New York Style Cheesecake

If it were up to me, I probably wouldn’t post this recipe. I’ve made it twice now, and truth be told, I just didn’t like it that much.  But I’m pretty sure it was just me.

My family loved it. They all looked at me like I was nuts and rolled their eyes (as they always do when they think I’m just been too critical of my treats) when I told them I didn’t love it.  My husband, who doesn’t like cheesecake all that much said it was really good, for cheesecake. My Mom had two slices after dinner last night.  My sister shared some leftovers with a friend of hers who claimed it was better than Cheesecake Factory.

I don’t know why it’s not my favorite – it just didn’t do it for me. After really analyzing what it is that I don’t like about this recipe, I determined that I’m a crumbly cheesecake person. I don’t want it to be dry, but I don’t want it to be creamy or custard-y.  This particular cheesecake had a great texture  on the outer third of the cake.  The center of the cake was too creamy for me.

Secondly, this one (to me) had an egginess to it.  I don’t like eggy custards.  I don’t like eggy ice cream, pancakes and waffles – in fact, I really don’t like plain old eggs that much.  I know.  Some foodie I am, right?

That all being said, it HAS to just be me.  You see, this is the Baking Illustrated recipe.  Everything, and I mean everything that I’ve ever made following one of their recipes has been phenomenal.  And, this recipe got really amazing reviews everywhere I searched.  In fact, in reading the description of this recipe, it turned out exactly how they said it was supposed to.  So – don’t let my personal tastes and cheesecake preferences turn you away from this recipe.  Apparently, it’s really good.  😉

The only thing I did differently was to add the sour cream topping, which is just a personal preference.  I’m curious if anyone reading this has ever tried this particular recipe?  Or, do you have a favorite cheesecake recipe?  If you’d be willing to share the recipe, I’d love to give it a try!

You can count on the fact that I’m officially on a mission to find MY favorite New York Style Cheesecake.  Looks like it’s time to stock up on cream cheese!

New York Style Cheesecake
Yield:  12-16 servings
Prep Time:  25 minutes ♦ Bake Time:  90 minutes ♦ Chill Time:  3-24 hours

Crust Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces graham cracker crumbs, weighing them is preferred, otherwise approx 8 whole crackers
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons melted butter, plus extra (about 1 Tablespoon or so) for brushing pan

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F) and move oven rack to the lowest position.  In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter with a fork until crumbs are completely moistened.

Brush the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan generously with melted butter.  Pour crumbs into pan, and use the bottom of a drinking glass to press crumbs evenly over bottom of pan.  Don’t go up the sides with the crust.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.

Filling ingredients:

  • 5 (8oz) packanges of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks plus 6 large eggs at room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees (F.)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for about 30 seconds to break it up.
  3. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula – scrape the sides AND bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 of the sugar and salt, beat for 1 minute at medium-low speed.
  5. Scrape the bowl.
  6. Add the rest of the sugar, beat for 1 minute at medium-low speed.
  7. Scrape the bowl.
  8. Add the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla.  Beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  9. Scrape the bowl.
  10. Add the two egg yolks, beat at medium-low speed for about 1 minute.
  11. Scrape the bowl.
  12. Add two of the eggs.  Beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  13. Scrape the bowl.
  14. Add two more eggs.  Beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  15. Scrape the bowl.
  16. Add the last two eggs.  You got it – beat at medium-low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
  17. Generously brush the sides of the springform pan with butter.
  18. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 10 minutes at 500 degrees.
  19. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees, and bake for 90 minutes or until the temperature of the center of the cake reaches 150 degrees (F) on an instant-read thermometer.
  20. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 2-3 hours.
  21. Run a knife around the outside of the cake, and cover with plastic wrap.
  22. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours, but preferably up to 24 hours for flavor to cure.
  23. Use a thin knife or spatula to remove from pan.  Use a hot blade to slice the cake.

Tips:  Don’t overbeat the batter.  Air bubbles will negatively affect the texture of the cake and cause cracks.  Just beat until well combined, and no more than 1 minute per step.   Have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to add.  Don’t skimp on scraping the bowl.  This is imperative for a smooth (non-lumpy) cheesecake.    If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, the 90 minute timeframe is just about perfect, so don’t fret.


Recipe Source and Inspiration:  Baking Illustrated via Annie’s Eats

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  • Jasilyn

    I love that you are honest about not liking this particular recipe! You are so refreshing to read!! New fan here.

    • Erin {Lemon Sugar}

      Thank you, what a nice thing to say! Welcome, and come back soon!

  • Jenny @ BAKE

    These photos are absolutely beautiful! I hate it when you put hours into a bake that just doesn’t come out as you wish it would. You’ve inspired me to be more honest about these things in the future

    • Erin {Lemon Sugar}

      Thanks Jenny! I debated about posting it at all, but I guess it’s not about me ALL the time. Ha! Hope you’re doing well, my friend!

  • Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    I am with your on the crumbly cheesecake factor. I like it to be “dry” in nature not creamy. The photos are fabulous, but just know you are not alone in your preferences.

    Happy Tuesday!

  • Linda

    Seems to me you could have left out the extra 2 egg yolks and it might have changed everything for the better. Sounds very much like one I make that I love. I don’t get not liking creamy cheesecake though. How do you make anything with cream cheese and not have it be creamy? Isn’t that the point? I’m gonna make this one, and I know I’ll love it. Thanks for sharing.

    • lemonsugar

      Oh, I love cream cheese, just like my cheesecake a bit more firm.

  • Erica Smith

    To enjoy this cake without the “egginess” and to reduce the creaminess just slightly reduce the amount of eggs. I’ve always been told 1 egg for each pack of cream cheese, so what I’ve done is 5 packs = 4 eggs. I find the cake is just a touch firmer and not as custard-like tasting. Cheesecakes are my favorite but they tend to crack. A trick I was told was to put a pan of water on the bottom rack of oven or place pan in a bath, still doesn’t work for me, any ideas??

    • lemonsugar

      Thanks Erica, I’ll try reducing the eggs next time. :) I do several things to reduce cracking – I VERY liberally butter the sides of the pan to prevent the sides from sticking, I use the pan of water, and I let the cheesecake cool in the oven with the door propped open, so that it cools slowly.

  • Rina

    me personally I love creamy cheesecakes and this recipe sounds real good… I will definitely try it soon… I like the american style cheesecakes a lot better… but if you prefer your cheesecakes to be “dry” and more firm rather than creamy you should try the german cheesecake recipes… we use curd instead of cream cheese… this could be the texture you might like!

  • Therese

    Hi. I am just trying this recipe out myself. I think it looks delicious. Can you tell me what you added to the top. Is that icing sugar with lemon juice?

    • Rina

      It is a sour cream topping… I have another recipe where you add a sour cream topping after the cake has complete cooled in the refrigerator… you remove the springform and then you add the sour cream topping… here is the recipe for it… 2 cups sour cream, 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla… I don´t know if she was making it different… but I am sure it was pretty similar… anyways I hope it was helpful for you!

  • Katrina

    Hi! Stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest. I, too, prefer a firmer cheesecake. In fact, I don’t think anything The Cheesecake Factory serves is really cheesecake at all. Don’t get me wrong. You can put any of their “cheesecakes” in front of me and I’ll enjoy them. They just aren’t what I remember eating when I think of the plain NY style cheesecake I ate as a kid. I searched for New York Style Cheesecake on Pinterest in the hopes that I’d find a recipe that comes close to this memory and it sounds like we’re after the same thing. I have never baked a cheesecake in my life, but have been ordering whenever it’s on the dessert menu! 😉 Have you had any luck since writing this post?

    • lemonsugar

      I’ve tried several more recipes, but I’m still on the hunt for my ideal recipe. :) Let me know if you ever find a good one!!