Easy Philadelphia Style Cheesecake

Easy Philadelphia Style Cheesecake


It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this dense and decadent cheesecake of which any Philadelphia native would approve!


  • 12 honey graham crackers (crackers)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds cream cheese (brick-style, at room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs (at room temperature)
  • fresh berries (for serving)


  1. 1Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. 2Lightly grease the sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan with softened butter.
  3. 3Create four sheets of tin foil approximately 18” long each. Lay one sheet of tinfoil over another to create a cross.
  4. 4Make another foil cross with the remaining two sheets of tin foil, and position it at an angle over the first cross, creating a jagged circle.
  5. 5Place the spring-form pan in the center of the foil circle. Pull the edges of the foil up the sides of the pan and tightly secure on the top edges of the pan. Pack the foil closely to the circumference of the pan.
  6. 6Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor or high-powered blender. Pulse into fine crumbs.
  7. 7Add the brown sugar and salt to the graham cracker crumbs. Pulse the mixture a few more times to combine.
  8. 8Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture to a mixing bowl.
  9. 9Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45-60 seconds, until melted.
  10. 10Pour the melted butter over the graham cracker crumbs. Use a large fork to mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened and hold together when pinched.
  11. 11Carefully turn the graham cracker crumb mixture into the spring-form pan.
  12. 12Using a tamper or the bottom of a heavy glass, tightly pack the crumbs into the base of the pan, creating an even crust.
  13. 13Transfer the spring-form pan to the middle rack of the preheated oven.
  14. 14Bake the crust for 9-11 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown.
  15. 15Remove the crust from the oven and set aside to cool.
  16. 16Reduce the oven temperature to 350° F.
  17. 17Place the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically, for 5 minutes, until the mixture is completely smooth and no lumps remain.
  18. 18Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  19. 19Turn the mixer to the lowest speed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just until no yellow streaks remain. The batter will should be the consistency of yogurt, and ivory in color.
  20. 20Pour the batter into the cooled graham cracker crust.
  21. 21Lightly tap the spring-form pan on a countertop 4-5 times to release any air bubbles.
  22. 22Place the spring-form pan inside a large roasting pan. Carefully fill the roasting pan with water, only until it reaches about ¾” up the sides of the spring-form pan
  23. 23Carefully transfer the pan to the middle rack of the preheated oven.
  24. 24Bake the cheesecake for 80-95 minutes, taking care to not open the oven door while it bakes. Test that the cheesecake is done by gently shaking the pan. The edges should be firm, and the very center still slightly wobbly.
  25. 25Turn off the oven and crack the door open 1-2”. Allow the cheesecake to rest in the oven for 1 hour.
  26. 26Remove the cheesecake from the oven and transfer to the refrigerator.
  27. 27Refrigerate the cheesecake for a minimum of 6 hours, preferably overnight.
  28. 28To unmold the cheesecake, carefully run a butter knife around the inside edges of the pan. Undo the clasp and slowly remove the sides in an upward motion.
  29. 29Just before serving, garnish the top of the cheesecake with fresh berries, if desired.
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