Looking for the BEST recipe for New York Style Cheesecake? My version is absolutely delicious and is very easy to make, no cracks and no water bath required! This classic New York Style Cheesecake recipe has a Nilla Wafer crust, a delicious cream cheese filling and is finished with a cherry pie topping.
New York Style Cheesecake
Nick has been asking me to make a New York Style Cheesecake with Cherries on top and a Nilla Wafer Crust for weeks, since I first made a Sopapilla Cheesecake for our friend Sean’s birthday.
I don’t know why, but I’ve always been too intimidated to make a baked cheesecake. However, I finally gave in and started searching for recipes that I could work with and adapt to our tastes. This Classic New York Style Cheesecake is the result.
This easy cheesecake recipe is very straightforward, just make sure you get the cheesecake filling nice and smooth before you add it to the Nilla Wafer crust. A stand mixer will make easy work of this, but if you don’t have one a hand mixer will work just fine too.
When it comes to make ahead desserts this one is a winner as once cooled it’s best if you can leave it to sit in the refrigerator for at leave 5 hours, but ideally overnight. Making this the perfect make ahead dessert for the busy holiday season.
I love make ahead desserts as you can serve them straight from the refrigerator, just when you are ready to eat. Give this recipe a try and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family do.
How to make New York Style Cheesecake
Make the cheesecake base:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Crush the Nilla Wafers into tiny pieces with a sharp knife or a chopper. I used my Pampered Chef Chopper (Circa 1998 and still chopping!)
- Add in and mix the wafers with the melted butter and sugar.
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of your pan. You can either use a round pie dish or a 9×13-inch pan.
- Place the pan into the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside.
Make the cheesecake filling:
- Using a mixer, blend the all of the cream cheese together until it’s nice and smooth.
- Add in sugar, vanilla, and sour cream, continue to mix.
- Once the mixture is nice and creamy, add the eggs one at a time, folding them in.
- Once you have a nice smooth mixture, pour the batter into the pan on top of the Nilla Wafer crust.
- Gently, place the pan into the oven and cook the cheesecake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Next, turn off your oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven, undisturbed, for 45 minutes with the door shut.
- Once you remove it from the oven, it needs to continue to cool completely, so set the pan onto a wire rack.
- Then once cold, place in the refrigerator for at least 5-6 hours. Longer is better, overnight if possible.
- When ready to serve, spoon over your topping of choice.
For the cheesecake crust:
- CRACKERS: I used crushed Nilla vanilla flavored wafers, but Graham Crackers would be a good substitute.
- SUGAR: I used regular granulated sugar in the cheesecake crust.
- BUTTER: You can use either salted or unsalted butter to make the crust. Just don’t be tempted to use margarine or spreads as they will not set as hard.
For the cheesecake filling:
- CHEESE: I used 5 packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. This is my first baked cheesecake recipe I’ve made and it did seem a lot when I was mixing it but it worked out just fine.
- FLOUR: I used self rising flour to give the cheesecake filling a little lift.
- VANILLA: I use vanilla extract to flavor the chocolate filling as it has depth of flavor. You could also use vanilla essence but it is not so intense.
- CREAM: Sour cream gives this cheesecake filling the creamy texture.
- EGGS: I add 4 eggs at room temperature as they cream together better than eggs that have been chilled in the refrigerator.
For the cheesecake topping:
- FRUIT TOPPING: I used a can of cherry pie filling, but you can use any fruit topping of your choice. Strawberries, blueberries, peaches would all work a treat.
- I’ve made a cheesecake crust with Nilla Wafers, but you could also use Graham Crackers, a vanilla cookie, or even some crushed Oreo Cookies if you fancy a chocolate crust.
- Swap the cherry pie filling topping with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or peaches.
- Top the cheesecake with slices of fresh fruit.
- Drizzle over some melted chocolate or scatter over some of your favorite chopped candy bars.
Once the New York Style Cheesecake is baked and set you can serve it just as it is with a scoop of your favorite ice-cream. Or, you can serve with your choice of topping, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or peaches will all work.
You can also make and serve them as Mini New York Style Cheesecakes in small Glass Jars like I’ve done here in the image below.
Recipe hints & tips:
- Take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before making the cheesecake filling. This will make the cheesecake filling easier to bring together to a smooth consistency.
- Always use room temperature eggs when making this cheesecake as room temperature eggs will cream together with the other ingredients better than eggs that have been chilled in the refrigerator.
- Don’t over-beat the batter or you risk the top of your cheesecake cracking. You can avoid this by running the mixer on LOW, to avoid incorporating too much air into the filling. Slow = Smooth.
- If the cheesecake does crack, don’t stress, just add plenty of topping to hide it.
- To stop the cherry pie filling from bleeding into the cheesecake, I add a spoon of the cherry pie filling on each slice as I served it. The leftover cheesecake and cherry pie filling can be kept in airtight containers in the refrigerator between servings.
Can New York Style Cheesecake be made ahead?
Yes, this is a great make ahead dessert. I made this cheesecake then placed it in the refrigerator for 6 hours and we had it for dessert. It was delish, but still not good and firm. However, I found it was much better set the next day after it had been in the refrigerator overnight. So if time allows make it the day before.
Can you freeze Baked Cheesecake?
Yes, once baked, you can either freeze the whole cheesecake or slice and freeze in individual portions. Store covered in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to enjoy, defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Don’t miss these additional delicious Dessert Recipes here at When Is Dinner:
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- Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie
- Instant Pot Nutter Butter Cheesecake
- Keto Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
- Strawberry Cheesecake Brownie Cups
- Cheesecake Crust:
- 2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- 5 packages Cream Cheese softened
- 3 tbsp flour - I used self rising
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 1 can cherry pie filling
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 459Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 341mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 7g
These are a few items I find helpful in my kitchen when preparing New York Style Cheesecake:
Nilla Wafer Mini Cookies, 11 OunceOXO 1057959 Dishwasher Safe Food Chopper, 1 Count, White/BlackOXO Good Grips Freezer-to-Oven Safe 3 Qt Glass Baking Dish with Lid, 9 x 13Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer, Tilt-Head, 4 Quarts, 7 Speeds With Whisk, Dough Hook, Flat Beater Attachments, Splash Guard, Black (63391),JELL-O Instant Cheesecake Pudding & Pie Filling Mix (1 oz Boxes, Pack of 6)Cheesecake Love: Inventive, Irresistible, and Super-Easy Cheesecake Desserts for Every DayJunior’s Cheesecake Cookbook: 50 To-Die-For Recipes of New York-Style CheesecakeThe Cheesecake Factory: The Unofficial Copycat Recipe CookbookCheesecake Love: Inventive, Irresistible, and Super-Easy Cheesecake Desserts for Every DayEasy Cheesecake Cookbook