This decadent cheesecake recipe will knock your socks off. It’s silky, rich and creamy. I’ve been told many times that this is the, “best cheesecake in the world”. And amazingly enough, the original cheesecake recipe came to me by happenstance. Serve it with fresh lime curd, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries. (updated 12/14/21)
How this recipe came to me
Susan, a childhood friend of my mom’s was a fabulous cook. Every year for Christmas she would make cheesecakes for her friends and family. She never would share the recipe and was very adamant about it. If anyone asked, she would firmly say, “No, I don’t give it out.” Susan knew how much I loved to cook and one day out of the blue, I received an envelope. Inside were a few of her recipes including the famous cheesecake recipe. I was floored and stunned as I had never asked her for it. I respected the fact that she told others no, and I was fine with that. So imagine my surprise when it just “showed up” in the mail.
Table of contents
- How this recipe came to me
- Passing the test
- Recipes are meant to be shared
- My own spin
- Biscoff cookie crust
- What’s the difference between New York Style cheesecake and other cheesecakes?
- The 3 secrets to making the best cheesecake in the world:
- So is this cheesecake healthy?
- Christmas Cheesecake
- How to make Amy’s cheesecake (Best cheesecake in the world) in pictures:
- What do you think?
Passing the test
It wasn’t exactly a recipe however but rather a crude list of cheesecake ingredients written on a scrap piece of paper with very little instructions. The original cheesecake recipe was a test to my cooking abilities. When I saw her later, I told her how much I loved the recipe. Her first question was, “Did it turn out?” and I said, “Yes, it’s wonderful.” She smiled. Right then and there I knew I had “passed” the test.
Recipes are meant to be shared
Susan told me never to give the recipe away. In fact when I published my first afternoon tea cookbook, she was so worried I had put the recipe in my book. I assured her I didn’t. I was true to my word and still am but I’m a big believer that recipes are meant to be shared and passed down. And really, she did too, otherwise she would have never given it to me. The recipe originally came from her uncle who worked at a famous restaurant in Kansas City. I waited years after she passed away before even writing this post. I had planned on naming this recipe, “Susan’s Cheesecake,” but since I made quite a few changes, I decided to name it, “Amy’s Cheesecake.” I know she would be proud and wouldn’t mind.
My own spin
Of course, this isn’t her “real recipe,” as I told her I wouldn’t give it away and I didn’t, but this is my version of it. I put my own spin on it as I always do, and continue to make changes over the years. I’m also sure the amounts are different from hers as some of her amounts were terms like: “a handful of this, etc.” with little directions other than bake time and temperature.
Biscoff cookie crust
I also changed her crust to Biscoff cookies (paid link) because often times I couldn’t find the ingredient she used, so I substituted vanilla wafers for years. However, one day I was out of vanilla wafers and in a pinch used the Biscoff cookies (paid link). Wow! What a crust! I never went back to vanilla wafers. The Biscoff cookies (paid link) make a wonderful crust and now it’s my standard cheesecake crust.
What’s the difference between New York Style cheesecake and other baked cheesecakes?
Turns out the answer to this question was harder than I thought as I found various contradictory answers when doing research. Some say New York cheesecake contains cream and no cream cheese, others say it’s heavy on the cream cheese. The only consistency I found was that New York cheesecakes are dense and rich. According to this article, there are actually 5 different styles of cheesecakes in the U.S. I’m not actually sure what kind of cheesecake mine is. It’s made heavily with cream cheese and is rich but it has a very silky and creamy texture and also a sour cream layer so I guess you could say it’s a combination of New York and Chicago style cheesecakes.
The 3 secrets to making the best cheesecake in the world:
- Allow the cream cheese to sit out until it reaches room temperature, otherwise it’s almost impossible to get a smooth texture. (Of course it’s against the food and safety guidelines and they would have my head, but I actually let it sit out overnight- but my house temperature is very cool.)
- Bake the cheesecake only until it’s mostly set. It will still be “jiggly” when you pull it out but the top will look, “baked.”
- After it’s baked, leave it in the springform pan (paid link) and put it in the refrigerator uncovered -overnight. The next day, remove the sides of the pan. Dip the knife in water between each cut for a perfect slice. It will cut beautifully.
So is this cheesecake healthy?
Nope, not at all, thus the reason I put it in my “Not so skinny section.” However because I have listed the nutritional information, you know how many calories and points it is – so you can definitely plan for it. As I’ve said many times, I’m a big believer in, “I’d rather eat a little piece of heaven, than a whole lot of yuck.” So this recipe is not fat free, sugar free, carb free etc. It’s a good old fashioned homemade cheesecake. Make and eat it on special occasions.
A homemade baked cheesecake makes a great Christmas present! The best way to transfer and give them is to give your guest the entire pan and let them release the springform pan (paid link) themselves. This allows for easy traveling. They can give the pan back at a later time or you can include it as part of the gift. It’s too hard to try and transport a cheesecake without the pan. The sides of the pan give it support. You can also make mini cheesecakes in 6 inch springform pans as well, just be sure and adjust your bake time. My recommendation since everyone’s oven is different is to make a “test” one for you to make sure it turns out before you try giving them away in different sizes.
How to make Amy’s cheesecake (Best cheesecake in the world) in pictures:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place the Biscoff cookies (paid link) in your food processor (paid link) and process until fine. If you don’t have a food processor (paid link), place them in a Ziplock bag (paid link) and roll them with a rolling pin until fine.
Combine crust ingredients. Use a zester to grate the lime. This gives the entire cheesecake a “fresh,” taste.
Press the crust mixture into a 10 inch springform pan (paid link). Use a glass to press the mixture down and compact the crust. The mixture will come up on the sides, that’s ok. Place the pan in the freezer until ready to use.
In a mixing bowl, or stand mixer ( I use my Nutrimill Artiste mixer (paid link)), add softened cream cheese, sugar, corn starch, vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth.
Add eggs one at a time and beat again until smooth. Be sure and scrape the sides of the bowl very well with a spatula – you don’t want lumps!
Carefully pour cheesecake batter into the springform pan (paid link). Bake for about 30 minutes -just until top looks set. Do not overbake. It will be jiggly.
Make topping while cheesecake is baking. Mix together sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
This is how the cheesecake looks when it comes out of the oven. Notice it dips slightly in the middle and definitely jiggles when you carefully move it.
Because it isn’t set in the middle, carefully dollop topping around the sides, then spread the topping to the middle. If place the topping directly in the middle, it will sink down to the bottom of the cheesecake.
When finished, allow to cool for about 30 min and then transfer to the refrigerator. Do not cover as it will cause condensation and drip onto the cheesecake. You can cover with a piece of foil after a few hours – just set it on top.
The next day it cuts beautifully! An added tip: for a smoother cut, dip your knife into water before you make each cut. I like to dollop lime curd on the top and decorate with fresh raspberries, blackberries and sometimes blueberries. I sprinkled some lime zest over the top.
What do you think?
After you make it, let me know if you think it’s the best cheesecake in the world and please leave your comments at the end of the recipe.
- 1 1/2 cup Biscoff cookies almost an 8.8 oz package or vanilla wafers, crushed with a rolling pin or use a food processor like my Magimix
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 1/2 lb cream cheese softened to room temperature - you must do this read notes
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- dash of salt
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- Serve it with a dollop of my Afternoon to Remember Lime Curd and fresh raspberries or blueberries.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a medium bowl, combine Biscoff cookies (crumbs), melted butter, brown sugar and lime zest.
- Press crumb mixture into a 10 inch springform pan. (See notes about size). Use a glass to press the crumbs down. Allow the crumbs to come up the sides. Place pan in freezer for about 10 minutes or until ready to use.
- In a mixing bowl, or stand mixer ( I use my Nutrimill Artiste mixer), add softened cream cheese, sugar, corn starch, vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat again until smooth. Be sure and scrape the sides of the bowl very well, you don't want lumps.
- Carefully pour cheesecake batter into the springform pan. Bake for about 30-35 minutes -just until top looks set. Do not overbake. It will be jiggly.
- While cheesecake is baking, make the topping.
- Remove from oven and carefully drop the topping by spoonfuls around the edge. If you drop it in the middle, it will sink to the bottom. Do the sides then carefully spread the topping to the middle with the spatula.
- Allow to cool on a rack for about 30 minutes, then put the entire pan into the refrigerator overnight. DO NOT REMOVE SIDES. If you feel you need to cover it, lightly place a piece of foil on top but don't tuck the edges in, otherwise condensation will form.
- The next day, remove the sides, cut and serve. I love to serve this cheesecake with my lime curd.
This was so good!!
Hands down, this cheesecake is the very best!!! Five stars isn’t enough.
This really is a fantastic cheesecake.
Absolutely delightful – and I’m not a huge cheesecake person! Just the right amount of smoothness, rich taste and perfect crust. You’ve perfected this recipe Amy! Nom nom!
My topping seems awfully runny? When you say mix am I supposed to use a hand mixer.
No, just lightly fold in with a spatula. After it’s chilled, it may thicken up. It’s basically the consistency of sour cream.
I have a 9 ” springform pan – when you say bake for 30-35 minutes for a 10″ pan, do you mean INCREASE baking time to 60-75 minutes? OR 30-35 minutes?
I would do 35-40 min but keep an eye on it.
This ranks as one of the top best cheesecakes I have baked! Not only was it a show-stopper, it was tasty as tasty gets.