Perfect Classic Cheesecake Recipe

This recipe creates a smooth, decadent cheesecake with a rich graham cracker crust.


  • For the Crust:
    • 1 and ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15 graham crackers)
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Filling:
    • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    • 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 16 ounces sour cream


  1. Prepare the Crust:
    • Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). In a food processor or using a resealable bag and rolling pin, crush graham crackers into fine crumbs.
    • In a medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until well incorporated. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan.
    • Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. Make the Cheesecake Filling:
    • In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer and a large bowl), beat the softened cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
    • Beat in the eggs one at a time, on low speed, until just incorporated. Scrape down the bowl after each addition.
    • Stir in the vanilla extract, salt, and sour cream until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  3. Bake the Cheesecake:
    • Pour the cheesecake batter over the cooled crust. Wrap the outside of the springform pan with a double layer of aluminum foil to prevent leaks.
    • Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan (water bath).
    • Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the center is slightly set but still jiggles slightly.
  4. Cool and Chill the Cheesecake:
    • Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool completely in the water bath for at least 1 hour. Then remove from the water bath and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight, before serving.

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