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Classic Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

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Classic Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping
Creamy classic vanilla cheesecake with a sweet and light sour cream topping.

This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever made.  That’s saying a lot because I’ve made many, many cheesecakes.

In case you missed last week’s post, Easybaked is featuring family “tried and true” recipes during the month of November.  This week our star baker is my Aunt Vonda.  She is the queen of desserts in our family and literally everything she makes is scrumptious!  This cheesecake is one of my very favorite family desserts.  I’ve wanted the recipe for years and once I finally got to make it for myself I was even more impressed.  Not only is is delicious….it is actually easier to make than most cheesecakes I’ve tried….and oh, SO good.

Vonda's Cheesecake3
This is the cheesecake for a cheesecake purist.  No crazy toppings or fillings- just plain cheesecake.  Usually I’m not a huge fan of plain cheesecake, but the flavor and texture of this one is incredible.

Vonda's Cheesecake5
Want the recipe?

Here you go: (printable version)


  • 1 1/4 cups Honeymaid graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 (8 oz.) Philadelphia cream cheese bars (must be the Philadelphia brand)~ softened to room temperature.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pint (2 cups) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, combine crust ingredients together until well combined.
  • Press into a 9″ spring form pan, pressing crumbs into bottom and about 1 1/2″ up sides of pan.    
  • For the filling, combine the sugar and softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
  • Add the vanilla, lemon juice and salt and beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour into crust.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 35-45 minutes.
  • While cheesecake is baking, make topping by simply mixing together all of the topping ingredients.
  • After 35-45 minutes of baking, remove cheesecake from oven and turn oven down to 325F degrees.
  • Pour topping over hot cheesecake, gently spreading to edges.
  • Return cheesecake to oven and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove cheesecake from oven and leave sides on pan while allowing cheesecake to cool to room temperature.  
  • Refrigerate several hours (or overnight)
  • Remove edges of spring form pan before serving and serve with fresh fruit, pie filling or a chocolate or caramel sauce.
  • Enjoy!!!!

Creamy classic cheesecake
My thoughts:  Well, you already know how much I love this cheesecake because I’ve gone on and on about it.  This is a must-try recipe.  You will love it.  A huge thanks to my Aunt Vonda for sharing her recipe with us!!!  Yum!!!  ~r

Creamy cheesecake with sour cream topping
Other cheesecake recipes we love here at Easybaked:
Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake!!Triple Chocolate Cheesecake 3Peanut butter cup cheesecakeTurtle Cheesecake

About Ruthanne

Ruthanne is a scientist with a passion for baking and food photography. Using her kitchen as a lab, she loves experimenting with a variety of flavors and ingredients to create unique, fun and ultimately tasty delights! Thus she created EasyBaked, a website where sugar and chocolate overflow in fun and easy recipes. Her Motto: Money can’t buy happiness -- but it can buy marshmallows, and that’s nearly the same thing!

72 responses »

  1. I actually really love plain cheesecake, I love this recipe, saved it to evernote and the next cheesecake I make this is it!

    • Yay!! I’m glad you’re going to try it! I feel like everyone needs to try this because its such a good cheesecake. I’m making it for my brothers birthday in a few weeks- he’s an “only cheesecake” kind of guy- enjoy!!!!

  2. I love your blog header! This cheesecake looks so good and I love how bright and pretty your pics are 🙂

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  4. wooa those pics are gorgeous

  5. What a beautiful looking cheesecake! It sounds great!

  6. I’ve found that I can’t make cheesecake without a water bath (ban marie); otherwise, I’ll end up with those dreadful cracks on top. Have you ever encountered cracking with this recipe? How do you avoid it?

    Amen to comments about those great pics!

    • I never used a water bath. I’ve thought about trying it, but I just never have. This particular cheesecake didn’t crack- but if it had there’s that beautiful sour cream topping to cover it up! My other cheesecakes have toppings as well, but I generally let a cheesecake sit for 30 minutes unbaked before putting it in the oven and I don’t usually get cracks 🙂

    • shart265
      Just wanted to let you know, I did not get cracks on the cheesecakes I’ve made with this recipe. I have made 5 and they always look good. And yes, the yummy sour cream topping would hide any flaws! 🌺 Dianne

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  8. I’m just getting into baking and love your blog. I know it’s all online here but I don’t like looking at a screen in the kitchen – If you put these into a book I’d totally buy it… just saying!! 🙂

    • You are so sweet. I’ve been asked a lot to do a cookbook and……I AM! 🙂 It isn’t a traditional cookbook, and I’m not allowed yet to talk about the details, but it will be out next summer. SO…once I’ve gotten one cookbook out there who knows? Maybe I will look into doing a traditional collection of recipes? Thanks for stopping by to comment- you made me smile this morning 🙂

  9. I tired this. Came out pretty well..thanks! 🙂

  10. I am trying it tonight for a dinner party tomorrow, wish me luck!

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  12. That looks amazing! As do all your other desserts! I have just recently found your website and i am excited to try something out 🙂

    With the cheesecake, Is it possible to make it without the sour cream topping or will it ruin the taste?

    • Hi!! Welcome to easybaked! I’m really glad you found us! You can make this without the sour cream topping, but that topping adds SO much sweet yummy flavor! The bottom layer is just a plain cheesecake- it will still taste good…just not as good– lol!!

  13. First time made a cheesecake and wow it was so easy , turned out so good almost 1/2 gone lol and it’s not done cooling . Didn’t do a bath just lowered my racks cooked on the third notch , turned the oven off left it in the oven for less than an hour with the door open. No cracks turned out very smooth. Then took it out and let it cool on my counter , then off to the fridge

    • Thanks for sharing your success with us! Congratulations on your 1st cheesecake! This is a perfect cheesecake to try on your 1st attempt. It is really an easy recipe and I haven’t had mine crack on me yet!

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  15. Do I have to bake the crust first it doesn’t say to ??

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  17. I made this Cheesecake two days ago for Xmas and I´m baking it again today!!!! My family absolutely loved it!!! Thanks for the lovely recipe!!

  18. This is the cheesecake of my childhood. It took my mom and I foever to rediscover a recipe similar to the one she used to bake when we were little. This is right on the miney.

  19. Im so excited to try it! (:
    After baking the cheesecake with the sour cream sauce on top, it is still runny. Is that normal? Will it harden up after it cools down? Or should I bake it longer?

    • It will be a little soft, but it should harden up once it cools.

    • The topping should be gel-like if baked properly. Yours still needs to be in for a while longer. next time let the cake cool to the touch, which will allow you to bake the topping for longer without overdrying the cheesecake. I bake for ~10 min at 375F

  20. I have made this recipe when I was a Teenager, ( many years ago) I used to have it memorized and was a family hit for every gathering. Since my husband doesn’t eat it I have not made one in years. I was surprised how difficult it was to find this simple recipe. Thank you for sharing. It is the exact same one I used to make and very simple. No special pans needed.

  21. Douglas Hudson

    This cheesecake is great! I’ve made it several times and the reviews are great. Its the best and simplest cheesecake out there!

  22. This is GREAT recipe if anyone is looking for a cheesecake recipe. I was looking for one forever and I found this one. My sister never liked cheesecake but after tasting the one I made, she fell in love! Thank you for the recipe:))

    • Thank you!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much. It really is my favorite cheesecake recipe- and really so easy! 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  23. Mine was still absolutely liquid in the middle?

  24. Corynne, I made your cheesecake yesterday and it turned out beautifully! It tastes perfect. It has just the right amount of sweetness and tiny bit of tang. The topping is a good balance, just the right amount of yum. It is also pretty :o) Thanks so much.

    • Hi Dianne, SO sorry it took me forever to reply to you- I took a two year break from blogging- but I’m back! I’m really glad you found my recipe and enjoyed making it!!! 🙂

  25. Oops! Sorry! I meant to type Ruthanne!

  26. I have a question my mom would make me a cheese cake just like this but she always put pineapple in it and I have tried to do it but it always never sets it stays running can you help me?

    • Hi Sheila 🙂 SO sorry it took me forever to reply to you- I took a two year break from blogging- but I’m back! I wonder if she used a pineapple topping that was fresh and not cooked? Was the pineapple actually baked inside the cheesecake? I think the juice from the pineapple would make it runny and not set…? I think if I wanted a pineapple cheesecake, I’d make a sweet topping with juice and pineapple chunks and Cool Whip- maybe jello added to make it firm- and then spoon this over the chilled cheesecake.

  27. I have looked for this simple, yet wonderful cheesecake for 13 years. A guy friend taught me
    The recipe, except he used pre made graham crusts. I can not remember if it made 1 or 2
    Cheesecake pies…. But, he would slightly undertake the center layer, by just a bit, added the sour cream layer. It was more like a cheesecake pie. It was never dry, and it simply was the
    very best. Melt in your mouth. I am so thankful to find it. Lannie

    • Hi Lannie 🙂 SO sorry it took me forever to reply to you- I took a two year break from blogging- but I’m back! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe- and found it! This is my very favorite cheesecake recipe- it is just perfect every time! 🙂

  28. Douglas W Hudson

    Love this cheesecake! Have used this recipe, and everyone loves it. And I am a professional chef

  29. I made this yesterday without the topping but it cracked badly. I’d like to add the sour cream topping to hide the cracks. What’s the best way to do this after the fact? It’s already in the fridge. Do I let it warm to room temp and add the topping? Does the topping have to cook in the oven or can I cook it on the stove and place on top off the room temp cheesecake? If so, how long for it to set? If it has to go in the oven, is it too late for me? I assume it’s already overcooked hence the cracks. Wouldn’t putting it back in the oven overcook it even more?

    Thanks for sharing such a tasty recipe.

    • Hi 🙂 My cheesecake also sometimes cracks. I think it can be due to over-mixing and not using room temperature cream cheese- not just over-baking. The recipe calls for you to bake the cheesecake, and while it is still hot, spoon the topping over it (even if there is a crack), and then finish baking it. I really don’t think you can add the topping to a cooled cheesecake (and the topping needs to bake, to firm up). I’d suggest you eat the cracked cheesecake (yum!) and make a new one, adding the topping according to the recipe. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that the topping HIDES any cracks you get- so it looks perfect every time 🙂 Hope this helps!

    • There is plenty of hope! I find the sour cream mixture so tasty, right out of the bowl. So, I suggest you top your already baked and cooled cheesecake with the cheesecake mixture and leave it at that. It will be like a “frosting.” Believe me, it will look fine and more importantly, it will taste great!!!

  30. Now for the Sour cream filling can we cut up fresh strawberries and such and put it in with it ? I had a recipe like this but you could add different berries in it and it turned out great ?

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  32. Wonderful Cheesecake Recipe. Made it several times always turns out fabulous, I shared with my neighbors and now they are waiting for another one. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. Definitely a keeper.

    • I agree. 👍🏼 It’s a delicious cheesecake recipe. The sweetened sour cream topping makes it different and perfect. The baking part is simple and easy to follow. This is my only cheesecake reciple because it’s the best. 👍🏼👍🏼

  33. I never liked cheesecake except my neighbors . Years later I looked for a similar recipe and came across this that looked so much like the one I loved! ( I usually don’t live Cheesecake) OMG! Heaven ! I’ve made this for almost every holiday ! Is gone in hours! This is a “ must” make. U won’t b disappointed ! I love baking and it’s easy to make! Thx u for giving us this recipe! Making for Easter too!

  34. Wonderful Cheesecake Recipe


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