The Best New York Style Cheese Cake Recipe

This is the best New York style cheese cake recipe we have ever found. It is dense and creamy in the best possible way.

About this Recipe — the Best New York Style Cheese Cake Recipe

I spent most of my summers in college interning in New York. At the time, Junior’s was flying high (their now-closed Grand Central Terminal location opened at that time). A boyfriend brought me to their original location in Brooklyn and I couldn’t decide whether I was more intimidated by the complexity of the subway route or the sheer number of cheesecake flavors to pick from. Regardless, I fell in love with and began to obsessively look for the best New York style cheesecake recipe. For those New York style cheesecake recipe aficionados, this is more a Carnegie Deli style cheesecake. It has a graham cracker crust and the filling contains sour cream.

A Note About Water Baths

Many bakers find the extra step of the cheesecake water bath a bit terrifying. We agree — who wants to fiddle with wrapping their pan in double layers of aluminum foil and then worry about burning themselves pouring boiling water into a large roasting pan while praying that it doesn’t leak through. Leaving the cake to cool slowly for a long time in the oven is the best way to avoid a cracked cheesecake and ensure a flat top without the extra step of the hot water bath. This is an easy recipe, with simple ingredients, accessible to first time bakers. If you opened this blog and are just dying to use a water bath, here‘s an option for you. Or, if you’re craving a cheesecake and just can’t bear to turn on the oven, check out this this beauty.

Recipe Facts

  • Yield: one 8″ New York-style cheesecake (serves 12).
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Baking time : 45-50 minutes
  • Cooling time: 7-12 hours


For the Crust:

  • 12 graham crackers 
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the Filling:

  • 2 1/3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese 
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • optional: 1/2 tsp lemon zest 

For the Topping:

fresh fruit (strawberries, blackberries, figs)

Instructions for the best New York Style Cheese Cake Recipe

For the crust:

  1. Bring all cold ingredients to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven temperature to 350 F.
  3. Grease the bottom and sides of the springform pan (8-inch) and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  4. Crumble the graham crackers in a food processor or by putting them in a ziploc bag beating them with a rolling pin.
  5. Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and sugar in a medium bowl. 
  6. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the graham cracker crust into the bottom and sides of the pan.
  7. Bake graham cracker crust for 5 minutes.

For the filling:

  1. Beat cream cheese with sugar in a large mixing bowl or in the large bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment on medium speed.
  2. Add in milk, then eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. For best results, do not overmix — adding too much air will cause the cheesecake to crack.
  3. Add in sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest (if using), salt, and flour and beat the cheesecake batter on low speed until smooth, scraping the bottom of the bowl and the sides of the bowl with a large rubber spatula to ensure that all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  4. Pour the cheesecake filling into the prepared crust.
  5. Bake cheesecake on the middle oven rack in a hot oven for 45-50 minutes, until the outer edges are set but there is a 2-3″ wobbly patch in the middle but the rest is solid.
  6. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door closed for 5-6 hours while the cheesecake cools; this will ensure a perfect cheesecake without cracks.
  7. Chill the baked cheesecake, loosely wrapped in plastic wrap, in refrigerator to set for 2-6 hours. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake and remove from the spring form pan to your cake plate. Decorate to serve.

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