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Basic Cheesecake Recipe – How to Make it in 14 Simple Steps

Basic cheesecake with caramel toppings on a dark surface.

Cheesecake likely has its origins with the ancient Greeks. Archeologists have found indications that cheese molds existed around 2000 years before the time of Christ on the Greek island of Samos. Even during the first Olympic games, athletes were given cheesecakes to eat. Their trainers figured that the cheesecakes would be a great source of energy so that they could compete more effectively.

Basic cheesecake with caramel toppings on a dark surface.

Basic Cheesecake Recipe

April Freeman
Loaded with the richness of cream cheese and sour cream, cheesecake is a recipe that most consider to be decadent and delicious. Despite the fact that a cheesecake is not necessarily a true cake, that doesn’t stop many people from enjoying it as a delicious treat for birthdays and other celebrations.
Prep Time 25 mins
Baking Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings


  • 9-Inch Springform Baking Pan
  • Microwave Safe Bowl
  • Measuring Cup
  • Medium-Sized Bowl
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Electric Mixer


Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups Graham Crackers crushed into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter

Cheesecake Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Softened Cream Cheese 2 packages
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 pcs Eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups Sour Cream


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a nine or ten-inch springform pan. Stir them together with the brown sugar.
  • Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it in 15 to 20-second bursts to melt it. Check it after each burst and stir it to help it melt evenly. It should take about 30 to 40 seconds to melt the butter.
  • Drizzle the butter into the graham cracker crumb and sugar mixture, stirring to coat them in butter.
    The crust is being mixed together.
  • Using the back of a measuring cup, press the crumbs into the pan. You can press them a little up the sides if you wish. Set the crust aside as you create the cheesecake filling.
    The crust is flattened with a measuring cup.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the cream cheese until it is light and creamy.
  • Turn the speed of the mixer to medium speed and add the sugar. Beat the sugar for about two minutes or until it is mostly dissolved in the cream cheese.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and salt, beating well. Next, add the sour cream and mix it thoroughly.
    The cream cheese filling is being together in a bowl.
  • Use a rubber spatula to scrape the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.
  • Place the cheesecake in the center of the preheated oven. To help keep your cheesecake from forming cracks in the surface, set a cake pan that contains about 2 cups of water in the oven with the cheesecake. Humidity will help with cracking.
  • Bake the cheesecake for 50 to 60 minutes, avoiding opening the oven door. Another cause of cracking is quick changes in oven temperature, so keep the temperature steady by checking your cheesecake through the glass window in your oven door.
  • When the cheesecake is done, it should still be a bit wobbly in the middle, but the outer rim of it should be set. Turn off the oven and crack the oven door to slowly reduce the heat.
  • After an hour of letting the cake cool in the oven, remove the cheesecake and allow it to cool another hour on the countertop.
  • Cover the cheesecake with aluminum foil and refrigerate it for at least two hours before serving. Run a knife around the sides of the springform pan before you try to remove the sides. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to five days.
    A slice of basic cheesecake.


When the Romans took over the Greek Empire, they adapted the recipe and made changes. The Romans are the ones responsible for beginning to bake cheesecakes. They also began adding eggs and serving them in a pastry shell. The Romans spread the love of cheesecake through other portions of Europe.
It wasn’t until the 18th century that cheesecake began to resemble the very sweet dessert that modern cheesecake has become. The English began to omit the yeast that other recipes included and started stirring in flavorings like currants, brandy, or orange blossom water.
In 1872, modern cream cheese was invented which made the creation of the modern cheesecake possible. Over the years, cheesecakes have taken on different forms, depending on where the cheesecake was created. New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago are all different versions of cheesecake, varying in the amount of cream cheese, the density of the final product, the addition of sour cream, or the inclusion of a bottom crust.
While some versions of cheesecake are rather complicated to make, our basic cheesecake recipe is exactly what the title says. It is a basic version of a simple cheesecake. If you have never before made a cheesecake, this recipe is the perfect starting point. Our recipe has a graham cracker crust and a filling made from cream cheese and sour cream. You definitely will need an electric mixer to create this cheesecake. You will not be able to beat the sour cream smoothly enough without it and your cheesecake will have an unappealing texture.
While our recipe calls for a springform pan, if you don’t have one, you can make the cheesecake in a pie pan or a cake pan. The hard part though is that the first slice or two will be a little difficult to remove from the pan.
Keyword Basic Cheesecake, Dessert, Recipe

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