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Plain cheesecake with missing slice on a white cake stand, greay background

Sour Cream Cheesecake (easy, with video)

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4.9 from 14 reviews

A cheesecake with sour cream as its star ingredient that for many of my friends is the best cheesecake recipe I make. It's smooth, and creamy. If you follow the instructions, it's almost foolproof. It's delicious plain or topped with fruit sauces or pie fillings. Sour cream is tangy and adds richness to this cheesecake, balancing the sweetness. 

  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

Units

For the base:

  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) ground graham crackers or plain vanilla cookies
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) butter, melted

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 16 ounces (2 cups or 450g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (480g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Turn the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  2. If you want, line the bottom of a 9-inch (24cm) cake pan with removable bottom (springform pan). with aluminum foil for easier removal. 

For the base:

  1. Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter until it looks like wet sand. You can use the food processor to mix both ingredients after you ground the cookies.
  2. Pat onto the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing with your hand until it is compact.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, until it dries and begins to color lightly. Reserve.

For the cheesecake filling:

  1. Mix cream cheese with the sour cream in a large bowl until smooth and no lumps remain. 
  2. Add the sugar and mix until well integrated. 
  3. Add the eggs and continue mixing until everything is well combined and creamy. You don’t need to beat because we don’t want to incorporate air into the mixture, but make sure no egg parts remain, especially egg whites which tend to take longer to disintegrate. 
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl regularly with a spatula to fully integrate the mixture.
  5. Add vanilla and mix well. 
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake cheesecake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside, without opening the oven door, for 1 hour. 
  8. Remove from the oven and cool completely to room temperature on a wire rack.
  9. Cover it in plastic wrap without removing it from the pan and refrigerate it for at least 8 hours. I recommend a minimum of 1 day. (At this point, it can also be frozen, always well wrapped). 
  10. Run a smooth-bladed knife around the edges and carefully remove the side ring from the pan. If you used aluminum paper, lift the sides and place your open palm beneath the paper and the pan. Lift the whole cheesecake (it’s cold, so it’s firm), carefully unwrap the paper and remove it completely, and place the cheesecake on the serving plate. 
  11. Serve with berry jam, sauce or topping. I love our basic blueberry sauce or fresh berries.

Notes

  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Storing:
    Refrigerator: besides the mandatory 8 hours in the fridge, you can keep it there for several days, always well wrapped or covered to avoid drying.
    Freezer: this cheesecake is ideal to have frozen. A friend of mine says it's even better after it. I tend to agree. But remember that you must first let it cool completely to room temperature and then refrigerate it for at least 4 hours before freezing. Well wrapped, it can last up to 2 months.
  • Flavorings: vanilla extract or paste are always my first option because they are natural (as opposed to artificial essences). But the sky's the limit if you want to add citrus zest, other extracts, and spices. 
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooling + refrigeration time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Cakes & Cheesecakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 532
  • Sugar: 29 g
  • Sodium: 287.8 mg
  • Fat: 38.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 10.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 170 mg