven for 1 hour-remove and cool completely-mine never crack

  407. Polly

    I just made this and it did crack near the end unfortunately (a small one) but nothing like yours (: … I had some issues with the crumbs. They didn’t want to stick together at all so I may try adding more butter… Otherwise, very good creamy consistency. I only had 4 blocks of cheese so I did 5 eggs instead and it turned out fine.

  408. Chris

    Hi Deb:

    I’ve posted this as number #564, but did not see a reply from you:

    Hi Deb:

    I baked one cheesecake many years ago and that’s it…….hated it…….recipe called for sour cream and I know that’s what made it creamy…………yech!
    I just LOVE a cheesecake that is tall, dry (not at all creamy), and very dense…….a REAL New York cheesecake! I WANT the dark brown top! Not “burnt”, but dark like you used to see them years ago. How do I get this kind of top? Do I just watch the cake and once it gets to the darkness I want, THEN turn down the temp. to finish baking? OR…….if I do this, will it get even darker once it continues to bake at a lower temp? In other words……..once it gets to the dark brown shade I want, how much darker will that top get after cooking the rest of the way at the lower temp.? I’d love to try your recipe, but would hope it would come out the way I want it to.

    1. deb

      Chris — Yes, watch the cake and as it approaches that color, reduce the temperature and finish baking. It also relates to ovens. Some ovens just brown better than others. Mine doesn’t in particular, but it does brown better on the top rack than the lower one. It might be worth trying different spots in your own oven to see if you find the same.

  409. Allie

    I just made this for the first time last night! It turned out really well! My oven only goes up to 500 degrees so I started it out there and cooked it for a little longer at the high temperature (about 25 minutes). Then I lowered it to 200 and baked it for about 45 minutes. It did turn a little more brown than I would have liked but, since I was topping it I wasn’t too worried. The crust that wasn’t touching the cheesecake burned a little but, I was able to scrape most of the burnt crumbs off since it wasn’t very much. That being said I will definitely make this again! I plan on cooking it at 500 for only twenty minutes and making sure the crust isn’t too high. It still turned out wonderfully!

  410. Bob

    Hi Deb, I looked through all of the comments but didn’t see a reference to how tall the springform pan was. Since you mention this is a tall cake I’m wondering how high the pan sides need to be.Surely taller than a standard pan?

    Also the directions say to stop the crust one inch shy of the top of the pan. But then while filling it says that the pan will be almost full. Then later you mention not letting the batter spill over the top edge of the crust to prevent seepage between the crust and pan. So I have myself all twisted figuring out which way to go. Thanks!

  411. deb

    Ooh, good questions. By completely full, I really meant that the crumb crust will be. It cannot hurt to make sure you have a little space between the top of the batter and the rim; cheesecakes don’t really rise much but they do puff a little while baking (and then deflate). Anyway, my response is slow this time — you probably already made it. Hope it all worked out.

  412. Laurel Saltzman

    I made this last weekend for my son and niece’s birthday to serve 14. It did, easily. I made it with a sour cherry topping(actually a bag of frozen sour cherries and 1/2 a bag of regular). For me, I used 8oz of gluten-free graham cracker crumbs but they JUST covered the bottom of the pan, which was fine. Also, I let the cake cool in the oven but it still cracked a little. No one sees it because of the topping, but I know it’s there! I had no problem with stripes of cream cheese because I let the cream cheese sit out at least a couple of hours so it was definitely room temperature.
    This cheesecake was an amazing hit. I now have to make it for Rosh HaShanah dinner! I also make the Apple & Honey Challah so it will be a Smitten Kitchen New Year! Thank you, Deb!

  413. Liza

    Let me start by saying that I LOVE your site and all your recipes and usually cook something from here probably every week.
    But, with this recipe, oven wonkiness is an epic understatement. I am sorry to say I have made this several times and have had to disregard your temperature & timing instructions almost entirely. 550 is way too hot in my oven, it blisters & browns the top the point where it is almost un – servable in its appearance; thereafter, 200 produces a cake that takes almost 2 hours to bake, still cracks but completely loses all moisture (possibly due to sitting in the oven for so long ? – no idea) so it is dry -ish and stiff -ish…I usually spend the entire time sat in a lotus pose in front of my oven, with a piece of parchment paper that I alternately whip on and then off the cake to achieve the right colour, anxiety ridden & never completely sure how it will all end. I have managed to achieve a very tasty result but never anything that looks like yours so if you have an suggestions, they would be most definitely very welcome – because I intend to keep trying until it comes out looking like your beautiful picture at the top! :)

  414. Kirsty

    Hi Deb

    How long does the cherry topping last? Do you think if I sealed it in glass jars it would last the full 2 weeks the cheesecake lasts? I ask because I am making smaller versions of the cake as Christmas gifts and would like to give the topping separately as well so they can have the full delicious experience!

    Thanks! Kirsty

  415. Clara

    Hi Deb, I can’t believe I am the 622nd comment on this cheesecake! Wow! Anyhow, unfortunately my experience is a sad one! All my fault. Beginning with the fact that I started baking close to midnight… anyhow we like in Holland, so I always have to convert measurements and temperatures, no problem! Everything was going perfect then I put it in the over and put it at my oven’s highest temperature which is 250 C, I 550F is higher than that! Anyhow then I started to get so tired… After exactly 12 min. I brought it down to 200 (Celcius!) and laid on the couch, for 1 hour!! Yes, I did that… so stupid! So it should have been 100… When I looked at it it had puffed up super high and i was afraid to open the oven, so I went to bed and in the morning it had completely collapsed and had a thick dark layer on top. OMG… and even then it took a few minutes to realize what I had done! I was able to remove the top layer really easily because some home it was detached from the rest of the cake, and it might look decent, we even tasted it and its good, so we’re actually going to serve it! But I’m sure the consistency will just be hard and dry… :( The worst part is the cost on ingredients! Here in Holland they have Philadelphia which is about 2,60 Euros a tub, and another brand called Mon Chaou which is firmer and price is about the same, so that’s what I buy, 1,09 for each package of 100gm, and for this cake you need 1,133gm! So around 17USD (12 EUR) just on cream cheese… BUT if it wasn’t X-mas I would have ran out immediately to buy more and try again :) Thanks for the recipe and Merry Christmas!

  416. Kim

    This is my go-to cheesecake recipe. I have a large extended family and this is the #1 item requested for gatherings.
    I will say this: if you have a darker pan it cooks differently. I’ve made it in light colored pans without non-stick coatings and they cooked beautifully. No cracks, gorgeous even color. The only time I’ve had trouble with cracks is when I’ve used darker pans with non-stick coatings. I’ve taken to reducing the temperature and watching it like a hawk and that has helped.

  417. Melody

    500? I’ll admit I’m too chicken to even try it. I bake my cheesecakes at 275 for the required time and then turn off the oven and let them sit for the required time. My 8-9″ bake for about an hour and then sit in the cooling oven for another 30-35 minutes.

  418. michelle

    I made this for my daughters birthday today and it was perfect. It looks just like your picture and the no crack trick is definitely a keeper. Thank you for another great recipe.

  419. This is the old Lindy’s cheesecake recipe, and I have been making it for years. As long you as you don’t overmix the batter, use too high a KitchenAid setting, let it cool too quickly, mess with it before it cools other than running the knife around the edge — which is a must because it will crack if you do not! — or do cartwheels next to your oven, it works fine as directed. My oven max is 500 degrees, and this has not been a problem for the first bake cycle. By the way, the zest quantities in the original recipe work fine — and are especially nice if you plan to use no toppings.

  420. Tanya

    Just making this now. I had to convert the temps as we are in °C here in Australia. My oven only goes to 260°C so not quite 550F but i had it on for a while so it got as hot as it could. So far so good. Lots of spillage and the butter from crust seems to have just errupted. Thank goodness for the baking tray. I had to open the oven to cool ot down to the lower temp. I have a thermometer so i can keep an eye on it. We don’t have the crackers you use in the recipe so I just used our version of them. Hopefully it will work :)

  421. Adam

    Can I just say that I have made this countless times and I’ve now got a reputation for making the best cheesecakes in town.
    In Australia, I use gingernut biscuits as we don’t have graham crackers and the slight ginger zing is beyond awesome. B.E.Y.O.N.D.
    I’m making this again for a dinner tomorrow. Thanks for making my desserts an eternal success:-)

  422. Meghan

    Hi Deb,
    I’ve been making this cheesecake for a couple of years now, and it always comes out perfectly. Actually, I made it for a bake-off, judged by a celebrity chef who has cooked for the president, and it won first place! You can officially call this an award winning cheesecake!!!