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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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ayya User ID: 7902474 270306
Reviewed Aug. 3, 2017

"My cheese cake has cracked too much. Plz can smone tell me how to prevent this. TIA"

rena 55 User ID: 1935799 261723
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2017

"Great basic cheesecake recipe. You can add chocolate chips, brownie pieces or fruit to this recipe to bump it up to the next level. Of course, add some fruit and whipped cream to the top to make an elegant dessert!"

Marla User ID: 8966178 256654
Reviewed Nov. 11, 2016

"To answer Jenette1 question - I would say- To set the crust. It will hold together much better if you do this."

Jenette1 User ID: 8703131 255570
Reviewed Oct. 18, 2016

"Why does it say to bake for 5 minutes?"

Babsy_Boop User ID: 6209926 253742
Reviewed Sep. 5, 2016

"I have been making this recipe for at least 15 years, and have given away many many copies of it. It's our go-to favorite cheesecake"

M52536011 User ID: 8552294 250000
Reviewed Jul. 2, 2016

"I have made many cheesecakes in all varieties. This recipe is delicious and made it to the top of the list."

slr2qt User ID: 5044010 241824
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!"

ardy bare User ID: 4495741 237202
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!"

coconutpatty User ID: 3240781 223240
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!"

cowboysrestlessheart User ID: 3112902 217688
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."

countrycathy User ID: 7732813 31272
Reviewed Mar. 25, 2014

"Love it!"

Gramma Amy User ID: 6989823 66595
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."

troykelly User ID: 4444344 69606
Reviewed Oct. 11, 2013

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

troykelly User ID: 4444344 24812
Reviewed Oct. 11, 2013

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

troykelly User ID: 4444344 24389
Reviewed Oct. 11, 2013

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

wendik52 User ID: 7351291 24388
Reviewed Aug. 7, 2013

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

carolynstowers User ID: 4001197 69605
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."

[email protected] User ID: 1213820 64700
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."

kmpatch User ID: 149103 23126
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."

1motherof3 User ID: 348643 66593
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."

pasweet User ID: 5158838 84303
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."

jillmhb User ID: 1065074 24811
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."

Lisa Carpenter User ID: 5732025 31758
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."

PAULWADE User ID: 4573223 48258
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!"

amj_baker User ID: 4951572 64638
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."

Flora Colboch User ID: 2415324 31756
Reviewed Aug. 2, 2010

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

jackie.baker User ID: 3555282 24810
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."

carolynstowers User ID: 4001197 25740
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."

leannette User ID: 1055437 202906
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."

carce User ID: 1280074 23125
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."

Cooking N Maize User ID: 4702398 19292
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."

carolee49 User ID: 729578 48256
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."

Bonsler User ID: 258928 24366
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."

sudielou User ID: 1099086 202905
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2009

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

mamasnowowl User ID: 1966248 58133
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.


cassiesmith User ID: 3218504 58126
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!"

cryingbaby User ID: 1733594 48254
Reviewed Apr. 2, 2009

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

mrs_h User ID: 3544768 25620
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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