Go Back
slice of cheesecake on white plate topped with fresh berries.

Perfect Cheesecake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana split cheesecake, cheesecake recipe, easy cheesecake recipe, how to make cheesecake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cool: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 238kcal
This amazing Cheesecake recipe is truly perfect! Rich, creamy and decadent in the best possible way. The only cheesecake recipe you'll ever need! Serve plain or topped with your favorite sauce or fruit. A classic cheesecake made with a buttery graham crust and just a handful of ingredients.
Print Recipe



  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 10 full crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter melted


  • 24 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest or lemon juice - optional


Prepare Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Melt butter in a small bowl, then set aside. Crush graham crackers and then add graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter into a medium sized bowl.  Stir together until well combined.
  • Pour mixture into a 9" springform pan and use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to press the mixture firmly into the bottom and about 1 inch up the side of the pan. Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Prepare Cheesecake

  • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add sugar and continue to blend. Add eggs, one at a time (while blending). Add sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, and lemon zest. Blend until all ingredients are smooth and well incorporated. 
  • Tap the bowl on the counter several times to remove any air bubbles. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.
  • Prepare the cheesecake pan to be baked in a water bath (as follows). To prepare water bath, wrap the cheesecake pan (bottom and sides) with foil, (you may need to criss cross two sheets of foil) so that no water can get into the pan.  Place the foil wrapped cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan or baking dish, then pour HOT water into the roasting dish until the water is about 1" deep. Carefully move to oven and bake.
  • Bake cheesecake in pre-heated oven at 325°F (note this is reduced from the crust baking temperature) for 60-65 minutes, until the outside edges are set, but the center still jiggles a bit when nudged. At this time, turn OFF the oven and open the oven door part way. Allow the cheesecake to slowly cool in the oven for 1 hour. 
  • Move cheesecake to the counter and cool an additional hour.  At this time, move the cheesecake to the fridge (cover with foil) and chill for AT LEAST 6 hours, or overnight.
  • Store cheesecake for up to 1 week, covered, in the fridge.


If you plan to top the cheesecake with caramel or chocolate, omit lemon zest.
For the fresh fruit topping shown, wash, then chop berries as desired, add to a small bowl and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of honey. Stir and put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes and the fruit juices will combine nicely.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg