Classic Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust

This velvety and rich cheesecake is easier to whip up than you’d expect. Serve it with fresh berries or a chocolate drizzle for an extra sweet bite.

Serves: 10Prep: 8 hours 40 minutesCook: 1 hour 45 minutesTotal: 10 hours 25 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 10


  • 1 1⁄2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 3⁄4 cups sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature


  • Preheat oven to 375F. Spray 9” springform pan with nonstick cooking spray
  • In medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup sugar and melted butter. Press mixture into prepared pan and about 1” up the side of the pan. Bake 12-15 minutes, until set. Let cool.
  • Reduce oven to 325F. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add 1½ cups sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Beat in sour cream.
  • Wrap bottom half of pan in aluminum foil. Pour filling into crust. Place pan into a roasting pan.
  • Bring medium saucepan or kettle of water to boil, pour hot water into roasting pan until halfway up side of springform pan.
  • Bake 1 hour, 30 minutes to 1 hour, 45 minutes, until just set in center. Remove pan from water. Let cool completely. Cover. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.
  • Serve and refrigerate leftovers.