New York-Style Cheesecake

Tested & Perfected Recipes

With this recipe, a creamy, gorgeous, crack-free New York-style cheesecake is totally doable, even for beginners!

New York-style cheesecake is my husband Michael’s favorite dessert. In fact, the first time I met my future mother-in-law almost 20 years ago, she told me that the way to Michael’s heart was through his stomach, and that whenever she wanted him to do anything as a child, she bribed him with a slice of cheesecake. A traditional lady she may be, but I got the message loud and clear: learn to make a good cheesecake!

I’ve shared several cheesecake recipes with you — an Italian-style ricotta cheesecake, a pumpkin cheesecakecheesecake bars, and even Baileys cheesecake marbled brownies – but never an authentic New York-style cheesecake.

Truth be told, New York’s take on cheesecake can be a little intimidating to make. Though the ingredients are simple, you have to worry about the water bath leaking into the cake, the surface cracking, and over or under-cooking. But after baking umpteen cheesecakes over the years (for birthdays and such, not bribery!), I’ve found that with the right recipe and a few pointers, a creamy, crack-free New York-style cheesecake is totally doable, even for beginners.

What you’ll need to make new york-style cheesecake

how to make new york style cheesecake

Before we get to the recipe, you’ll need a nine or ten-inch springform pan and 18-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil. The springform pan features sides that can be removed from the base, so you can release the cheesecake easily without having to flip the whole pan over (this would be a disaster with a cheesecake!).

Springform pans, however, are notorious for leaking. Since a cheesecake bakes in a water bath, the foil prevents the water from seeping in during baking. Please do not attempt to use standard 12-inch aluminum foil —  you can’t have any foil seams on the bottom or sides of the pan. I can tell you from experience that no matter how well (or how many times) you wrap the pan, if there are seams exposed to the water, the water will find a way in.

If you’d like to try another technique that doesn’t require wrapping the pan in foil, get more guidance here.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

How to make new york-style cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Next wrap the springform pan with one large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, covering the underside of the pan and extending all the way to the top. Repeat with another sheet of foil for insurance. Spray the inside of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt.

how to make new york style cheesecake

Stir until well combined.

how to make new york style cheesecake

Press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until set. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Make the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Flour might seem like an odd addition, but a little starch prevents the cheesecake from cracking as it cools.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Beat on medium speed until just smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure the mixture is evenly combined.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Add the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt; beat on low speed until just combined.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until incorporated, scraping the bowl as necessary.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Mix in the sour cream.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Make sure the batter is uniform but do not over-mix.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Pour the batter on top of the crust.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Set the unbaked cheesecake in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes about one inch up the side of the cake pan. The water bath (also called a bain marie) regulates the temperature and keeps the cheesecake baking at an even, low heat. The steam created by the water bath also protects the cheesecake from drying out and cracking.

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Bake until the cake is just set, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes (the cake should not look liquidy at all but will wobble just a bit when the pan is nudged; it will continue to cook as it cools).

how to make new york-style cheesecake

Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack. Cool the cheesecake in the water bath until the water is just warm, about 45 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the water bath, discard the foil, and transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator to cool for at least 8 hours or overnight.

how to make new york style cheesecake

Remove the sides of the springform pan. You can serve the cheesecake right from the base of the springform pan. Or, if you dare to transfer it to a serving platter, run a long, thin spatula between the crust and the pan bottom, and then use two large spatulas to transfer the cheesecake to a serving dish. Slice with a sharp knife, wiping the knife clean between slices. Serve with berry sauce, if you like.

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New York-Style Cheesecake

With this recipe, a creamy, gorgeous, crack-free New York-style cheesecake is totally doable, even for beginners!

Servings: 8 to 10
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes, plus at least 8 hours to cool

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, from 12 whole crackers
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Filling

  • 32 oz (four 8-oz blocks) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon packed lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Special equipment: 9- or 10-inch springform pan; 18-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Berry sauce, for serving (optional)

Instructions

For the Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the lower middle position. Wrap a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with one large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, covering the underside and extending all the way to the top so there are no seams on the bottom or sides of the pan. Repeat with another sheet of foil for insurance. Spray the inside of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Stir until well combined. Press the crumbs into an even layer on the the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until set. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Set a kettle of water to boil.
  4. Make the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour together on medium speed until just smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure the mixture is evenly combined. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt; beat on low speed until just combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until incorporated, scraping the bowl as necessary. Mix in the sour cream. Make sure the batter is uniform but do not over-mix.
  5. Check to make sure your oven has cooled to 325°F, then set the cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour the batter on top of the crust. Pour the boiling water into the large roasting pan to come about 1 inch up the side of the cake pan. Bake until the cake is just set, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes (the cake should not look liquidy at all but will wobble just a bit when the pan is nudged; it will continue to cook as it cools). Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack. Cool the cheesecake in the water bath until the water is just warm, about 45 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the water bath and discard the foil. If necessary, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it's not sticking to the sides (which can cause cracks as it cools), then cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  6. For serving: Remove the sides of the springform pan. Serve the cheesecake right from the base of the pan; or, to transfer it to a serving platter, run a long, thin spatula between the crust and the pan bottom, and then use two large spatulas to carefully transfer the cheesecake to a serving dish. Slice with a sharp knife, wiping the knife clean between slices. Serve with berry sauce, if you like.
  7. Make Ahead: The cheesecake can be made and stored in the springform pan in the fridge, tightly covered with plastic wrap, up to two days ahead of time.
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cheesecake can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place the cake in the freezer briefly, unwrapped, to firm it up. Then double-wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw in the refrigerator the night before you plan to eat it.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 659
  • Fat: 43 g
  • Saturated fat: 24 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59 g
  • Sugar: 49 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Sodium: 464 mg
  • Cholesterol: 233 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I was born and raised in NY so I was comparing my results to the cheesecakes in my memory. This recipe is fantastic! Creamy and delicious. Your hints for making sure the water bath doesn’t get into the pan were perfect. I will make this again for sure when I have plenty of company to eat it. For now I will bless my neighbors with a little taste of heaven. Thank you for such a fabulous recipe and great instructions

    • — Tara Branham on April 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made the perfect cheesecake for the first time ever!!

    • — Rashmi on April 9, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is the best cheesecake recipe! I rarely make a review, but members of the family who are not fans of cheesecake swear that this is the best they had! Thanks and more power to you!

    • — Gani Mejia on April 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this for Easter dinner at my daughter’s house. I’ve been too busy to bake in recent years and was so afraid of failing. This recipe was amazing! I was concerned because my foil was only 12″ and couldn’t cover the outside without a seam. I ended up using 6 sheets (it was heavy duty), and although water did get into all the layers, the cake still came out perfect! The lemon taste is noticeable and a must! I will definitely make this again.

    • — Darlene C on April 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this cheesecake for my son on his birthday–it did not disappoint!
    Visually perfect, and taste was exquisite. This will be my go-to recipe from now on.
    Thank you!

    • — Mary Lou on April 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Tried this recipe, 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
    Turned our really well on the first attempt, thanks for the tips , the step by step guidance, and demonstration .
    Shared the cake with friends , they liked it too.
    GodBless

    • — Vicky Alagandran on April 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi, can I make this cheesecake without the crust?

    Thanks!

    • — Joanna on April 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Joanna, I wouldn’t recommend it. The crust protects against leakage. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • Absolutely perfect cheesecake! Tried many different ones. This will be my go to recipe!

    • — RITA SILVESTRI on March 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can u bake it without the water bath? Could u put a pan with water on the bottom shelf?

    • — Cindy on March 31, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Cindy, You could try putting the water in a pan on the bottom shelf, but I can’t guarantee that the top won’t crack. If you want to use a very similar recipe that doesn’t require a water bath, you could consider these cheesecake bars. Hope you enjoy whatever you make!

      • — Jenn on March 31, 2021
      • Reply
  • It turned out beautifully! This is literally the best cheesecake I have ever had. It’s amazing!!

    • — Bec on March 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hello Everyone!

    Like so many of the reviews already listed, I too, never made a cheesecake before, now I’m hooked, yum! Followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect, with rave reviews from all who salaciously consumed the decadence. Will definitely make it again, but, I’d like to experiment with Limes and Oranges as flavor variants. In my minds eye and taste buds, I want to replicate the taste of Key Lime pie or an Orange Creamsicle so often enjoyed in my youth.

    Thank you Jenn Segal for sharing your recipe and tips

    • — Norman Bergeron on March 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made the cheesecake exactly per instructions and baked it for 1 1/2 hours on 325. I made the mistake of not checking it periodically so it was a little brown on top. My oven must be running hot even though the oven is only 3 months old. Hopefully it will taste good. Will see tomorrow. The cheesecake looks beautiful. No cracks. Very easy recipe.

    • — winny n thermos on March 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • I am going to try this tomorrow, and i’m not sure I have the time or materials to use a boiler pan. Could I bake it in the oven instead?

    • — Emily on March 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Emily, I’m not sure I understand your question as this gets baked in the oven. Can you clarify? Thanks!

      • — Jenn on March 24, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi!
    I usually don’t write reviews and 90% of recipes I find on the internet don’t turn out as I expected, BUT! This cheesecake! ☺😋❤ Seriously, it is THE CHEESECAKE! Thank u so much for this amazing recipe! 🙏

    • — Veronika on March 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can i add more graham crackers to do the sides of cheesecake, if so how many? Thanks! I made this recipe twice already, absolutely delicious. And planning on making it again this weekend for a friend, I’m going to put a cardboard on plate of spring foam pan this time is that ok to bake that way?

    • — Kathy on March 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, It’s fine if you want the crust to come up the sides a bit, but I’d use all of the ingredients to make more; not just the graham crackers. And I’m not sure I understand your second question — are you saying that you’d like to put a paper plate on the bottom of the springform pan?

      • — Jenn on March 19, 2021
      • Reply
      • Yes, want to know if you can put a round cardboard and parchment paper before baking crust?

        • — Kathy on March 20, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Kathy, it’s fine to put parchment paper on the bottom of the springform pan but I would not use a paper plate.

          • — Jenn on March 23, 2021
          • Reply
  • I love cheesecake and am VERY picky. Have used a few recipes that I like previously, but this is absolutely the best! The Berry Sauce is to die for!

    • — CPWR on March 17, 2021
    • Reply

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