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This easy cheesecake recipe offers all of the yummy goodness of a conventional cheesecake but with way less hassle and in a fraction of the time. Designed for a 9×13 inch baking dish, this recipe allows you to skip the springform pan and water bath and get straight to delicious eating.
An Easy Cheesecake Recipe for a Crowd
I hear you. Cheesecake can be intimidating. I happen to love spending hours in the kitchen baking my favorite dessert but I also understand that sometimes there’s just not enough time! This easy cheesecake recipe is perfect for those moments.
A vanilla cheesecake filling over a classic Graham Cracker crust brings to the table all of the sweet, tangy, creaminess of a conventional cheesecake. The cool part about it is that it is meant to be baked sans water bath and sans springform pan. So you don’t need anything fancier than a standard 9×13-inch baking pan. Plus, the whole thing is prepped, baked, and cooled in a fraction of the time it would take to make a traditional cheesecake. Give it a try!
Why You’ll Love this Cheesecake Recipe
This simple, easy cheesecake recipe is perfect for those looking for all of the joys of cheesecake with less of the complexity. Here are some things that make this recipe pretty fantastic in my eyes.
- No water bath. Water baths are intimidating. I get it. This recipe is great because it takes away the fuss of using one. Just bake directly in the oven in a 9×13-inch pan.
- No fancy pan. Most cheesecakes require you to use a 9-inch springform pan. It makes it easier to remove the cake from the pan and serve. Not everyone has a springform pan, however, and this recipe allows you to make due without one.
- It doesn’t take as long. My easy cheesecake recipe requires quite a bit less baking and cooling time than does a conventional cheesecake. So you will be on your way to delighting your taste buds in no time.
- Versatile. Because this is “just” a vanilla cheesecake, it is very versatile in the sense that you can top it with pretty much anything you’d like. Check out the “Toppings Ideas” section below for some of my favorites.
- It travels well. No cake carrier needed. This cheesecake comes out of the oven ready to transport to your next gathering (after it cools and chills of course).
What You’ll Need
It doesn’t take much to make this simple vanilla cheesecake. Here’s a list of what you’ll need. Scroll to the recipe below for detailed measurements.
For the crust
- Graham cracker crumbs – You could also use Nilla wafers or even oreos here. Refer to my Best Oreo Cheesecake recipe to learn how to use Oreos instead.
- Sugar – Use granulated sugar here.
- Butter – Salted or unsalted is fine.
For the filling
- Cream cheese – It is very important that the cream cheese is at room temperature. If it is too cold, it will not mix well with the other ingredients and you will end up with a clumpy filling. You also want to use brick-style cream cheese, not the kind in the tub.
- Sugar – Use granulated sugar.
- All-purpose flour – Feel free to use your favorite 1:1 gluten-free flour instead.
- Sour cream – Like the cream cheese, the sour cream should be at room temperature in order to achieve a smooth batter.
- Vanilla extract
- Eggs – Start with room-temperature large eggs. They will incorporate more easily with the other ingredients, giving you a smoother filling.
How to Make This Cheesecake Recipe
In a fraction of the time it takes to make a conventional cheesecake, you will have yourself a delicious dessert that sacrifices nothing in the realm of flavor or texture. Here is a brief rundown on how to make this 9×13-inch easy cheesecake. Scroll to the recipe below for more detailed instructions.
To make the crust
- Prep. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a 9×13 pan with baking spray.
- Combine the crust ingredients and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
To make the cheesecake
- Prep. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour on low speed until smooth before adding the sour cream and vanilla extract and mixing until smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until smooth after each addition.
- Bake. Pour the batter over the crust and bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 20 minutes before cracking the door and leaving it for an additional 15 minutes.
- Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
Tips for Success
While this hassle-free cheesecake is much less finicky than its classic counterparts, there are several tips and tricks used to make a traditional cheesecake that should also be applied here. I have highlighted a few below but make sure to check out my post on How to Make the Perfect Cheesecake for more.
- Start with room-temperature ingredients. As with any cheesecake, it is crucial to start with room-temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs. They will mix much more smoothly with each other and the other required ingredients than they would in chilled form. So, for a smooth cheesecake filling, start with these ingredients at room temperature.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing (or mixing on too high of a speed) cheesecake batter will incorporate air into the filling. The air bubbles work to cause the cheesecake to crack as it bakes. So mix low and slow for a cheesecake that is not only tasty but also visually appealing.
- Avoid over-baking. If you would like to avoid a cracked, dry cheesecake, try not to overbake. Check out my post on How to Know When Your Cheesecake is Done for some pointers.
- Cool gradually. Allowing the cheesecake to sit in the closed oven and then in the cracked oven after baking is an important part of the cheesecake process. It will allow the dessert to bake fully with the added benefit of preventing cracks in the cheesecake.
One of my favorite things about this quick vanilla cheesecake is the fact that it is so versatile. It boasts a simple, vanilla flavor which is the perfect base for a variety of toppings. Here come some of my favorites.
- Simple and classic. You can’t go wrong with a classic homemade whipped cream and fresh berries.
- Fruity sauces might be my favorite way to go here. Try my Easy Strawberry Sauce, Raspberry Sauce or Blueberry Sauce. Looking for a little pucker? I love this hassle-free cheesecake with Lemon Curd.
- Other sauces. Take a slightly richer approach and top this delightful cheesecake with a rich Chocolate Ganache or my Easy Salted Caramel Sauce
How to Store Cheesecake
In the off chance that this creamy cheesecake doesn’t fly out of the pan within the first couple of hours of being ready, you can easily store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Simply wrap the pan in saran wrap and place it in the fridge.
Can I Freeze It?
Yes, you can! Just wrap the pan in saran wrap and place it in the freezer. Alternatively, you can slice the chilled cheesecake, flash freeze the pieces (pop them in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up), and either wrap them individually or store them together in an airtight container. If you choose to store the slices together, make sure to separate any layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
In either case, the cheesecake will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to enjoy, transfer the cake or the desired portions to the refrigerator to thaw before diving in.
More Cheesecake Recipes to Try
I love cheesecake. I was thrilled to share this recipe with you because I think it makes my favorite dessert a bit more accessible to the home baker. That being said, I have a myriad of other cheesecake recipes to share with you. Here are some that have been exciting me lately.
- Strawberry Cheesecake
- Ultimate Oreo Cheesecake
- Best Salted Caramel Cheesecake
- No Bake Oreo Cheesecake
- Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
- Frosted Animal Cookie Cheesecake
- Snickers Cheesecake
A delightfully creamy vanilla cheesecake with a Graham Cracker crust but with no water bath or springform pan required? Sign me up!
For the crust
- 2 1/4 cups (302g) graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tbsp (39g) sugar
- 10 tbsp (140g) salted butter, melted
For the filling
- 24 ounces (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (207g) sugar
- 3 tbsp (24g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (230g) sour cream, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
To make the crust
- Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Grease a 9×13 pan with baking spray.
- Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
To make the cheesecake
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour on low speed until well combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust and spread evenly. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 20 minutes.
- Crack the door of the oven, with the cheesecake inside, for 15 minutes. This slow cooling process helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
- Put the cheesecake in the fridge to cool completely, 3-4 hours.
- Serve the cheesecake with your favorite toppings. I used my homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit. Store the cheesecake in the fridge, well covered. Cheesecake is best if eaten within 3-4 days.
- Serving Size: 1 Slice
- Calories: 417
- Sugar: 22.4 g
- Sodium: 355.2 mg
- Fat: 27.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 36.5 g
- Protein: 6.5 g
- Cholesterol: 108.7 mg
Keywords: easy cheesecake recipe, no water bath cheesecake