The Best Cheesecake

Creamy, smooth, tangy cheesecake! This “plain” vanilla cheesecake will be your new favorite!  Add fruit topping, jam, chocolate sauce, or caramel! A blank canvas for your imagination. Or enjoy it plain!  So so satisfying.  Not too sweet!

Special equipment needed: 9” springform pan.

This recipe is adapted from one found in Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2, as seen on

  • Author: Laura, adapted from Top Secret Resturant Recipes 2, as seen on
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 60 - 70 min
  • Total Time: 90 min
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking



For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 t Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/3 c butter, melted

For the Filling

  • 48 oz. packages Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c Sugar
  • 1/2 c Sour Cream
  • 2 t Natural Vanilla Extract
  • 5 Lg Eggs

For the Topping

  • 1/2 c Sour Cream
  • 2 t Sugar


Prepare the Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 475F. Place a large rimmed pan (I used a sheetpan) in the oven, and pour 1/2” water into it. Line the bottom of a 9” springform pan with parchment paper.
  2. Into a medium bowl, place the cracker crumbs, cinnamon and melted butter.  Mix with a spoon, then press into springform pan, covering the bottom and moving up the sides at least halfway.
  3. Wrap a large piece of aluminum foil carefully and tightly around the bottom of the pan, and about 2” up the sides, to seal any cracks from which water could enter.
  4. Freeze crust while you prepare the filling.

Prepare the Filling

  1. Use a handmixer or a standmixer to mix together the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla until creamy, making sure to scrape down sides so all ingredients are incorporated. In a seperate medium bowl, whisk the eggs together, then combine with cream cheese mixture until just incorporated.
  2. Remove crust from the freezer.  Pour the cream cheese mixture into the crust, smoothing the top.
  3. Place the cake into the water bath – the water should be pretty hot at this point.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350F for 50-60 minutes until the top is golden-colored.  If all of the water evaporates, you can pour more water into the pan if you like, but it isn’t completely necessary,  The cake should be slightly jiggly around the edges, with the center 2 inches being more jiggly than the edges.  It will firm up while it cools.
  4. Remove the cake from the water bath and place on a wire rack to cool.

Make Topping

  1. Let cake cool at least an hour.
  2. Combine the sour cream and sugar.  Spread evenly over cake.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight before serving.


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