Cheesecake!

Cheesecake
Need a fork? Or maybe a shovel. This is one ginormous piece of cheesecake. And oh boy, was it good. The cheesecake, that is. Personally, I can do without a bunch of fru fru when it comes to cheesecake. But, I wanted to dress a slice up and make it all pretty for you. This one is topped with raspberry, whipped cream, and white chocolate. It’s also the first real grown-up cheesecake I think I’ve ever made. Yay me! (Anyone else, hear London Tipton in their head when they read that? If you didn’t, don’t worry, that means the Disney Channel hasn’t infiltrated your brain.)

The only other kind of cheesecake I’ve made are these itsy-bitsy mini ones. Take a look. You’ll love how easy they are.

Anyway, when it comes to cheesecake, this is how I like mine.

Cheesecake

Plain. Jane. No whipped cream. No whole fruit. Ever. Just dense and delicious. But, on occasion, I don’t mind a little raspberry sauce to touch it. I actually don’t mind fruit flavors at all. I just won’t eat the actual fruit. For instance, on these itsy bitsy mini ones. The cherries had to go. Cherry sauce… fine. Cherries… trash can. I know. I’m weird like that.

But, not totally weird. I do like other cheesecake flavors, like Oreo, chocolate, of course, and just about every other combination from the Cheesecake Factory – as long as it’s served without whipped cream or whole fruit. But, I usually gravitate towards the classic… and then I hope someone else orders a different flavor so I can try it.

And now that I’ve had success, I may just have to do some more experimenting on my own. This was really so easy, I don’t know why I’ve been hesitant to try making one for so long.

Graham cracker crumbs

Start with the crust. Graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter mixed together.

Graham cracker crust

Then press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan.

Cheesecake Filling

Cream cheese, eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, flour, and lemon juice. Dump it in.

And in a little over an hour, voila…

Cheesecake

… cheesecake!

Now, it wasn’t perfect. It did have a crack going through the middle. From what I understand, this can be a common annoyance. You can see a hint of it to the right in this photo. But, that’s ok. You can cover stuff up like that with a sauce, or chocolate, or caramel and nuts, or (gags) whipped cream. Or just go ahead and slice the cheesecake, avoiding any defect.

Raspberry jelly

For the raspberry sauce, I just used some jelly and heated it up until it was thin enough to spread on in a thin layer. Easy!

Here’s the entire recipe if you want to give it a go.

Cheesecake

2.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

4 (8oz.) packages cream cheese
1.5 cups sugar
3 Tbsp flour
5 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Optional:
raspberry jelly
fresh raspberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream + 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
white chocolate

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
  • Stir in melted butter until moistened.
  • Pour the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan (3 inches tall). Press the crumbs into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.
  • To make the cheesecake filling, cream the sugar, cream cheese and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
  • On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
  • On low, add sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla just until combined.
  • Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325.
  • Make sure to take it out of the oven before the center looks done. It will be kind of wobbly and it will move in one piece. The center will look more shiny than the edges. That’s ok because it will continue to cook a little while it’s in the pan.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely to room temperature.
  • Hope that it doesn’t crack.
  • Go ahead and separate the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a knife around the edges. I also opened and reclosed the springform pan to help separate.
  • Chill in the refrigerator overnight. That’s right. It’s best to make this the day before because it needs plenty of time to chill and firm up.
  • Before serving: Heat up some raspberry jelly on low heat until the consistency is thin. Spread on top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate while you do the following.
  • Melt some white chocolate and put it in a ziploc bag or squeeze bottle. Draw abstract (see first photo) shapes on wax paper and let dry.
  • Pour some heavy whipping cream in a small chilled metal bowl. Add 2 Tbsp powdered sugar and beat the cream on high until it becomes firm and thick.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and spoon on whipped cream or use a decorating bag with a 1M tip to decorate.
  • Top with fresh raspberries and white chocolate decorations.

Enjoy!

Now, before I let you go, I’m curious. How do you roll?
Plain Jane or Fancy Shmancy?

How do you roll?

Or somewhere in between?

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641 comments on “Cheesecake!”

  1. If I’m going to splurge and eat cheesecake…I want it to be fancy schmancy. But no cherries.

  2. I’m with you here, I really enjoy it Plain Jane style!

    Cheesecake is one of my all-time favorite foods EVER, but nobody else in my house really likes it. As a result, when we have it, it’s this fake kind thats just cool whip, cream cheese, and sugar blended together and put in a store bought grahm cracker crust. I know, I know, its a shame to even call it cheesecake.

    Now I’m really craving a piece of REAL cheesecake! If only I had a springform pan…

  3. Plain Jane. But with sour cream topping!

  4. I’m not into Cheesecake at all but if I did have some it would have some fruit sauce, strawberry, with no whole bits in, unless it was my home made strawberry jelly- Liz in Greece

  5. Total plain jane here. Nothing like biting into that cheesecake and tasting what makes it cheesecake in the first place.

  6. Yum. I just made Cheesecake last week, made homemade caramel & chocolate sauces, topped off with toasted pecans – totally delectable!! Yours is so pretty!!

  7. I’ll have to go with the Fancy Schmancy! Of course my mom always said I like things “foo-foo” =)
    I don’t really even like cheesecake, but you make everything you touch look delicious and beautiful!
    Glory
    (flickr name Glorious Treats)

  8. If you give the cheesecake a water bath right after pulling it out of the oven it helps with no cracks in the cakes.

  9. I’m a fancy schmancy girl. And I love a bit of tart fruit to compliment my schmancy.

  10. I only make one “real cheesecake” every year, for my husband on his birthday, it usually lands somewhere in between and usually includes cherries and whip cream :)

  11. OMG, I have to make that, looks so yummy, I love cheesecake! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I can enjoy cheesecake plain jane, fancy schmancy, or anywhere in between. Looooove cheesecake. It’s the kind of cake my oldest son always wants for his birthday, with strawberry sauce and an oreo crust.

    I have read that the cracks occur because of the abrupt change in temperature when the cheesecake is removed from the oven, or if the cheesecake is not cooked thoroughly. Yours looks beautifully cooked, though.

    You can try turning off the oven maybe 15 minutes before it’s done and cracking the door open with a wooden spoon to ease the temperature change before removing it from the oven.

    You can also try a water bath and that will cook it like a custard.

  13. I guess I am anti-fruit as well. You really can’t go wrong with Plain Jane with maybe a slight drizzle of caramel. I could officially live on caramel if they would let me! The Cheesecake Factory is by far my favorite restaurant. I rarely can justify $8 for a slice of dessert, but they get it from me every time. And it’s well worth it! Honestly, though? You just can’t go wrong with cheesecake in general! Your dressed-up one looks yummy. How did you make your white chocolate swirls for garnish? Simply lovely! You rock, Bakerella!

  14. Inbetween. Chocolate on top is the best. I used to love these little frozen cheesecake squares covered in chocolate, but they stoppped making them =[

  15. that looks so delicious!

  16. Fancy Schmancy, all the way! I love your photos…the cuts are all so clean!

    For a fancier raspberry sauce than just jelly, try this: Cool Raspberry Soup. It goes great with plain or lemon cheesecake, and it’s also a great topping for brownies and vanilla ice cream.

  17. Load on the junk! Chocolate? Yes please! Whipped cream? For SURE! Caramelcherriespeanutbuttercookiebits? Yeppers!! I’ll eat almost any flavor and almost any topping. I draw the line at NUTS, however. Yeck.

  18. Plain Jane. But with sour cream topping!

  19. I am a PLAIN JANE, cheesecake is ruined with anything!

  20. Fancy Shmancy for me!!!

    Your cheesecake looks beautiful!!

  21. Plain jane for sure!

  22. This looks gorgeous! I am with you- plain Jane is my cup of tea. But my fav is the Italian cheesecake my mom taught me how to make. If you ever get a chance, try it- it is an Italian cheesecake: http://laduecrew.blogspot.com/2009/04/marian-antoinette-deciccos-cheesecake.html

  23. Your cheesecake is just beautiful! Nice job! I will usually go for the plain version but the fancy one sure looks delicious as well. I think I will have to flip a coin to choose!

  24. I always have my cheesecakes plain jane…..YUMMM!

  25. well…most of the time i am all about fancy smancy but with cheesecake i am so plain jane that i don’t even really want the crust, just give me CHEESECAKE!!! :D yum

  26. somewhere in the middle!! No cream, but i do love a bit of fruit… it looks really delicious, I’m surprised that it’s easy – i may just have to try it!!

  27. It depends on my mood… there are days when i want just a nice plain slice and there are days I want all the fancy schmancy stuff on it… :p

  28. For taste? Definitely Plain Jane.

  29. All of the above! I just like cheese cake. But like you I haven’t tried making my own. I have bought cheese cake cook books though. Does that count for something. ;)

  30. I’m a plain jane like you. But i can handle the sauces as long as they aren’t lumpy…Like with fruit. It’s a texture thing not a taste thing.

  31. I’m not a huge cheesecake fan. When I do have a slice I need some toppings. I LOVE whipped cream and/or puree fruit topping. I make an oreo cheesecake that is pretty popular with my family. :)

  32. That is one beautiful cheesecake! I confess I prefer mine with some fru fru, like a layer of Tiramisu cream or a few toasted hazelnuts.

  33. I love cheesecake as well and have been making a pumpkin cheesecake at Thanksgiving time for the last few years. (Thanks to Paula Deen.) Cracks have always been a problem and you can’t really do a water bath in a spring form since they leak terribly. Though I just recently make a lemon cheesecake (also thanks to Paula) that was just divine. If you make your spring form water tight by layering tin foil on the outside bottom you can then cook it in a water bath for the whole time it is baking. You just need a container that is bigger than your pan, put water in it just shy of the top of your tin foil and bake as directed. Do check the level of your water about half way through. Mine evaporated completely. Good luck!

  34. Fancy Schmancy – 1st round , followed by Plain Jane!!

  35. I’m a cheesecake purist for sure. Basic (with just a hint of lemon zest) and red berries (straw, or cherries) with sauce and fresh whip cream. It’s time for a midnight snack – wonder if the Cheesecake Factory is still open?

  36. I can totally appreciate both. I love cheesecake so much I don’t care how it’s prepared, as long as I get some!

    I’ve not made a baked cheesecake before, I might try this recipe! Wish me luck!

  37. Ah, you make me happy :-p Just staring your photos is sooooo good… And I’d go both ways… Cheesecake is cheesecake… always yummy!

  38. Plain Jane. Always.

  39. Yummy. I like mine with fruit.

  40. I have a cheese cake recipe that is different from most.. It is baked but not like this and not as dense. There are three layers to be baked seprately if I remember correctly..and it is Lemon flavoured…I love it with mixed fresh berries at about this time of the year.
    But..your kind of cheesecake…I like to just have a just a bite of someone elses..and only fresh berries not canned styled ones. LOL..bottom line..I like my light cheescake not dense ones like these.
    The fancy one does look beautiful tho!

  41. Yummy yummy yummy….

  42. You reminded me that I’ve not baked a cheesecake in forever! No raspberries for me, but I’m sure I can find another shmancy topping or not.
    Most people I know think cheesecake is from a box and can’t appreciate the real thing.
    My son and I love the richness of a freshly baked and will take it over the box any day.

  43. Personally I like mine fancy schmancy!!!! My son loves it plain! Funny we just bought a NY style and I tell you even my poor baking attempts is better then the store bought one and it was expensive!!! So I will definitely try yours on the weekend. Thanks for all you do! Why don’t you have your own TV show on the Food Network? You should be a STAR!!!!

  44. Fancy Schmancy looks so delightful – the kind of cake that could change your entire day – but I am more of a Plain Jane when it comes to cheesecake, and it so frequently does come to cheesecake.

  45. Oohhpps there goes my calories again this absolutely mouth watering. What could I use instead of grahams crackers could i use a digestive or gingernut base biscuite!
    Tracy

  46. I thought I wasn’t a cheesecake girl until recently. Then I found the perfect formula.

    Plain cheesecake, with a layer of sour cream, topped with cherries.

    Yum. Perfection.

  47. Give it to me plain, Jane.

  48. I can’t believe you don’t like the whipped cream and fruits on your cheesecake! Okay, normally I don’t like it either and plain jane is totally my first choice. But at the cheesecake factory it tastes so good with strawberries and whipped cream! That’s all I like though, I can’t really say I like other flavored cheesecakes that I’ve tried.

    So Plain Jane with some Shmance on the side!

  49. plain jane! i love to enjoy the simple flavors of the cheesecake & the crust. :)

  50. Plain jane all the way! The wonder of cheesecake is that it’s so rich and the flavour of the cheese is so good that it’s a crime to mask it with sauces and extra fancy things.
    That said, I do like a triple chocolate layered cheesecake for special occasions :-)

  51. In our house it’s Plain Jane for hubby and oldest daughter and then the youngest and I love a Fancy Schmancy or as she says..Fancy Nancy Cheesecake, provided it’s not cherry! In all honesty, I’ve never met a cheesecake I didn’t like! I’m going to have to try this one soon. Looks yummy, and yes, that dreadful crack. Happens quite often to me too. I try to cool it in the oven, ever so slightly and it still happens. But they still taste good!

    And LOL, yes, Disney Channel has infiltrated my brain too because I thought of London Tipton before you even mentioned her!

    Not cheesecake related but I thought of you when watching the Unwrapped program on the Food Network the other night and saw how they make cookie cutters. Here’s a link to a neat place that makes ALL kinds of cool cookie cutters. I can’t wait to place an order and make some sugar cookies with my girls!

    http://www.foosecookiecutters.com/store/christmas_and_holidays.html

  52. Love both types of cheese cake, just depends on what kind of mood I’m in… but if I have plain, it’s got to be with a cuppa tea. And if it’s fancy, definitely no cherries, hate the stuff on my puds – but any other fruit is fine, expect maybe oranges (only if they’re sweet) :o)

  53. Plain, Plain, yes nothing else, No fruit (although the thought of raspberries does sound yummy), no chocolate (although if you had the raspberries, milk chocolate sauce would be a good match).

    I do like a sour cream topping that is baked on the last five minutes, but thats it. No flavored ones (chocolate, marbled, fruit swirled) or flavored crusts.

  54. Fancy Schmancy! Yum! I want some!

  55. I love cheesecake, one of my favorite desserts! The first cheesecake I made was the white chocolate cheesecake from the Death by Chocolate cookbook, which involved making the cookies and effectively being up all night (poor planning on my part). It was wonderful and didn’t need any dressing up.

    I will eat cheesecake either way, but if I have to buy it then I prefer it to be a little dressed up. Otherwise, I might as well make it myself.

  56. Absolutely fabuluos :D Raspberry souce/jam is delicious:)

  57. I think i prefer fancy shmancey :D
    I nearly died when i saw that picture of the cheesecake, it looks delicious!

    And apparently my brain has been infiltrated by the disney channel, hehe

  58. i love cheesecake.. yes, it’s got to be that hardcore dense plain jane for me too. there was a time more than a month ago when i baked too much cheesecake and everyone at home just wouldn’t look that way..hahahah but i wanted to try and fine tune the recipe..love it.
    thanks for sharing your!

  59. Fancy Schmancy for me!! I love cheesecake factory’s coconut cream cheesecake. I wish I could make it at home. Mmmmm….. Your cheesecake looks awesome! I have a great recipe for white chocolate raspberry cheesecake and it is yummy………..

  60. I’d got fancy only if that was CHOCOLATE!! YUMMY!

  61. Plain Jane. Your Fancy Schmancy looks adorable, but I like the idea of just the cheesecake flavor and nothing else

  62. gingerbee says … this is a work of art! I’m a fancy schmancy kinda gal … yumm can’t wait to try it.

  63. Mmm, that looks delicious. I made my first cheesecake the other day. It was a mango one and for my 2 year anniversary with my boyfriend, and it was delicious! The base was a little crumbly, but still very tasty!

    xx

  64. If I’m doing the baking, I like pumpkin cheesecake best. Plain Jane though – no fanciness to it.

    And, the London Tipton reference? Ugh. Honestly, my very least favorite show on the Disney Channel. Naturally, it’s on ALL the time and my kids like it! : )

  65. Try making pumpkin cheesecake with a Ginger snap/nutmeg spice crust (instead of regular graham crackers). My sister made one and it was DEE-licious!

  66. Sheesh, I don’t even *like* cheesecake (or any cheese, really–don’t shoot me), but that first picture made me want to take a big ol’ bite. Yowza.

  67. I love them all–bring it on!
    To keep from cracking just put a pan of water in the oven and then it doesn’t matter if your springform pan is waterproof. I do it all the time. Also do not over-beat the eggs when you add them to the mixture.

  68. Plain Jane.

    To avoid cracks, here are some tips:
    Wrap the bottom of the sides in foil.
    Bake it in a water bath (1/4 up the sides).
    Leave it in the oven an hour (or more) after the hour of baking is over.
    Let it cool even more on the counter before putting it in the fridge.

    No fail! No cracks!

  69. I love fresh fruit with my cheesecake, but don’t really like any sauces, especially that fake tasting “strawberry” stuff they always insist on ruining things with.

  70. I really can’t decide, although I am leaning more towards plain. Cheesecake is rich enough, and sometimes all the extras just makes it too sweet. Your recipe sounds so easy…and I received a spring form pan as a wedding gift, so I know what’s coming soon…..

    Emily :)

  71. Plain Jane for me. An occasional sauce is alright, but none of the other fluff.

  72. I’m with you…Plain Jane and dense!

  73. Sounds wonderful ~ I need to make a cheesecake today! I like my fance schmancy, especially with raspberry sauce (no seeds, please!) and whipped cream. Mmmm!

  74. I adore cheesecake, particularly plain cheesecake with chocolate chips. And just a tip to help with cracks: bring the cream cheese and eggs to room temperature before you start baking, it makes it a little easier to come together without whipping the heck out of it.

  75. I would have to go with Fancy Schmancy, that one looks AMAZING!

  76. Plain Jane is always my pick! The only exception to this is when (I think it was Sara Lee brand) they sold the little chocolate covered cheesecake bite size squares! You know, snack size! They just didn’t last long! haha

  77. I’m exactly like you when it comes to eating my cheesecake. It’s so amazingly amazing on its own that it doesn’t need a whole lot of froo froo, ya know?
    Yours looks DELISH :)

  78. I am so with you on the fruit sauce, not whole fruit thing! Makes complete sense to me! Glad you made one…I have been THINKING about making one for some time now…I just haven’t taken the leap, thanks for the inspiration!

  79. Ok…I’m totally with you on the fruit part but am ok with the whipped cream IF it’s fresh homemade only. SO….I prefer plain with maybe a touch of something fruitless….and never ever cherry anything.
    ***A hint to avoid cracks…bake your cheesecake in a hot water bath.

  80. You can make it plain jane or fancy shmancy and I will eat it. I adore cheesecake but I think I have only made it twice (only one of my five children like it).

    And yes, I did think London Tipton. Five kids in this household~I know more about Dylan and Cole, Miley, Demme, etc than a grown woman should!

  81. Definitely plain jane! That cheesecake looks great! The only times I’ve attempted cheesecake have been disastrous…water seeping in the springform pan from the water bath…eek! But it doesn’t look like you used a water bath…might have to try that!

  82. I’ll eat cheesecake in MANY different ways, but I’m picky about fruits. My favorite is either blueberry cheesecake or plain old New York cheesecake! Yum! Now I’m hungry!

  83. PLAIN JANE. Why ruin a good thing

  84. how funny! i just posted about cheesecake too! i’m with you… plain cheesecake is the best way.

  85. You are not weird. I hate the fruit too. Sauce yes, chunks blechk. I LOVE cheesecake and the pictures of the plaie jane and the fancy schamnzie have likely sabotaged my plans to start my diet this week. Thanks.

  86. I love plain made with mascarpone, with some chocolate shavings on top, milk dark and white.

  87. I’d eat it plain if I were making it myself; but your fancy schmancy looks very drool-worthy. :)

  88. Be still my beathing heart! I LOVE Cheesecake – especially when they look as creamy and luscious as this (and are so tall). I’m with you – I’m a plain jane when it comes to cheesecake. I wish I could reach right into my screen and grab a bite now!

  89. Plain Jane! I’m like you – I don’t mind the fruit flavor, but chunks of fruit? No thank ya!

    This looks delicious!!

  90. plain jane – I prefer the crust side! oh yum…….. just looking at it makes my butt feel bigger! lol

  91. We roll the same…I’m plain jane, too! Oh, and I love some thick crust. And, when my husband orders his Cold Stone Ice Cream…it’s cheese cake ice cream, grahm cracker crumbs, and only the strawberry sauce – no fruit!!!

  92. I eat mine pretty much plain jane. Sometimes adding a few cherries to the top. Mmmmmm!

  93. I have made cheesecake only once and it was a total flop! you have inspired me to give it another shot and I’m excited!! Such beautiful pictures!!

    Brooke
    http://www.paigeandbrooke.blogspot.com

  94. Fancy Schmancy all the way Baby…..
    Luanne

  95. Fancy ALL THE WAY!! That looks soooo yummy!

  96. I would usually opt for plain jane with a dab of whatever topping on the side so that I can enjoy any delicious extras without ruining my whole piece of cheesecake.

    Wonderful post, gorgeous photos.

  97. I think I’m like you and didn’t know it! I’m ditching the whole berries from now on, but I do like the sauce.

    But really, my favorite is a recipe I have for lime-almond cheescake. It’s plain jane (mostly) with lime in the cheese part and almond extract in a sour cream glaze (that can cover up any nuisance cracks). It’s amazing. I’ll send you the recipe if you’d like to try it. Oh yes, and it uses nilla wafers for the crust instead of graham crackers!

  98. Fancy Schmancy!! without whipped cream :)

  99. I roll just plain, except if I am at the Cheesecake Factory then I am fancy schmancy..bananas, coconut, macadamia, caramel etc..but NO COMSTOCK fillings, ugh!! I love your recipes, and will be trying them this week!! Have a great Memorial Day!

  100. Fancy Schmancy for me! And yours looks spectacular!
    I love fruit with my cheesecake. . . except cherries.

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