The Very Best New York Cheesecake Recipe // Video
Rich, smooth and creamy, this New York Cheesecake is so simple to make with just a few everyday ingredients. Just like the cheesecakes you find in the Big Apple, this recipe is absolutely fool-proof and perfect every time.
Originally published November 2018 and updated November 2019 with a brand new video! Post may contain affiliate links to products I use and love.
I’m craving a trip to New York City right about now….it’s been a few months since we had time to visit and I know we are due. It’s my favorite city because of the diverse food culture and that fact that I can stuff my face with something from every country on the planet within a two block span. And my son has been bitten by the NYC bug, too….which I love.
But among all the cupcakes and macarons and Instagram worthy chocolate chip cookies….hidden kinda in the old school bakeries that nobody’s really shooting pics of and posting for the world to see is the New York Cheesecake.
It seems so humble but one bite will assure you that this unassuming dessert is decadent, rich and sinfully addicting in ever sense of the word.
We usually go buy a ton of sweets to bring home along with the usual stock of Katz’s corned beef but we never manage to grab a cheesecake while we’re there.
Sure, we order a slice or three when we’re having dinner out but bringing a whole New York Cheesecake home when we don’t really have an occasion to share with others just seems a little over the top.
So, I created my own recipe years ago (before I had actually had the life that allowed frequent visits to NYC) just so I could have a taste of the Original New York Cheesecake right in my own home.
New York Cheesecake
If you’ve never had a New York Cheesecake before, it’s a rich, dense, smooth and creamy cake filling nestled in a graham cracker crust. Now, some people swear by Junior’s Cheesecake which is a little different from what I’m used to being that the crust is actually a sponge cake.
It’s the only place I know that serves their cheesecake on a sponge crust. It’s lovely and light but not how I wanted to recreate the original that I know and love.
Typically, a New York Cheesecake recipe has sour cream or heavy cream included in the ingredients for the filling. I was able to duplicate the same dense, smooth, sweet filling without adding the additional cream.
Less cream, less calories…..but we’re eating cheesecake here so it doesn’t really matter. Does it?
Ingredients You Will Need
For this version of a New York Style Cheesecake, I skipped the heavy cream and went straight with the usual ingredients as shown here:
- graham cracker crumbs
- cream cheese
Simple, easy to find ingredients make this New York Style Cheesecake recipe quick to whip up without having to search for obscure items.
How do I bake a New York style cheesecake?
For this New York Cheesecake recipe, you’ll need one 9-inch springform pan (I use this one!), a baking sheet and aluminum foil. Line the outside of the spring form pan with the foil before filling.
Be aware, springform pans are notorious for leaking. Since cheesecake bakes in a water bath (Bain Marie), the foil prevents the water from sneaking into the pan during baking. Standard 12-inch aluminum foil is not going to cut it here, go big with the foil since you don’t want any foil seams on the bottom or sides of the pan. If there are seams exposed to the water, the water will find a way in.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter and salt until clumps begin to form.
Press the crumb mixture into a springform pan firmly and evenly across the bottom and halfway up the sides.
Transfer the crust to the oven and bake until set, approximately 10 minutes.
Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with foil.
Reduce the oven to 325 degrees.
Add the cream cheese to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
Beat in the sugar and vanilla scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed.
Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pour the filling into the crust and set in a deep baking pan.
Transfer the baking pan to the oven and fill with water. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until set but still wobbly in the center.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
This easy cheesecake recipe does require some planning but your efforts and patience are rewarded tenfold once you dig your fork into it and take a bite.
So, if you ever wondered how to make a New York Style Cheesecake, this is the recipe for you.
- Be sure all your filling ingredients are room temperature. This allows the ingredients to combine easily and become smooth without any lumps.
- Do not skip the water bath! Placing your foil wrapped pan in the water bath during the baking time required will help to eliminate any cracking.
- Do not over bake your cheesecake. The sides will be dry and firm to the touch but the center will still be wobbly. The cheesecake will firm up while it chills overnight.
- To cut your cheesecake, run a knife under hot water and make your first cut. Wipe the blade with a warm, damp paper towel in between cuts.
What To Serve With It
I like to top my cheesecake slices with fresh strawberries but you can use any of these easy recipes to add some extra to your cheesecake:
- Warm a bit of this Blueberry Jam in the microwave for 10 seconds and drizzle over top.
- This easy Lemon Curd adds a tartness that’s perfect with the rich creaminess.
- Craving fudge? Drizzle your cheesecake with this homemade hot fudge sauce.
- Freeze a slice of cheesecake and dip in this Chocolate Magic Shell!
- Top with a heaping spoonful of Homemade Cherry Pie Filling!
More Easy Cheesecake Recipes
- Mini Carrot Cheesecakes….my personal fave.
- This No Bake Cheesecake is seriously amazing…and so easy!
- Gingerbread Cheesecake is just what dreams are made of.
- Looking for savory? Try these Parmesan Basil Cheesecakes and watch jaws drop. So good!
- Mini Strawberry Pretzel Salad Cheesecake….need I say more?
- Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecakes will make you weak in the knees.
- The BEST EVER Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe. Ever.
- The MOST AMAZING Chocolate Cheesecake!
Want more tasty desserts and easy dinner recipes? Follow us over on Instagram for all the recipes you can handle and some behind the scenes fun!
Get the Recipe: The Very Best New York Cheesecake Recipe
For the crust:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs approximately 12 ounces whole crackers
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter melted
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
- 4 8- ounce blocks cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar, butter and salt until clumps begin to form.
- Press the crumb mixture into a springform pan firmly and evenly across the bottom and halfway up the sides.
- Transfer the crust to the oven and bake until set, approximately 10 minutes.
- Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with foil.
- Reduce the oven to 325 degrees.
- Add the cream cheese to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the sugar and vanilla scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed.
- Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Pour the filling into the crust and set in a deep baking pan.
- Transfer the baking pan to the oven and fill with water. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until set but still wobbly in the center.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
- Serve chilled topped with strawberries or just straight up.
71 Comments on “The Very Best New York Cheesecake Recipe // Video”
What’s the dimensions of the springform pan, please?
9 inches works best. You can use 8 but you may need to use less of the filling.
Do you wrap the whole thing in foil, or just the bottom and sides of the pan?
Just the bottom and sides of the pan.
I love it! The cake is thick enough and looks so fluffy However, I have never dared to make a cheesecake by myself. You have an amazing collection of cheesecakes!
Thank you so much! I love baking cheesecakes…..they’re so simple to make!
This is a good recipe. It makes a ton of cheesecake though. I didn’t even use the full amount of cream-cheese and I have enough cheesecake to feed multiple families, seriously.
It is a large cheesecake made to fit a 9 inch pan. You could make two smaller cheesecakes and freeze one. Thanks for trying!
Is it 4 to 8 ounces or 48 ounces of cream cheese ?
It’s quantity “4” 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese.
Oh my heavens… this cheesecake recipe looks absolutely amazing!
Thank you so much! It really is!
Cheesecake is my all time favorite dessert and this one was so easy to make. Thanks!
You’re welcome! I love an easy dessert.
This looks like the perfect cheesecake! I am going to make it for a party this weekend!
Yay! You will love it and it’s soooo easy!
This is the very best cheesecake – love all the info you gave so it could come out perfect!
Thank you! I think it’s the very best. 🙂
Hi, Is this a firm, dense cheesecake, or more of a “custardy” cheesecake? I am looking for a recipe for a dense firm cheesecake, like the kind you would get at an upscale restaurant. To date, I have been unable to find this recipe! Any suggestions?
This is definitely a firm, dense cheesecake like you’d find in a restaurant. It’s creamy but definitely not custardy in any way. I’m sure you will LOVE it! I’m kind of a cheesecake snob.
Sure would a big piece of this cheesecake now. Sounds so easy and delicious.
It’s pretty amazing….I hope you try it!
Real New York cheesecake is supposed to be a stand alone cheesecake, without a graham cracker crust. It is kind of shocking how so many people over the years have incorporated the graham crackers that it is now considered acceptable, which is unfortunate. NY cheesecake is also devoid of fruit toppings, oreo, etc. it is just a high, firm, rich cheesecake, all by itself, because it needs nothing else.
The ingredients here make a very good cheesecake, alas…
I’ve had many NY cheesecakes in NYC and they all had some kind of crust with the exception of Junior’s which had a sponge crust. So, that’s new information to me but thank you for sharing. I also agree that real NY cheesecake has no toppings…which is why this recipe just has a simple strawberry on to.
I’m sorry… might be a silly question… but I’m not sure I understand the after part. You pour the batter in the pan, and then fill the pan with water on top of the batter…? Or you put the spring form pan, inside another cake pan, and fill the cake pan with water…
Oh no….sorry if it was vague…you put the springform pan inside a deep rimmed baking sheet and then pour the water into the baking sheet. This creates some moisture in the oven which helps prevent cracking.
Visiting Lusaka, Zambia and made this cake for dessert. It was amazing. One comment – we used Tennis biscuits for the base and could have left out the sugar. Suggest if making base out of any other biscuit than graham crackers (ginger, marie, tennis) to omit the sugar.
That’s a great tip! There are also sugared graham crackers here in the US that you should leave the sugar out on, as well. Thank you and enjoy your trip!
Do I need to remove the cheesecake from the pan before chilling overnight or right before cutting?
I remove it after it’s been chilled.
Hello! How do you usually chill this in the refrigerator? Should it go in a container so it is properly sealed? Or should the springform pan just be covered with foil? 🙂
Hi! You can chill it in the refrigerator while still in the springform pan. You’ll notice that the crust will begin to pull away from the sides as it chills making it much easier to remove from the pan.
Can you please clarify the water bath part? How much water? in a pan like a baking sheet with higher sides (that would be maybe 1/4 inch of water) . I just do not want to mess it up. Making for my son’s birthday 🙂
Yes, so I used a rimmed baking sheet and pour enough water for it to come up about 1/2 inch on the sides of the pan.
Ok so I have tried this recipe twice and both times I lined my springform pan with foil. Both times the bottom of the springform pan had water in the bottom when it came out of the oven and the crust was soggy with water. I don’t know how the water is making its way to the bottom of the springform pan. Very discouraged.
I’m not sure why that would be happening if you’re wrapping it tightly with foil. Maybe try two layers of foil?
Make sure you’re using the “extra wide” foil as it is wide enough to come completely up, totally around the 9″ pan. I just roll/pinch the edges of the foil back onto the edge of the 9″ pan.
Great tip, Leslie! Thank you!
She said that she lined the spring form pan with foil – I take that as – on the inside of the pan not around the outside.
I’m sure you will LOVE it! I’m kind of a cheesecake snob.
I love this recipe! I’ve made it several times and it comes out perfect every single time! It is now being requested for parties and family get togethers. We top with canned cherry filling. So good!
That’s my favorite way to serve it! I’m so glad you love it, too.
Hi – do I have to bake the crust first or can I just let it set up in fridge?
You do have to bake the crust for 10 minutes before adding the filling to it.
Hi Kellie – the first time I tried, the crust came out hard. Is that normal?
Make sure the crust is a thin layer, I do find that if I have to thick of a crust in the corners it is a bit hard to cut through. But it’s hard like a cookie, not break your teeth hard.
The batter is delicious. In the oven now! I did add a zest of a lime and about a tablespoon of lime juice. I felt that a little acid helped bring it along.
Hi there! I made this today and had no clue about the “bath” part. So I set it in the pan with foil around the sides. It got so soggy!! I googled what a bath was and realized the foil needs to be on the bottom and sides etc. any how the video I watched made the suggestion of putting the springform pan in a larger cake pan to prevent any water getting in! Then set it in another pan with water. Wanted to share the tip. My cheesecake looks yummy, but it is soggy on the bottom. Will try again! Thanks for the recipe!!
I’m so sorry you have a soggy cheesecake! I’ll update the post to explain a bit bitter but I do have a video that shows how to do it on the post. Did you not see that?
It turned out perfect!!! Everyone loved it!Can I do 1/2 again as much ingredients and make it in a larger pan?
I’m not sure what you’re asking but I’m so glad you loved it!
Made this cheesecake for Christmas! Came out perfect and was so delicious! Not a piece was left! Will definitely make it again!
Thank you for your comment! I’m so glad you liked it!
Can we reduce cream cheese to 2 blocks and half all the ingredients for filling for smaller height?
Yes, if you halve everything it should be good. Cut the cook time, too. Just check halfway through to see if it’s set up and then you can chill.
I made this yesterday and I love it. It tastes wonderful! This recipe was very easy to follow and very easy to make. Thank you!
One of my favorites….thanks for commenting!
Made this for my boyfriend’s mom’s birthday back in December. It was a HUGE hit. Came back tonight to make for my own mother’s birthday tomorrow.
Just wanted to add that the first time I made it I used a slow cooker liner around the sides of the pan and then just tied up the extra in a knot. The liners are long so just scoot the pan to one end in the liner and you’ll have enough extra liner to work with. Worked great to keep the water out! I do throw a single piece of foil around the bottom seam first. Probably not necessary but just in case.
Thanks for the great recipe!
So glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for the tip….love the idea of a slow cooker liner!
This recipe may be good for me as I don’t have sour cream, whipping cream and heavy cream at this moment.
Just asking you, please. Can I add some lemon juice and zest because we love lemons for its tangy and zesty taste or flavour? If so, how many lemons to juice and zest needed for one 9-inch baked cheesecake?
You can, see my previously reply. 🙂
Hi there, I want to try this recipe but can I add lemon juice and zest? We love lemons for its tangy and zesty flavour. If so, how many lemons should I need to juice and zest?
We love lemons, too. You can add about 1 tsp juice and 1 tsp zest for a little lemon flavor. Just be careful not to add too much or the acid could cause your cake to not set up properly.
I would love to add a sour cream topping to this cheesecake. It would need to bake on top the cheesecake for 15-20 minutes. Should I shorten the baking time of the cake before I add the sour cream topping. I have made this cheesecake before and loved it, but my kids asked if I could add the sour cream topping.
I have added a sour cream topping after baking with great results!
Skip the foil and use a roasting
The foil keeps the water from seeping into the cracks of a not quite water tight spring form pan. It’s just insurance. 🙂
Hi Kellie. Was wondering if you could swirl a chocolate ganache through this before baking. If so would the baking times be the same?
Hi! A ganache swirl would work but it may increase the baking time by about 5 minutes. Just check when you get to the end of the recommended baking time to see if the cheesecake has set up.