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Best Cheesecake

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  • Prep 30 min
  • Total 6 hr 45 min
  • Servings 16
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Why wait until you're dining out to enjoy cheesecake? This recipe is fun to whip up at home, and the result is so rich and creamy, your family will agree that it’s the best of the best. Try it for special occasions like birthday parties or wedding showers, or whip it up on a lazy weekend as a memorable treat for your family.

Cheesecake is a dessert made with a soft fresh cheese, like cream cheese, and it can be baked or unbaked. This recipe is for baked cheesecake, and it calls for strawberries on top. But homemade cheesecakes can be topped with anything your heart desires—chocolate, other berries, crumbled cookies, you name it!

By Arlene Cummings
Updated Feb 1, 2024
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What is the best cheesecake flavor?

The best cheesecake flavor is the one you find irresistible! And the possibilities are endless—you can garnish cheesecake with almost any fruit or other sweet treats, like chocolate or caramel. You can even make savory cheesecakes with ingredients like smoked salmon.

Want to expand your cheesecake repertoire? Once you’ve enjoyed our Best Cheesecake, try our New York Cheesecake and our Heavenly Cheesecake.

Is heavy cream or sour cream better for cheesecake?

Adding either heavy cream or sour cream to the cheesecake layer will help create a smoother texture. But keep in mind that heavy cream may mask the tangy cream cheese flavor while sour cream will help enhance it. In our Best Cheesecake recipe, we add sour cream to the top layer only, but all that nice tang from the cream cheese still comes through.

Should cream cheese be room temp when making cheesecake?

Yes, you will want to make sure your cream cheese is softened before using it to make this Best Cheesecake recipe. The best way to soften cream cheese is to take it out of the fridge, and let it sit on your countertop for an hour before using. But if you forget or are short on time, don’t worry! A delicious homemade cheesecake is still in your future. To quickly soften your cream cheese, place it unwrapped on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for 10 seconds. Repeat a few times, checking the texture and temp after each time. Watch it closely! Microwaves vary, and the cream cheese can turn into a messy puddle very quickly.

What’s the best way to store cheesecake?

First of all, make sure that your baked cheesecake is completely cool. Then, with the cheesecake still in the springform pan, cover and refrigerate it for 3 to 5 days.



  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 containers (8 oz each) whipped cream cheese spread, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour

Sour Cream Layer

  • 1 pint (2 cups) sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Sliced fresh strawberries
  • Strawberry sundae syrup
  • Whipped cream
Make With
Gold Medal Flour


  • 1
    Heat oven to 325°F. In small bowl, mix crust ingredients; press in bottom of ungreased 10-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool 3 to 5 minutes.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat both kinds of cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 tablespoons lemon juice with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and well blended. On low speed, add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until blended. Add flour; beat until smooth.
  • 3
    Pour filling over crust. Bake 55 minutes. Cool on cooling rack 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix sour cream layer ingredients.
  • 4
    Spoon and spread sour cream mixture evenly over top of cheesecake. Bake 10 minutes longer. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • 5
    Before serving, remove side of pan. Garnish each serving with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of strawberry sundae syrup and a dollop of whipped cream. Store in refrigerator.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Wrapping foil around the bottom of the pan helps to keep anything from dripping out while baking.
  • tip 2
    It’s best to store the cheesecake in the springform pan until ready to serve. The pan will protect it from getting bumped in the refrigerator.
  • tip 3
    Slice the cheesecake using a hot, wet knife, wiping the knife blade clean in between slices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the history of cheesecake?

The very first mention of cheesecake is from Ancient Greece. A physician in the 5th century BC wrote a book on making cheesecakes. It wasn’t until about the 18th century that the version of cheesecake that we know and love today emerged. It was around this time that Europeans began to use eggs instead of yeast, which gave cheesecake a more dessert-like quality. As the Europeans immigrated to America, they brought their cheesecake recipes along with them, and the rest, as they say, is history!

What is the difference between New York-style cheesecake and regular cheesecake?

New York-style cheesecake typically has a denser texture than regular cheesecake thanks to the addition of more cream cheese. Other ingredients like extra eggs, egg yolks and sour cream may be added to give New York-style cheesecake a smooth texture.

Why did my cheesecake crack?

The top of your cheesecake may crack for several different reasons. The most common reason is overmixing, which can incorporate too much air into the batter. Once it’s baked, the air bubbles will burst, causing the top to crack. To help prevent cracking, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing your batter. Also, don’t forget to set that timer! Overbaking or opening your oven door before your cake is ready can also cause cracking. Finally, after removing your cake from the oven, be sure to let it cool at room temp before placing it in the fridge to chill.


Nutrition Facts are not available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • While New York is the city most often associated with cheesecake, Chicago, Philadelphia and St. Louis also lay claim to this delicious dessert. A journey around the world reveals even more unique variations. Italians often use ricotta cheese, Greeks prefer feta and Germans usually choose cottage cheese for their cheesecake recipes. While it’s true that we’ve labeled this recipe our “best,” there are so many delicious ways to explore this classic dessert—the flavor options are seemingly endless! From salted caramel to pumpkin and sweet potato, Betty has a cheesecake recipe to suit your style. Try one, try them all! We’ll be there with you every step of the way.
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