This really is the BEST Cheesecake recipe, you'll get a classic, beautiful cheesecake every time! It's a straightforward, practically fool-proof method, and there's no water bath required. With a buttery graham cracker crust, and a rich and creamy vanilla filling, you can eat it plain or with your favorite cheesecake topping!

A slice of the best cheesecake on a plate with strawberries in front of the rest of the cheesecake.


Table of Contents
  1. Why We Love This Recipe
  2. What You'll Need
  3. How to Make the Best Easy Cheesecake
  4. Recipe FAQ's
  5. Tips for Success
  6. Substitutions and Variations
  7. More Cheesecake Recipes
  8. Best Easy Cheesecake Recipe (No Water Bath!) Recipe

Homemade cheesecake is one of the most classic, iconic desserts that belongs in the repertoire of every home baker. This is a tried-and-true cheesecake recipe that gives perfect results every time. Each slice is a sweet, creamy, crunchy piece of heaven, and I just can't get enough!

I have made cheesecake in so many ways, and this is definitely one of the easiest. While I don't mind doing a simple water bath, and it definitely does give good results, I'm a big fan of this simplified method, especially because the result is so impressive.

It's so good that it stands on its own without any additional toppings but it's just a delicious covered in cherry pie filling, raspberry sauce, caramel sauce, blueberry pie filling, or just served with sliced fresh fruit and homemade whipped cream!

If you're crazy for cheesecake like us, then you'll also want to check out this super easy No-Bake Cheesecake, my Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake, or this White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake!

Why We Love This Recipe

  • Customize this classic cheesecake recipe with your favorite toppings, or add different flavors to the filling as you like.
  • Made using simple ingredients you may already have at home!
  • This easy method will give you a perfectly creamy cheesecake with less fuss.

What You'll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Graham crackers - We use our favorite honey graham crackers for the base of this cheesecake, but you could sub in biscoff cookies, Oreos, Nilla Wafers, or other options.
  • Sugar - Granulated white sugar gives just the right amount of sweetness to the cheesecake filling.
  • Butter - This will bind the graham cracker crust together while adding buttery flavor.
  • Cream cheese - Full-fat soft cream cheese is best for a fuller flavor, although I have also made this with reduced-fat neufchâtel with good success.
  • Sour cream - Adds a creaminess and slight tang for a classic cheesecake taste.
  • Vanilla - To add flavor and depth to the cheesecake.
  • Salt - This ingredient enhances all of the other flavors.
  • Eggs - They are essential to keep the structure of the cheesecake filling.
Top view of ingredients needed to make the BEST cheesecake recipe.

How to Make the Best Easy Cheesecake

  1. Prepare equipment. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper if you want to easily be able to remove the whole cheesecake from the pan.
  2. Blend Graham crackers. Pulse graham crackers in a large food processor (affiliate link) or blender until they are fine crumbs, then add sugar and melted butter and pulse again to combine.
  3. Make crust. Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan, and about 1" up the sides of the springform pan. It helps to use a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup to compact the crumbs into the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes to set the crust.
  1. Beat cream cheese. Meanwhile, beat softened cream cheese in a large bowl using an electric mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed just until creamy and smooth so the cheesecake filling doesn't end up lumpy.
  2. Add sugar and beat. Add sugar and mix again just until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bottom with a rubber spatula.
  1. Add sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Next, add in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix again until evenly incorporated, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again. Do not overmix or it will add air to the batter which can result in cracks in the cheesecake.
  2. Add eggs. Lightly beat the eggs with a fork in a separate bowl, then add the beaten eggs to cheesecake batter and mix just until combined. Pause to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.
  1. Assemble cheesecake and bake. Pour cheesecake batter into the prepared graham cracker crust. Bake for 70-80 minutes until the edges have turned a very light golden brown and the center is barely set but still has a slight wobble to it if you jostle the cheesecake in the oven. Do not overbake.
  1. Cool cheesecake. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes in a warm place. I like to turn off the oven completely and open the oven door wide to let it cool in there, but just be careful if there are others in the kitchen who might run into the open oven door if you do this! Otherwise, just set it on your stovetop or a trivet on your counter to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from pan and serve. After 10 minutes, run a thin knife around the edges of the crust to separate it from the springform pan. Let the cheesecake cool gently at room temperature for another 1-2 hours before transferring it to the fridge to chill for 4-6 hours. Remove from the springform pan and slice with a sharp knife before serving.
Plain cheesecake on a plate next to a bowl of berries.

Recipe FAQ's

Can I make cheesecake ahead of time?

This cheesecake recipe requires it to be chilled for at least 4-6 hours, but it can be chilled overnight as well, so it's perfect for making the day before your event! I would recommend topping the cheesecake right before serving it though, to keep the flavors as fresh as possible.

How do I store cheesecake?

Store your cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. You can store it with the toppings already on it, or store it plain and add the toppings fresh each time you serve it.

Can I freeze cheesecake?

As this cheesecake is baked, it is perfect for freezing. To do this successfully, first freeze it in the springform pan after you have separated the edges of the cheesecake from the pan. Put it in the freezer for 4 hours to solidify, then remove it from the pan, cover it in two layers of plastic wrap, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months! Simply unwrap the cheesecake and place it on a plate in the refrigerator to defrost.

Tips for Success

  • Cream cheese: Be sure to use bricks of cream cheese rather than the spreadable cream cheese that comes in a tub. I recommend using full-fat cream cheese and full-fat sour cream for best results but have also had success using Neufchatel instead.
  • Clean cuts: For cleanly sliced cheesecake, I recommend using a long, sharp knife. Run the knife under hot water and wipe clean with paper towels before each cut.

How to Avoid Cheesecake Cracks

Air pockets are common reasons for cheesecake cracking. Here's a few things you can do during the process of making your cheesecake to avoid air bubbles and cracking.

  1. Whisk the eggs separately before adding them to the cheesecake batter. This will reduce the time needed to add the eggs to the filling, and therefore reduce the amount of air created by mixing it in.
  2. Tap the bowl with the cheesecake filling in it on the counter for about 30 seconds to encourage any air bubbles to come to the top and pop out of the mix.
  3. Make sure there are no lumps in the batter will go a long way too. Use room temperature ingredients to mix everything together more easily.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Cheesecake crust: Try alternative bases like an Oreo crust with finely crushed Oreo cookies, or use Biscoff cookies or Nilla Wafers for other options.
  • Topping: You can use any topping you like to make this cheesecake perfect for your special occasion! My favorite cheesecake toppings include fresh fruit like sliced strawberries, raspberries (any fresh berries really), or even peaches, plums, or pineapple; sweet sauces like caramel, chocolate, or mashed strawberries mixed with a little sugar; and to finish you can add candy toppings like chocolate curls, mini chocolate chips, chopped candy bars, or crushed nuts like pistachios, peanuts, or pecans.

More Cheesecake Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Best Easy Cheesecake Recipe (No Water Bath!)

4.80 from 10 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
This really is the BEST Cheesecake recipe, we get a beautiful cheesecake every time! It's a straightforward, fool-proof method, and there's no water bath required. With a buttery graham cracker crust, and a rich and creamy vanilla filling, I have no doubt this will become one of your favorite desserts!

Equipment

  • 9-inch springform pan

Ingredients
  

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs, about 1½ sleeves graham crackers (198g)
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar (267g)
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper if you want to easily be able to remove the whole cheesecake from the pan.
  • Pulse graham crackers in a large food processor (affiliate link) or blender until they are fine crumbs. Add sugar and melted butter and pulse again to combine.
  • Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. It helps to use a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup to compact the crumbs into the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes to set the crust.
  • Meanwhile, beat softened cream cheese in a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed just until creamy and smooth. Do not overmix.
  • Add sugar and mix again just until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bottom with a rubber spatula.
  • Add sour cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix again until evenly incorporated, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again. Do not overmix or it will add air to the batter which can result in cracks in the cheesecake.
  • Lightly beat the eggs with a fork in a separate bowl. Add beaten eggs to cheesecake batter and mix just until combined. Pause to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.
  • Pour cheesecake batter into graham cracker crust. Bake for 70-80 minutes until the edges have turned a very light golden brown and the center is barely set but still has a slight wobble to it if you jostle the cheesecake in the oven. Do not overbake.
  • Remove the cheesecake and let it cool for 10 minutes in a warm place. I like to turn off the oven completely and open the oven door wide to let it cool in there, but you need to be careful if there are others in the kitchen who might run into the open oven door.
  • After 10 minutes, run a thin knife around the edges of the crust to separate it from the springform pan. Let the cheesecake cool gently at room temperature for another 1-2 hours before transferring it to the fridge to chill for 4-6 hours. Remove from the springform pan and slice with a sharp knife before serving.

Notes

  • Storage: Store your cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. You can store it with the toppings already on it, or store it plain and add the toppings fresh each time you serve it.
  • Freeze: As this cheesecake is baked, it is perfect for freezing. To do this successfully, first freeze it in the springform pan after you have separated the edges of the cheesecake from the pan. Put it in the freezer for 4 hours to solidify, then remove it from the pan, cover it in two layers of plastic wrap, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months! Simply unwrap the cheesecake and place it on a plate in the refrigerator to defrost.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 439mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1389IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Cindy W. says:

    This looks great and I will be making it. Curious though, how and when did you remove the parchment paper under the cheese cake after it was baked?

    1. Amy says:

      Once the cheesecake was completely cooled and chilled in the fridge I was able to just peel the parchment paper off. Or you can skip the parchment paper entirely if you want.

  2. Carolyn Bonds says:

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to make this for thanksgiving. I like there isn’t a hot bath to bake.

  3. Linda says:

    5 stars
    I haven’t tasted yet, it looks beautiful. Made this for a ladies church tea time afternoon. I’m going to put strawberry glaze with fresh strawberries. I did make a Jello (brand) no bake for family tonight, but, looking forward to this special recipe. Thank You!

  4. Nina says:

    3 stars
    After the cream cheese was room temperature it was still not easy to mix. Maybe a name brand would have been a little better. The cheese cake filled the pan but after it settled the cake was only about an 1 1/2 high. Not a strong taste of cheese. Crust was tasty. I'll buy my next cheese cake!

  5. LouAnn says:

    5 stars
    I've used a 10" spring pan and a 9 ". 10" is perfect for the cheesecake ingredients. The mixture was right at the top of the 9". People use a 10" for the best outcome. LouAnn

  6. Carole Deering says:

    5 stars
    This cheesecake recipe is the closest one I have found since living in NYC many years ago! The NY cheesecake called for 5-8 ounce packages cream cheese plus 4 large eggs and one yolk adding one at a time. The remaining prep and time were the same. I will make it for comparison. I will keep you posted.
    Bon appetit,
    Carole