Cheesecake (NY Style, Sour Cream-Topped)

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided (I scale it back a little)
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • Optional: Freshly squeezed lemon juice (a tablespoon or so, more if you like a stronger lemon flavor) with a tiny touch of fresh lemon zest
  • 1 (16-ounce) container of sour cream, divided
  • 4 large eggs

  1. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons of sugar and melted butter.  Press firmly into a 9" springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5-6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, 1 cup (or a bit less if you choose) of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla with hand mixer until well blended. Add 1 cup of sour cream, then eggs (one at a time) beating well. It should be nice and creamy, possibly with little flecks of cream cheese remaining. Pour over crust.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees F for 40 minutes (center will be almost set). Combine remaining sour cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, stirring with a spoon by hand. Carefully spread this topping over the cheesecake. 
  4. Bake for 10 minutes more. Cool completely, cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Before serving, open the springform pan, using a spatula if necessary to prevent the cheesecake from sticking to the pan edge.
  5. Store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator. At our gatherings, there's rarely any leftover, but if there is, it sure makes for a fantastic breakfast.

I have always referred to this as Auntie Kay's cheesecake because she is the first that made it for me. I love it so much that I'd request it on every birthday.  It has gotten so many compliments, with most people saying it's the best cheesecake they've ever had. It's surprisingly simple. I prefer it plain, but it's also good with fresh seasonal strawberries or a fresh blueberry sauce (I just combine fresh blueberries with a tiny bit of sugar and a touch of lemon juice and heat while stirring on the stove top until the berries start to soften). Cool completely before topping the cheesecake with the berries, or serve on the side and let your guests spoon over their dessert if desired.  

Prep Time: About 20 minutes
Bake Time: 55 minutes
Cool and Chill: 4 hours minimum
Yield: One 9" cheesecake