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Family-Favorite Cheesecake

This easy cheesecake recipe has been a family favorite for almost 20 years. It's fluffy, delicate and absolutely delicious. I've shared it 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


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

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  • Gabriela
    Nov 23, 2020

    Amazing recipe, everyone loves it!

  • d2kcb01
    May 24, 2020

    Best cheesecake I've ever made. It's better than a lot of restaurant cheesecake that I've tasted.

  • shelleyd
    May 20, 2020

    I have been making this exact recipe for years. It IS my family's favorite cheesecake. Whether I serve it plain, or make homemade blueberry or strawberry sauce, everyone loves it! Make sure eggs and cream cheese are at room temp. Add egg yolks in on low, mixing ONLY until combined. Beating eggs with the cream cheese will cause cheesecake to crack. Of course the sour cream topping will hide any cracks.

  • Gramma Amy
    Aug 20, 2019

    I have featured this recipe at Christmas dinner for many years! It is an absolute favorite anywhere I take it. It is lighter and a bit fluffier than most cheesecakes, which we like. I make it as the recipe says. I most often make a strawberry glaze that can be drizzled over each piece with some fresh cut berries and then garnish with a tiny attractive squirt of whipped cream. This will remain a "keeper" in my book. My mom also served it at her Christmas dinners before she was gone. So good!!!

  • cookingWithLove9
    Apr 20, 2019

    This cheesecake would be perfect if it called for a 1/2 a cup of sugar. First time I made it. I put the one and a half cups of sugar in. Way over the top to sweet. Next time I used a 1/2 cup. It is lighter and fluffier than your average cheesecake. It’s a very good cheesecake. But, someone needs to edit the ingredients.

  • walden
    Nov 15, 2018

    Soooooooo good! First cheesecake I've ever made. It was a huge success.

  • teris9
    Dec 16, 2017

    I've been making this cheesecake for years and it's been beloved by all who've tried it!However, one part of the recipe needs to be adjusted. Over time, the size of store-bought graham crackers have shrunk (by about 13% according to my math), so you'll need approximately 45.5 squares (or 22.75 full, rectangular crackers) to make the required 2.5 cups of graham cracker crumbs. This measurement is accurate for the regular 14.4-ounce packages of graham crackers.After the crumbs are made, you'll be left with 4.25 crackers to snack on while you (and any tiny humans) bake.

  • Georgia
    Nov 27, 2017

    This was my first time making a cheesecake & I made this for my husbands' birthday!! He loved it!! I will make this again..thank for a wonderful recipe

  • bworosello
    Nov 16, 2017

    this is by far the best cheese cake recipe.

  • sterlingshouse
    Nov 1, 2017

    This is by far the best tasting basic cheesecake recipe I've ever tasted. To me it's the texture that really sets it apart-- lighter, not so dense. So simple to make that you think it will be bland but the flavor is perfect! I would imagine that it would be very easy to customize with different add-ins as well. Even my no cheesecake people loved it! :)