How to Make a Classic New York Cheesecake at Home
We're making this recipe for every special occasion.
Ahh cheesecake. Few desserts are more decadent—or delicious. And with tons of different flavors and varieties to choose from, there’s a cheesecake for nearly any occasion. Today, we’re going to show you how to make one of the simplest yet most beloved styles of this classic dessert: New York cheesecake.
Before you read any further, go stock up on cream cheese and these essential cheesecake baking supplies.
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What’s the difference between New York cheesecake and regular cheesecake?
Almost all cheesecakes are rich and decadent, but New York cheesecake takes it to the next level! This ultra-indulgent version relies on lots of cream cheese, heavy whipping cream and eggs to achieve that signature silky-smooth taste. All of these ingredients also make New York cheesecake so tall. Standard cheesecake recipes are maybe an inch or two thick, but New York-style is often double that. So yes, cut us a slice. But make sure it’s a small one!
Finally, New York cheesecake is often served plain (or with some simple berries on top) so the tangy flavor can really shine. If you’re adding tons of toppings or add-ins, it’s likely not New York cheesecake.
Check out our ultimate cheesecake baking guide for tips, tricks and recipes.
How to Make New York Cheesecake
This New York cheesecake recipe comes to us from Karen Nielson of St. George, Utah. “I rely on a tender change-of-pace shortbread crust instead of graham cracker crust,” she says. “This recipe takes time, but it’s not difficult, and the result is well worth the effort.” It yields 16 tasty servings.
For the Crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling:
- 5 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 large egg yolks
Step 1: Prep Your Pan
Before you start mixing ingredients together, it’s best to get a little prep work out of the way. Start by preheating your oven to 325°. Then, grease a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. (That’s about 18 inches, square). Wrap the foil securely around the pan and place the prepared springform on a baking sheet.
First attempt? Read up on these tips for making the best cheesecake to boost your confidence.
Step 2: Make the Crust
For the crust, mix together flour, sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Cut the butter in with a fork or pastry cutter until crumbly. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, then toss the mixture together with a fork until it’s combined.
Step 3: Bake Until Brown
Press the crust onto the bottom and 1-1/2 inches up the sides of your prepared springform pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 12-16 minutes. Then cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
Think a springform pan is just for making cheesecake? Think again. These springform pan recipes prove otherwise.
Step 4: Make the Filling
For the filling, start by pulling out a large bowl—there’s going to be a lot of batter! Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, then beat in the cream, flour, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Once the mixture is well combined, add the eggs and egg yolks and beat on low speed just until blended. Every wondered: what is cream cheese? We have the answer.
Step 5: Prep the Water Bath
Pour the cheesecake filling over the baked crust. Then, place the springform pan in a larger, rimmed baking pan. (A roasting pan works well for this!) Then, add 1 inch of hot water to the larger pan and put the ensemble in the oven.
Step 6: Bake, Bake, Bake
Bake your cheesecake until the center is just set and the top appears dull. This should take 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. Not sure if it’s done? Try the wobble test! It’s our fool-proof method for testing the doneness of cheesecake.
Step 7: Let It Cool
Once you’ve pulled the pans from the oven, remove the cheesecake pan from the water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides from the pan with a knife. You can remove the foil, as well. Cool the cheesecake for 1 hour, then refrigerate overnight. Cover the cake once it’s completely cooled.
Step 8: Remove, Serve and Enjoy
Remove the cheesecake from the pan and place it on a serving plate. Enjoy your treat as is, or serve it with fresh strawberries. Enjoy!