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Best Cheesecake Ever!    

Best Cheesecake Ever!

Customize your cheesecake with confidence. Here's an all-purpose, out-of-this-world cheesecake with some options for flavor, crust, filling, and topping.


Preparation Time: ½ hour 

Baking Time: 1 ½ hours (and 1 hour of cool-down time) 

Level of Difficulty: Medium 

Kashrut Type: Dairy 






  • 4 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened 

  • 1 cup sugar 

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

  • 4 large eggs 

  • 1 cup sour cream 

  • ¼ teaspoon salt 




For the crust:  

1. Choose your crust from variations below.   


2. Bake in oven for 10-20 minutes. Ten minutes for cookie crusts or 15-20 minutes for batter crusts (such as red velvet).              


For the basic cheesecake filling: 

1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until it is smooth and no longer lumpy. 


2. Slowly add in the sugar and continue to beat until smooth. Add in the vanilla. 


3. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before the next addition. 


4. Beat in the sour cream and salt and mix until smooth. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared and cooled crust. If using a water bath, place the spring form pan into a larger high-sided pan (large enough for the springform.) 


5. Place springform pan into a large, deep baking tray. Pour hot water in the larger pan, filling until it reaches halfway up the outside of the springform. Be careful not to splash any water into the cheesecake. Place pan in the oven.  


6. Bake at 350°F for 1 1⁄2 hours until mostly set; the center will be a bit jiggly, but it will set in the fridge.  


7. When the cheesecake is ready, turn off the oven and crack open the oven door. Allow the cheesecake, the water bath, and the oven to cool down for one hour. The gentle cooling ensures that the cheesecake will not crack.  


8. After an hour, remove the cheesecake, cover well, and refrigerate at least 4 hours before unmolding and serving.  


When ready to serve, top cheesecake with topping of choice. Store baked cheesecake in the fridge. 




Peanut butter cheesecake: use Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust recipe + add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to cheesecake batter + Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache to top.  


Green tea cheesecake: add two teaspoons green tea powder to the cheesecake batter. Top with fresh berries when serving.  


Chocolate truffle cheesecake: Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust recipe + add 1 cup chopped truffles to cheesecake batter. When cheesecake cools, top with Chocolate Ganache and more chopped truffles.  


Lemon cheesecake: use Graham Cracker Crust recipe + add juice and zest of one lemon to cheesecake batter.  



Funfetti cheesecake: use Graham Cracker Crust recipe + add 1⁄2 cup colorful sprinkles to cheesecake batter + white chocolate drizzle to top 


Caramel cheesecake: use Graham Cracker Crust recipe + swirl in 3⁄4 cup salted caramel sauce into cheesecake batter + 1⁄4 cup caramel to drizzle on top.  


Red velvet cheesecake: use Red Velvet Cake recipe as base + swirl in 1 cup red velvet cake batter into cheesecake batter.  


Chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake: use Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe as base + regular cheesecake batter with 1⁄2 teaspoonfuls of cookie dough dropped into cheesecake batter once placed in pan + 1⁄4 cup Chocolate Ganache to drizzle on top. 




Cheesecake can get expensive so instead of making a bunch of cakes, make one or two batches, and then divide the batter amongst mini-muffin pans or mini-tart tins.  Adorn with fruit and candy and you’ll be amazed at how far this trick will stretch a simple batter of cheesecake. 



To simplify preparations even more, prepare “no-bake” cheesecakes.  Place vanilla wafers in the bottom of mini-muffin tins.  Top with a blend of whipped cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla, and a dollop of fruit preserves or fresh berries.  Refrigerate until serving. 



Jamie Geller is one of the most sought-after Jewish food and lifestyle experts worldwide. She is the bestselling author of 5 books and founder of Kosher Network International, publisher of JamieGeller.com featuring more than 10,000 recipes, articles, and videos.  Check out her new #1 Amazon Bestseller, Brisket 101 and her new family meal plan “Fresh Families” at FreshFamilies.us. 




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