Extra Rich and Creamy Cheesecake

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This extra rich and creamy cheesecake is freezer friendly and so delicious! Perfect for special occasions!

Although I love to travel, I’m a homebody at heart, so after 15 days in LA… IT FEELS GOOD TO BE HOME!

And despite the fact that I’m still battling a severe case of jet lag, I couldn’t resist sneaking into the kitchen and baking us something sweet. But I also couldn’t face the grocery store just yet, so I had to make due with ingredients I already had on hand.

Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:

  • Before you begin, be sure to lightly spray the entire baking pan with non-stick spray. If you don’t have – or don’t use – canned sprays, you may grease the pan with butter or even shortening. Greasing the entire pan will ensure your crust and cheesecake don’t stick to the pan. No sticking = perfect slices.
  • Because this recipe begins with the crust, that is also where we will begin. To make the crust you will need melted butter, crushed graham cracker crumbs, and sugar. Yep – just three ingredients!  You can buy graham cracker crumbs from the grocery store, or make your own by pulsing sheets of graham crackers in your blender or food processor.
  • When pressing the crust down into the bottom of the spring form pan, you’re going to want to press it down very firmly. A firmly packed crust will bake up nice and thick, and most importantly, won’t crumble much when sliced. I recommend starting to press the crumbs down in the center of the pan and then working the crust out and just a little bit up the edges.
  • Room temperature ingredients are crucial when it comes to making a cheesecake! So be sure you bring your cream cheese, eggs, and heavy cream to room temp before you begin making the batter.
  • And finally, we need to talk about the dreaded water bath. I say dreaded because I know so many folks fear making one or have had really bad experiences with them. But baking your cheesecake in one is a must if you want silky smooth, creamy, crack free results. My big tips here are to wrap your pan in multiple layers of heavy duty aluminum foil and to only fill the pan up an inch. And you’ll want to push the cheesecake into the oven very carefully, so that the water doesn’t move around too much. Many reader’s have told me they sometimes use a crockpot liner in addition to ensure no water gets in; I’ve never tried this but wanted to through the idea out there in case you want to give it a shot.
  • If you’re not up for trying a traditional water bath – or just ran out of aluminum foil – you can place your spring form pan in a larger pan, and then place them in an even larger pan. Then fill that pan with a few inches of water. Does that make sense?

This Extra Rich and Creamy Cheesecake is freezer friendly and perfect for special occasions!

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Creamy Cheesecake:

  • 5 blocks of full-fat cream cheese (40 ounces total), softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs plus 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions

For the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Lightly spray a 9″ springform pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with heavy duty tinfoil. I recommend doing several diligent layers here to ensure no water creeps through when you place the pan in the water bath. Set pan aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter; stir well to combine. Firmly pat the mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Place partially baked crust on a cooling rack and set aside while you prepare the filling.

For the Creamy Cheesecake Filling:

  1. In the body of a high power blender, food processor, stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a very large bowl using a hand held mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until completely smooth, scraping the bowl as needed.
  2. Add sugar and vanilla and beat smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add in the eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add in the cream and beat until it’s just incorporated in the batter.
  4. Pour filling into prepared crust and, using a silicon spatula, smooth the top.
  5. Place the cheesecake pan into a large, deep pan. Fill the pan with 2 inches of hot water. This is your water bath and will help ensure your cheesecake comes out crack free.
  6. Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off and let the cheesecake sit, undisturbed, for 30 minutes inside the oven with the door shut. The cheesecake should be still slightly wiggly.
  7. Remove cake from oven and gently run a knife very around the edge of the cake. Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack and cool completely, then loosely cover the pan with saran wrap and chill for at least 8 hours.
  8. Cheesecake will keep, covered in the fridge, for 5 days. Cheesecake may be frozen for 2 months. Thaw overnight before slicing.

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