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Feb 12, 2018

Traditional New York Style Cheesecake

This Traditional New York Style Cheesecake is smooth, creamy, and just about the most fabulous unadulterated cheesecake in the universe.

Traditional New York Style Cheesecake
This plain New York cheesecake is inspired by the cheesecake from Junior's in Brooklyn, founded in 1950 by Harry Rosen.

This New York cheesecake does not have a Graham cracker crust. This cheesecake begins with a delicate spongecake crust. It's amazing how it holds up to the creamy cheesecake filling.

Speaking of the filling, this cheesecake has two pounds of cream cheese, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and lots of heavy cream and a little vanilla.

New York Style Cheesecake filling in a springform pan

This cheesecake is baked in a water bath until the top is a golden brown (not pale) and the edges are set. Mine got a little bit past the "golden" stage, but the cheesecake was perfection. I'm so happy that the cheesecake did not crack at all! Plus, it didn't sink in the middle! I pretty much did a happy dance.

I took pieces of this cheesecake to work to share, and the taste testers swooned. Literally. I had to pick my colleagues up off the floor (not really, but they did love this cheesecake).

Traditional New York Style Cheesecake

To remove the cake from the bottom of he pan and move it to your cake plate, refrigerate the cake until it's very cold, then freeze it for 30 minutes. Then warm the bottom of the pan for about 20 seconds over a low burner, and then slide a metal spatula under the crust, and lift and slide the cake onto your platter.

To bake this cheesecake, you will need a 9 inch springform pan. I used this one. I also used a 12 inch cake pan for the water bath. It was super easy to handle, and none of the water spilled out.

Traditional New York Style Cheesecake

When you remove the cheesecake from the oven, resist any temptation to move it more or mess with it. Just walk away. Supposedly, moving the cake while it is still warm may cause the cheesecake to sink a little in the middle. Also, wait until the cheesecake cools completely before refrigerating it.

If you love cheesecake, give these a try:
This month, the Baking Bloggers, hosted by Sue of Palatable Pastime, are making cheesecakes. Be sure to check out the links to many more cheesecakes, sweet and savory, by the rest of the bloggers after the recipe.

Yield: One 9-Inch Cheesecake

Classic New York Style Cheesecake


Sponge Cake Crust
  • 1/3 cup sifted cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 extra large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 drops lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Original New York Cheesecake Batter
  • Four 8-ounce packages full fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream


Sponge Cake Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and generously butter a 9 inch cheesecake pan (both the bottom and sides. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with heavy duty foil. 
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and the salt together into a small bowl. 
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whip the egg yolks on high for three minutes. While the mixer is still running, slowly pour in two tablespoons of the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about five minutes more. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts. 
  4. Using a fine mesh strainer, sift the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Stir it in by hand until just incorporated. Stir in the melted butter. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and wash out the stand mixer bowl and whip attachment.  There should be no traces of the egg yolk mixture. 
  5. Add the egg whites and cream of tarter to the cleaned bowl, and whip on high until foamy. Slowly add the rest of the sugar until you have stiff peaks. 
  6. Fold one third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Once combined, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites. 
  7. Spread the batter into the cheesecake pan. Bake until just set, about 10 minutes. The center should be springy and not wet. Do not over bake. The crust should be pale. Cool on a wire rack while preparing the cheesecake filling (and leave the oven on). 
Cheesecake Filling
  1. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch into the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a hand mixer. Beat with the mixer on low for about 3 minutes, until creamy.  Add the rest of the cream cheese, one package at a time, until each one is mixed in. 
  2. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and and add the rest of the sugar and the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Finally, add the cream and beat until fully incorporated. Do not over mix. 
  3. Gently pour the mixture into the springform pan with the spongecake crust. Spread the filling with a spatula. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to disperse any air bubbles. 
  4. Place the the foil lined pan into a larger pan, and fill the larger pan with hot water, about one inch high. Place the pan into the oven and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove the pan from the water bath and let cool on a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours in a draft free area. Do not move the cheesecake for two hours. 
  5. When the cheesecake has cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. 
  6. Leftovers can be wrapped and frozen for up to one month. 
This recipe was adapted from the wonderful book, Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook: 50 To-Die-For Recipes for New York-Style Cheesecake.

More #BakingBloggers Cheesecakes:
Traditional New York Style Cheesecake

Would you like to comment?

  1. Perfection on a fork. It's no wonder it became a classic.

  2. How beautiful! That top looks gorgeous. We are making another trip to New York City next month for my son's birthday and definitely keeping this in mind. We didn't have cheesecake last year, so its's on the list for this time.

    1. Thanks Tara. If you hit Junior's post photos!

    2. They actually liked my cheesecake on IG today! I am going between them and Eileen's Special Cheesecake which is by our hotel, or maybe both!

  3. Wow. Wow. Wow. This is a stunning cheesecake, Karen.

  4. Loved the brown top of the cheesecake.

  5. That is cheesecake perfection. I've never heard of one using a spongecake base before, but I want to try that out the next time I make one!

    1. I hadn't either, but I'm so glad I tried it. Delicious.

  6. This looks so perfect, nothing like the classics.

  7. That is perfection in the shape of a cheesecake! I really like the idea of the sponge cake at the bottom, it seems to me it's a more delicate way to form the base.

    my beloved husband won't eat cheesecake - but I guess our colleagues at the department would love if I baked one

    1. Thank you! The cake is lighter than most cheesecakes, and doesn't seem to crush the sponge cake, which made me very happy.

  8. The real deal when it comes to cheesecakes!


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