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This better-than-the-bakery cheesecake recipe is extra rich, creamy, and so delicious. A great make-ahead dessert option, it can be chilled in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or frozen for 2 months.
Best Cheesecake Recipe
There are few things in life better than sinking your fork into a slice of cheesecake! This seemingly fancy dessert is actually quite easy to make at home. And even better, is the ultimate party dessert because it can be made days – or months – in advance. Which is a good thing because although it’s an easy dessert, it’s definitely a time consuming one.
So be sure to read all of my tips and tricks for saving you time and money!
Better than The Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake?
Have you ever wondered: how are Cheesecake Factory Cheesecakes baked? Well you’re definitely not alone! I actually worked at the famous factory for almost 5 years. And during that time, I was asked that question over and over again.
I probably consumed over 1 million calories taste-testing my way to the answer! I’d take a slice or two home almost every night… sometimes even more! And quickly it became my life mission became to learn how to bake next level cheesecakes. And after years of research, I finally have the answers!
Did you know you can bake this classic with dessert simple ingredients like cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and heavy cream? And the results? Well let’s just say this recipe rivals anything you’d buy from a fancy bakery!
Are Cheesecakes Hard to Make?
No, they are not hard to make and you don’t need to be a skilled pastry chef to make one! But they do require a good amount of steps and time, so it’s important to have plenty of time when you plan on baking one. Here are a few pro-tips that will make baking a one… well, a piece of cake!
- Wrap the bottom and side of the springform pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. This will protect your pan from water leaks when it’s placed in the water bath.
- Spray the entire baking pan with non-stick spray. If you don’t have canned spray, feel free to grease the pan with butter. Greasing the entire pan will ensure your crust and cake don’t stick to the pan. No sticking equals perfect slices!
- To make the crust you will need melted butter, crushed graham cracker crumbs, and sugar. You can buy graham cracker crumbs from the grocery store, or make your own by pulsing sheets of graham crackers in your blender or food processor.
- When pressing the crust down into the bottom of the springform pan, you’re going to want to press it down very firmly. A firmly packed crust will bake up nice and thick, and most importantly, won’t crumble much when sliced. I recommend starting to press the crumbs down in the center of the pan and then working the crust out and just a little bit up the edges.
- Room temperature ingredients are crucial when it comes to making a cheesecake! So be sure you bring your cream cheese, eggs, and heavy cream to room temp before you begin making the batter.
How to Make Cheesecake:
- Cheesecake Prep: Preheat the oven so it’s ready for you. Be sure to preheat at least 20 minutes before you plan on baking. This gives the oven plenty of time to reach the proper oven temperature. Prep you baking pan by wrapping it with aluminum foil and spraying it with nonstick baking spray.
- Bake the Crust: The crust is partially baked before adding the batter to ensure it bakes up crispy. Let the crust cool as you make the batter.
- Make the Cheesecake Batter: You’ll need a food processor, a stand mixer, or a large bowl and a handheld electric mixer to make the batter. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to eliminate any lumps hiding in the batter.
- Pour the Batter: Slowly pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust. Then smooth the top.
- Water Bath: Place the cheesecake pan inside a large roasting pan and fill with hot water.
- Bake the Cheesecake: Bake until the cheesecake is firm, but the center is just a little wiggly. Don’t over bake, it’ll firm up a good amount as the cheesecake cools.
- Cool: Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool inside for 45 minutes before opening the oven door! This is by far the hardest part of baking a cheesecake! But be patient and let it chill at least 6 hours! You’ll be rewarded for your patience.
- Slice and Serve: The best way to get clean slices? Use a very sharp knife, and wipe it between slices. Wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Do I have to make a Water Bath?
Yes, but I promise it’s not as hard or scary as your might think! The water bath helps the cake stay nice and moist! And it also ensures a crack-free presentation.
Learn how to make an easy water bath with this step by step tutorial!
Can Cheesecake be Frozen?
Yes! Baked cheesecakes freeze great! After baking, cool the cake completely at room temperature. Then wrap the whole cake, or slices, in multiple layers of saran wrap, then place in a freezer bag. Stored this way, it can be frozen for up to two months.
To defrost, simply thaw the wrapped cake in refrigerator overnight. Do not attempt to thaw in the microwave or oven!
Equipment Needed for This Recipe
- Electric Mixer: There’s no way to make this extra rich and creamy cheesecake without an electric mixer, so be sure to have a stand mixer, food processor, or electric hand mixer ready to go.
- Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil: I suggest using this heavy-duty aluminum foil because it’s extra wide and thick, which helps ensure no water leaks through to your cheesecake crust.
- Spring Form Pan: This cheesecake pan is a total workhorse and releases the cake effortlessly every single time.
- Roasting Pan: You’ll need a pan large enough to place the spring form pan inside of, and while a large skillet or baking sheet with high sides might work ok, a roasting pan definitely works the best.
Easy Cheesecake Recipes:
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Classic New York Cheesecake Bars (If you prefer a sour cream based cheese, this is for you)
- Pumpkin Cheesecake (one of the best pumpkin desserts ever!)
- Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce
- 50 Best Cheesecake Recipes to Bake
Extra Rich and Creamy Cheesecake
For the Crust:
- 2 cups (198 grams) graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup (67 grams) sugar
- 7 tablespoons (99 grams) butter, melted
For the Creamy Cheesecake:
- 5 blocks of full-fat cream cheese (40 ounces total) room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs room temperature
- 3 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) heavy cream room temperature
For the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly spray a 9" springform pan with non-stick spray.
- Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with heavy duty tinfoil. I recommend doing several diligent layers here to ensure no water creeps through when you place the pan in the water bath. Set pan aside.
- In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter; stir well to combine. Firmly pat the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Place partially baked crust on a cooling rack and set aside while you prepare the filling.
For the Creamy Cheesecake Filling:
- In the body of a high power blender, food processor, stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a very large bowl using a hand held mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until completely smooth, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Add sugar and vanilla and beat smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add in the eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add in the cream and beat until it's just incorporated in the batter.
- Pour filling into prepared crust and, using a silicone spatula, smooth the top.
- Place the cheesecake pan into a large, deep pan. Fill the pan with 2 inches of hot water. This is your water bath and will help ensure your cheesecake comes out crack free.
- Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn oven off and let the cheesecake sit, undisturbed, for 45 minutes, inside the oven with the door shut. The cheesecake should be still slightly wiggly.
- Remove cake from oven and gently run a knife very around the edge of the cake. Place the cheesecake pan on a cooling rack and cool completely, then loosely cover the pan with saran wrap and chill for at least 8 hours.
- Cheesecake will keep, covered in the fridge, for 5 days. Cheesecake may be frozen for 2 months. Thaw overnight before slicing.