Cheesecake is the perfect dessert in my opinion. Luckily, it has been my choice for my birthday cake ever since I was a little kid, and is absolutely easy to make gluten free! Once I came across this recipe for a baked New York style cheesecake, I have never found one better. It turns out perfect every time if you follow a few simple tricks. Topped with blueberry or cherry pie filling, chocolate sauce, or caramel, this dessert will never be ordinary. Rich and creamy, this heavenly slice will become your favorite too.
The Perfect Cheesecake
1 1/4 cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place in the refrigerator. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest. Beat to fully combine. Pour the batter into the graham cracker crust and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 70 minutes, or until center is set. Turn off the oven and let the cake cool completely in the oven (about 3 hours). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Serve with cherry or blueberry pie filling, melted chocolate, or caramel sauce.
Gather your ingredients. You will need gluten free graham cracker crumbs (we love Kinnikinnick), brown sugar, butter, 3 blocks cream cheese, sugar, 5 eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and a lemon.
In a small bowl, combine 5 tablespoons melted butter, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs.
Prepare a 9-inch springform pan. I like to put a piece of parchment paper across the bottom to make serving easier (and cleanup!). Press the graham cracker crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan (it will just barely go up the sides). Place in the refrigerator.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese at room temperature with 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Do the same with the 2 egg yolks. Be sure the eggs are at room temperature. Having the cream cheese and eggs at room temperature ensures you the perfect cheesecake!
Add 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream,.......
.....1 teaspoon vanilla,......
.....and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Beat until smooth.
Pour the batter into the crust.
Smooth top with spatula.
Bake in preheated 300°F oven for 70 minutes, or until center is set. You can test this by jiggling the pan. Once it's set, turn off the oven and close the door. Leave the cheesecake to cool down in the oven as the oven cools down to room temperature. This takes about 3 hours. Your patience will be worth it! You will be left with this perfectly smooth cheesecake with no cracks! Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator, and open up the springform pan. Take of the edging, then using some scissors, trim the parchment up to the edge of the cake. Now you can slide the cheesecake onto any serving plate you wish and it will come off the bottom of the springform pan very easily.
Slice, wiping the knife between cuts, and serve. Top each slice with whatever you desire. Our favorites are blueberry or cherry pie filling, melted chocolate sauce, or caramel sauce.
This rich, decadent dessert is worth every minute of preparation and waiting. You will not be disappointed, and your family and friends will be so impressed that you can pull off making a PERFECT cheesecake.
Recipe Source: Recipe adapted from a recipe in Mary Engelbreit's Sweet Treats Dessert Cookbook