Shhh! The Secret Family Cheesecake Recipe

November 3rd, 2008 by katie

Daddy Chaos’s mother used to work in a bakery doing all kind of wonderful bakery jobs, such as cake decorating and formulating recipes for delicious pies, cakes, and cookies. One of the recipes she created was a cheesecake that became THE cheesecake. THE cheesecake everyone wanted for their birthday, and Christmas, and pretty much any time. It was a secret recipe, but one she shared with me back when I was a pitiful new cook trying to keep her son fed on Hamburger Helper. I have made it dozens of times since then: for birthdays, parties, and holidays. It always elicits groans and moans and requests for the recipe. It is so easy and delicious-rich and creamy, not too sweet and with a light, fluffy texture. The recipe is no longer a family secret and has been shared over and over so I am happy to share it with you as well.

The Secret Family Cheesecake

makes 1 10 inch cheesecake, prep 10 min, cook time 1 hour, must chill overnight
  • 20 oz cream cheese (2 1/2 bars)
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • graham cracker crust prepared in a 10 inch springform pan
  1. Prepare a graham cracker crust in a large springform pan. Preheat oven to 325ยฐF.
  2. Using a stand mixer or high power hand mixer, cream the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together.
  3. With mixer running add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  4. Add cornstarch, cream and salt. Beat on highest speed for several minutes until batter is light and fluffy.
  5. Stir in lemon juice.
  6. Pour batter into crust and bake for 1 hour. Place a baking sheet under just in case it spills. This cake is huge and will rise up over the sides of the pan.
  7. When the hour has elapsed, check the center of the cake with a toothpick, if it comes out clean turn the oven off and leave it for 30 minutes.
  8. Crack the oven door and allow the cake to cool to room temperature in the oven.
  9. Once cake is cool, place it in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

This cheesecake is huge and it rises very high before settling back down. The result is a rustic, homemade cheesecake with a lightly browned top, toffee crust and more than a couple of cracks. If you are truly upset by the cracks or the settling of the middle just fill it with a sour cream sauce, chocolate ganache, fruit filling, or whatever floats your boat. One warning though, the addition of all that stuff really detracts from the delicious simplicity of this cake. If anything at all, I like to serve it with only the simplest of fruit topping. Feel free to bake it in a water bath or other such nonsense but honestly I like the rustic, handcrafted look that makes this cake stand apart from it’s freezer aisle counterparts.

Feel free to make it ahead for a party or event: simply wrap it in wax paper or foil then in plastic and freeze. Thaw it in the fridge or at room temperature, the taste and texture will be as amazing as when fresh.

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Posted in Desserts, Easy

22 Responses

  1. My First Kitchen

    You are a wonderful person. Really. I’ve always wanted a THE cheesecake recipe, and I’m just gloriously happy with the amount of lemon in this family recipe that I will now claim as my own. That’s okay, right? No? Okay. I’ll give you and your mama-in-law credit.

    Through the magic of the internet, it is now your secret family cheesecake recipe! Feel free to torture people for years about how you can never part with the secret. -Katie

  2. Rayrena

    Oh that looks amazing! My MIL gave us her recipe for cheesecake (w/ much fanfare…) and it never tasted right. I think she left out a key ingredient or sabotaged it in some way) Needless to say, I’ve been on a quest for a good cheesecake recipe. I’m looking forward to trying this one!

    BTW, I used your sloppy joes recipe last night and loved it. I’m not usually a fan of sloppy joes but i had seconds…

  3. Steph

    Thanks for sharing! It looks absolutely delicious!

  4. Kelly from Almost Frugal Food

    That looks gorgeous! And who doesn’t love cheesecake!

  5. Ann

    HAVE MERCY!!!! Just WOW! That really is a gorgeous cheesecake, my dear.

    Thanks for stoppin’ by. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. krysta

    i have never made cheesecake. i’m afraid it will never turn out like it should.

  7. Andy

    Why must you torment me! This is bookmarked.

  8. noble pig

    Sounds lovely….and I have yet to bake a cheesecake without a big crack so I’m in!

  9. Kevin

    Great looking cheesecake!

  10. Marie

    Thanks, it looks terrific, great photo!!

  11. oh magada

    I had two bites at lunch the other day….absolutely. amazing. I think this would be perfect for the next game night. or tomorrow. whichever. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Ali

    Yes, such a pretty cheesecake! The graham cracker crust is a must. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Cathy-wheresmydamnanswer

    We must be from the same or a similar family as yours is the only other recipe that I have seen with Lemon Juice. Yours really looks great thanks for the family recipe reminder.

  14. Clueless Cook

    I made this for Thanksgiving dinner with some friends… and for someone who posses ZERO cooking expertise or ability to be able to pull this off as a success is a testament to not only a GREAT recipe, but excellent instructions as well.

    Thanks a million!

  15. Tami Lyn

    Yum, yum, yum. Much to my dismay, I found that I love cheesecake. Dismay since it is so high in calories and the only thing I apparently like to put in my mouth is calorie-laden. I will try this recipe. I have one that is so-so, but this looks great.

  16. Stripy Socks

    That looks delish!! I’m definitely making that this week!!

  17. Mike

    Got my Springform coming in the mail just for this recipe! I’ll let you know on new years how it comes out! Based on all these reviews I already know it’ll be delish!

  18. Dawnelle

    Tried it and liked it. I don’t know what a springform is but I just stuck it in regular pans and it turned out good. Had extra so I mixed it with cherry pie filling and threw it in a muffin tin, which was also pretty good. It wasn’t too hard, either. Thanks for posting this!

  19. VE

    Looks like a good one- the top settling is more than acceptable if it tastes great. I also agree that a cheesecake should never be over-topped. Keep it simple, and give the cake the respect it’s due- a few pieces of fruit or a little drizzle of a chocolate or fruit based sauce is more than enough. Just enough for the fruit acids to balance out the richness does the trick.

  20. Ericka

    This glorious cake makes me feel like a child doing something her parents dissaprove of. Sneaking against my will into the fridge to shave off inch after inch of the last piece that I promised my husband! Truely amazing!

  21. Mike Brown

    I’ve made this cheese cake sevral time with minor tweaks. It’s the best cheese cake I’ve ever had, and friends and family agree. Both my side & girlfriends side of the family are demanding that I bring “my” cheese cake for thanksgiving.

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About chaos

chaยทos -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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