The Best Plain Cheesecake



2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter, melted
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1-2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and press into bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool.
For filing, cream together cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, continually beating. Pour filling into crust. Bake for about 1 hour.
Stir together sour cream and sugar. Spread gently over cheesecake and return to oven for 5 more minutes. Cool. Store in refrigerator. Remove sides of pan before serving.

14 thoughts on “The Best Plain Cheesecake

  1. If I am making this cheesecake in Israel, do you know what I can “substitute” for cream cheese?

    • You can use gevina levana that comes in the tubs. You can even use the lowfat ones. I have made cheesecake with 5%, and 3% and also combinations of .5% and the others. It still tastes good! In fact, I have some in my refrigerator right now waiting to be made into cheesecake–and I am not in Israel!

  2. I’m not sure; maybe another one of our readers in Israel could answer that question…Help!

  3. Can you find ricotta there? And maybe you could add a little flour for thickness?

    I have plenty of access to cream cheese here, and am still very worried about trying this!

    Good luck all you bakers!

  4. Not sure if you mean you that you can’t find cream cheese (they have Philly cream cheese at Supersol) or if you want to make a pareve cheesecake. גבינת שמנת is the word for cream cheese but if you want a pareve substitute you can find the Tofutti cream cheese substitute here. Hope that helps.

  5. Hi.. sorry I didn’t see this sooner! I’m also in Israel and have been asking everyone this same question. Either you can make your own cream cheese (sour cream+1/4 tsp salt per container then put in a cloth diaper or a stocking and hang up to drip overnight into a bowl) or you can use gvina levana (white cheese). I heard making cream cheese works the best. good luck

    • Come on ladies, everyone knows that the very best cream cheese and cheesecakes are baked in Israel!! Their dairy products are amazing!!
      From what I remember I used the high fat round tub spreadable cream cheese, usually 5%. Try and befriend Israeli’s of the home grown variety and I know you will come up with recipes and successful cheesecakes. Their recipees are very, very similar to ours. Quantities for ingredients and pan sizes may vary but you have to adapt to that.
      My baking expertise was all developed in my early married years in Israel.
      B’Hatzlacha and Chug Sameach!!!

  6. You can certainly find Philadelphia cream cheese here in Jerusalem. Mine is already waiting in the frig – I always buy it at least 2 or 3 weeks in advance to make sure I have it!

  7. I always prefer using ricotta cheese with some double cream to make it more “creamy”

  8. I deal with people with very specific dietary requirements. How about gluten-free, sugar free, chocolate-free, dairy-free, salt-free? (And that’s just in our family!) We can’t assume everyone can eat the whole milk, sugar loaded version of things these days.

  9. To get the same great cream cheese flavor as Philadelphia here in Israel with also the full fat, use Napoleon cream cheese. Make sure it is the plain one, as it comes in flavors as well, such as with added olives. Good luck!