New York cheesecake is without a doubt my favorite dessert and my birthday cake of choice! This is a recipe for a classic New York cheesecake – dense, creamy and very rich. A small slice will go a long way! Follow the directions carefully and you will be rewarded with a show stopping dessert!
by volume by weight
4 cups soft cream cheese 904 grams soft cream cheese
1¼ cups sugar 247 grams sugar
2½ tablespoons all purpose flour 19 grams all purpose flour
4 large eggs 272 grams large eggs
1 large egg yolk 18 grams egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla 12 grams vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream 57 grams heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 500F. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. It should be very soft and have no resistance at all. If not, you will end up with lumps in your cheesecake! Mix the cream cheese with the sugar until thoroughly combined. Throughout the mixing process, try to incorporate as little air as possible. If you use a mixer to make this cheesecake, be sure to mix on low so that the cheesecake retains its smooth creamy texture.
Add the eggs and the yolks one at a time and scrape down the bowl all the way to the bottom after each one because, if you don’t, you will have lumps in your cheesecake! (I used to try to skip this step because I really didn’t like doing it. Trust me, it doesn’t work out so well.) Add the flour, vanilla, and heavy cream and mix just to combine.
half the eggs added
all the eggs added
Pour the batter into a parchment lined 8″ cake pan with 3″ sides and rap several times on the counter to bring any air bubbles to the surface.
Bake at 500F for 10 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 200F and bake for approximately one hour. The cheesecake will be a little bit jiggly in the very center but it should not be wet to the touch at all. This will firm up as the cheesecake cools and will be solid once the cheesecake is refrigerated overnight. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
just out of the oven
When you are ready to unmold the cheesecake, rap the pan firmly on it’s bottom edge to loosen the sides of the cheesecake. You will see the edge of the cake pull away from the side of the pan. Rotate the pan and rap again until you have rotated the cake 360 degrees. (If there is any section of the cheesecake that doesn’t release from the pan you can use a small knife or offset spatula to gently loosen it.)
Place a damp kitchen towel or paper towel over the top of the cheesecake and cover with a flat plate, cookie sheet, cardboard circle, etc.
Flip the cake over onto the plate or cookie sheet and remove the pan.
Remove the parchment paper and then place the serving dish or cake board you will use to present the cake on the top.
Flip the cake back over.
Now your New York cheesecake is right side up, on the intended serving dish, and ready to be decorated!
You may notice that there are no directions for a crust — this is on purpose! This cheesecake is delicious just the way it is and there are no crunchy bits to get in the way of all that creamy goodness! However, if you prefer the traditional graham cracker or shortbread crust you can certainly use it with this cake.
You may also notice that this cheesecake is not made in a springform pan. Springform pans have caused me nothing but heartache over the last 20 years and so I have relegated them to the scrap bin. However, if you love springform pans, use them by all means! You won’t need the piece of parchment in the bottom because your cheesecake will remain on the removable bottom of the pan.
Some cheesecakes are also baked in a water bath. That is to regulate the temperature and keep it below 212F, the boiling point of water. I say, why not just keep the temperature of the oven below 212F? That eliminates trying to remove a sloshing pan of hot water from the oven — and that’s a good thing.
I like New York cheesecake in its purest form — just a touch of vanilla for flavor. However, 2 tablespoons of grated lemon or orange rind will give this cheesecake a lovely freshness. Fresh berries are always a nice complement but many other ideas will work as well. Let your favorite flavors be your guide! A drizzle of chocolate or raspberry sauce is a wonderful accompaniment as well.