This classic baked cheesecake is rich and creamy yet light, sweet without being overly sweet. A couple of little but important tips makes this an easy Cheesecake recipe – I think you’ll be surprised!
Also, don’t miss the new Strawberry Cheesecake!
BAKED CHEESECAKE – MADE EASY!
This is an easy Cheesecake recipe. Well, I should say, this is a baked cheesecake recipe that’s made easy with a few key tips that make all the difference.
I think some people find the idea of making cheesecakes daunting, especially ones where the biscuit crust comes up the side like this one. But you know what? In my humble opinion, cheesecake is easier to make than cakes.
You don’t need to worry about the cake rising, or even sadder is when it sinks in the middle while it cools (such a let down after thinking you’ve nailed it!). And it’s definitely easier than making pastry.
The risk of failure with baked cheesecakes is lower. There’s no rising agent, no gelatine to set it. If the surface cracks (but it shouldn’t, with my tips! 🙂 ), just hide it under icing sugar and/or a pile of berries – or the biscuit crust cracks a bit.
See? How would anyone know if the surface is cracked?? 😉
Easy Cheesecake recipe tips
Here are my tips to make this classic baked Cheesecake stress free and easy for you to make:
The biscuit crust is stronger than you think. I always stress that the crust is going to crack (especially the walls) but it always surprises me how well it holds together when I’m handling the finished cheesecake. It’s firm but has a little give so it doesn’t crack with the slightest bend.
Invert the base of the springform pan. Though the ridge around the base of the pan is small, it can be a real pain to transfer the cheesecake out of the base onto the serving platter. We can’t flip cheesecake upside down like with cakes!! So make your life easier by inverting the base so it’s perfectly flat so the cheesecake will slide right off onto the platter.
Paper overhang – this also helps remove the cheesecake. Just slide it right off the cake pan base!
Press biscuit crumbs firmly using something flat. The key to a sturdy crust is pressing the biscuit crumbs firmly into the base and up the wall of the cheesecake. Use something with straight walls and a flat base – I use a measuring cup. I use the side of the cup to press the crumbs into the walls and the base to press down.
Easy Cheesecake recipe tips (cont’d)
Don’t over-beat the batter. Unlike cake batters, we don’t want to aerate cheesecake batter to make it rise too much. If you over-beat the batter causing bubbles in the batter, the cheesecake will rise more when baking then when it collapses as it cools, it will crack.
Room temp ingredients – make sure the cream cheese is softened and the eggs are at room temp. This will ensure your cheesecake filling is beautifully smooth as it should be!
Bake on a low temp – helps ensure the surface doesn’t crack.
No water bath – it’s tedious and makes no difference. See this Strawberry Cheesecake for notes and a side by side comparison.
Cheesecake surface shouldn’t crack…. but if it does, don’t worry! Just hide them under berries or cream!!
What this Baked Cheesecake tastes like
The Cheesecake Spectrum is very broad and this version is a classic one that sits in the middle. On one hand, you have cheesecakes that are very dense and creamy which weigh a ton – like a New York cheesecake that uses twice as much cream cheese for the same size cheesecake. Many no-bake cheesecakes have a tendency to be too heavy – unless you use gelatine like in this No Bake Mango Cheesecake.
On the other side of the Cheesecake Spectrum, you have cheesecakes that are so light and airy, it is almost like a mousse. Like this famous Japanese Cotton Cheesecake on my mother’s website, RecipeTin Japan.
This one is in between. It is creamy and definitely indulgent, but not dense. The texture is light when you cut into it but the mouthfeel is creamy. It’s sweet but not overly so. I have more of a savoury than sweet tooth so I don’t enjoy extremely sweet desserts too much.
And lastly, a little touch of lemon zest just gives it that perfect finishing tough.
All those words to describe the cheesecake. I should have just said – THIS IS DARN DELICIOUS!!! – Nagi x
More Cheesecake recipes
Strawberry Cheesecake – a magical combination!
Classic Baked Cheesecake recipe – made easy!
Watch how to make it
This is the Strawberry Cheesecake recipe video. The cheesecake is made exactly the same way as in this recipe, but is topped with a Strawberry Sauce.
Classic Baked Cheesecake
CHEESECAKE BISCUIT BASE:
- 200 g / 7 oz Arnott's Marie crackers or other plain biscuit (Aus) or 28 Graham Cracker squares (Note 1)
- 120 g / 8 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
- 1 lb / 500g cream cheese , softened (Note 2)
- 2 tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup / 125g sour cream (full fat)
- 1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 eggs , at room temperature
- Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
- Icing sugar / powdered sugar , for dusting
- Preheat oven to 160C/320F (standard) or 140C/295F (fan/convection).
- Get a 20cm/8" springform cake tin. Turn the base UPSIDE DOWN (Note 4), butter lightly and place a square piece of parchment/baking paper on the base. Then clip into the springform pan - excess paper will stick out, see photos in post and video.
- Butter and line the side of the pan.
CHEESECAKE BISCUIT BASE:
- Break up biscuits roughly by hand and place in a food processor.
- Blitz until fine crumbs (Note 5). Add butter, briefly blitz until dispersed and it resembles wet sand.
- Pour into the prepared cake tin. Use a spatula to roughly spread it out over the base and up the walls.
- Use something with a flat base and vertical edges (I used a measuring cup) to press the crumbs up the wall almost to the top of the sides, and flatten the base.
- Use a mixer or beater to beat the cream cheese until smooth - about 30 seconds on medium high,.
- Add flour, beat until just combined (10 sec).
- Add vanilla, sour cream, sugar and lemon zest. Beat until just combined (10 - 15 sec).
- Add eggs one at a time, beat in between until just combined (10 sec each). Don't over beat, do not want to aerate the batter.
- Pour into prepared crust.
- Bake for 55 minutes. The top should be a very light golden brown, not cracked, and near perfectly flat. It should jiggle slightly when you gently shake the pan.
- Cool the cake in the oven with the door open 20 cm / 8" (Note 6), then refrigerate for 4 hours+ in the pan.
- Remove sides. Use overhang paper to slide cheesecake off the cake pan. Then slide the cheesecake off the paper.
- Top with berries and dust with icing sugar!
US: Use 28 squares / 14 full sheets, yes I measured it with my last Graham Cracker packet I brought back from my last trip.
UK: Digestives are ideal, I LOVE digestives! The crumb should be like wet sand so when pressed, it stays packed firmly, especially up the wall. Adjust if necessary with more butter. It's delicate when uncooked but once the filling is cooked, it becomes much more stable. 2. Cream Cheese - In the UK and some parts of Europe, block cream cheese isn't available. If you can only get spreadable cream cheese in tubs (softer than block), skip the sour cream. 3. Lemon Juice or Water - Depends on sweetness of strawberries. If they aren't that sweet, use water instead. 4. Inverted cake pan with overhang paper: The base of springform pans have a slight ridge. By inverting it, there is no ridge which makes it easier to slide the cheesecake on a serving platter without ruining the crust. There is no risk of batter leakage as the crust is thick enough to hold it all in. 5. Crumbs: OR crush in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin or large can. 6. Cool in oven: This helps stop the surface from cracking. 7. Different measures: Cups and spoons vary slightly between countries (US and CAN are different to most of the rest of the world). I have made this recipe using both US and Australian measures, using Australia Marie crackers and US Graham Crackers. The Graham Cracker crust is slightly crunchier because the biscuit doesn't crush to a fine sand like Marie Crackers do. Both are delicious!
Life of Dozer
The recipe video I shot was a fail because a certain very large-furry-rascal with Giant Paws bumped the tripod while filming so I ended up with 10 minutes of footage of my dirty bench top.
I was extremely cranky with him. Yet look at him, eyeing the cheesecake! He still thinks he’s going to get some!!! Not a chance Dozer, not a chance!!!