This Almond Cheesecake Is Our Most Popular Dessert Ever

There are thousands—and thousands—of dessert recipes on our site. What is it about this cheesecake that makes it so popular? We investigate.

At the Taste of Home office, we fancy ourselves dessert experts—our Test Kitchen puts out cakes, cookies, brownies and holiday-themed treats all day, every day. Once in a while, a recipe is so good, we remember it years—even decades—after we first tasted it.

The Luscious Almond Cheesecake is one of those recipes. This contest-winning dessert from Kansas reader Brenda Clifford first appeared in Taste of Home back in 1995. As of the time this article was published, every single review for this recipe is five stars, and its fan base continues to grow every day.

Readers call it “the best ever,” “off the charts amazing,” and “super creamy and rich.” So what makes this recipe so irresistible? In many ways, it’s a classic cheesecake, flavored with almonds—it doesn’t even have chocolate! (If you need chocolate recipes, go here.) Yet every single layer of the cheesecake is perfectly engineered to deliver great flavor and flawless texture.

The Crust

While many cheesecake recipes use graham crackers for a base, the Luscious Almond Cheesecake calls for vanilla wafer cookies and almonds. That means that the cake’s haunting vanilla-almond flavor is built in from the base up. Plus, the crumb is extra tender and rich.

The Filling

Lots of the pitfalls of baking a cheesecake happen in how you mix the filling. Overbeating the cream cheese and eggs, or using cold-from-the-fridge ingredients, can result in a grainy or heavy texture. This recipe calls for the cream cheese to be softened before mixing, and the eggs are pre-beaten before incorporating into the cheese. That means you don’t have to mix as long, so your cheesecake will be creamy, every time.

The Flavor

Every single layer of the cheesecake includes some almond ingredient: ground almonds in the crust, almond extract in the filling, and sliced almonds on top.

Love almonds? Bookmark these sweet (and savory!) recipes.

The Topping

Lots of cheesecakes incorporate mix-ins like chocolate chips to mix up the heavy, creamy texture of cheesecake. This recipe takes the game to a whole new level. The thin layer of sour cream spread across the top is so smooth and light it seems to melt in your mouth. If you accidentally overbaked your cheesecake a tad (it happens!), the top layer adds moisture, so the cake will still taste completely creamy. Last but not least, the sprinkle of almonds add a welcome crunch and slight savoriness to break through the richness.

Is your sweet tooth in gear? Feast your eyes on these easy cheesecakes.

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Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.