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Cooking with the Library: Basic Cheesecake

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Cheesecake is a super popular dessert. But it’s also super easy to make from scratch.  I’ve been making them for so long I don’t even need to look up my recipe anymore.  Follow along with these easy steps and pretty soon, you’ll be an expert on cheesecake too!

Missy’s Basic Cheesecake:


4 packages (32 oz) cream cheese, softened to room temperature

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) melted butter


  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray a 9 inch spring-form pan with cooking spray, and then line with parchment paper.  I like to cut a circle to fit the bottom, and strips to go around each side.  Once the pan is lined, spray the parchment with more cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter.  Toss them around with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the crumbs are evenly saturated with butter.  Press the crumbs on the bottom and part way up the sides of the prepared pan, then set aside to prepare your batter.
  • Unwrap the 4 packages of cream cheese and place them in another mixing bowl.  Mix them briefly with a hand mixer, just enough to break up the blocks and blend them together.  Add the sugar and continue mixing, just until combined.
  • Crack the eggs into a small bowl or measuring cup.  With the mixer running, add 1 egg at a time, blending each until just combined.
  • Add the vanilla and blend.
  • Wrap a large piece of aluminum foil around the spring-form pan. I like to place it in a large roasting pan while I’m doing this.  Then set the spring-form in the roasting pan, and fill with cheesecake batter.  Pour boiling water into the roasting pan, until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the spring-form pan.
  • Move the roasting pan carefully into the preheated oven. Bake for about 60 minutes, or until cheesecake is set around edges but a little jiggly in the center, with no browning.
  • Remove from the oven and from the pan of water to a cooling rack, allowing it to cool to room temperature.  Then refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to serve, place pan on serving platter and remove outer ring from pan, and the parchment strips from around the sides of the cheesecake.  Slice carefully and serve with canned fruit topping, fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, salted caramel sauce, or whatever you like!

That’s it!  A supremely easy and very delicious dessert, guaranteed to make you the most popular person at the next family party you bring it too.


Join us next Wednesday night for an easy braided bread sandwich recipe!