I’ve always loved a good cheesecake, but now I’m going to tell you how to make the perfect cheesecake right in your home. No need to go out to a restaurant or bakery when you can make it in your own oven.
The Perfect Cheesecake
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Mix the sugar into the crumbs. Place the sweetened crumbs in a nine-inch springform pan. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork to combine well.
- Press the crumbs firmly against the pan to compress the crumbs and form the crust. A well-shaped glass will work fine. Do not press the crumbs up the sides so far that the crumbs extend beyond the depth of the filling or else the top edge will over bake. Two inches is about right.
- Bake for seven to ten minutes. Remove and let cool while you make the filling.
- 2 ½ eight-ounce blocks of cream cheese, warmed to room temperature on the counter or in the microwave.
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
- 2/3 cup sour cream at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest (avoid the white pith; it’s bitter)
- 2 large eggs
- Turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
- Mix the sugar, salt, and cornstarch together.
- Place the cream cheese in the mixing bowl of your stand-type mixer equipped with the paddle. Add the dry ingredients and slowly mix until combined.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, and zest. Mix until combined. Do not whip the mixture; avoid air bubbles.
- Scrape the filling into the cooled crust. Smooth the top with a spatula.
Baking and Cooling
- Place the cheesecake in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 42 to 45 minutes or until done. When done the edges of the cheesecake should be set but the rest of the cake should be jiggly when it comes from the oven. The target temperature is 150 to 155 degrees. You can use a probe-type kitchen thermometer but it may start a crack.
- After baking, set the cake on a wire rack to cool. After ten minutes, remove the ring from the pan. Let the cake cool completely on the rack. Do not put a warm cake in the refrigerator to accelerate cooling.
- After the cheesecake is completely cooled, place it in the refrigerator to chill for several hours, preferably overnight. The cake will become firmer as it chills.
- Before serving, set the cheesecake on the counter to warm to near room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered.
This recipe should give you a perfect cheesecake with a wonderful taste and texture and no cracks.
If it is important to you to make a cheesecake without cracks, follow the mixing and baking directions carefully including removing the ring from the pan in ten minutes.
We have had some cheesecakes crack when stuck with a probe to check for doneness. Breaking the surface tension while baking, even a little, can start a crack. We have had some cheesecakes crack when we have baked two cakes in the oven in the same time. We believe that is because the air doesn’t circulate as well with two cakes in the oven and one side bakes more than the other.
For more tips on how to make the perfect cheesecake, view this article.