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
- 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
- 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°.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg yolks; beat on low just until combined.
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour over crust.
- 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.
- 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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