Family-Favorite Cheesecake Recipe
Family-Favorite Cheesecake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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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
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 slice: 414 calories, 23g fat (13g saturated fat), 132mg cholesterol, 269mg sodium, 47g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g 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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Jenette1 User ID: 8703131 255570
Reviewed Oct. 18, 2016

"Why does it say to bake for 5 minutes?"

Babsy_Boop User ID: 6209926 253742
Reviewed Sep. 5, 2016

"I have been making this recipe for at least 15 years, and have given away many many copies of it. It's our go-to favorite cheesecake"

M52536011 User ID: 8552294 250000
Reviewed Jul. 2, 2016

"I have made many cheesecakes in all varieties. This recipe is delicious and made it to the top of the list."

slr2qt User ID: 5044010 241824
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!"

ardy bare User ID: 4495741 237202
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!"

coconutpatty User ID: 3240781 223240
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!"

cowboysrestlessheart User ID: 3112902 217688
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."

countrycathy User ID: 7732813 31272
Reviewed Mar. 25, 2014

"Love it!"

Gramma Amy User ID: 6989823 66595
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2013

"This cheesecake became our family favorite in 1999 when my mother served it for Christmas dinner. It is a bit lighter than so many cheesecakes, creamy and delicious. I always serve it with a strawberry glaze drizzled over each slice. This has become our family's traditional Christmas dessert."

troykelly User ID: 4444344 69606
Reviewed Oct. 11, 2013

"Hubby and teenage daughter rated this as excellent! Easy to make and tasty. Thanks for sharing!"

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