If you’re looking for a decadent and creamy dessert, this easy cheesecake recipe is just the thing!

With a simple four-ingredient filling, this cheesecake is fail-proof and delicious. Top it with assortment of fresh berries or sauces!  

a slice of baked cheesecake on a white plate with berries

Ingredients for Cheesecake

This easy cheesecake recipe is a classic for good reason, and it needs few ingredients.

  • Graham Cracker Crust: I purchase graham cracker crumbs, but you can also pulse graham crackers in a food processor to make your own crumbs. A bit of sugar adds sweetness, while butter binds the crust.
  • Cream Cheese: Full-fat blocks of cream cheese are recommended in this recipe. For a lighter version, low-fat cream cheese can be used, but the texture will be much softer.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the cheesecake.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds flavor to the cheesecake filling.
  • Eggs: Room temperature eggs mix smoothly into the batter. If short on time, place the eggs in warm water for 5 minutes to quickly reach room temperature.

How to Make Cheesecake

  1. Prepare crust: Mix the graham crust ingredients and press them into a springform pan.
  2. Prepare filling: Combine filling ingredients according to the recipe below. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.
  3. Bake: Bake according to the recipe below. Cool and chill before serving.
Easy Homemade Cheesecake steps

Do you Need a Water Bath for Cheesecake?

No, you don’t need a water bath for baking cheesecake but it helps with even baking and it helps eliminate cracks. While it might seem like a bit of a task, I can assure you it’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes extra.

To avoid cracks, line two layers of aluminum foil around the outside of the springform pan and place them in a large pan. Fill the pan halfway up with water. If you choose this method, bake it and allow it to cool for a bit in the oven. Cool in the refrigerator.

If you don’t use a water bath, your cheesecake will still be great. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the crust to loosen the cheesecake from the pan. Remove the pan from the cheesecake and let the cheesecake cool completely in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Cheesecake with berries on top and in the background

This is what’s so great about cheesecake! There are dozens of toppings and sauces for every cheesecake occasion!

  • Sweet: Caramel sauce, Berry, Raspberry, Peach, or Raspberry sauce
  • Tart: Lemon curd or Cranberry sauce
  • Spiced: Pumpkin or Apple

Delicious Cheesecake Toppings

This is the perfect dessert for any occasion! Serve this easy cheescake topped with fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, dessert sauces or even pie filling.

Storage & Freezing

Keep cheesecake up to 5 days in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap or sealed in an airtight container.

If you’d like to enjoy a few slices out of the freezer, slice the leftover cheesecake before freezing or you can freeze it as a whole cake and thaw the whole thing. Store cheesecake in the freezer for up to 4 months. Let the cheesecake thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Cheesecake Favorites

Did your family love this easy Cheesecake recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Slice of cheesecake on a plate with berries
5 from 99 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Cheesecake Recipe

This homemade Cheesecake is so decadent, rich & creamy!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12 pieces
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Ingredients  

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 2 cups graham crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • cup unsalted butter melted

Cheesecake:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine graham crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix until well combined and press into the bottom and about ¾-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
  • In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy, scraping the sides as neede. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just until incorporated (do not overbeat, this will cause cracks).
  • Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust and wrap the bottom of the springform pan in 2 layers of aluminum foil. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan and pour enough water in the roasting pan to reach halfway up the springform pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.
  • Once the cheesecake is set, turn the oven off, open the door slightly, and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven and run a butter knife along the edges. Remove from springform pan and cool completely in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Remove springform pan and cool completely in the fridge at least 4 hours or overnight.

Notes

To Bake Without a Waterbath: A water bath (bain marie) is recommended to avoid cracks in the cheesecake. This cheesecake can be baked without a waterbath but you may get some cracking in the cheesecake. To bake without a waterbath, place the cheesecake directly on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the center is almost set. (It will still be a tiny bit wobbly in the middle). Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edge of the crust to loosen. Cool for 45 minutes and then refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
5 from 99 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 433 | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 380mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 1136IU | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
baked Easy Cheesecake Recipe and with a slice taken out with writing
Easy Cheesecake Recipe with berries and a title
close up of a slice of Easy Cheesecake Recipe with writing
taking a slice out of Easy Cheesecake Recipe with writing

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. A friend made this. It was so yummy, I went and bought spring form pans so I could make my first cheesecake ever.
    Been trying to print it, but am unsuccessful.5 stars

    1. You can use a 9-inch round cake pan. I would suggest to wet a piece of parchment paper and shake off the water and use it to line the cake pan, this will make for easy removal. If you wet the parchment, it’s really easy to shape to the pan. Enjoy!

  2. Not sure why but the spring pan allowed butter to escape causing a smoke show. I am a novice with Cheesecake. Follow recipe to an T, I thought ‍♀️Any suggestions ?

    1. I haven’t had this issue with the butter leaking so I can’t say for sure what caused that. If you are having trouble with the butter leaking and smoking, next time you can bake the cheesecake with a water bath and it will prevent the smoke. I hope this helps Kate.

  3. I love the simplicity of this recipe. Thank you. I’ve made it several times. I was out of graham crackers recently, so used IKEA ginger snaps instead and now I’ll never go back! The “new” crust was a hit.5 stars

  4. Great recipe! I looked through a dozen recipes trying to fine one that was easy but still baked —and not a lot of fancy ingredients. It turned out great and did not crack, even though I forgot to add the eggs 1 at a time. I put it in a 9×11 glass dish and did the water bath. Baked for 40 mins. It’s the 4th of July so I wanted to make a flag design with blueberries and strawberries.
    The only thing I would change is the crumb description. Because I do my crumb crust in the food processor, I added 2 pkgs of crackers, then had to add more sugar and butter to get the right consistency. I’m thinking I should only have added 1 pkg. Thanks again for a great recipe. It’s a keeper!5 stars

  5. Great recipe! I looked through a dozen recipes trying to fine one that was easy but still baked —and not a lot of fancy ingredients. It turned out great and did not crack, even though I forgot to add the eggs 1 at a time. I put it in a 9×11 glass dish and did the water bath. Baked for 40 mins. It’s the 4th of July so I wanted to make a flag design with blueberries and strawberries.
    The only thing I would change is the crumb description. Because I do my crumb crust in the food processor, I added 2 pkgs of crackers, then had to add more sugar and butter to get the right consistency. I’m thinking I should only have added 1 pkg. Maybe I’ll use the extra for crumb topping? Thanks again for a great recipe. It’s a keeper!5 stars

  6. This recipe is crap. Step by step meaning ingredients put into the cheesecake filling, how much and all that. Please be more specific.

    1. Hey Bob, All of the measurements and directions are in the full recipe (you might be looking at the overview). If you’re having trouble finding it, you can use the jump to recipe button at the top of the page. Hope that helps and enjoy the recipe!

  7. Hands down the best cheesecake i have ever made! I covered with foil, out of the oven the last 5 minutes and it turned out fantastic! I also added lemon sext to the mix and on top of the crust before pouring the mix over it. It was HUGE hit5 stars

  8. How do you lithe top of the cake from cracking? I put a pie pan filled with water, on the second rack in the oven and it still cracks more while it cools.
    Thanks,
    Janice

    1. Things that can make a cheesecake crack can include cooling too fast. Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, remove from springform pan and cool completely in the fridge.
      This step is optional but allows the cheesecake to bake more evenly avoiding cracks.

    2. Make sure cheesecake pan is in 1-2″ water bath in a roasting pan. Also mix sour cream with a few teaspoons of sugar and spread over top of cooled cheesecake – it’ll hide the cracks

  9. Just put in the oven so we’ll see how it comes out. I will say prep time listed on recipe was 5 minutes. It took far more than 5 minutes just making the crust!! Blending 2 cups of Graham crackers ( then the occasional crumb you’ll have to break up) adding ingredients was easy but then you have to put in pan and press firmly down and make sure to have crumbs along the sides of pan. Refrigerator over night but I’m hoping it came out ok. Thanks for recipe though! Wasn’t difficult at all. First time trying it.

  10. Hi, thanks so much for your beautifully detailed yet simple recipe. I recommend and appreciate your specific directions regarding the water bath and have found that it works very well; now it is simply a part of the drill! There has been no issue with cracking or difficulty otherwise. It’s always a bit daunting making something with a “big name” that comes with critics and personal opinions for the first time since my twenties so it was the perfect thing to approach and perfect during this past first of the pandemic. It got to the point that once the cheesecakes appeared my fellow two sweet “roommates” of our locked-down family repeatedly hinted about when I would bake another! (The older of our two sons and his wife live safely overseas). Peace, love, and stay well!5 stars

    1. So glad you have loved this recipe and found it to be approachable. I agree, it can seem like an intimidating procedure at first. Thank you for your review.

  11. So in the same recipe blog your saying 35-45 min then remove. But on recipe note saying 50 min bake time and leave in the over with door cracked for 1 hour cool down . So which is it ? Lol