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Classic Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

This Classic Cheesecake is light and creamy, with a crisp crust, and luscious strawberry sauce on top. Cheesecakes really aren't difficult to make at all - I'll walk you through the entire process to ensure success each time you bake this!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Keyword Classic Cheesecake Recipe, Mother's Day Dessert Recipes, Strawberry Topping Recipe
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 43 minutes
Cooling + Chilling Time 8 hours
Servings 16 slices
Author Stephanie Simmons

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 TBSP salted butter, melted
  • 2 TBSP granulated or cane sugar

For the Cheesecake Filling

  • 32 ounces cream cheese, at room temp For best results, don't use the tub kind or fat free
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated or cane sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temp For best results, don't use low fat or fat free
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Strawberry Sauce/Topping

  • 1 lb strawberries, quartered Can use fresh or frozen - no need to thaw if using frozen
  • 1/3 cup granulated or cane sugar
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP corn starch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of lemon zest optional, but good
  • splash of lemon juice optional, but good

Instructions

  • Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick spray and make sure the bottom is securely fastened. Stir together crust ingredients and press into prepared pan and up the sides a bit (see photos above). Bake this for 8 minutes. Set aside. Keep the oven on at 350.
  • Make the Cheesecake Filling: Remember that your cold ingredients need to come to room temp before you start or the filling won't turn out.
    In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened cream cheese until nice and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix until just incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each until just incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream, and mix until just incorporated. (See photos above for what the batter will look like). Pour the batter over the baked and cooled crust, and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Prepare the Water Bath + Bake: Get out a roasting pan and set the rack aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
    Set the springform pan with the cheesecake on a rack positioned in the center of the oven, and place the roasting pan on the rack below. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan. This is the best way to do a water bath - no possibility of leakage into your cheesecake!
    Bake for 88-91 minutes. When done, the cheesecake will have only a slight wobble in the center, and a toothpick inserted into the edge will come out clean, and will have a bit of thick batter when inserted into the center.
    Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour before removing it.
  • Cheesecake Cooling: Once the hour is up, remove the pan from the oven. It should be cool enough to handle. Remove the foil and set the springform pan on a cooling rack to continue cooling. Let cool completely at room temp, then cover well with foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before removing from the pan and serving.
  • Make the Strawberry Sauce: Stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, making sure the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add this and remaining sauce ingredients to a pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. It will thicken more and more the longer you let it cool.
    Store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • Serve + Store: Once cheesecake has chilled, remove it from the springform pan and serve with the strawberry sauce! Keep leftovers, well covered, in the fridge for up to a week.