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Sliced Philadelphia cheesecake on a serving plate.
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Philadelphia Cheesecake

This classic Philadelphia cheesecake recipe consists of a homemade crust topped with a decadent cheesecake filling that is baked to perfection. Serve this baked vanilla cheesecake with fresh berries, fresh fruit, whipped cream, or a topping of your choice. 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chilling Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings12 slices
saltyginger.comMary-Lou

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • Electric hand mixer
  • 9 Inch Springform Pan

Ingredients
 
 

Crust

  • 1 cup Graham cracker crumbs (or biscuit crumbs *Note 1)
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar (caster/granulated sugar - Note 2)
  • ¼ cup butter

Cheesecake Filling

  • 32 ounces cream cheese (*Note 3)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar (caster/granulated sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 eggs (medium/large *Note 3)

Instructions

  • Allow all ingredients to come to room temperature. This is crucial for a smooth creamy cheesecake.
  • Place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 180°C/355°F. Lightly grease and/or line your cake pan with parchment or baking paper.
  • Melt the butter and allow to cool.
  • Crush or process the Graham crackers or biscuits in a food processor until you have a mostly fine sand-like texture. Combine the Graham cracker crumbs or biscuit crumbs and sugar (an additional requirement for the graham cracker crust version) with the melted butter, and stir together until all the crumbs are coated.
    1 cup Graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar, ¼ cup butter
    Step 4 - Biscuit crumbs combined with melted butter in a bowl.
  • Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan or loose-bottomed cake pan. You can also use an 8-inch pan if it has nice high sides.  
    Step 5 - crumbs pressed into the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake the base for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool while you make the cheesecake filling. When the crust is baked, turn down the oven to 150°/300°F. 
  • Place half the room temperature cream cheese into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the sugar and vanilla extract, and beat together on medium speed (using the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer) until smooth and the sugar is dissolved. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl regularly with a rubber spatula.
    32 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup white granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Add in the rest of the cream cheese, and mix on medium speed for an additional 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl regularly with a rubber spatula. Then add in the lemon juice and mix through for an additional 30 seconds. 
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • On a low speed add in the eggs one at a time. Do not overmix. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides between the addition of eggs.
    4 eggs
    Step 9 - Smooth creamy cheesecake filling in a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour the cream cheese filling over the baked crust. Smooth out using the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Bang the pan on the kitchen counter a few times to bring any air bubbles to the surface. *Note 5
    Step 10 - cheesecake filling smoothed over the biscuit/Graham cracker base.
  • Wrap the bottom of the springform pan in two layers of aluminum or tinfoil, with the foil extending up the entire side of the cake pan. We want to make sure that it is waterproof. Then place the pan into a large roasting pan. And then into the oven. Fill the roasting pan with water until it is about an inch deep (2.5cm deep). *Note 6
  • Bake the cheesecake for 50-75 minutes. The cheesecake is fully baked when the edges are set the middle is still slightly jiggly. Mine was fully baked at 70 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven. Crack open the oven with a wooden spoon and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly for at least 1 hour before removing it from the oven and allowing it to cool completely at room temperature (about 3 hours). Remove the foil, and place the cheesecake in the fridge to cool completely for 3-4 hours. 
    Step 13 - Baked cheesecake on a plate.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the pan. Slice, and serve with your favorite topping.  *Note 7

All temperatures stated are for conventional ovens. Decrease the temperature by 20°C/25°F or gas mark 1 for "fan" or air-fryers.

Video

Notes

  1. You can use Graham crackers or a plain biscuit like digestive, Marie biscuits or vanilla wine biscuits.
  2. The 3 tablespoons of sugar are only required if using Graham crackers.
  3. I always use Philadelphia cream cheese in the block version. In the US these blocks come in 226 grams/8 ounces. However, here in New Zealand, the blocks are 250 grams or 8.8 ounces. This recipe has been developed according to the US size of the block. This recipe requires a total of 32 ounces or 910 grams of cream cheese.
  4. I use a New Zealand size 6 egg, which is around the same size as Australian and South African Large Eggs, but closer to a US/Europe medium-sized egg.
  5. Working out the air bubbles can take a while. Be patient and take your time. Use a knife, cake tester, or offset spatula to pop any bubbles in the thick creamy filling.
  6. Using a water bath allows the cheesecake to bake slowly and evenly. It also keeps the inside of the oven filled with steam which delays the setting of the top of the cheesecake. This will prevent cracking when the cheesecake cools down.
  7. To make beautiful slices, use a sharp knife that has been run under hot water and dried off between each slice.

Expert Tips

  • If you like a thicker crust, or like to bring the crust up the sides of the cheesecake, simply double the crust ingredients.
  • Set aside a nice chunk of time to make the cheesecake. This recipe does require a little bit of planning. 
  • Use room temperature ingredients - get your eggs and cream cheese to room temperature before you begin making the cheesecake. This allows the ingredients to be easily incorporated into a creamy filling. 
  • Use a water bath. This helps to regulate the temperature in your oven and to help the filling bake evenly. 
  • Cool the cheesecake slowly. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for at least an hour with the door cracked open before taking it out of the oven. 
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl regularly with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is mixed in nicely and smoothly. Even if you are using an electric hand mixer. 
  • Do not overmix the filling once you start adding eggs. Just mix until combined, then finish off by hand with a rubber spatula. 
  • When slicing your cheesecake, use a sharp knife. I like to warm my knife up in warm water, then I dry off the knife and slice it. I repeat this process with every slice. 
  • This cheesecake can be made using an 8-inch or 9-inch springform pan.

Storage and Freezing

Store leftover cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
This whole cheesecake can be frozen by wrapping a cold cheesecake in cling film and then foil, for up to 30 days. Allow the cake to thaw for at least 2 hours before serving. Just remember to unwrap the cake before defrosting.
Individual slices can be placed in the freezer on a plate and allowed to freeze for an hour or two before wrapping in plastic wrap and foil for up to 30 days. Alternatively, slices can be frozen in an airtight container.  Allow the slice to thaw for an hour before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 32g | Sodium: 335mg