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Classic Cheesecake

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings


A delicious and decadent classic cheesecake recipe with a sweet graham cracker crust and a sweet cream cheese filling with a hint of vanilla and lemon.


For the crust

  • 11/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 11/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs (beaten and added one at a time)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 stick melted butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. To prepare the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and 3 tablespoons sugar in a bowl. Stir in the 6 tablespoons melted butter until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into bottom of a 10-inch round springform pan and press firmly to the bottom and approximately 1/2 inch up the sides. Chill in refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Put a large pot of water on to boil – this will be used for the water bath.
  3. To prepare the cheesecake filling, mix the sour cream, ricotta, and softened cream cheese together in a large bowl, combining well. Then add the remaining ingredients one by one in the order listed above – mixing well after each addition – sugar, eggs, flour, cornstarch, melted butter, vanilla, and lemon juice. Once mixed, pour into prepared springform pan with graham cracker crust.
  4. Wrap the bottom of the pan in a large single sheet of aluminum foil making sure that the sides of the pan are fully covered by the foil. This is done to prevent the water bath from leaking into the bottom of the springform pan. Place the springform pan in a baking pan large enough to hold the springform pan and also large enough to allow for water to surround the springform pan. Add about an inch of hot (almost-boiling) water to the baking pan so it surrounds the pan. (See our How to Bake Using a Water Bath.)
  5. Bake in a 325 degree oven for one hour. After an hour, turn off the oven heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven for two additional hours without opening the door of the oven. After the two hours are up, remove from the oven and the water bath and let cool.
  6. Refrigerate uncovered overnight or for at least 4 hours before serving. To remove from the pan, wet a large knife with warm water and run the knife blade around the edge of the cheesecake before loosening the outer ring of the springform pan. (If necessary, clean and rewet the knife as you go around the cheesecake to ensure a clean edge.) Serve with fresh strawberries or other topping of your choice.