I am still using the same recipe I first learned in FACS class in high school. Thanks Mrs. Carr! I’ve refined my method and made some fun variations over the years (16!). Homemade cheesecake has great wow factor no matter how simple it is. If you make a cheesecake like one of these and bring it to any event, you will be asked, “Did you make this?” And, “It’s the kind of cheesecake you bake?!”
Yep. And soooo much tastier than any no-bake cheesecake.
The five ingredients…
1. Graham pie crust… I most often buy my crust. This one will be a chocolate and vanilla swirl cheesecake and I had a coupon for Keebler, so I opted for the chocolate graham crust.
4. Cream cheese
Chocolate cheesecake… Add 1/4 c cocoa powder AND 3 oz melted chocolate (semi sweet chips or Dark or bakers depending on your own taste and what you have)
Key lime… Add 1/3 c lime juice and grated lime zest if you have some (preferably Nellie and Joe’s key lime juice, and preferably eat it with the ocean in sight… ahhh)
Peanut butter… Add 1/2 c creamy peanut butter or to taste.
Back to it…
Cream 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese (softened… like on the counter for hours softened) and 1/2 cup of sugar until well blended, scraping the bowl if necessary (it’s always necessary).
Add 2 eggs one at a time and blend until smooth, scraping the bowl if necessary (always scrape the bowl!)
Add 1 tsp of vanilla and blend.
Voila… vanilla cheesecake/base for all my cheesecakes
Add any variation ingredients or keep it vanilla, pour into graham crust. Place on a half sheet pan and put into preheated 350 degree oven.
Pour warm water in sheet pan for a water bath. (Helps the cheesecake bake evenly)
Bake for 45 minutes then check every 5 minutes. Try not to open the oven during the baking time. You want the top completely set but without brown spots or cracking. (Though when this happens it still tastes very good.) It may jiggle a little.
When done, cool cheesecake completely on a wire rack, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
Cut in 8 slices and serve.
The one I made today was a vanilla and chocolate swirl. I eyeballed 1/2 vanilla cheesecake and put it in the crust.
Then I added 2 Tablespoons cocoa and 2 oz melted dark chocolate to the mixer.
Then I spooned the chocolate in dollops on the vanilla and swirled with an offset spatula.
Submerge your knife blade in hot water between slices to help make clean cuts.
My swirl method needs work, but I’m not turning down this slice and I bet you wouldn’t either.