The fastest, easiest cheesecake ever

EasyCheesecake

Once upon a time, before Internet (a.k.a. The Information Superhighway—remember that?), recipes were shared hand-to-hand—literally. If your friend served you some awesome cookies, you asked for the recipe, and she wrote it out for you. Usually on a scrap of paper. Or if she was into it, on a recipe card imprinted with “From the kitchen of NANCY”. Or whatever name you wanted to fill in.

I still have (and use) scrapbooks filled with clipped, handwritten, and manually typed recipes. And while some of the recipes seem dated (Tuna Flying Saucers; Grapenut Pudding), there are others that are just as fresh and lively as the day they were born.

Witness this Easy Cheesecake.

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This is the way we used to collect recipes: pre-Internet, pre-virtual recipe boxes. I began this book while still in college: 1973. I well remember going through The Boston Globe Wednesday food pages (Confidential Chat; you Boston natives may remember it), and stacks of women’s magazines, clipping recipes, and sticking them in this book with Elmer’s glue.

There’s something old recipe books have that the Internet can never match: they automatically flop open to your favorite recipes. My book opens itself  to June 17 every time I pick it up. And there I find recipes for Louisiana Lady Dip (never made); Elvey Littlefield’s Mother’s Pickles (which I haven’t made in years, though Elvey was one of the best picklers I ever knew); and Strawberry Cheesecake, which I make a lot.

With all the cheesecake recipes out there, why this one? Because it’s easy. Because it uses simple ingredients—and not many, either. And because it’s my idea of the perfect cheesecake: dense, but not dry; creamy, but not gooey. Tasting of cream cheese, vanilla, graham crackers, and whatever you put on top.  In my case, a simple, two-ingredient raspberry sauce.

Have I hooked you? Will you print out this recipe and stick it in your old scrapbook? Hope so. This Easy Cheesecake is a winner.

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The very first step to successful cheesecake? Unwrap the cream cheese, and let it warm to room temperature. This will probably take a couple of hours, at normal/comfortable room temperature. Why is this important? Because cold cream cheese doesn’t combine well with the remaining ingredients; it’s lumpy, and your cheesecake will be lumpy. Room-temperature cream cheese mixes in very smoothly.

So, can’t you just beat cold cream cheese with the rest of the ingredients till everything’s nice and smooth? You can… but that beating incorporates air into the batter, and your cake will be lighter/airier, rather than nicely dense—as I prefer cheesecake to be.

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Crush your cracker crumbs. I’ve used zwieback here; graham crackers are traditional.

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Mix in sugar, melted butter, and a pinch of salt, and pour into a 9″ pie plate.

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Pat the crumbs into the bottom of the plate, and up the sides.

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Like this. Set the crust aside while you make the filling.

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This is the simplest filling: just cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.

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Look at this lovely vanilla—it’s packed with seeds and shredded seed pods, which will fleck the cheesecake filling just enough to give you that feeling of “gourmet vanilla bean.”

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This is the vanilla I use: Vanilla Bean Crush, from Sonoma Syrup in California. It’s wonderfully aromatic, aside from the seeds visual.

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Beat the filling ingredients on LOW speed till thoroughly combined and smooth. My cream cheese wasn’t quite at room temperature; see those lumps?

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I had to beat a long time (at low speed) before the filling smoothed out. Better to plan ahead and have the cream cheese at room temperature. (Did I mention the cream cheese should be at room temperature?)

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Pour the filling into the crust.

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Bake for 20 minutes.

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Add a crust shield: of your own devising, or this handy-dandy manufactured one, complete with fruit decorations around the rim. You’d be surprised how often I use this; it hangs on the pegboard by my oven, and has saved many a crust from burning before the filling was baked through.

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Remove the cake from the oven; the center won’t appear set. In fact, the whole thing will look quite jiggly towards the middle. If you have an instant-read thermometer, it should read just about 170°F when inserted into the cake 1″ from the edge.

Notice the crust is SLIGHTLY burned; I wasn’t paying attention, and didn’t get the shield on it in time.

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Cool the cake completely. Once it’s cool, cover and chill thoroughly. Remove it from the fridge half an hour or so before serving, to warm it just slightly. Look at that texture—a perfect blend of dense/creamy. And how easy was it to get there? No odd ingredients, no water bath… This is one straightforward recipe.

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Can you see those tiny vanilla-bean flecks?

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Next, the topping. This goes together in a flash; no need to prepare it too far ahead. I’ve chosen raspberries, because this brand of frozen raspberries is value-priced and VERY good; unlike many other brands, the berries are whole, not crushed.

Pour the berries into a bowl, and let them thaw at room temperature for a bit. Actually, you could start the berries thawing while the cake is cooling.

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Get out your trusty Pie Filling Enhancer. It’s not just for pie filling; it’s a great all-purpose thickener for fruit: pie, crisps/crumbles, or sauce.

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Stir the enhancer into the berries.

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Stir to combine.

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Keep stirring till the berries fall apart of their own accord; this happens easily as you stir, and they warm up.

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The Pie Filling Enhancer adds sugar, the lively bite of ascorbic acid, and thickening power—perfect!

If you don’t have Pie Filling Enhancer, no prob. Stir in confectioners’ sugar to taste. The sauce won’t thicken as much; no big deal, it’ll still taste wonderful.

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Dollop filling over each slice of cake, and serve. Yes, it IS as good as it looks.

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Looking for a really deluxe presentation? Array fresh raspberries atop the cooled cake.

Now you’re going to “beautify” the berries. “Melt” raspberry or any red jelly in the microwave…

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…and brush it over the berries.

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Slice and serve. I prefer the raspberry sauce (I think it’s tastier than plain raspberries), but if you’re after a spectacular look (like, for a fancy dinner party), glazing the berries is the way to go.

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Easy Cheesecake.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Stop & Shop supermarket in-store bakery, Strawberry Cheesecake, $6.28/lb.

Bake at home: Easy Cheesecake with raspberry topping, $2.87/lb.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. BigSis

    Oh. My. Gosh. This looks incredible! I just bookmarked it on Delicious so I won’t lose track of this winner! Thank you for sharing it!

    And SO easy, too – that’s why I like it! PJH

    Reply
  2. Terri A.

    This looks delicious! your post about old recipes reminded me of a 1921 cookbook that I recently found among my mom’s things. It’s like a 30 or 40 page pamphlet with a cover. Many of the recipes read something like “put everything in a pot and cook.” No times, no temperature, nothing – simple days, but very fun to look through.

    I have recipes like that too, Terri. I guess back then you were just expected to know how to bake. In fact, I have recipes with no directions at all, from my grandmother – just the list of ingredients. Now THAT’S going on faith! PJH

    Reply
  3. Susan Reid

    For those of us at the other end of the test kitchen, who forget to take their cream cheese out far enough in advance, here’s a hint. Put the cream cheese in its foil wrapper in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for half an hour. Change the water once if the center still seems firm and give it another 15 minutes. Once the unopened package seems universally “squishy”, it’s ready to go. Also, start the cream cheese and sugar in the mixer by themselves before adding the eggs; the sugar helps break down any lumps.

    Reply
  4. Erin in PA

    And with this awesome and easy recipe – Father’s Day Dessert has been chosen. I will be making this for Sunday, along with fresh strawberries and strawberry ice cream, because we all like choices; especially delicious choices! :)

    Have a great time with it Erin, and Happy Father’s Day to your special Dad. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  5. elianna

    PERFECT timing! Last night I’m sitting wondering what dessert I want to make for my birthday on Tuesday-yeah, I”m the baker in my family so I actually asked to pick out & make my own dessert! :) Anyways I really wanted cheesecake but not allllll the complicated fussing…
    THANK YOU PJ!!!!! I can’t WAIT to try this! Another amazing, simple recipe from my favorite bakers! :)

    Andrea is our best singer, but here goes… Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Great Baker, Happy Birthday to you! All the best from KAF!

    Reply
  6. Jasmine

    This looks really delish! And the notebook with many a printed recipe, well I did that when I was in my teens which was in the early 90’s so it’s not such an archaic thing after all, or am I old fashioned?

    Not old-fashioned, Jasmine… prescient. You’ll love your book as you carry it through life with you… PJH

    Reply
  7. Sherri

    Mmmm, this looks great! Definitely going to give this a try (and I can also attest to the great taste of the Vanilla Bean Crush…though I always forget to shake the bottle! I suspect I’m going to have a VERY vanilla-y last few recipes when we get down to the dregs).

    Strawberries and rhubarb are in season right now…think this would work well with a strawberry-rhubarb topping in place of the raspberry? Might not be as pretty, but I bet it would taste great! I may try that, and will probably use Clearjel instead of the Pie Filling Enhancer since it’s what I have on hand…

    Thanks again for all your great recipe ideas, you’ve been keeping us inspired as we’ve started recently baking just about everything (no more store-bought bread for us)!

    Sherri, strawberry-rhubarb would be wonderful – it’s one of my favorite combinations. And thanks for your kind comments :) PJH

    Reply
  8. Joan

    There’s a similarly easy recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from the late ’80s or ’90s, which adds chopped nuts and cinnamon to the crust, and lemon zest to the filling, all delicious. Otherwise it’s the same technique–no water bath, no multiple oven temperatures.

    Reply
  9. Katie

    I keep a book with all the recipes given/collected. I put them in a 3 ring binder with those clear page protectors. Easy to grab out a recipe and keep it clean while cooking!

    Reply
  10. tracey

    My boyfriend keeps saying I should start a blog to keep track of my (favorite) recipes – but I am instead working on putting together a printed cookbook with pictures of the final products using Blurb online. I’d rather have a “final product” of my collection, freezing a time in my life….and then in another decade I can do a new book that includes recipes from the “next chapter” of my cooking life.

    I also keep my printed/clipped recipes in a 3-ring binder, slipped into protective plastic sheets. I do usually save recipes as PDFs first so if I lose it – or want to give it away – I can always reprint.

    Reply
  11. dina

    May I *pretty please* have the recipe for Elvey Littlefield’s Mother’s Pickles?! I know, I know – this is supposed to be about cheesecake – and thank you for that – but wow – I’m always on the lookout for a good pickle formula!!!

    Sure – not too many instructions, and I don’t know any more than this, but here ’tis:

    “1 gallon cider vinegar, 1 cup sugar (4 cups sugar for sweet pickles), 1 cup salt, 1 cup dry mustard, garlic if you like; 2 teaspoons per gallon of alum helps keep pickles crisp.”

    And that’s it! Hope it work for you – PJH

    Reply
  12. daydreamer

    Could I use other berries in the topping? What about using fresh fruit? This looks like such a great recipe to use to try making my first cheesecake. Thank you!

    Sure – you could try sliced strawberries, or blueberries – though the blueberries would need to be softened/cooked enough to release some of their juices. Blackberries, sliced peaches… Go for it! PJH

    Reply
  13. fer

    How funny that you mentioned Grapenut Pudding. A few weeks ago, my granddaughter dumped my old recipe file (remember the little metal boxes), and just last night while I was refiling the cards, I came across Grapenut Pudding! Don’t recall ever making it but it actually sounded sort of good.
    I just got rid of my little metal box last year, in favor of a bigger wooden box, so I hear ya. Grapenut Pudding tastes better than it sounds, especially with a little vanilla ice cream and splash of maple syrup. You can still get it for dessert in some restaurants around here, my DH orders it every now and then. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
    1. Ruth

      Grape Nut Pudding…Yea I made a batch last month. I miss Chat column in Globe.

      This cheesecake recipe sounds great. Will be making it. Thanks for tip on room temp for cream cheese.

    2. PJ Hamel , post author

      I wonder how long ago Confidential Chat disappeared, Ruth? Probably we’re dating ourselves in a big way! :) PJH

  14. Martha

    From the recipe – what’s a “large” package of cream cheese? The standard 8-oz brick? That’s what it looks like in your pictures, but a specific measurement would be nice!

    Recipe looks good – I love raspberries & cheesecake!

    Martha, the recipe spells everything out. The blog doesn’t give the specifics, as it links to the recipe. But yeah, it’s an 8-ounce brick – two 8-ounce bricks (2 cups) for the recipe. PJH

    Reply
  15. andyoh

    Thanks for the cheesecake recipe; I also prefer dense/creamy to light/fluffy! I may try the pickles, also. Yes, I have many old recipes written on envelopes or the back of something from my Mom. Wouldn’t give them up for anything!

    Would you share the Grapenut Pudding recipe? It sounds interesting. Thanks

    Hi – It’s a pretty standard recipe – it comes from Yankee Magazine. – PJH

    * 1 cup Grape Nuts cereal
    * scant 1/2 cup sugar
    * 4 eggs
    * 1 quart milk, scalded
    * 1 tablespoon vanilla
    * dash of salt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour scalded milk over grapenuts and let sit 5 minutes. Beat eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add to milk and grapenuts. Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle very generously with nutmeg. Set in a pan of hot water and bake until a knife inserted 1 inch from the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers. Cold Grape Nut Pudding is good, too.

    Reply
  16. Sue

    I love your binder of recipes! I have an old metal box which a h.s. friend gave to me in the seventies. Then another friend along the line gave me an accordian style recipe filer. The bad thing about it is that the clipped recipes get filed by type. I love that yours is by date.
    I cherish the recipes that I have that were written in my Grandma’s, Aunts, Mom’s or friend’s handwriting. Those are the special ones.
    I have a cheesecake recipe from my Aunt that is very similar to this, except hers uses 3 blocks of cream cheese instead of two and is baked in a cheesecake pan. I like the simplicity of this and wish I could make it for Father’s Day, but my husband has already requested rhubarb pie, which will of course be good too. Sometime while the kids are here this weekend I’m making those sticky buns you blogged about earlier this week!

    Sue, sounds like you’re going to be busy. I think rhubarb pie is perfect for Father’s Day. Speaking of recipes, one of my real treasures is my grandmother’s recipe boxes, stuffed with handwritten (or typed, or mimeographed, or Xeroxed, as the years went by) recipes – stretching back to the very early 1900s. And including things like “how to clean a straw hat,” “how to make head cheese,” etc. :) PJH

    Reply
  17. Abigail Valdes

    Your recipes are delicious and easy to follow. I live in Lerdo, Durango, Mexico. Reading your recipes have helped me to improve my English and to teach the junior high students to use linking devices to indicate sequence in a very delicious and intersting way to learn them, and with the photos it’s easy for them to understand it and they improve their vocabulary. Thanks a lot for your wonderful site.

    Abigail, I’m so happy we’re helping you to teach your students. Stay tuned – in a couple of weeks I’ll be doing Sopa Paraguaya, so they’ll see a recipe name in their own language — and maybe even be tempted to make it, eh? Thanks for connecting – PJH

    Reply
  18. Debbie735

    This is yummy! It needs to cool on the rack for about 45-60 minutes and then a couple of hours or more in the fridge. I topped it with sliced strawberries instead of the raspberries. Very easy!

    Reply
  19. Alvara

    I have the pan with the removable bottoms I bought from KA that makes little cheesecakes. I think this recipe will work in that pan. They would make a nice dessert for 4th of July. I can use raspberries and blueberries for the topping.

    Reply
  20. marianne

    This looks delicious and I’ve already forwarded it to my sister!

    My mother inherited her mother’s cookbooks and a few years ago I transcribed many of them for a family cookbook. Ours includes a recipe for cinnamon rolls that starts with 1 gallon water, 2 lbs. butter, and no amount for flour–I suppose they just used whatever it took! There’s few written out directions, so I had to ask my mom and aunts what they remembered of method so we could write instructions for the next generation.
    This is a wonderful project-it would be a shame to loose this family history. 1 gallon of water! Joan@bakershotline

    Reply
  21. Cathy Ockinga

    What a terrific recipe. This is one of the original recipes for cheesecake that I remember, but of course had lost track of it. As my recipe books age and I use a recipe, I am putting them on my computer.(Publisher works great for this project) I print them out on postcards and always include the information of where I found them and file them away. Many times when I am invited to a bridal shower I will select a few or many depending on the bride’s taste, and include them in my gift. For my own adult children, I put them in individual plastic sleeves and gave them a recipe box several years ago. Each Christmas I give them an “update” of the recipe files.
    Recently found King Arthur products and web site and blog. Love the information on the blog site. I have ordered quite a few products from KA and every one is a winner. Keep up the good work!
    This is a wonderful idea-to give your recipes as gifts and then to update each Christmas. Very nice! Joan@bakershotline

    Reply
  22. Barbara

    I think I drooled a little. That’s one nice looking cheesecake and topping. And it sounds so easy (of course, “sounds” may be the operative word for me). I used to keep recipes in an old book that my grandmother used to cook and tuck away recipes. The binding was broken and it was jammed with scraps of paper. I loved that thing. Unfortunately, I lost my home in a fire and, well, needless to say the book too.

    Thanks for the great recipe.

    Reply
  23. Dianne

    This is THE BEST and easiest cheesecake. We’ve been eating it in my family for years. My mom’s recipe is called Cheese Pie Royale and she would be drummed out of the family if she didn’t make at least four pies during the holidays. We DO have a big family but there must always be leftovers to take home!

    Cheese Pie Royale has a bit different take on the topping. After filling the crust, sprinkle cinnamon (don’t be too shy with the cinnamon) over the filling and bake per the recipe. Then for the top of the pie – mix 1 pint of sour cream, 3 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla. Cover the filling with the sour cream topping to crust level. Bake for 5 minutes (only) at 400 degrees. Allow pie to cool. Place in frig to chill WELL before serving.

    The sweetened sour cream adds a lovely tangy complement to the cream cheese filling. I think then I would also go ahead and add the raspberries.

    ….I think I’ve got some cream cheese in the frig…..let’s see….where are those graham crackers…..’scuse me, gotta go….got a pie to make!

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  24. Rebekah

    That looks great. My family loves dense cheesecake, we’ve got a couple packages of cream cheese, and well, I think it’s time to try the recipe! Thanks for your specific directions.

    By the way, I have been baking my pies at a low temperature for longer periods of time, ever since I read about it on this blog. Works like a charm. If I dare say so, I think my apple pie is even better than my mom’s. ;)

    Oh my goodness, Rebekah – is your mom OK with that?!! Your apple pie must be SOME good, as we’d say in Maine… PJH

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  25. Judith Reppucci

    Out of all the many wonderful items I’ve found at KA, the best are my pie shields — I can’t bake pie crusts without them. Everyone should get a set now — much better than fumbling with clumsy tinfoil that falls off or crumbles the edges of your crust.

    And here’s another vote for grapenut pudding — my favorite dessert!

    Reply
  26. Suzanne F.

    Speaking of the day you were born, I was looking at the picture of your old cookbook & realized that I was looking at the day of my 17th birthday, which happened to fall on Fathers Day that year. I baked my Dad a strawberry pie for Fathers Day in 1973!

    Suzanne, funny coincidence, huh? I also realized the date was just about the date the blog was published – off by 1 day. Bet that strawberry pie was GOOD! PJH

    Reply
  27. Jake

    This is fantastic! The funny thing is, I don’t even like cheesecake that much, so that’s saying something! I didn’t even know cheesecakes were hard to do. The photos totally sold me, and also it’s strawberry season and I did a pie last weekend. Time for something completely different!

    You weren’t kidding about having the cream cheese at room temp – especially if your mixer runs on elbow grease… it’s easy besides that part.
    I also tried substituting 1/2 C almond flour to the crust, and I think that might have prevented burning besides enhancing the flavor – I’ll try even more next time.
    And I couldn’t leave the filling alone and added lemon zest & powdered ginger, but it’s probably better off simple. I can’t even taste the ginger.
    I remember having a cheesecake with a sort of crackly sugar topping with sliced almonds once, and now I’m curious how to achieve that…

    Anyway, I’d serve this to a crowd, or to someone I’d like to know better!
    Thanks!

    Good for you, Jake – congrats! As for that crackly sugary almond topping, I’d bet it was applied afterwards… I’ll have to think about that one. Cheers – PJH

    Reply
  28. deb

    I have a similar recipe that my family has used for about the past 40 years. It has 3 eggs and no crust . It is so tasty and so easy! We put almond extract in the cheesecake and it has a sour cream, sugar and vanilla topping baked on for the last 15 minutes. This blog is so great you guys give me so many good ideas.

    Reply
  29. barbara

    I have been making cheesecake for 40 years, 20 years ago I was given a recipe for cheesecake from Heloise, the columnist, and have make it since. I have no idea what made me veer off my well trodden path, but I made the Easy Cheesecake yesterday. Probably because it said Easy, but why change tried and true? Well, it was SO easy, I left the cream cheese out as directed, just was a snap. I used a 9″ tart pan with a high side and removable bottom so I didn’t have to bother covering the edges, added a bit of lemon zest as I always do in my cheesecakes. There is a background taste that just makes it bright. No sinking in the middle, a perfect cheesecake. My husband just drooled after his piece was gone, stated it was the BEST cheesecake he has ever eaten. I made a fresh blueberry topping, just blueberries, lemon zest and juice and suger to taste, 10 minutes on the stove, cool and it is wonderful. I didn’t have the other berries for the topping. I so appreciate your baking many, many things to find the best, and EASIEST, so we don’t have to. This is an exceptional, creamy wonderful cheesecake. THANKS!

    Wow, high praise indeed from a 40-year cheesecake veteran, Barbara – thanks so much for your kind comment! PJH

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  30. Keri

    :) This looks great!

    (mmm, grapenut pudding :) My recipe for it is scrawled into an old cookbook of my grandmother’s that was passed down to me.)

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  31. Keri

    This cheesecake -is- great! Tried it last night– only had one brick of cream cheese on hand, so I halved the recipe to make a small one– worked out fine! Oh, and it was the lower in fat Neufchatel cheese that I had on hand. Probably not as creamy as the regular cream cheese, but really– it was great anyway. Husband and son loved it! It was probably a good idea to make a small one ;)

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  32. bridget

    Made this this afternoon, with one packet of regular cream cheese, one neufchatel, and two duck eggs. The texture and flavor was absolutely amazing- very creamy, smooth, rich. Delish. Just spooned thawed raspberries and sugar over each slice. Much tastier than no-bake but not much more difficult.

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  33. Janene

    This recipe lives up to its’ name! I made it and couldn’t be happier with the results! No springform pan needed, no water bath, on and on!

    I enjoy cheesecake but seldom make it. But with this recipe I will certainly be making it more often.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Thanks for the nice comments, Janene – glad you enjoyed it. PJH

    Reply
  34. April in CT

    I’d just like to let everyone know a few tips about making this. First of all, the pie crust shields that I balk at every time I see them because “HA! I can just use aluminum foil!”… Just buy them, I know I will now. Also, after fighting with said aluminum foil and NOT getting it to work please, PLEASE use two hands to put the pie back in the oven. If you don’t you’re likely to have it tip and spill a good bit of that luscious filling on the oven door. If this does happen go outside and urgently, but calmly summon your husband to come in. This is so you can keep calm and not freak out. Show him your “issue” and ask the best way to go about cleaning it up. He will help and will also risk a burned finger to test out the spilled filling declaring it very tasty. Look at the mess of a pie that is left with crust mixed into the filling and refuse to give up! Keep calm, carry on and have an extremely tasty, but very ugly cheesecake for dessert.

    This was EXCELLENT! My first oven spill turned out to be not such a disaster after all. I used 2 bricks of neufchatel and it was creamy, just the right sweetness with the crust and will be my go to quick cheesecake recipe from now on.

    April, thanks for a good chuckle. You paint a marvelous word picture. And you must have a very amiable husband… Glad it eventually worked out! PJH

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  35. Jeanine in WA

    This tasted really good, but…I pulled the cream cheese out the night before, and it sat out about 18 hrs, so it should’ve been at room temp, but it still had lumps when I mixed it up. I followed the directions to a T but after cooking and setting on the counter, then chilling in the fridge, then pulled it out, it didn’t set up at all, it was a lumpy mess. Fortunately for me my kids love my “mistakes.” What do you think I did wrong? I loved the ease of this recipe, and I’d like to learn what I could do to make it work.

    Hmmm… Did you use regular (or low-fat, NOT nonfat) cream cheese? Leaving it out for 18 hours was a bit long… maybe that could have changed it somehow, although I wouldn’t think so. And at any rate, given a mix at slow speed with the sugar should have combined it nicely, with a minimum (if any) lumps. From what you describe, it sounds like the cheese may have had some thickeners, which is sometimes the case with nonfat cream cheese. Did you use large eggs? Was it set around the edges when you pulled it out, and Jell-O-like in the center? Do you have an oven thermometer (beyond the dial of your oven)? We’ll figure this out! PJH

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  36. Jeanine in WA

    I used neufchatel cheese, which I’ve always used for cheesecakes and haven’t had problems in the past. I didn’t mean to leave it out that long, meant to leave it out about 12, overnight, but didn’t get started right away in the am. Don’t remember the size of eggs, I usually get med, but they could’ve been large. The edges were set and the middle was jello-y, like the directions said it would be. I don’t have an oven thermometer, I went by the timer and recipe directions to determine if it looked done. I’m willing to try it again with regular cream cheese, it seems to work fine for everyone else.

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  37. Mozella

    The BEST cheesecake I’ve had in a long time and so so easy!!! Love it!!! Awesome recipe and so delicious!!!!!!!!!! So so easy to make-Please try it . You won’t be disappointed!!!

    Reply
  38. mrsn

    Very delicious and easy to make. Rich and creamy without being too dense – even though I might have overbaked it just a tad (edges were lightly tan). My husband enjoyed it. Good plain, with chocolate ganache, and jam (berries not available locally, so I didn’t bother with the berry topping).

    Living in Taiwan, I substituted digestive biscuits for the graham cracker crumbs, and I used Neilsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste for the vanilla extract.

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  39. Joydell Roncke

    I am so excited with this blog! You are sooo human and real. It is late in the evening, right before bed, and I had to write and tell you what fun it was to read this recipe and the blog. You write in plain language, and tell of “mistakes” one can correct. Thank you so much for all the information you give us. I feel I am a pretty experienced baker, partly due to my age :), but I always learn something new from you.
    Thanks again for all you do to make our lives easier and more fun!
    Joydell

    Oh my goodness, Joydell, thank you so much! That’s exactly what we’re trying to do – share our love of baking with friends. We’d like to be right there in your kitchen with you but, barring that – we have this blog, where we can all “meet.” I’m glad you’re enjoying it! PJH

    Reply
  40. Frances in CA

    How long do you have to refrigerate it for it to set? From the recipe, I get the impression that it will set right after it cools with minimal time in the fridge. I tried the recipe tonight and it doesn’t seem like the case. Maybe I under baked it? But my instant-read thermometer said it was at 168 when I pulled it out.

    Yes, Frances, the cheesecake should be pretty solid as soon as it’s cold. Did you use large eggs (not extra-large, not jumbo)? Regular cream cheese? With only four ingredients, not sure what might have happened… Maybe it set up for you overnight? PJH

    Reply
  41. Frances in CA

    Yea I used large eggs. I am not sure what went wrong there either, maybe my crust is a bit too thick, so the filling went a bit under baked. Or it could be my eggs were a bit old. I let it sit overnight, but the center never set. Oh well it is delicious nonetheless. Thanks!

    Hmmm… It’s a mystery then, I guess. Sorry, Frances – hope you try it again! PJH

    Reply
  42. lala in tx

    yeah.. im wanting to try this recipe but theres no mesurements included??….im GUESSING 4 eggs, teaspoon vanilla , about 8 gramcrackers 1 cup of sugar and two cream cheeses…. but please give me correct mesurements asap. haha.

    Hi Lala – Please take a look at this link to our cheesecake recipe on line. It has all the information you need. Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  43. Eva

    Hi-I have made this as specified, but has anyone made it as mini’s (In mini muffin tins?) If you have can you let me know any modifications you made regarding temperature or time?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated! We haven’t tried it that way. has anyone out there have any comments for Eva? Mary@KAF

    Reply
  44. glpruett

    OH – MY – GOODNESS!!! I have been baking for most of my life (and it’s getting longer all the time–I have a BIG _0 birthday coming up soon!) and I have tried, and tried, and TRIED to find a no-fail cheesecake recipe. I’ve read all of the tips, used all of the tricks, and have finally given up the title of “cheesecake baker” in our family to our son. It would always seem that no matter what I did, SOMETIMES things would go great and I’d have a beautiful cheesecake, and sometimes…I wouldn’t have such a beautiful cheesecake!

    Our son, who has been baking with me since he was 18 months old, has his preferred method, and he makes a hum-dinger of a cheesecake. But I’ve watched him, and then I’ve followed his instructions EXACTLY, and same thing happens: sometimes it’s beautiful, and sometimes NOT!

    Thanks to this recipe, and my having picked up a few packages of Neufchatel cheese at the store yesterday just because the 8-oz. package was on sale for 99 cents, I’VE DONE IT! I’ve baked a SIMPLE, no-fuss, beautiful cheesecake! Can’t wait until we Skype with our son this evening and I can show him what his mama can do, thanks to KAF!!!
    YOU GO GIRL! Glad to hear this recipe worked splendidly for you, and we hope he is impressed with your cheesecake skills. ;) ~Jessica

    Reply
  45. Masha

    Thank you for your detailed recipe!
    Would you please explain how to melt strawberries in a microwave?
    If you are preparing frozen strawberries for this cheesecake as an alternative to raspberries, then you can thaw and slightly heat them in the microwave until they are soft. If you would like to turn them into a puree, then you can heat them further in the microwave or on the stove top and then puree them in a blender until smooth. For a finished look to your sauce, you can strain the puree through a sieve. ~Amy

    Reply
  46. Gambles

    My mother has always strongly preferred her No Bake Cheesecake recipe, and I have always preferred my aunt’s baked recipe. I tried this for an easy recipe to teach a beginning baker friend and was shocked. It meets in the middle for my mother and myself so we finally have one cheesecake we both like. That is HUGE for us so thanks very much.

    One question: I am measuring 1″ from the crust and pulling it out at 170 degrees, but the center is just slightly unset when it is cooled. Should I be measuring the temp in the center, letting it cook another minute, or just enjoying it as is??

    Thanks so much for a recipe that helped 2 cheesecake lovers meet in the middle!
    Suzanne

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That is great news! Now you are both happy! You are baking it correctly. If you are not satisfied with the slight wiggle in the center once it is cooled, bake a little longer. Try another 2-3 minutes. Elisabeth@KAF

    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      I’d give it a good three hours in the fridge. But if you want to eat it right away, without chilling, no harm done; up to you if you like your cheesecake firmer and a bit cool, as opposed to softer and a bit warm. PJH

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