To make a cheesecake from scratch, you'll typically need ingredients like cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and a graham cracker crust.
In this article, I’ll share my tips and techniques for creating the perfect cheesecake from scratch.
So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned baker, keep reading to discover how to make a cheesecake from scratch.
How To Make A Cheesecake From Scratch
Making a cheesecake from scratch is super simple, and anyone can make a perfectly creamy and delicious cheesecake with the right techniques and a little practice.
Follow these steps and expert tips, and you’ll be well on your way to making a cheesecake like a pastry chef!
Ingredients and Equipment You’ll Need
Before we start, let’s talk about the ingredients and equipment you’ll need to make the perfect cheesecake.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to make your cheesecake:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 32 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature (sour cream substitutes for cheesecake)
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 9-inch springform pan
- Heavy duty aluminum foil
- Large roasting pan
- Food processor
- Handheld mixer
How To Make The Cheesecake Crust
The first step in making your cheesecake is to create the perfect crust.
Follow these steps for a foolproof cheesecake crust ensuring it’s not soggy:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a food processor, pulse the graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a pinch of salt until combined.
- Add the melted butter and pulse again until the mixture is evenly moistened.
- Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes, or until it is lightly golden brown.
Making The Cheesecake Filling
Now it’s time to make the filling for your cheesecake.
Follow these steps for a perfectly creamy batter:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add 1 cup of sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the sour cream and beat for another 30 seconds.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and mix until the batter is smooth and creamy.
Baking The Cheesecake
Now that your batter is ready, it’s time to bake your cheesecake.
Follow these steps for a perfectly even bake:
- Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Wrap the bottom and sides of your springform pan tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Place the pan inside a large roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly.
- Turn off the oven and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake.
- Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.
My Chef Tips and Tricks
Making the perfect cheesecake is all about attention to detail. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you achieve the perfect result:
- Use room temperature ingredients to ensure a smooth batter.
- Be sure to wrap your springform pan tightly with aluminum foil to prevent water from seeping into the pan.
- Bake the cheesecake in a water bath to ensure even cooking and prevent cracking.
- Avoid overbeating the batter, which can result in a tough cheesecake.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool slowly to prevent cracking.
My Experience of Making Cheesecakes From Scratch
As a pastry chef, I’ve made countless cheesecakes in my career, but there’s still something special about making one from scratch.
I love the attention to detail required to create the perfect crust, the smooth and creamy batter, and the even baking process.
And, of course, nothing beats the satisfaction of taking that first bite of a perfectly baked cheesecake.
One of my favorite things about making cheesecake is experimenting with different flavors and textures. From classic New York-style cheesecake to fruity variations like strawberry or raspberry, there’s no shortage of creative options.
But at the end of the day, making a cheesecake from scratch is all about patience and precision. While it can be a bit intimidating, with the right techniques and a little practice, anyone can master this classic dessert.
So grab your ingredients, preheat your oven, and prepare yourself to create the perfect cheesecake.
Can I use a different crust for my cheesecake?
Absolutely! While graham cracker crust is traditional, you could also use a cookie crust or even a chocolate crust.
Can I make cheesecake without a springform pan?
While a springform pan is ideal for cheesecake, you could also use a regular cake pan. Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper and carefully lift the cheesecake out of the pan once it has cooled.
How long does cheesecake last in the refrigerator?
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