Creamy New York–Style Cheesecake

The texture of this sour cream cheesecake is like velvet on the tongue.

This recipe is from the Eats cookbook, which you can get as a free gift with our Readers’ Best Recipes Cookbook at our online store. View three more recipes from Eats and three recipes from Readers’ Best Recipes.

This cheesecake makes a fantastic Thanksgiving Day dessert.

Photo Credit: 

Becky Luigart-Stayner



1 1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter the sides of an 8-inch springform pan.

Put a shallow pan of hot water on one of the lower racks of your oven (not on the center rack). The water will create steam that will help to prevent your cake from cracking.

For Crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix well. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake on the center oven rack for 8 minutes.

Transfer to a cooling rack.



16 ounces cream cheese (not lowfat or whipped), softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract or 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


Put the cream cheese into a bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed while gradually adding the sugar, until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each until just blended. Add the sour cream and extracts and beat until evenly mixed. Pour the filling into the crust.

Put the pan on the center oven rack and immediately lower the heat to 325°F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the cake rises slightly on the sides. If you nudge the pan, the cake should wobble and not be runny in the center. Turn off the heat and open the oven door slightly. Leave the cake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a cooling rack.

Topping (optional):


1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar


Combine the sour cream and sugar in a small saucepan and stir to blend. Cook on low heat, just until runny; do not boil. While the cake is warm, pour the topping over the center and immediately tilt the pan to spread the topping. Set aside to cool.

Topped or not, cover the cake with foil in the pan and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving.


Makes 8 servings.

Preparation Method

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