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Family-Favorite Cheesecake Recipe

Family-Favorite Cheesecake Recipe

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 YIELD: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


  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 414 calories, 23g fat (13g saturated fat), 132mg cholesterol, 269mg sodium, 47g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein

Reviews for Family-Favorite Cheesecake

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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!"

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."

Reviewed Oct. 11, 2013

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

Reviewed Oct. 11, 2013

"Excellent cheesecake recipe according to hubby and teenage daughter! Thanks! :)"

Reviewed Oct. 11, 2013

"Hubby and daughter raved about this cheesecake. Very yummy!"

Reviewed Aug. 7, 2013

"everybody that tasted this loved it!! very smooth and delious"

Reviewed Apr. 13, 2012

"I have made this recipe for several years, ever since I first viewed on line at the Taste of Home site. Anyone who loves Cheese Cake Factory will adore this cake. I gave the recipe a 5 star and I would give it a 10 if possible."

Reviewed Apr. 11, 2012

"This is a great recipe and easy to make. Everyone asks me to bring it. It is a special dessert for us. My daughter even asked me to make it for her wedding cake."

Reviewed Apr. 8, 2012

"I have made this cheesecake twice now, and it is fantastic. Rave reviews both times. Folks came back for second and third helpings! I don't have a 9" springform - I used a 10" pan and it turned out great. It didn't affect the cooking time that much."

Reviewed Oct. 23, 2011

"I have made this cheesecake many times. Lucky for me, it was my first attempt at a "real" cheesecake and it's the only recipe I will ever need! I use store-bought graham cracker crumbs to put in the crust. The filling is creamy, not dry like some cheesecakes. And it's a "tall" cheesecake. Lest I forget the sweet, creamy topping....just the perfect topping for this cheesecake. Listen, I'm not exaggerating. EVERY time I've made it people rave and say it's THE BEST they've ever had. My future son-in-law is from New York, so he knows cheesecake....currently serving in Afghanistan, I make this for him EVERY time he's home. Treat your loved ones to this and they'll be requesting it for years to come."

Reviewed Apr. 20, 2011

"After reading the reviews I was anxious to try this recipe. I was disappointed as it was so-so. There are a lot of cheesecake recipes that are much better."

Reviewed Mar. 9, 2011

"Fantastic tasting cheesecake. When I make it again, I will DEFINETELY cut the crust recipe in half. WAY too thick on the crust. I will also cut the top sour cream layer in half as well. But the recipe is SO, SO yummy! Cook time was a bit longer in my oven."

Reviewed Dec. 30, 2010

"Made it for the first time Christmas 2010. It was soooo goood! It turned out perfectly. Light and fluffy. The crust is nice and thick. My daughter in law said I should make this every week and invite her over. Thank you so much for sharing."

Reviewed Nov. 18, 2010

"One of our favorites! We like to give this cheesecake for gifts at Christmas time! Family and friends ask for it again and again each Christmas!"

Reviewed Sep. 15, 2010

"This was very very good, and not too difficult. I made this for my husband's birthday and we both really liked it."

Reviewed Aug. 2, 2010

"I have made this many times. It tastes great, really easy to make and looks so pretty."

Reviewed Jun. 14, 2010

"Made it for my boss' birthday. Everyone loved it. Even someone who generally doesn't eat sweets, had a second helping! It was light and fluffy, not dense like most cheesecakes."

Reviewed Mar. 3, 2010

"The Cheesecake recipe was excellent. I made the cake this morning and I was going to serve it for dinner tomorrow but, my husband had to have a slice at his dinner tonight. He said he would give the cake a rating of 10 it was delicious and can't wait to see what it will taste like after aging tomorrow. THANKS ANOTHER GREAT RECIPE FROM THE FANS OF TASTE OF HOME."

Reviewed Feb. 6, 2010

"We have a monthly contest at church and the winner receives a homemade pie, or cookies, or whatever they'd like. When one winner requested cheesecake I made this recipe--it was my first cheesecake to try. The winner raved on so exceedingly I've since had to make 5 or 6 more. Today I'll be making ANOTHER one. Everyone says it's the best they've ever tasted."

Reviewed Dec. 27, 2009

"This cheesecake was awesome. One of my favorites. I did not have graham crackers so i used vanilla wafers instead. it was great."

Reviewed Dec. 25, 2009

"The GREATEST cheesecake I ever tasted. Perfect balance of tart and sweet. Very creamy. My Christmas Dinner guests loved it also. I will make this recipe again."

Reviewed Nov. 23, 2009

"I tried this recipe about 3 or 4 years ago. It is on our holiday menu every year. Also one of the favorite desserts at church functions and family get-to-gathers."

Reviewed Oct. 27, 2009

"I've made this cheesecake ever since it first appeared in Taste of Home. I always have to make it for New Year's Day dinner. There is never a piece left for me to take home."

Reviewed Oct. 24, 2009

"This is a great cheesecake recipe! Turns out perfectly every time and everyone loves it. Definitely a keeper..."

Reviewed Aug. 8, 2009

"I make this cheesecake for ALL our Grands birthdays, plus all our friends Always want me to bake one for them. This is by fare the BEST receipe ever.


Reviewed Jul. 11, 2009

"This is such a good recipe, I have made it so much and it has never failed!! Would defintely recommend people make it!"

Reviewed Apr. 2, 2009

"This is a great recipe! It's just enough to feed my entire family."

Reviewed Dec. 31, 2008

"This is the best cheesecake I've made and/or tried. I don't know why, but I only go through half the cracker crumb mixture so I always make 1/2 the recipe."

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