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Vanilla Cheesecake


Basic Vanilla Cheesecake

Source: Baking Basics and Beyond
Makes one regular sized cheesecake, or about 4 of the small 4 inch ones like the above


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

Three (3) 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla


Heat oven to 350 with oven rack in middle. Lightly grease sides of a 9 inch springform pan.

Crust: Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl. Press crumbs into bottom and slightly upsides of prepared pan.

Filling: Beat cream cheese in bowl of a heavy duty mixer on medium speed until creamy and free of lumps. Scrape down sides of bowl. Gradually add 1 cup of sugar, scraping sides of bowl occasionally, and beat until smooth.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each egg is added. Add vanilla and beat just until smooth. Pour batter into crust and smooth the top.

Bake 38 to 43 minutes or until cake edge is set and center still jiggles. Remove cheesecake from oven.

After removing cheesecake from oven, run a small metal spatula around the edge to help prevent cracks. Cheesecakes need to be cooled slowly. Place them on the top of the oven for about 30 minutes and then let them cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Plan to refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To serve, release sides of springform pan and place cheesecake on serving plate. Dip knife into warm water and wipe dry before cutting slices. Garnish with topping of your choice!

Graham Crackers

From Smitten Kitchen
Makes 10 4 x 4.5-inch graham crackers or 48 2-inch squares

This recipe will make way more than you need, but the crackers are so delicious, you won’t mind.


2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (375 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (176 grams) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt (4 grams)
7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup (114 grams) mild-flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons (77 grams) milk, full-fat is best
2 tablespoons (27 grams) pure vanilla extract

Topping (optional)
3 tablespoons (43 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) ground cinnamon


Make the dough: Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.
[Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor or electric mixer, you can cut the ingredients together with a pastry blender. Just make sure they’re very well incorporated.]
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.

Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap it, then chill it until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.

Roll out the crackers: Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers.

Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the second batch of dough. Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Decorate the crackers: Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough. Using a toothpick or skewer, prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.

Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.

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33 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. terencegoh

    Just want to share some tips on the cheesecake recipe that I tried.

    Cheese cake is basically a cream cheese custard (hopefully I did not drive anyone away from trying the recipe having said this). So baking it at high temperature will crack the surface, still eatable but it will not look presentable. If it does crack, you can use a little sour cream to smooth it over the cheese cake.

    But another trick is to cover the pan with foil and bake it in a pool of water. Not boiling water. Cold water if you will. The objective is to bake it evenly. I usually bake it at lower temperature but longer time.

    Another way to build the crust, sometimes manually pressing it down will not be even. So in James Petterson’s book, you can actually bake the cheese cake first … then pat the side with the blended graham crumbs. I have not tried that but at least the surface are more even that way.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Those are all really good tips! I probably should have stated this in the post, but I’ve never had any issues with this cheesecake recipe whatsoever, no need for a water bath, etc! : )

  2. Kate

    I love cheesecake, but I am always too lazy to make it. The marmalade toppings are such great idea, where can I get the marmalade recipes?

    • I wish I had made the marmalade! The cherry is from bonne maman (best jam ever) and the orange elderflower is from ikea, it’s delightful.

  3. amelia

    Hi, I am bit confused on the amount of cream cheese used, is it 38 ounces or 3/8 ounce.

    Kindly clarify and your blog is one of the best.

  4. Nice looking cheesecakes. I have never thought of putting jam on top. I am sure it is great and goes well with the creamy filling.

  5. Oh my God, Hannah. I just visited your site. You’re such an amazing photographer. So dreamy. Incredible.

    What a great recipe too! Thanks for sharing.

  6. oooo lovely! cheesecakes can be so versatile and are not really all that hard once you’ve mastered it! lol plus they look so impressive too!
    thanks for the graham cracker recipe! we dont get graham crackers in malaysia and i’ve always wondered what they taste like. :)

  7. Eklie

    can i use other biscuits e.g. marie, etc. which are easily available at supermarket. if so how much butter and sugar do i have to add.

  8. Bee, I’m the same way with baking, I need to get more guest bloggers doing baked goods for NR.

    Hannah, these cheesecakes look amazing, and I think it’s especially awesome that you made you’re own graham crackers. I’m all about making things from scratch.

  9. suka chiak

    looks easy to make and yummy too. I’m going to try it. Can i place the pressed crackers in th fridge while making the filling, just like some recipe say so. this is to harden the crackers. Is it ok?

  10. Yum!! I love the idea of combining vanilla with a cheesecake! This looks divine! You should consider entering it into Recipe4Living’s 5th Birthday Recipe Contest! The site is turning 5 years old, and we’re giving away a Scharffen Berger gift basket to the top birthday cake that’s submitted!

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