The Ultimate Vanilla Cheesecake

Course Dessert
Difficulty 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

  1. Process the crackers until fine.

  2. Add salt and butter and mix.

  3. Butter the mould on the base and sides and put the cracker mix inside. Flatten on the base and round the sides.

  4. Take to the freezer for at least 15min.

For the filling

  1. 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.

  2. Add the sour cream and vanilla essence and mix some more.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. As soon as it goes into the oven, lower the temperature to 150C.

  7. 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.

  8. Wait for it to cool down completely and leave in the fridge overnight.

For the topping

  1. Wait for the cheesecake to be cold before applying it as sour cream melts.

  2. Unmould the cheesecake.

  3. Mix everything with a whisk and spread over the cheesecake with a spatula or back of a spoon.

  4. Decorate with fruit and mint leaves.