Beautifully basic cheesecake ... and almost beyond easy


It doesn’t have to be a holiday to whip up this award-winning baked-style cheesecake. The filling is sturdier and denser than the mousse-like no-bake variety, and the graham cracker crust is a family favorite. (We almost never have leftovers, but this cook has been known to squirrel away a single slice for day-after breakfast.)

 The preparation is easy, even if the actual baking time is rather lengthy. It’s a super recipe to make, if you’re planning to be home for a couple hours.


Basic Cheesecake Ingredients:


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1+ sleeve of crushed crackers)
  • 1/4 cup powdered/confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter


  • 2 blocks (8 ounces each) cream cheese (softened – not melted)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Basic Cheesecake Instructions:

 Preheat oven to 350 (F) degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9” spring-form pan with parchment paper. (I trace the removable bottom of the pan, cutting a circle to fit. Then I cut strips to ring the side, all the way around.) Place the prepared pan atop a baking sheet larger on all sides than the spring-form pan.

 Combine all base/crust ingredients completely. Pour the mixture carefully into the lined spring-form pan, piling the crumbly mix to hold up the side paper circumference. Spread the crust mix evenly across the bottom, banking it somewhat around the edges.

 In a large mixing bowl (I use my standing mixer), cream together the cream cheese and sugar. When smooth, add the eggs and vanilla. Continue beating (at medium speed) until well-blended.

 Transfer the whipped filling into the crust.

 Cover the entire cheesecake with aluminum foil.

 Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil.

 Bake another 20 minutes until center of pie reads 165 (F) degrees. The center will still be a little wiggly. The cheesecake should be golden brown (but not over-crisped or burnt) around the rim.

 Turn off oven, and leave cheesecake in it to cool for at least 30 minutes.

 Cover cooled cheesecake and store in refrigerator until serving.


Helpful Hint:

If using intact graham crackers, toss them into a zippered plastic bag. Push all the air out, and seal it tightly. Then use a baker’s rolling pin to crush the crackers into crumbs.



This cheesecake recipe is easily adaptable. Try these add-ins for variety:

  • Almond pieces
  • Berries (any kind)
  • Butterscotch bits
  • Candy canes (crushed)
  • Chocolate chips
  • Gumdrops
  • Heath Bar chips (or crushed pieces)
  • Jelly Beans
  • Kiwi slices
  • Lemon wedges
  • Macadamian nuts
  • Mandarin oranges
  • M&M candies
  • Oreo cookie pieces
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pretzel bits
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Walnuts (chopped or chunks)

        Also: Fresh fruit or jam – for topping (optional)

 You can also alter the flavor of the basic cheesecake filling itself. Popular choices include apple, banana, chocolate, coconut, coffee or mocha, key lime, lemon/lime, peppermint, pineapple, praline, pumpkin, raspberry, red velvet, rhubarb, strawberry, white chocolate, and more. 

Related Items:


Image/s: Adapted from public domain photo

 Feel free to follow on X. Like this blog?  Check out Practically at Home on Facebook. You are invited to visit my author page on