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How To Make Cheesecake

Updated on January 26, 2008
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Cheesecakes are easy

Have you ever wondered how to make a cheesecake? Now, I don’t mean the from-the-box or no-bake cheesecakes. I mean how to make a real, mouthwatering, gourmet cheesecake. We’re talking about the kind that looks like it came straight from the Cheesecake Factory.

Or maybe you thought it wasn’t possible to make a gourmet cheesecake. Maybe you’ve never baked before or always heard how hard cheesecakes are to make.

Maybe you’re actually looking for a no-bake cheesecake recipe! Stop! Don’t go anywhere! You’ll learn that it’s easy to bake a cheesecake yourself!

This tastes better than a no-bake cheesecake!
This tastes better than a no-bake cheesecake!

How to make cheesecake

Homemade cheesecakes are fun, easy to make, and taste delicious. As Emeril Lagasse says, “It’s not rocket science!” So let’s get started!

To ease your fears, we’ll start with the fundamentals. Cheesecakes usually have 3 basic parts: the crust, filling, and topping.

The Crust

Imagine your favorite cookies and nuts ground up and smooshed together and you’ve got the crust for a cheesecake. Practically anything goes. The crust is most often formed in a springform pan. Springform pans come in all shapes and sizes. An 8-inch or 9-inch are the standards. They also have heart shaped pans, square pans, rectangular pans, and oval springform pans.

The Filling

The filling is the main portion of the cheesecake. Most cheesecakes are usually made with cream cheese, but some recipes call for other types of cheese such as ricotta cheese.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese has always been the best cream cheese to use. However, in a pinch, I picked up the Trader Joes’ Cream Cheese and it was excellent. I now use both brands, purchasing whichever is cheapest!

You can be really creative with the filling, adding fruit or chocolate. The filling takes approximately one hour to bake.

The Topping

A cheesecake’s topping can range from a sweetened sour cream layer to fresh fruit to chopped-up candy bar pieces and whipped cream. Depending on the topping, it’s added to the cheesecake during the last few minutes of baking or after the cheesecake is completely cooled.

If you’re ready, jump in and make the best classic cheesecake recipe. However, if you’re completely new to cheesecake baking, be sure to read on. You’ll learn the tricks to making mouth-watering cheesecakes that rival the Cheesecake Factory.

Classic Cheesecake with Cherries on Top

Cheesecake tips

We’ll start from the bottom and work our way up.

The crust is a bunch of ground up cookies with melted butter holding it together. That’s it. So if you’re feeling adventurous, skip the traditional graham cracker crust found in the best classic cheesecake recipe. Substitute your favorite package of cookies for the Graham Crackers. Plan to use most of the package. You’ll have just enough left over for a snack for the chef.

Dump the cookies in your food processor to crush up. If you don’t have a food processor, put a handful of cookies in a zip-lock bag and start crushing. A rolling pin works well, but so does a heavy book. Get creative. You’re just crushing cookies!

You can also grind a handful of your favorite nuts and add them to your cookie crumbs. If you want to go an extra step, toast them first. To toast nuts, place a layer on a metal baking sheet for a few minutes in an oven set at 350 degrees. Just watch them so they don’t burn!

If you love a certain candy bar, chop it up in small pieces and add it to the filling right before you pour it into the springform pan. Follow the best classic cheesecake recipe and leave out the lemon juice and rind. Chopped up Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfinger, Ghirardelli chocolate, and even Snickers will work really well.

Remember to always use your senses! Taste your crust. If it’s not sweet enough, add a little more sugar. You can taste the filling too, just remember that raw eggs can cause salmonella, so try the filling right before you add the eggs.

Use your eyes! If your crust isn’t sticking very well, it’s too dry and needs more butter. If it’s soaking wet, you need more cookie crumbs. Add what you need a little at a time.

When you’re putting the crust in the pan and up the sides, don’t feel like you have to use all your crust. The same holds true for the filling. Some recipes just make more than your pan can handle. The cheesecake filling should go ¾ up the side of the springform pan.

Gourmet cheesecake

If you have leftover crust or filling, don’t throw it away! Pull out any small baking dish. Press the crust in the dish and bake it. Then add the filling and bake. Depending on how much you have leftover, it may only take 20 minutes to bake (at the same temperature).

Your leftover cheesecake won’t win any awards, but you’ve got your gourmet Cheesecake Factory cheesecake look-alike ready for your guests. Consider your leftover cheesecake a bonus for you, the chef – a job well done

Place your perfectly homemade cheesecake on a cake plate and watch as your guests delight over your classic cheesecake. Beware: you'll be asked to make your cheesecake again!

Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake

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    • LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

      Kathryn Skaggs 9 years ago from Southern California

      Can I order one?

      Looks divine!

      tDMg

      LdsNana-AskMormon

    • Alexis Froehlich profile image
      Author

      Alexis Froehlich 9 years ago

      one cheesecake coming right up! :)

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Alexis, you make it sound so easy! I have always been afraid to even try to make a cheesecake. Now I may have to try :)

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Are you trying to fatten us up? ;-) These look delicious!

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Are you trying to fatten us up? ;-) These look delicious!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Cherry Cheesecake for me please ! I'm sitting here drooling...believe me its not a pretty sight. E-mail over a big slab quick...

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Alexis Froehlich profile image
      Author

      Alexis Froehlich 9 years ago

      Nothing soothes the soul like...

      cheesecake. :)

    • ChrisSnil profile image

      ChrisSnil 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      YES! I've been looking for a cheesecake recipe reference for a while, looking to make one with some mint Oreos :)

      Thanks for the awesome advice

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

      Wow! These cheesecake tips and recipes look amazing! I am a big chicken when it comes to attempting to make one myself, Cheesecake Factory here we come!

    • profile image

      XY 8 years ago

      w0w , it sounds easy to make a cheesecake. Cherry Cheesecake,these looks delicious~

    • profile image

      butterfinger candy bars 8 years ago

      Hmm I love cheese cakes-

      Thanks Alexis for the great recipe.

      Sam

    • profile image

      8 years ago

      M

    • profile image

      shar 7 years ago

      ok you picture suck make them like people would want a really piece of cake to look such as snickers bar and chucnks and chesse cake look like a ducky piled on top of a cheese cake

    • profile image

      shar 7 years ago

      ok you picture suck make them like people would want a really piece of cake to look such as snickers bar and chucnks and chesse cake look like a ducky piled on top of a cheese cake

    • profile image

      shar 7 years ago

      ok you picture suck make them like people would want a really piece of cake to look such as snickers bar and chucnks and chesse cake look like a ducky piled on top of a cheese cake

    • profile image

      Gummies  7 years ago

      the cheesecakes looks so.... i can't find a word for that!! if u send me a cheesecake i will send u gummies XD maybe i will try making a cheesecake and nice job! :D and the cheesecake with the cherries on top looks so goodie!

    • profile image

      Maria 7 years ago

      My borders raise more than the center. How do I fix it? Thanks

    • MrSpock profile image

      MrSpock 7 years ago

      Junior's from Brooklyn, New York has very very good cheesecake!

    • profile image

      Jeri 7 years ago

      finally a cheesecake w/o the lemon juice! i am highly allergic to citric acid/citrus and ive been wanting cheesecake. but everywhere i go they put lemon juice in it. so thank you so much! you are a huge help!

    • profile image

      Jeri 7 years ago

      finally a cheesecake w/o the lemon juice! i am highly allergic to citric acid/citrus and ive been wanting cheesecake. but everywhere i go they put lemon juice in it. so thank you so much! you are a huge help!

    • profile image

      jenny 7 years ago

      ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy i love cheese cake infanat iam gonna make one in skol this week lolz

    • profile image

      fuk 6 years ago

      just tell us what the cheese cake is made of jeez...

      fuk

    • profile image

      rima 6 years ago

      what's in the filling ???

    • profile image

      farshad 6 years ago

      hey go buy a camera and take picture in cool places and beautifulllllllllllll places!!!

    • profile image

      Bharath 6 years ago

      Hey ppl! i don have cream cheese..so any other option instead of cream cheese?!?!?

    • Sun-Girl profile image

      Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

      Wonderful teaching you did in here on cheesecake making which am sure i learn t from and will surely give it a trial soon.

    • profile image

      e89 5 years ago

      i want one

    • profile image

      Cathy 5 years ago

      Wow this info was so helpful! They look delicious :D I love duckies tehehehehehe JOIN THE CLUB!

      Here are some kewl quotes:

      Mamma Mia - here I go again!

      "A, B, C, D......................FART!"

      Hope y'all find this so helpful :)

      Lots of hunny bears xxxxxxxx

    • profile image

      nomthandazo 5 years ago

      this is so nice i think my cheesecake is better than the normal one love it wow

    • profile image

      emily 5 years ago

      mmmmmm........ these cheese cakes look wonderful

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