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.
How is a New York Cheesecake different?
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?
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?
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.
If this is the first time you’re baking a cheesecake, here are my tips for best results:
- 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 can I serve with New York Cheesecake?
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!
If you’re looking for even more cheesecake recipes, these are the best flavor cheesecake recipes ever made:
- 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!
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.