Classic Cheesecake With Sour Cream Topping
June 13, 2019 by Audra
This post was originally published on 6/15/2011. It has been updated with new text and pictures but this popular recipe is the same!
Earlier this week was my husband Andys birthday. In anticipation I asked him weeks ago what kind of birthday cake he wanted.
I had images of layers and fillings and frostings floating through my mind. I couldnt wait to make him something elaborate and festive!
Andy, however, wanted a cheesecake. Not just any cheesecake, his Moms cheesecake.
Creamy and simple with a thick graham cracker crust. Ok! I said. What flavor? Any toppings? Any sauces? Anything colorful and pretty and blog-worthy??No.. He said, I just want my Moms cheesecake!
Sigh.the food blogger side of me was itching to add a beautiful flavor swirl or a fruit coulis on the side. But the wife side of me gave him what he wanted on his birthday. A simple creamy cheesecake with a thick graham cracker crust.
Now even though it was simple, this cheesecake was really pretty great. The crust was crisp and thick, the consistency of the cake was creamy and silky and the birthday boy was happy which is really all that matters.
I wasnt even going to post it originally because it seemed to simple, but we all loved it so much I had to share the recipe with you. It is slightly adapted from his Moms recipe, but he said it tasted just as good so that made me happy. Enjoy!
For The Low Carb Cheesecake Filling
- Cream Cheese Use quality full-fat cream cheese because this is the key component of our keto cheesecake. Dont use cream cheese spread or reduced fat versions.
- Sour Cream an essential ingredient for a New York style low carb cheesecake thats rich and creamy.
- Eggs 4 large eggs at room temperature are needed. Make sure to add the eggs last, one at a time, until they are just incorporated. Try not to overmix the batter, which may cause cracks in the cheesecake.
- Sweetener make sure that you are using powdered sweetener to combine well.
- Vanilla Extract use the quality of vanilla extract that you can find to ensure a great flavor. Lemon juice is also a great flavor.
The Best Keto Cheesecake Recipe
This keto cheesecake recipe with almond flour crust is ultra creamy, smooth, and decadent. Learn how to make the best low carb cheesecake with just 7 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time.
Its no secret that I love keto desserts that are super easy to make and taste just like regular ones minus the carbs. I love brownies, ice cream, cookies, cakes, and of course, this sugar-free cheesecake.
The best part? This keto cheesecake melts in your mouth, its extremely easy to make and tastes just like the real thing.
A cheesecake is usually made with just a few ingredients, but most of us think it is too complicated. Just mix all the ingredients, cook at a low temperature and read my tips and tricks to get a perfect creamy cheesecake without a water bath.
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How Do You Make Cheesecake Creamy
A water bath helps cook the cheesecake oh so gently while also creating a steamy environment so the surface doesnt get too dry. Its like a day spa for the cheesecake, and makes it supremely smooth and creamy.
A water bath is also not that hard. Just set the cheesecake in a roasting pan or other large baking dish, fill it with a few inches of water, and put the whole contraption in the oven. Wrapping the cheesecake pan in foil also helps keep any water from seeping through the cracks of the pan.
For The Almond Flour Cheesecake Crust
- Almond Flour use a super fine blanched almond flour to make a delicious crust for the cheesecake thats crispy. You can skip the crust and make a keto crustless cheesecake.
- Butter adds a delicious buttery taste and helps the crust hold its shape. Use unsalted melted butter.
- Sweetener I love using granulated sweetener for the crust, and allulose is my favorite because it has no cooling effect or aftertaste. Erythritol blends or Xylitol are some other great options, but Id stay away from pure stevia, which makes things bitter.
- Vanilla extract for some extra flavor.
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How To Slice Cheesecake
The best way to slice cheesecake is to use a large, sharp chefs knife and a tall glass of hot water.
Before each slice, dip the knife in the hot water. It cuts through the cheesecake like butter and will give you nice clean slices! Be sure to scrape off any excess cheesecake before going back for the next slice.
How To Store Cheesecake
Cool the cheesecake completely before refrigerating. The cheesecake should be refrigerated for at least 2 hours before serving, but will keep for several days in the fridge. Keep it in the spring form pan and cover with foil or saran wrap until ready to serve. Sour Cream Cheesecake is a great make ahead dessert!
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Sour Cream Topped Cheesecake
Mom’s Sour Cream Topped Cheesecake is amazing! It’s baked in a 9×13 without a water bath, so it’s easy and no fuss. You’ll love its refreshing tang and buttery graham cracker crust!
You’ll want to print this one for keeps, folks.
I never thought Mom would share her cheesecake recipe with me, let alone allow me to publish it! This is big.
This Sour Cream Topped Cheesecake has been devoured at countless New Year’s Eve celebrations, graduations, and who knows how many dinners.
Mom’s probably made it nearly 100 times.
She got a version of this recipe from a friend many years ago, then adapted it along the way. After hearing all the changes Mom made, I informed her this was her recipe now.
You’re going to love it!
Can I Freeze Keto Cheesecake
Yes, you can also freeze this cheesecake for up to one month and grab a slice from the freezer anytime you crave a delicious cheesecake. To freeze, wrap cheesecake slices in plastic wrap, then in foil. Store in the freezer for a few months.
When ready to serve, transfer to the fridge and allow to thaw overnight.
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Cheesecake With Sour Cream Topping
Prep: 20 minutes
- 1½ cups sour cream, full fat
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a springform pan with cooking spray and/or parchment, see notes below.
In a small bowl, combine the crust ingredients: melted butter, sugar, and graham crackers crumbs. Press the crust mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan, pushing a little bit of the crust up the sides if youd like .
Bake the cheesecake for 55-70 minutes until just barely jiggly in the center. While the cheesecake bakes, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla for the topping.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes . This is an important step to let the cheesecake naturally deflate.
After 10 minutes, spread the sour cream topping evenly on the cheesecake. Return to the oven and bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes more, then carefully remove from the oven.
Let the cheesecake cool on the counter in the pan for at least 2 hours, and then move to the fridge for at least 4. Preferably, let it cool on the counter for several hours and then put in the fridge overnight.
Slice, serve, devour. You did it!
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Recipe Notes + Tips And Tricks:
How To Tell When Cheesecake is Done: Depending on the diameter of your springform pan, your cheesecake may need more or less time to cook. The cheesecake will be done when it is slightly jiggly in the center, but not rippling or very liquid-appearing. For 9-inch springform pans, the initial bake time will be 60-70 minutes. For wider pans check the cheesecake beginning at the 50-minute mark.
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Springform Pan Size: I love a tall cheesecake, and usually make this recipe in a 9-inch pan. However, the 10-inch size can be a bit more manageable, and the cheesecake will cook a bit faster, but still, take your time in the cooling and refrigerating.
Parchment Paper: I place a piece of parchment paper over the disc of the springform pan, then clip the top section over the disc AND the parchment. This allows for easier removal of the collar, and the cheesecake can slide onto any platter you like for easy serving.
Room Temperature Ingredients: Having the eggs and cream cheese at room temperature will ensure a very smooth, creamy filling. I get them out first thing in the morning if I know Im going to make this cheesecake, then let them sit out for at least 3 hours to warm up and soften.
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More Crowd Pleasing Cheesecake Recipes
Im happy to say Moms cheesecake didnt disappoint, even in the hands of a novice like myself. The recipe makes a metric ton of cheesecake and can serve a crowd, so its perfect for taking to holiday gatherings, although Im never sad when a few slices make it back home with me.
Love cheesecake? Check out these other family favorites!
Sour Cream Cheesecake Toppings
Truly, this cheesecake is fantastic eaten plain, but its always fun to dress things up a bit. Here are a few of our favorite toppings.
- Pie filling- Sour Cream Cheesecake with cherry pie filling is my moms signature.
- Nuts Im particularly fond of pecans + the aforementioned caramel sauce Fresh berries and preserves
Tip: For a dramatic look, combine berries that are the same color and intersperse herbs or mint.
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The Best Kind Of Cream Cheese To Use
Lets talk for a minute about the cream cheese a very important ingredient in cheesecake. Some people have brand loyalty to Philadelphia, and I wont deny that this cream cheese makes a particularly silky and lush cheesecake. Ive also made cheesecakes with local brands and off brands and been perfectly happy.
Make The Cream Cheese Filling
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Easy Sour Cream Cheesecake
After years of putting it on my calendar then crossing it off because I got too busy, I finally decided to make the legendary cheesecake.
And you know what? It was so ridiculously easy! No need to fuss with a water bath or worry about cracking. AND it tastes just as delicious as moms.
This cheesecake is nothing like the firm, dense texture you might find in a traditional New York style cheesecake. Instead, its silky and creamy, with an almost whipped texture.
I credit the incredible flavor of this cheesecake to a heavy dose of lemon juice and vanilla. The lemon juice doesnt go so far as to make this a lemon cheesecake, but its strong enough to counteract the richness of the cream cheese and give the cheesecake a light, bright flavor.
How To Serve It
Mom always slices her cheesecake bars into dainty squares, unlike my lasagna-slab portions you see here. Hey, I had to fill up the plates for the photos, you know?
And Mom simply serves this cheesecake with sour cream topping, unadorned.
It’s delicious like that, but I have to say, it’s fabulous with fresh blueberries on top! I love the way their crisp, juicy texture complements the creaminess of the cheesecake.
You’ll have to experiment!
And invite me over.
Can you freeze cheesecake with sour cream topping?
Don’t freeze the topping. You can freeze the plain cheesecake, without the topping. Thaw the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator, then add the sour cream topping before serving it.
Do you have to cook the sour cream topping?
No. You’ll simply mix sour cream with sugar and spread the sweetened sour cream on top of the cheesecake.
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- Lemon cheesecake: To add a tangy lemon taste to the cheesecake, mix 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice and ½ tablespoon lemon zest into the cheesecake batter.
- Cinnamon cheesecake: Another flavor you can add to Sour Cream Cheesecake is cinnamon. Mix ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon into the cheesecake filling. If you want more cinnamon flavor, replace the sour cream topping with a cinnamon sugar topping. For the cinnamon topping, combine ½ cup white sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, and sprinkle it over the top.
- Berries: You can add delicious berries to the cheesecake. Mix in 1 ½ cups of frozen berries with the cream cheese filling. Blueberries, raspberries or strawberries would all taste amazing. You could also use fresh berries to sprinkle over the cake as a colorful and delicious fruit topping.
- Cheesecake cupcakes: For fun mini cheesecakes, try dividing the graham cracker crust into a muffin tin. Press the crust so it goes up the side of each muffin cup. Then pour the cream cheese mixture over the top until ¾ full. Theyll bake faster in the small containers so keep your eye on the mini cheesecakes while they bake.
More Easy and Delicious Cakes
X13 Graham Cracker Crust
Mom’s graham cracker crust is the best! It isn’t dry at all.
Extra butter produces a moist crust that gets even softer after a couple days.
I wish I knew Mom’s secret years ago! It would’ve spared me the sandy results I use to get from following standard graham cracker crust recipes.
And I love the convenience of using a 9×13 pan here instead of a springform one, which can leak. I use a 9×13 with square edges, similar to this one.
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Tips For Making The Best Cheesecake With Sour Cream Topping
One of the best parts about this cheesecake recipe is that you dont have to worry about cracking! Even if your cheesecake cracks, youll be spreading the sour cream topping over it, which creates a lovely smooth finish.
That said, I have a few more tips and common questions for getting the best cheesecake.
- Use room temperature ingredients. The filling will be easier to beat and smoother if you start with room temperature cream cheese and eggs.
- The cheesecake is done when it is set on the outside and just a tad jiggly in the center. I dont recommend using a thermometer to test as it can cause cracking.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the cheesecake pan. This ensures it will easily slip from the pan and allows you to transfer it to another platter for serving.
- Want to make this cheesecake gluten free? Just substitute the graham crackers with gluten free graham crackers, like these.
Things You Shouldnt Worry About
There are a few moments in this process when you may think that all is lost. I want to set your mind at ease.
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How To Make Perfect Cheesecake
Cheesecake should never be a source of anything except pure bliss. Not distress. Not frustration. Certainly never tears. Just dreamy, decadent, nonstop bliss.
So lets break down this whole process into easy pieces. Lets talk about ingredients, water baths, dealing with surface cracks the whole shebang. Heres a step-by-step recipe that will help you make a creamy, no-fail cheesecake that is everything you ever dreamed it could be.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
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You should know by now that I love coffee cakes and this blueberry cream cheese variation may just be my favorite one yet!
With a moist and tender crumb, fresh summer blueberries, and a ribbon of sweetened cream cheese running through the middle, this bold breakfast cake is bound to make your morning better
This pesky recipe. Considering its nearly identical to my other coffee cake recipes , I didnt anticipate it needing quite so many tests. But that cream cheese swirl just didnt want to cooperate. First the cream cheese was too liquidy, making it nearly impossible to spread the final layer of thick cake batter on top. Then my blueberry distribution was off, resulting in a base of blue and barely anything in the top half. A few proportion and process changes improved the process greatly.
The cream cheese layer sunk a little bit in the final version, but Ive decided Im ok with that because this coffee cake is amazing and I didnt want you to have to wait any longer for the recipe.
I brought in one of my early tests to ceramics class, and heard from more than one of my classmates that this cake was one of the best things Ive made. Which is saying a lot, considering theyve also gotten to taste test my chocolate chai cheesecake bars, black sesame-stuffed matcha cookies, and blackberry lemon bars.
The assembly process of this cake is a bit more detailed than many other coffee cake recipes.
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