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Perfect vanilla cheesecake with bowls of strawberries and toppings

Perfect Vanilla Cheesecake

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This Perfect Vanilla Cheesecake is a classic dessert that’s ideal for the cheesecake lovers in your life. Jazzed up with berries or fudge sauce or simply enjoyed plain, it’s certain to wow everyone who gets a taste!

A simple vanilla cheesecake can be transformed into more complex desserts! Add an Oreo crust, plus chunks of Oreo cookies to the batter for an Oreo cheesecake. Or a layer of ganache, then some Twix bars and a drizzle of caramel for a Twix Cheesecake!

A slice of perfect vanilla cheesecake with a strawberry garnish

Perfect Vanilla Cheesecake

It was Katie’s birthday and she was having a group of friends over to help her celebrate. A vanilla cheesecake was her request for the evening. A basic recipe with a few twists, like the addition of corn starch and a two stage method of adding the cream cheese, it truly is the best cheesecake!

Vanilla is one of those flavors that is universally loved. And a slice of vanilla cheesecake is just waiting for some garnishes to jazz it up! I’ve used a vanilla cheesecake in the Twix cheesecake I mentioned above as well as this luscious Boston Cream Pie Cheesecake. I’m dying to try this Butterfinger Cheesecake as well as this Key Lime Icebox Cheesecake!

Perfect vanilla cheesecake on a white ceramic cake stand

How Do You Make the Perfect Cheesecake?

I’ve made loads of cheesecakes using numerous recipes, but there are a few basic rules for making the best cheesecake recipe.

  • First, get your cream cheese and eggs out of the refrigerator well ahead of mixing time. Two hours if possible as you want these ingredients at room temperature for the best results. I prefer to use Philadelphia brand cream cheese.
  • If needed place your eggs in a bowl of hot water (not boiling as you don’t want to cook the eggs) to speed up the process.
  • PRO-Tip: Use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer to make this perfect vanilla cheesecake and any other cheesecake recipe you make. This will keep the batter smooth and dense, without beating in any excess air.
  • PRO-Tip: When you add the eggs, beat in one at a time, and only beat until combined.
Overhead of perfect vanilla cheesecake with a bowl of strawberries and toppings
  • Bake your cheesecake in a water bath or bain marie, to stabilize the oven temperature to minimize the chance of  cracks developing across the top.
  • A bain marie is simply a French term for placing your pan into a larger pan filled with about an inch of very hot water, then placing in the oven to bake.
  • Make sure you wrap your springform pan with heavy duty foil before adding it to the bain marie to prevent any water from seeping into the pan and softening the crust.

How to Slice and Serve Your Perfect Cheesecake

  • Cheesecakes taste best when chilled overnight.
  • Cut your cheesecake with a hot dry knife for the cleanest slices. I run the knife through very hot water, then dry off with a clean dish towel.
  • Offer toppings like sliced, sweetened strawberries, fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries with lemon curd, whipped cream, fudge or chocolate sauce. But this cheesecake is delicious even without toppings.
  • If you want to make a vanilla bean cheesecake, just substitute vanilla bean paste for the vanilla extract. The specks of vanilla bean are the sure sign of a vanilla flavored dessert. And always use pure vanilla extract, not imitation for the tastiest results.
Perfect vanilla cheesecake with strawberries on a white plate

Two Sweetie Pies

Thanks again to my lovely friend, Danielle, for another magnificent recipe! She is my go-to blogger for decadent treats. I promise you will love whatever you try from her blog!!! We share a recipe from each other’s sites every second Monday of the month.

Check out Danielle’s take on this recipe as well as her social media sites! Plus make sure to stop by her blog and check out which of my recipes she made this month, too.

Hugs & Cookies XOXOFacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram


Love this recipe? Please consider rating it in the comments below. You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Perfect vanilla cheesecake with bowls of strawberries and toppings

Perfect Vanilla Cheesecake

Lush and creamy, this vanilla cheesecake is irresistible!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 83 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 43 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cheesecake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 1 /2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • Four 8-ounce packages  cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs (note these are not large eggs)
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream


Make crust.
  1. Combine all ingredients and press into a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Let cool.
Make the cheesecake.
  1. In your mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat 1 package of the cream cheese, ⅓ cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch together on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times.
  2. Mix in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each.
  3. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining sugar, then the vanilla.
  4. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined.
  5. Beat in the cream just until completely blended.
  6. Spoon the batter over the crust and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Wrap the sides of the pan in aluminum foil.
  7. Place the cake pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes halfway (about 1 inch) up the side of the springform. Bake until the edge is light golden brown, the top is light gold, and the center barely jiggles, about 1¼ hours. If the cake is too jiggly, cook for another 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours. Chill until cold.
  9. Serve plain or with sweetened, sliced strawberries, chocolate or fudge sauce or a dollop of whipped cream and some lemon curd.
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22 comments on “Perfect Vanilla Cheesecake”

  1. Cheesecake is my FAVORITE!  And this one looks completely perfect.  Is it wrong that I want a slice for breakfast?

  2. Wow Liz – this IS the most perfect cheesecake I’ve ever seen! I also love the variety of toppings – everyone would be thrilled. Sharing and pinning 🙂

  3. Hi Liz, Everyone needs an amazing go to vanilla cheesecake! Great tip on when to get everything out of the fridge — I always, always get in wrong and am zapping something in the microwave. Excited to try this!

  4. I could go 4 a slice right now, Liz! Looks delish, def my go to cheesecake recipe!

  5. This is the cheesecake recipe everyone needs!

  6. So smooth and no crack at all…such a perfect cheesecake!

  7. Sometimes it is the simples of recipes.. And this vanilla cheesecake is such a great example of a simple recipe made perfectly.

    PS: your photos are stunning. 🙂

  8. Lovin’ fall and I’m ready for some cheesecake:@)

  9. This looks perfect and delicious Lizzy! hugs!

  10. So creamy, dense, and heavenly in every way I love. Really amazing cheesecake!

  11. So perfect! I love this classic recipe!

  12. This looks heavenly! Yum!

  13. Happens to be my favorite dessert ever!

  14. This looks so perfect. Who doesn’t love cheesecake?

  15. Oh yes, that cheesecake is perfect! I have got to bake one real soon.

  16. This cheesecake looks beautiful. I can’t wait to make it for my family.

  17. This cheesecake really is irresistible! Very creamy and delicious!

  18. Cheesecake is my FAVORITE! This one does look perfect!

  19. Cheesecake, my love. I can certainly live without any cakes for a long time, but a cheesecake is something I cannot resist. We still try to restrict ourselves, so I’ve only made it 3 times this year. I normally prefer rich and decadent flavors, but sometimes there’s nothing better than old good classic. Delicious!

  20. This cheesecake looks perfect. I love the tips that you have in your post. Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts to eat and bake.

  21. So perfectly creamy, this is a cheesecake dream!

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