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The Ultimate Vanilla Cheesecake

by Lorena

There are few bites as yummy as a well done cheesecake and I think that it’s because of the mix between the smooth texture and impressive taste. The other thing that’s nice about a cheesecake is that you can add different flavours to the toppings to have a completely different dessert. It’s my favourite dessert and I’m always extremely dissapointed when they serve me a lousy cheesecake.

Personally I prefer the classic cheesecake version: topped with sour cream and fresh fruit. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. Another cheesecake that is really good is chocolate cheesecake because it gets a mousse-like consistency.

This cheesecake is cooked in the oven and then once completely cooled down to room temperature it goes into the fridge overnight. There are recipes that say that it’s enough with 4 hours in the fridge but the truth is that it’s best to be safe and keep it in there overnight. This is because maybe you didn’t notice and your cheesecake wasn’t completely cool before putting it in or maybe the fridge door was opened too many times while it was in there. So in conclusion it’s just safer to keep it in the fridge overnight so it can get the right consistency 🙂

You can also make mini versions of this recipe using cupcake / muffin moulds with liners. You put the cookie base at the bottom and a bit on the sides as well and then you cook it until it starts to get golden on top (30-40min) and it goes into the fridge as well. There you can keep it 4 hours from room temperature and done. You can take off the liner afterwards and they look so cute.

Many people are scared of the cheesecake cracking at the top. If you’re careful when you add your eggs one by one while whisking at low speed so they don’t puff up then you shouldn’t have any trouble. The bain marie also helps since the cooking happens in a more slowly and controlled manner.

The Ultimate Vanilla Cheesecake

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Medium
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 12 people, 24cm springform mould
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


For the crust

  • 220 g graham / vanilla crackers or similar (taste them! If they need an extra oomph add ground ginger, cinnamon, vanilla essence and/or sugar)
  • 5 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt

For the filling

  • 900 g cream cheese (about 4 packages), at room temperature
  • 250 g sugar
  • 220 g sour cream at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence or vanilla seeds from 2 pods
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the topping

  • 110 g sour cream
  • 2 tsp icing sugar, sifted
  • berries and mint leaves to decorate (opcional)


For the crust

  • Process the crackers until fine.
  • Add salt and butter and mix.
  • Butter the mould on the base and sides and put the cracker mix inside. Flatten on the base and round the sides.
  • Take to the freezer for at least 15min.

For the filling

  • Mix the cream cheese with the sugar with a stand or handheld mixer with the whisk attachment until really smooth. Every once in a while stop to scrape the sides with ha spatula so you know everything is getting mixed in.
  • Add the sour cream and vanilla essence and mix some more.
  • With the speed on minimum add the eggs one by one. You know you can add the net egg when the previos one has mixed in.
  • Wrap the base of the mould in tin foil and cling film on top of that. This is because the cheesecake is going into a bain marie and the last ting you want is water seeping into your base and filling.
  • Put the filling in the mould and take to a preheated oven at 180C. Along with the oven, also preheat your oven tray with water. If you forgot to do this, add boiling water to the tray. The water should go 1/4 way up the side of the cheesecake.
  • As soon as it goes into the oven, lower the temperature to 150C.
  • Cook for 1h15min-1h30min or until you see that it's starting to become gold on the top. Halfway though the cooking make sure that the water level hasn't descended too much. If it has, fill up with boiling water. When you take it out you'll notice it still jiggles quite a bit and that's completely normal as it will set later in the fridge.
  • Wait for it to cool down completely and leave in the fridge overnight.

For the topping

  • Wait for the cheesecake to be cold before applying it as sour cream melts.
  • Unmould the cheesecake.
  • Mix everything with a whisk and spread over the cheesecake with a spatula or back of a spoon.
  • Decorate with fruit and mint leaves.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CravingsJournal or tag #RecipeCJ!

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