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A classic cheesecake that is easier to make than you might think! A decadent and delicious dessert for celebrations and holidays. Serve it plain or topped with berries, it is sure to earn a top spot on your favorites list.

Cheesecake slice with berries and raspberry jam

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Classic cheesecake is my most favorite dessert and this recipe is the best one that I’ve ever made. The recipe comes from Ina Garten, so you know it’s going to be fabulous! 

I like simple dessert recipes and this simple recipe doesn’t require a water bath. I think you will love how easy it comes together. The hardest part is waiting on it to chill!


Cheesecake with raspberry jam

How to Make Cheesecake:

step by step photos of making cheesecake

  • Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter together and press into a springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350° and set aside to cool.
  • Add cream cheese and sugar to a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed. 
  • Next, add in eggs 2 at a time, beating until incorporated. 

Making cheesecake batter with lemon zest and vanilla extract

  • Add sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest and beat at medium speed. 

pouring cheesecake into crust for baking

Pour cheesecake batter over crust. 

Cheesecake ready to bake

  • Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 225° and bake another 1 hour 15 minutes. 
  • Turn off oven, leaving cheesecake in the oven with the door open wide for 30 minutes. 
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight. 
  • Run a hot knife around the springform pan to loosen. Remove outer ring, leaving cheesecake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving. 

Raspberry jam topped cheesecake

  • Serve it plain or topped with raspberry jam and your favorite berries if desired. 
  • Refrigerate leftover cheesecake tightly wrapped with plastic wrap.

How Long Will Cheesecake Keep?

Wrap cheesecake tightly with plastic wrap and it will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator. You can freeze it by wrapping in plastic wrap and a layer of foil for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

cheesecake slice with raspberry jam and fresh strawberries

Cheesecake makes a wonderful celebration dessert for birthdays or holiday parties. It’s a great make ahead dessert that can be made a few days in advance.

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Tips for Making Cheesecake:

  • You need a mixer to make cheesecake and a stand mixer works best.
  • A springform pan works best, a nine inch pan is the standard size for most cheesecakes.
  • Bake on a lower oven rack to keep the top from over browning. 
  • Allow your cheesecake to chill completely before slicing and serving. 
  • If your cheesecake cracks, it is not ruined. Just top it with some of your favorite jam such as raspberry or strawberry. Fresh whipped cream and berries are also great additions to any cheesecake.

Slice of cheesecake on a white plate

More Cheesecake Recipes to Try:

Chocolate Cheesecake with Caramel Ganache is extremely decadent and delicious. 

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes are always a hit for parties and they are beyond simple to make. 

Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes are made with vanilla cheesecake and loaded with mini chocolate chips for a simple and delicious mini dessert.

My sister in law has been making this cheesecake for my birthday for a few years and I finally got around to baking one myself. It has the most incredible light texture and the taste is beyond delicious. 

Add this cheesecake to your baking list to serve for your next special get together or birthday celebration.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote


A classic cheesecake that is easier to make than you might think! Cheesecake i decadent and delicious. Serve it plain or topped with berries, it is sure to earn a top spot on your favorites list. Adapted slightly from Ina Garten.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time14 hours
Total Time16 hours
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best cheesecake, Ina Garten cheesecake
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 674kcal
Author: Milisa


  • 9 graham crackers crushed into crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 whole large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • fresh berries for serving optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a small bowl. Press into bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
  • Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Raise oven temperature to 450*.
  • Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl with sugar on medium- high for 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  • On medium speed add eggs, 2 at a time beating until incorporated.
  • Add sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla.
  • Continue mixing until well combined.
  • Pour into prepared crust.
  • Bake on a lower oven rack for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 225° and continue baking 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • Turn oven off, leaving cake in oven. Open oven door wide for 30 minutes.
  • Remove cake from oven to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Wrap cake tightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  • Run a hot knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove sides of pan, leaving cheesecake on springform pan bottom for serving.
  • Stir jam until smooth and spoon over cheesecake. Top with berries if desired.


Store cheesecake wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in refrigerator up to 5 days.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 253mg | Sodium: 453mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 46g


5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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