Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake Copycat Recipe makes a luxurious and creamy cheesecake with a buttery graham crust and tangy sour cream topping. This is the best cheesecake recipe, that any home baker can easily make it at home anytime a craving strikes or for a special occasion.
We love making cheesecakes and we are also huge fans of the Cheesecake Factory. You should try for yourself our take on the Banana Cream Cheesecake and Honey Truffle Chicken. While the first time you make a cheesecake can be a little scary and nerve-wracking, don’t worry, we got you covered with directions and tips for all the possible situations.
Classic Cheesecake Recipe
This amazing dessert is made with just a handful of ingredients and is one of the best copycat recipes. It uses an easy technique that will result in one of the most delicious homemade cheesecakes you have ever had. I love this easy recipe because it is not overly sweet, but it is rich, dense, and scrumptious.
You can taste the Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake glory that is front and center here but not overpowered by any other flavors. The creamy filling rests on a buttery graham cracker crust that is made with a mix of nuts for extra flavor and texture.
The Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake is topped with a thin sour cream layer, that nicely balances the sweetness of the dessert. I love serving this delicious sweet treat with just a touch of whipped cream on the side and sometimes fresh strawberries for a pop of color.
If you are a cheesecake fan, you have to try this one, it is the real deal! Save some good money by making it at home with this fool-proof recipe. We have a great list of some of the best cheesecakes out there, but this classic version of it is one of the best you can get!
What do you need to make a classic cheesecake recipe:
- First, you will need a springform pan.
- Electric mixer, hand mixer, or stand mixer.
- Graham crackers or graham cracker crumbs. The crust can also be made with vanilla wafers.
- Also, use cream cheese, and lots of cream cheese.
- White granulated sugar.
- Unsalted butter for the crust.
- Eggs should also be at room temperature, just like the rest of the ingredients.
- Sour cream and a little all-purpose flour.
- Vanilla extract
How do you make Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake Copycat Recipe?
- Prep: First, prepare the cheesecake pan, and the ingredients to have everything on hand. Make sure to cover the outside of the pan with a large piece of foil.
- Preheat oven: Also, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Crust: After that, combine graham cracker crumbs with the rest of the crust ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Afterward, press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and also up the sides. Next, chill the nut crust.
- Cheesecake layer: Start by beating cream cheese until light and fluffy, and add the sugar little by little. After that, add the eggs one at a time, followed by cornstarch and all-purpose flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract and sour cream.
- Add to pan: When the filling is ready add it on top of the chilled crust.
- Bake: Finally, bake it in a preheated water bath until the top of the cheesecake turns puffy on the side and looks settled.
- Cool: Once done baking, cool it in the oven with the door slightly open, and after that transfer it to a wire rack.
- Topping: Next, add the sour cream topping on top of the baked cheesecake.
- Chill: After that chill it for at least 8 hours.
- Serve: Before removing the pan ring, run a sharp knife along the edges. Slice the cake onto a serving platter and slice. Serve it chilled with whipped cream and berries on the side.
- Store: Lastly, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. To avoid a dry cheesecake, wrap it in plastic wrap if you plan on refrigerating for more than 3 days.
- Crust: Skip the nuts, for a nut-free crust or use gluten-free graham cracker crumbs for a gluten-free version.
- Gluten-free filling: Also, to make the filling gluten-free, skip the flour and double the cornstarch.
- Citrus: As an alternative, add a pop of freshness by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and some zest into the batter.
- Make bars: Another option is to use a large pan and make this recipe into cheesecake bars.
- Peanut butter: Also, you can replace 8 ounces of cream cheese with 8 ounces of creamy peanut butter.
- Sauce: Top the cake with a fruit sauce, or stir it into the batter, try Strawberry Sauce or Blueberry Sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to prevent cracks in a cheesecake?
- First, make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature and well combined after being mixed.
- Adding flour or/and cornstarch to the cheesecake batter. Add about 1/3 cup of flour and/or 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup of cornstarch to the batter together with the sugar.
- Also, avoid opening the door oven while baking the cheesecake.
- Watch it closely to avoid overbaking it. For that, keep an eye on it and when the sides are puffed and the center of the cake is just slightly wobbly, it means it’s done.
- In addition, cooling it in the oven, with the door slightly cracked is also very important. Because the sudden change in temperature can cause cracks.
- Baking it in a water bath, it’s one of the most successful techniques to avoid cracks on it (more on this below).
How to bake the cheesecake in a water bath?
- First, wrap the outside of the springform pan in a double layer of foil. Covering the bottom and sides of the pan only from the outside will prevent the cheesecake from water leaking in.
- Next, place the prepared springform pan in a large roasting pan that is deep enough to add water to it. Afterward, pour HOT water into the roasting pan, about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Next, transfer the pan to a pre-heated oven and bake the cake, until the center jiggles slightly like Jell-O, and the sides are puffed and are light golden brown in color.
- Keep in mind that the residual heat will cook the center of the cake even after you turn off the oven.
- Also, if your cake doesn’t wobble in the center, it means it has been over-baked, and most likely will crack. Hence pay extra attention when baking.
- Finally, cool it in the oven with the door slightly cracked for one hour.
How do I know when my Cheesecake is done baking?
First, gently shake the pan, if the cheesecake looks nearly set and only a small area in the center jiggles slightly, it is done.
The center will firm up during the cooling time, as it will cook from the residual heat. Therefore, make sure you don’t overcook it, since it will also cook later from residual heat.
How to fix a cracked cheesecake?
There are a few easy ways to hide or fix a cracked cheesecake top, here are my favorites:
- First, cool it completely and refrigerate it for at least 6-8 hours. Only when you have a COLD cheesecake on your hands, you can start fixing the cracks. This technique will work on small to medium cracks. If the crack is too deep, imagine splitting the cheesecake in half. I would recommend using this method to fix the crack as much as possible, and after that, continue by adding some topping to it.
- You will need: 1) a small offset spatula 2) hot water 3) a kitchen towel.
- Now into fixing it: dip the spatula into hot water (or you can use your fingers, wet them in hot water first) and gently use it to push and press down in the area of the crack and spread to fill in the crack until the top is smooth.
- Clean the spatula with the towel as needed. In the end, clean the offset spatula with the kitchen towel again, and dip it again into warm water and smooth the top of the cheesecake until you are happy with how the crack has been covered. Do NOT rush through this process.
- Another option is to add a thin layer of sour cream topping if the cracks are small.
- Or you can add a layer of whipped cream topping and garnish the cheesecake with fresh fruits.
How to remove a cheesecake from the springform pan?
Keep in mind that the cake should be removed from the pan only after it has been properly refrigerated.
- Start by carefully running a small knife around the inside edge of the pan. First, starting all the way up the side and working your way down. This is how you loosen the bits that stuck to the pan.
- After you feel like you have unstuck the cake from the pan, unbuckle the springform pan and remove the circular band.
- Similarly, to transfer it to a serving dish, run a long, thin spatula or knife between the crust and the pan bottom, and gently slide the cheesecake onto the serving dish.
How to slice a cheesecake:
- Run a sharp thin-bladed slicing knife under hot tap water or dip it into a glass of hot water prior to slicing it.
- Then, wipe the knife clean and run it under hot water before making another cut.
- An easy, mess-free way to cut even slices is to use cheese wire or unflavored dental floss. Clean the bits that stuck to the wire/floss before every cut.
More Cheesecake Recipes:
How to freeze leftovers:
- Preferably, freeze the Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake BEFORE you top it with sour cream.
- First, cool the cake and after that refrigerate it for at least 6-8 hours.
- Then, wrap it tightly with aluminum foil and after with plastic freezer wrap, or place in a heavy-duty freezer bag.
- You can also wrap and freeze individual slices.
- Properly stored, it will maintain the best quality for about 2 to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the fridge one day before serving.
- First, the classic cheesecake recipe asks for a LOT of cream cheese. Therefore, if you want the cake to be as tall and as rich as the Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake, then you need lots of cream cheese.
- Another important factor is to make sure you use room temperature cream cheese, large eggs, and sour cream.
- Stay away from overbeating the batter and also don’t forget to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- If baking in a water bath, don’t forget to wrap the pan in aluminum foil!
Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake Copycat Recipe
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup almonds (finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup walnuts (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
- 6 packages 8 ounces each full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs (room temperature)
- 16 ounces full-fat sour cream (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups full-fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Adjust the top rack to be positioned in the middle of the oven.
- Finely chop the nuts or add them to a food processor.
- Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and stir until well combined.
- Press the mixture into a 10 1/2 inch buttered springform pan. Using a measuring cup, press the crust and try to line the sides about to the middle of the pan edges, set aside.
- Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before your begin.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy on medium-low speed.
- Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until well combined and creamy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, and beat after each addition until well combined.
- Mix cornstarch with flour and add to the batter, whisk until fully combined. Careful not to over-mix.
- Add vanilla extract.
- Add the sour cream and beat well, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Pour cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pan.
- Read the post for "water bath" tips if you want to bake the cheesecake using a "water bath".
- Bake in the preheated oven for one hour and 15 minutes.
- Try not to open the door to the oven. At the 60-minute mark check on the cheesecake if it's done. A small area in the center should wobble slightly and the edges should be puffed and light golden brown.
- Turn the oven off and prop open the oven door and leave the cake to cool in the oven for one hour.
- After one hour, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for about 2 hours, until the cheesecake is cool enough to be transferred to the refrigerator.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together on medium-low speed sour cream and sugar until creamy and fully combined. Taste and add more sugar if needed.
- Spread the topping over the cool cheesecake using an offset spatula.
- Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 24 hours.