Family-Favorite Cheesecake Recipe
Family-Favorite Cheesecake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Family-Favorite Cheesecake Recipe

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This fluffy, delicate cheesecake has been a family favorite for almost 20 years. I've shared the recipe at many gatherings over the years and have even started baking it for our friends instead of Christmas cookies. —Esther Wappner, Mansfield, Ohio
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + cooling Bake: 1 hour + chilling
MAKES:12 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + cooling Bake: 1 hour + chilling
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 2-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 40 squares)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 slice) equals 414 calories, 23 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 132 mg cholesterol, 269 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.


  1. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325°.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg yolks; beat on low just until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour over crust.
  4. Bake for 1 hour or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
  5. Combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla; fold in whipped cream. Spread over cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Family-Favorite Cheesecake in Taste of Home December/January 1999, p29

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Reviewed Jan. 15, 2016

"I made this for my husband for his birthday. He said that it was the best cheesecake he had ever had and immediately started searching for the recipe on line. The kids loved it too! I served it plain; I didn't even make the topping. I must admit, I thought it was pretty good, too. It was not even hard to do. I would much rather make this recipe than buy one in the store!"

Reviewed Nov. 11, 2015

"this recipe is a winner. even my husband who is super critical of new recipes gave it 2 thumbs up. will make again!"

Reviewed Mar. 21, 2015

"My husband wanted a cheesecake for his birthday. This one did not disappoint. We love the different textures with the crust, filling and topping. Excellent recipe!"

Reviewed Jan. 12, 2015

"Light and full of flavor. I've tried different cheesecake recipes for years and everyone agreed this one was a keeper and I could quiet trying new recipes!

The recipe is easy to make and folding the whipped egg whites in makes it very light and airy. My cheesecakes rise like souffl?s and tend to fall as they cool even when all of my ingredients are at room temperature, so the whip cream/ sour cream layer evens it out and adds to the light flavor."

Reviewed Mar. 25, 2014

"Love it!"

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