Dad's Cheesecake

Makes a 10“cheesecake

I grew up going to parties and potlucks, and my dad would often bring this incredibly good cheesecake. Everyone always oohed and aahed over how good it was and asked for the recipe. Then he would laboriously write the recipe on an index card for them. He kept it pretty simple and straightforward with this classic sour cream topping.

photo: Paul Jackson []

photo: Paul Jackson []

Once, right before a party, when I was no more than 3 years old I put my own dramatic design in the top of his prize winning cheesecake with my fingers. I don’t really have a personal memory of this but my family has never let me forget it. Since then I have perfected the art of beautiful cheesecake. Top with seasonal fresh fruit and drizzle with chocolate ganache, or spread caramel on top and sprinkle with nuts for your own signature decadence. 


2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup melted butter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine crumbs and butter in a bowl. 
  • Press into the bottom of a 10” springform pan, pressing the crust about one inch up the side of the pan.
  • Bake the crust for 5-10 minutes before adding the filling.


24 oz. cream cheese – room temperature
3⁄4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk


  • Beat the cream cheese and sugar together using the whip attachment of an electric mixer until well combined.
  • Add eggs vanilla and milk and whip together until well combined.
  • Pour into the baked crust.
  • Wrap the bottom of springform pan with 2 layers of aluminum foil
  • Bake the cheesecake in a waterbath to keep the center of the cheesecake from cracking open. To make a waterbath, place the cheesecake on a larger pan with a lip and place in the oven. Then pour about 2 cups of water into the larger pan so that the cheesecake is surrounded by water.
  • Bake about 45 minutes, or until lightly golden and almost set in the middle.
  • Allow the cheesecake to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the water bath and take aluminum foil off the bottom of the pan before putting on the topping.

Sour Cream Topping

2 cups sour cream
1/3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and spread on top of cheesecake
Put into the oven for 2-5 minutes until set and shiny. Do not let brown.
Allow the cheesecake to cool for an hour and then refrigerate at least 6 hours before removing from the pan.

Download and print recipe.