Basic Cheesecake With Flavor Variations.

Recipe by EmmyDuckie
READY IN: 1hr 45mins




  • Preheat oven to 400 for standard baking, or 375 for a convection oven.
  • Melt butter, and mix crust ingredients, press into the bottom, and up the sides of a springform pan. You can use whatever size you have from 8 to 12 inches, the smaller the pan, the higher the cake, but I like a wide, low one, too. Chill the crust while you make the filling.
  • Cream together cream cheese and sugar.
  • Add eggs one at a time.
  • Add extracts and zest, mix well, be careful not to incorporate too much air, so you don't get cracks on the top of the custard.
  • Pour filling into crust. For better texture, you may choose to first wrap the pan in foil, and place into a large baking dish of hot water. The recipe works both ways, but I like the results from a waterbath.
  • Bake the cheesecake for an hour, then turn off the oven, and don't open it for 30 minutes.
  • If using sour cream topping, spread it on top of the cheesecake ten minutes before the hour bake time is up.
  • Cool cheesecake completely, and refrigerate for a few hours before slicing. Fishing line makes a great slicer, since the cheesecake will be very sticky to your knives.
  • Variations: This is the fun part. As long as you stick to the basic proportions, you can do lots of flavors. I'm up to 17 personally.
  • Use chocolate cookie crumbs for the crust, leave out the lemon, and add 1/4 cup pf cocoa to the filling for chocolate cheesecake.
  • Add a teaspoon of lime zest to the crust, leave out the cinnamon, and sub 1/4 cup key lime juice for vanilla and lemon in the filling for key lime cheesecake.
  • Sub one of the packages of cream cheese for a can of pumpkin, add cinnamon, ginger, and clove to the filling, use gingersnap crumbs for the crust. This one is especially good if you add a lot of cinnamon to the sour cream topping, and drizzle the slices with some caramel sauce and more gingersnap pieces.
  • Leave out the lemon, and sub one of the packages of cream cheese for a cup of peanut butter, use a chocolate cookie crust, and top it with chopped up peanut butter cups.
  • Use a chocolate crust, leave out the lemon, and use mint extract and green food color in the filling for grasshopper cheesecake. Add chocolate chips if you like.
  • Sub the sugar in the filling for 1 cup brown sugar caramelized with 1/2 a stick of butter for a caramel cheesecake.
  • Sub half the sugar in the crust for sweetened flaked coconut, leave out the cinnamon, sub vanilla and lemon for rum extract and lime, make sour cream topping with half sour cream, half Thai Kitchen coconut milk (it's the only one I've found thick enough) add the juice of the lime instead of lemon and more flaked coconut to topping. this is the one my brother always wants instead of a birthday cake.
  • If you try your own variant, I'd love to know what it was, and how it turned out. Have fun!