This classic New York cheesecake is the ultimate cheesecake. It’s dense, rich and creamy and doesn’t require a water bath like most cheesecake recipes, so it’s incredibly easy to make. It’s truly one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had! Here’s how to make it perfect.
If you’ve been searching for the richest, creamiest cheesecake, you’ve come to the right place. This is the best New York cheesecake recipe in the world (I know that’s a big claim, but it really is that good!) The texture is incredibly smooth and creamy, and the flavor is rich and decadent. And the best part? No water bath required!
This cake is very similar to my classic cheesecake recipe, but this one uses extra egg yolk and cornstarch. Let’s get baking!
What is New York cheesecake?
New York cheesecake is known for its creamy, satiny texture. It’s rich, dense and tall with a flat top – exactly how I like my cheesecake. It’s made with cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks and heavy cream or sour cream to add richness and a smooth consistency. Sometimes, it’s flavored with lemon to add freshness.
The cheesecake is not baked in a water bath, but instead, is baked at a high temperature for several minutes, and then at a low temperature to ensure it stays creamy inside.
Some say that you can’t eat more than a small slice of this cheesecake because it’s quite heavy, but not me. I’ll take 2 large ones, please!
How to make homemade New York cheesecake
To make the crust:
- Grind up cookies in a food processor. Classic New York cheesecake uses graham crackers, but you can use vanilla wafers or digestive biscuits, too.
- Combine with sugar and melted butter.
- Bake. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan packed tightly. Then, bake for 8-9 minutes until golden brown.
To make the filling
The filling is made of cream cheese, sugar, eggs and egg yolk, cornstarch, lemon zest (which I recommend not to leave out), and heavy cream. If you like cheesecakes with sour cream, you can use sour cream instead of the heavy cream, although personally, I prefer heavy cream but the added richness.
Be sure to use room temperature ingredients – this makes it much easier for the ingredients to emulsify, and helps ensure a lump-free texture!
Any cream cheese that contains about 30% fat (or a little less) is ok to use. Low fat cream cheese is thinner and less rich, so I recommend not using it (stick to the good stuff for this recipe).
- Beat the cream cheese. In an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment or using a handheld mixture, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides.
- Mix in the sugar. Add the sugar and combine completely. Then add the cornstarch.
- Add eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after you add each egg to completely incorporate all the ingredients.
- Add cream, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Mix on medium speed until everything is incorporated.
Baking the New York cheesecake
The cake is baked at 425°F/220°C for 10 minutes, then for 60 minutes at 225°F/110°C. You’ll know it’s done when the sides are firm but the the center is slightly wobbly. Don’t open the oven door while baking because it can cause the cheesecake to crack.
Once the cake is finished baking, turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly, leaving the cake to cool inside the oven. This will also prevent the cake from cracking. Once cooled, transfer the cake to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours until set.
Tips for making perfect New York cheesecake
- Don’t skip prebaking the crust. Some cheesecake recipes don’t call for prebaking the cookie crust, but I highly recommend it for this recipe to prevent it from getting soggy.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Pull your ingredients from the fridge 30-60 minutes before you start baking. The ingredients will have an easier time emulsifying when they aren’t cold, ensuring a super creamy cheesecake.
- Don’t overmix your ingredients. We want to combine all the ingredients together without incorporating too much air to keep the cheesecake dense and creamy.
- Garnishing your cheesecake: You can certainly eat this New York cheesecake on its own, but I also love drizzling it with chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, or berry sauce!
More of my favorite cheesecake recipes
- Mini Oreo Cheesecakes: Each mini cheesecake is made with an entire Oreo as the crust!
- Biscoff Cheesecake: Creamy Biscoff spread and crunchy Biscoff cookies make for a super indulgent cheesecake.
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake: Ultra creamy and rich, this is the perfect fall cheesecake.
- Chocolate Cheesecake: For true chocoholics only.
- Carrot Cake Cheesecake: Moist carrot cake and rich and creamy cheesecake in one!
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake: Chocolatey cookie crust with a creamy peanut butter cheesecake filling.
A dense, rich and creamy New York cheesecake that requires no waterbath to bake!
- 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker, digestive biscuits, or vanilla wafer crumbs (pulse in a food processor until finely ground)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 and 1/2 tablespoons (65g) unsalted butter, melted
- 4 cups (900g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/8 cups (225g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk , at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Grated lemon zest from 1 small lemon (1 teaspoon)
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan (bottom and sides) with a large piece of foil.
In a medium bowl, mix together crumbs, sugar, and melted butter and mix until combined and moistened. Press mixture into the bottom of prepared pan to form an even layer of crumbs. Bake for 8-9 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
Increase oven temperature to 425°F/220°C.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a handheld mixer, beat cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth and lump-free, 1-2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary using a rubber spatula. Add cornstarch and mix until blended. Add the eggs and beat until fully combined. Add cream, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and beat just until combined and smooth. Pour batter over cooled crust and spread evenly.
Bake cake for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 225°F/110°C and continue to bake for 60 minutes until the sides are set but the center is still slightly wobbly (some comments suggested this was not enough baking time. I baked this so many times and it works. If you're not sure if your oven temperature is accurate or if your baking time is usually longer than those called for in a recipe, you can add an additional 10-20 minutes, and avoid opening the oven door too many times). My cheesecake always gets golden brown around the edges but if yours doesn't, that's ok, just trust the recipe 🙂 Turn off oven, open the oven door slightly or halfway to let in cold air, and leave the cake in the oven for 60 minutes. This will help prevent the cake from cracking and the cake will remain creamy. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 12 hours.
Cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.