How do you make cheesecake from scratch
Learning how to make homemade cheesecake at home is easy! The first step is to start with the proper ingredients. Here is everything you’ll need to make this easy cheesecake recipe.
Cream cheese: Naturally the most important ingredient in cheesecake is the cream cheese! You’ll need 3 (8 oz.) packages for this recipe. Make sure your cream cheese is softened to room temperature before you start. This will make it much easier to incorporate your ingredients.
Granulated sugar: Sugar is great for balancing the tang of the cream cheese. You’ll only need 2/3 cup for this recipe, because the Candy Melts candy will provide the remaining sweetness we need.
Eggs: Eggs help add that rich density to your cheesecake, but they also trap air, which you don’t want in this recipe. Trapped air will expand in the oven, causing your cheesecake to crack. When it’s time to add the eggs (you’ll need 4 for this recipe), add them one at a time and beat at low speed.
Candy Melts Candy: Melted Candy Melts candy will give your cheesecake that extra boost of sweetness it needs! For a classic cheesecake, use White or Bright White candy. Check out our post on How to Melt Candy Melts Candy for easy melting.
Vanilla extract: Just one teaspoon is all you need to add that delicious vanilla flavor to your classic cheesecake!
Heavy whipping cream: There’s no skimping on this recipe! The heavy whipping cream will give your cheesecake that trademark creamy texture that makes it so delicious. Add 1 1/3 cups to the batter before baking.
How to Make a Graham Cracker Crust
A graham cracker crust is made by combining graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter together, then pressing the mixture into a pan before baking. It adds great texture and flavor to your cheesecake and is so easy to make!
For this crust, you’ll need:
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly spray your 9 in. springform pan with non-stick vegetable spray. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in heavy-duty aluminum foil to protect your cheesecake in the water bath.
In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Mix everything together until all the crumbs are coated with butter.
Pour the mixture into the springform pan and firmly press it into the bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass to help make an even crust.
Once pressed into the pan, set it aside while preparing the batter.
How to Make Cheesecake Filling
Using an electric or stand mixer, combine the 24 oz. softened cream cheese with the 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing at low speed to avoid adding air to the batter.
Melt 12 oz. White Candy Melts candy according to package instructions and let cool slightly. Add the melted candy, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream to the cream cheese mixture. Mix well until everything is combined, then pour mixture into the prepared pan.
How to Make a Cheesecake Water Bath
A water bath creates a humid environment for your cheesecake, allowing it to rise evenly and reduces the risk of cracks on the surface. It also helps prevent sinking as your cheesecake cools.
To make a water bath, place your prepared cheesecake on a cookie sheet. Fill the cookie sheet with about ½ in. of hot water. Bake your cheesecake in a 300-degree F oven for about 2 hours and 30 minutes, or until the center of the cheesecake jiggles only slightly.
How to Cool Your Cheesecake
Once your cheesecake is done baking, transfer it to a cooling grid to cool completely. Once cooled, place your cheesecake in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours, or until the cheesecake has firmed up.
How to Prevent Cheesecake Cracks
Cracks usually happen when there is air in the batter. To prevent this, make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature to avoid overmixing. Since eggs trap air, be sure to add them to your batter one at a time, mixing at low speed.
A dry oven can also cause cracking, so take care not to overbake your cheesecake. Baking in a water bath is also a great way to create a humid environment for your cake to rise and bake evenly.
How to Make Homemade Cheesecake Toppings
The great thing about this classic cheesecake recipe is that you can easily customize it with almost any topping! Here are a few of our favorites:
Fruit filling: A homemade or store-bought fruit pie filling makes a delicious topping for this cheesecake. We suggest cherry, strawberry, apple or blueberry.
How to Freeze Cheesecake
To freeze a whole cheesecake, wrap it well with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Stored this way, a cheesecake will last about one month. For best results, freeze it undecorated.
To help the cheesecake keep its shape, freeze it on a cake circle or leave it on the bottom of the springform pan.
You can also freeze individual slices by wrapping each slice in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. When you’re ready to eat it, simply let it defrost in the refrigerator for a few hours.
How to Make No-Bake Cheesecake
If you’d rather not turn on the oven, you can also make one of these tasty no-bake recipes. No-bake cheesecake does not contain eggs, so the texture is smooth and creamy, almost like mousse. Here are a few of our favorite no-bake cheesecake recipes:
PB & J No-Bake Cheesecake – this one is great for kids (and kids at heart)! Peanut butter and whipped cream icing combine for a smooth, velvety filling, then the whole thing is topped with jelly, icing and chopped peanuts.
No-Bake Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake – sweet and tangy, this strawberry cheesecake is made using real strawberries and lemon juice for a bright and delicious dessert.
Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa No-Bake Cheesecake Bites – when you want a little bite of something sweet, these hot cocoa cheesecake bites are just the thing!
No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Shots – everyone has room for dessert when you serve these cute edible shot glasses. Chocolate cookies are used to make the cup, then it’s filled with a raspberry-flavored cheesecake filling for a delicious ending to almost any meal.
If rich, creamy and decadent flavors are your thing, take a look at this great list of holiday and Christmas cheesecakes that are perfect for sharing with friends and family.
So, what’s your favorite way to top your cheesecake? Let us know in the comments below, or take a picture of your cheesecake and tag us @wiltoncakes!
Classic Cheesecake Recipe
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 packages cream cheese softened 8 oz. each
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Fresh fruit for garnish optional
- In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in butter until evenly combined. Press mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of prepared pan. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven, cool completely on cooling grid.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until it is a light and fluffy consistency. Next, beat in the sour cream until smooth. Then, add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add sugar, cornstarch and vanilla then beat until mixture is smooth. Pour mixture into cooled graham cracker crust.
- Fill jelly roll pan with about 1/2 in. water
- Place pan onto the prepared jelly/cookie pan water bath. Bake 60-65 minutes or until center of cheesecake jiggles only slightly. Then, remove spring form from jelly roll pan and transfer to cooling grid to cool completely. Refrigerate overnight or at least 12 hours until cheesecake is firm. Top cheesecake with fresh fruit just before serving, if using.