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Light as Air, Fluffy Cheesecake Recipe

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fluffy cheesecake recipeI very fondly remember my Aunt Mary who was my Mother’s youngest sister.  She was so loving and caring and a wonderful Mother to her three children.

In fact, she was like my second Mother and I spent many a day visiting her and also spent summer vacations with her.

She loved to laugh and make others laugh and she was a mentor to me on being a good Mother and wife.

Aunt Mary was also a great cook and I learned many a dish from her.

Everyone loved her cheesecake recipe and she was very proud to let us all know it was very special and when we had children we were to pass on the recipe.

Aunt Mary’s cheesecake recipe is truly unique, but I’ve had a difficult time putting my finger on exactly what it is about it that’s so special. I asked a few others in my family and the consenus is just how light and fluffy Aunt Mary’s cheesecake was. Some even have described its consistency like that of a soufle.

Aunt Mary is no longer with us but she is still in our hearts and thoughts and we all have shared her recipe with our children and their children.  I would like to pass this delicious recipe on to all of you out there.

Crust:

¾ c plain bread crumbs

3 Tbsp melted margarine

¼ c sugar

Melt margarine in saucepan and stir in bread crumbs and sugar just to moisten crumbs.  Spread crumbs along bottom of an ungreased 9 inch spring form pan.

cheesecake crust recipe

Filling:

1/4  c milk

½ tsp lemon juice

1 lb. Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese (let soften at room temperature)

1 pint Daisy sour cream

6 eggs, separated

1 ¼ c sugar

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Blend together in large bowl milk, lemon juice and cream cheese. Add to blended ingredients sour cream, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Beat egg whites till stiff and fold into mixture.

Pour over crumbs and bake 320-325 degree oven for one hour or until center comes out clean on a toothpick. Turn off heat and keep in oven one more hour.  Remove sides of pan and chill.  (May develop cracks on top which can be covered with sifted powdered sugar when serving).

fluffy cheesecake batter

light as air cheesecake

Enjoy! And please be sure stop back and leave a comment about how you liked it. I’d love to hear what you think and please be sure to follow the tips below to insure a successful cheesecake:

Helpful suggestions for baking a perfect fluffy cheesecake:

  • Use only large size eggs (not jumbo!)
  • Use Kraft Philadelphia Cream cheese and best brands of sour cream (Daisy, Friendship, or Breakstone). I do not recommend a store brand for this recipe.
  • I advise you to calibrate your oven temperature; if the oven fails to meet its automatic setting, it may be too hot or too cold. Therefore, compensate by using either a lower or higher temperature setting than the recommended (320-325 degrees) range.
  • If you use a silver springform pan, bake at 325° for 1 hour or more. For a dark, non-stick springform pan, bake at 300° for at least 1 hour, 15 min. (Thanks to Tony for the tip!)
  • Use a springform pan that measures no less than 9″ in diameter.
  • Fill the springform pan approximately one inch below the rim.
  • Do not beat egg whites ahead of time. They should be stiff but not dry. When egg whites can stand up in peaks after beating then that is the time to stop beating. Watch the video below for how to properly beat egg whites:
  • Carefully fold whites into batter to avoid deflating the egg whites.

Recommended Appliances and Utensils:

I love my Kitchen Aid mixer and it makes mixing the ingredients for the cheesecake filling a breeze.

kitchen aid cheesecake recipe

221 Responses to “Light as Air, Fluffy Cheesecake Recipe”

  1. Robert Rojas says:

    Hi Aunt Mary,

    This is your favorite nephew, Robert, checkin’ in. I was overjoyed to see the family cheesecake recipe posted on your blog. I can testify that this is the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted….and believe me I’ve sampled quite a few in my lifetime. There is something divinely sublime about its light airy texture that has left all the others greatly wanting…and the graham cracker crust is to die for. As a child, I had to exert the greatest willpower not to eat the entire cheesecake in one sitting when my mother baked one.

    • larry lachoff says:

      thanks ! the only problem I had was having the egg white portion collapse and absorbe water while refrigeration.
      My solution-mix 2/3 cup powdered sugar into egg whites
      gradually near completion of beating.this stabalizes the
      meringue.I reduced the amount of grandulated sugar in the filling to 2/3 of a cup.I loosend the edges of the cheesecake all around the springform refrigerating the cake in the pan for 5 hours…..waula,angelic cheesecake.

      • Mary says:

        Hi Larry
        Not quite sure why you would want to refrigerate the egg whites. Egg whites need to be at room temperature before whipping into stiff peaks. However, it sounds like the cheesecake turned out great. Congratulations. Happy New Year.

        • larry lachoff says:

          mary, I listed the changes I made to your reciepe I did not chill the egg white mixture before beating:
          1. the filling mixture exactly as you indicated except reduce the granulated sugar to 2/3 cup.
          2.the egg whites beat as you described then stabelize by beating while incorporating 2/3 cup of powdered sugar
          into the merengue egg white blend.
          3.after cooling down in oven as you indicated..loosen the edges around the cheesecake and refrigerate the cake in the springform pan for 5 hours. LoL

          • Cindy says:

            Larry, now why is it that you altered the original recipe exactly? I am going to make another cheesecake but this time follow Mary’s recipe as it sounds much better than what I had done for my first one.

          • larry lachoff says:

            The reason I altered the recipe was to maintain height of the cheesecake and to stabalize the bite texture. one more change to the 3 listed… 4.add one teaspoon of baking powder to the filling mixture…. ANGELIC

  2. Mary says:

    Hi Robert,
    So nice to hear from you! Come on by and I’ll bake you a cheesecake and I promise you won’t have to share it with anyone.

  3. Elaine says:

    Loved the light texture! I used lowfat cream cheese and milk and it still came out great. Now, I can eat a bigger piece!

  4. Mary says:

    @Elaine,
    I am always searching for lowfat recipes and will definitely try your suggestions for making this cheese cake recipe not only light and fluffy but also lowfat.

  5. […] had to reach out to my family members to teach me their dessert recipes. You can find my Aunt Mary’s cheesecake recipe on this blog as well as those from Aunt Laura. My sister, Natalie, shared this Tortoni recipe with […]

  6. Lillian says:

    Hi there!

    Your Aunt Mary’s recipe looks very promising and I’d like to try it. But I’d like to use the store bought graham cracker pie crusts that I have lying around. Do you think it would work okay? Should I cut down the cooking time since the cheesecake pie will be quite a bit shorter than cheesecake made in a springform pan?

    Thanks!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Lillian:

      Since this cheesecake recipe is lighter and higher than a pie cheesecake, I feel it would not work well in a pie pan. I think it will spill over in your oven while baking. Sorry about that but I do hope you get a chance to try this recipe someday.

  7. Tony says:

    Hi Mary,

    I believe this recipe may be the one I have been searching for the past few years. There was a bakery in my hometown that made a cheesecake that was high,light and fluffy; totally different than what is passed today as “cheesecake.” The question I have is can I use a traditional graham cracker crust rather than the breadcrumb crust you propose? Would the graham cracker crust spoil the baking process? Thank you.

  8. Mary says:

    Hi Tony:
    No problem using the graham cracker crust but still mix with the melted butter. It will work just as well. I hope this recipe is the one you have been searching for. It is truly light, fluffy, and delicious.Please let me know how it comes out. Happy New Year.

    • Tony says:

      Sorry, I failed to tell you how delish the cheesecake turned out. Graham cracker crust turned out quite well, also. The only problem I had was that I failed to make two cheesecakes; we ate the first one before the dinner party!
      This indeed is the closest cheesecake I have tasted since my Indiana hometown bakery shut its doors. This is a keeper and will become a part of my permanent recipe collection. Much thanks.

      • Mary says:

        Hi Tony:

        Thanks for getting back to me and I am so happy to hear the cheesecake was a winner for you.

        • Tony says:

          Hi Mary,

          I am on a cheesecake binge. I have been making your cheesecake for my condo community almost regularly. Want to share something I discovered recently that may improve your baking technique. If one uses a silver springform pan, bake at 325° for 1 hour or more. If one use a dark, non-stick springform pan, bake at 300° for at least 1 hour, 15 min. Bakes perfectly and no cracks.

          • Mary Ahearn says:

            Hi Tony:

            Thanks so much for the very helpful suggestion which I will definitely post on my Addendum for baking tips. I’m so happy to know that this recipe has worked out so well for you. Thanks again for commenting.

    • Carol says:

      Can I freeze this cake?

      • Mary says:

        Hi Carol:

        I have frozen a portion of the cake and it was still delicious when thawed out. Let it thaw out overnight or on the counter but don’t put it in the microwave to thaw. Happy New Year and enjoy the cheesecake.

  9. ash says:

    I had a question about the graham cracker crust? If the crust is store bought, what use is the butter? Where would the butter go? Sorry, I’m just a little confused. Mary, were you referring to graham cracker crumbs or the store bought graham cracker crust??
    -Thanks! I love your recipes!!

  10. Mary says:

    Hi Ash:

    Sorry for the mix up about the crust. I was referring to graham cracker crumbs..but you are correct about the difference using store bought prepared crust. Just be careful when transferring the prepared crust from the original pie pan to the base of the Springform pan. You do need to use a spring form pan for fluffy cheesecake.

  11. Riccardo James Vargiu says:

    Hello Mary, Do you recomment a nonstick springform pan or a regular aluminum (i.e. non-teflon) one, like the one in your video? Also, how wide is the springform pan you used? Best,
    Riccardo

  12. Riccardo James Vargiu says:

    Sorry, I now see it was a 9″ springform :-(

  13. Mary says:

    Hi Riccardo:

    I recommend the non-stick springform pan. I didn’t have to grease or spray the pan before adding the crumb crust and removal of the cake was so easy.Just go around the cake with a spatula before removing the springform ring.

  14. Kathy says:

    Well, I hate to be a party pooper but I was looking for a light, fluffy cheesecake recipe and I made this one a week ago. Neither my husband nor I liked the texture of the cake. I would not make this again. Sorry!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Kathy,

      Sorry the texture of the cheesecake was not what you were looking for. It is not the typical dense texture cheesecake but more like a souffle.Carefully folding the stiffly beaten egg whites into the batter is the secret to the lightness of this cake.

      • Kathy says:

        Well, it was very, very light (I folded in the egg whites very carefully) but I guess we just didn’t like the custard-like consistency. Also, I followed the directions exactly on oven temperature and timing – leaving it in the oven for another hour after it was turned off – and it was still not fully done in the middle so I had to bake it a little longer.

        I’m looking for something between a too-dry cheesecake and this one. I’m still searching. Thanks for the reply.

        Kathy

        • Mary says:

          Hi Kathy:

          I would like to solve the problem for you since the custard-like consistency isn’t the true texture of this cake. Could the brand of ingredients you used be the problem? I use only Kraft’s Philadelphia Cream cheese and Breakstone or Daisy sourcream. Sometimes different brands can make a difference. Also check if the cake is cooked in the middle before turning off the oven.Not all ovens are the same. Hope you will try it again. Good luck.

  15. Chris says:

    I’m working on a recipe of my own and one of the problems I run across is the texture. I’m trying to make my cheesecake bit more fluffy, which is how I stumbled upon your blog. I’ve been checking on many websites and some have different ideas. I’m going to try the egg white thing and see what I come up with. Another problem I have is the cheesecake raising out of the springform pan. My recipe has 2 tbls of all purpose flour. I’m thinking that could be contributing to the 1 to 2 inch raise during baking. My next attempt will be taking out the flour and folding in the stiff egg whites. Do you have any advise for keeping the cheesecake from raising over the pan? Do you feel the pan to the very top or leave 1/2 inch free board?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Chris:

      My springform pan is 2 3/4 inch deep and 9 1/2 diameter. I never had a problem with it spilling over. I agree, take out the flour and fold in the egg whites. I fill the pan fairly close to the top and it doesn’t raise while baking. Don’t cook it too fast or at too high a temp. Hope this helps. Please let me know how it turns out. Remember to let it sit in the oven an hour or more after cooking.

  16. Terry Evans says:

    The light n’ fluffy cheesecake recipe is absolutely delicious AND so easy to make. Just one suggestion to all others who want to try this recipe, DON’T SKIMP on the quality of the ingredients.

    This is definitely a keeper. I’m looking forward to preparing other recipes you have to share.

    Everyone needs an “Aunt Mary”.

    /terry

  17. Mary says:

    Thank you for your lovely comment and compliment.

  18. Ann says:

    Mary,

    Since you were so kind to took the time to make a video and share such a wonderful recipe, I thought that the LEAST I could do was to leave my comments.

    I used your cheesecake recipe and made it for people at my office. It was an absolute SUCCESS! I REALLY ENJOYED it myself and I am not a big cheesecake fan.

    Regardless of a few discrepancies in the written recipe from the video (such as the oven temperature and the amount of sugar in the cheesecake part of the recipe) it was AMAZING! I used the video instructions instead of the written recipe.

    The only things I did differently was I used graham crackers instead of bread crumbs for the crust and instead of lemon, I used lime. I also made the crust much thicker and used approximately 1-1/2 to 2 cups of crumbs and a stick of butter. Paula Dean says butter rules!

    I did a search for Fluffy Cheesecake on the internet and was grateful to come across your recipe. The video was extremely helpful. Thank you sooo much for sharing!

    Hats off to the Chef and to your Aunt Mary is now our Angel!

    Ann

    • Ann says:

      oops…took = take

    • Mary says:

      Hi Ann,
      Thank you for your complimentary comment and also for taking the time to write. I love hearing how my recipes have worked out. I will try your suggestion of adding lime juice instead of lemon. The amount of sugar in the batter should be 1 1/4 cups. The additional 1/4 cup sugar would obviously increase the sweetness. Since you were satisfied, that’s what counts. I enjoy when viewers experiment with the recipes. I think your changes were fine.

      • Ann says:

        Hey Mary! Just made another cheesecake for Mother’s Day. This time I added lime zest and the juice of 2 limes. The batter is amazing! Love the lime! I plan to add canned cherries on top and some large pieces of shaved white chocolate. Can’t wait for everyone to try the finished product this weekend! Happy Mother’s Day to all!

        • Mary says:

          Hi Ann:

          What a great addition to the recipe. I will definitely try the lime zest and juice. Your cheesecake will be a huge hit and pretty enough for a photo. A very Happy Mother’s Day and may it be very special.

  19. Christine V. says:

    Hi Mary…thanks for this great recipe. So delicious! One question though: The middle collapsed quite a bit. First it looked great but at the end of the last hour sitting in the turned off oven, the middle was completely sunken. Any advice for next time? Do you think I may have beaten the egg whites too much?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Christine:
      Happy to hear the cheesecake was delicious but sorry to hear it “collapsed”. My feeling is the oven cooled down too quickly (don’t open oven door while cooling down). Also, the oven temperature needs to be set low, 320-325 degrees. Please try again and hopefully you will produce a perfectly light and fluffy cheesecake. Let me know how it turns out. I appreciate your comments.

      • Kathy L says:

        Hi Mary,

        The middle of my cheescake collapsed and cracked. It collapsed in the last hour in the oven. I was so disappointed. It sounds like Christine and I had the same problem. My oven was at 325. Any other suggestions????

        • Mary Ahearn says:

          Hi Kathy;
          I’m sorry to hear you had a problem with this recipe. Let’s check a few things out. Did you turn the oven off while it was sitting for the last hour? Did you read my addendum to the recipe to help solve some issues in preparing the recipe? The oven door should be kept closed while baking, very similar to baking a souffle.

  20. Taryn says:

    I tried this with a vanilla cookie crumb crust in a cupcake pan, to make smaller portion sizes. They were delicious, light, fluffy and airy dangerously so I ate half of the twenty four I made. I was trying to find a recipe similar to one I tasted a few years, I asked the woman for the recipe but she said she couldn’t reveal it. I think I found it, thanks for sharing your recipe! :)

  21. celena says:

    I made this recipe for Easter and it was a hit! it was soft and fluffy and yummy! Thanks sooo much for sharing your Aunts recipe.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Celena:

      I appreciate you taking time to comment on the cheesecake recipe. So happy to know it worked out so well for your Easter celebration and that it was a wonderful added treat for Easter.

  22. Mary says:

    Hi Taryn:

    Happy to hear that my recipe is the one you were searching for. Great idea making cupcake portions and yes, using vanilla cookie crumbs would work as well as the original breadcrumb base or graham crackers. Thanks for your comment.

  23. Christine N. says:

    Hi Mary,

    I tried baking the cheesecake today and when I opened my oven after one hour, the cake had spilled over the edges of my springform pan. My pan is the same size as your pan. Do you know why this happened?

    Thanks,
    Christine

    • Mary says:

      Hi Christine:
      I am sorry you had a problem. Hopefully these suggestions will help to avoid a spill over in the future.
      1. The oven temperature may have been too low. Use the higher temp. 325 degrees.
      2. Fill springform pan just below the rim, approximately 1 inch lower.
      3. Only use large size eggs, no larger.
      4. Do not beat the egg whites ahead of time. They should be stiff but not dry: over beating can cause the cake to rise to high and spill over. When the egg whites can stand up in peaks after beating then that is the time to stop beating. Carefully fold the whites into the batter to avoid deflating the egg whites.
      I hope you will give it another try and please let me know the outcome.

  24. Shirley says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you for sharing your lovely recipe. I have tried making a fluffy cheesecake but it came out dense although the taste turned out lovely. Now that i have stumble your recipe, i will give it a try. However, I would like to know what can be used to substitute the sour cream and may i cut off the 1/4 cup of sugar ?

    • Mary Ahearn says:

      Hi Shirley:

      I would not recommend any substitute for the sour cream in this particular recipe. I see no problem in cutting off the 1/4 cup sugar, in fact, you can even use a sugar substitute if you like ( i.e. Splenda, Stevia, Xylitol). Please read the Addendum for making the perfect cheesecake.

      • Shirley says:

        Hi Mary,

        Thank you very much for the valuable advice. I will give it a try this weekend and will keep you posted on the outcome. Thank you so much for sharing. You have a great weekend

        Shirley

  25. Wai says:

    Hi Mary,
    I did the cheesecake in cupcake cases. While baking, they rose very nicely and looked very fluffy. It took about 40 minutes to bake. I left them in the oven for another half hour and when I took out, a couple had the centre sunk in and a few has lower volume. I do have a few that turned out rather nicely. I filled batter up almost to the rim.
    Is the baked cake supposed to be the same height as the batter when filled or does it shrink after baking? I like the taste but will have to eat it again tomorrow to see if it’s fluffy.

  26. Mary says:

    Hi Wai:

    I basically feel this recipe is not meant for cupcake pans as it needs to have the temperature be equally the same thoroughout the baking process, therefore some of the cupcakes in the center of the pan might not bake as evenly as the outer cakes. When using a springform pan the batter comes almost to the top and just rises slightly when baking and may recede (shrink) while cooling but should not sink in the center.

    • Wai says:

      Thanks Mary. I think I may have that problem cos I opened the oven door a few times to check the doneness cos I’m not sure how long they take to bake in small cases. Anyway, I luv the taste and texture and I will definitely try again. I have tried a few recipes and so far, this is the one I loved best cos it’s not the dense kind and neither is it the light japanese soufle kind which does not taste like cheesecake. Thanks for sharing. This recipe is definitely for keeps.

      • Mary says:

        Hi Wai:

        Happy to know you will give this another try. Be patient, don’t rush the baking, and you will reap the benefits of a delicious, fluffy, light cheesecake. Please comment on how it turns out: always love to receive comments.

        • Wai says:

          Hi Mary,
          will try again today with a bain marie method. Hopefully, it will even out the temp and I’ll get fluffier cheesecupcakes. I gave the previous batch to some friends and they all loved the taste.

  27. melissa says:

    Hi Mary,

    I have been searching and searching for a light and fluffy cheesecake recipe, so thank you so much for the recipe. I am very excited to try it! I do have a question, do you think I can still add a sour cream topping? My recipe I have now calls for the sc topping, and I really enjoy it. Thank you for your help and advice.
    Melissa

    • Mary says:

      Hi Melissa:

      The sour cream topping will work on this cheesecake. Just make sure the cheesecake is thoroughly cool and is removed from the springform pan. I have topped mine with fruit sauces and it works out very well. Love to hear how you like this recipe and maybe you will send me your sour cream topping recipe for our readers to try. Thanks for writing and I look forward to receiving your comments.

      • melissa says:

        Thank you so much Mary. I am about to start making your cheesecake as I write this. If the sc topping works I will definitely send it to you! Thank you for sharing your Aunt’s recipe!

  28. natasha says:

    hello Mary,
    this is the best cheesecake recipe that i ever tasted! Thank you so much!
    I cut the recipe in half and I baked it in a nine inch (nonstick) springfoam pan as your recipe requires. I didnt notice until after the cheesecake was baked that I forgot to put in the 2 tablespoons of milk (which is half of a 1/4 cup). It still taste very delicious. But do you think that leaving out the milk affects the cheesecake? Or will the difference be noticeable with the full recipe (instead of the half which I baked)?

  29. Mary says:

    Hi Natasha:

    Happy to know that the cheesecake was delicious considering the changes you made. If it came out light and fluffy, not dense, then you did well. I do think leaving out the milk in the full recipe would affect the taste and lightness. Give the full recipe a try, you’ll see the difference.

  30. Miley says:

    Hello,
    My cheesecake is in the oven as I am typing this message. Thank you for your video recipe. It is very helpful since this is my first time baking a cheesecake. I cut down to half of your recipe ingredients since I have a smaller spring form pan. It looks great and smells wonderful so far….will update how my cheesecake will turns out.

  31. Kari says:

    Hello,
    I absolutely love cheesecake and I prefer the “light” texture and have been looking for some time for a great recipe. I made this today and it turned out great… No cracks!! Haven’t tasted it just yet cause I’m taking this with me this weekend when I visit my big sis, who is also a cheesecake fanatic. Mary, after the cheesecake cooled it gradually sank to a “not so tall” cheesecake. Is this normal for you? Did I do something wrong? I did use a 9″ springform pan and I didn’t fill it quite to the top. It rose a little above the pan while baking too. It didn’t collapse in the center either. It looks good to me but I didn’t expect it to shrink as much! Thanks for any advice you can give me!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Kari:

      Your cheesecake sounds perfect!! The shrinking is normal since this is a very light, airy, cheesecake it is similar to a souffle which also will shrink once removed from the oven. Enjoy!

      • Kari says:

        Dear Mary,
        The cheesecake was wonderful… Very, very fluffy! I do have a question tho: would it effect the texture too much if I used heavy cream instead of sour cream or even part heavy cream and part sour cream? This recipe was really good! Thanks!

        • Mary says:

          Hi Kari:

          Happy to hear you enjoyed the cheesecake. I would not replace the sour cream as it may affect the texture and lightness of this cake.If you like heavy cream why not add that as a whipped topping after the cake is baked. Enjoy!!

  32. Jackie says:

    This recipe is very similar to one my own beloved grandmother made. Her recipe does not use sour cream or lemon juice, and the amounts on the other ingredients is slightly different, but the process and result (judging by your photo) are identical. I think it’s the most wonderful cheesecake EVER. Light and fluffy, creamy inside, golden outside; total heaven to eat. AND (bonus!) lighter in calories than those dense “NY-style” ones. I do have trouble with the top deflating & cracking though, and will definitely try lowering the temp from the 350 she recommended and leaving the oven door closed during the cooldown. I think I’ll try your recipe soon for a taste comparison!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jackie:

      Thank you for taking the time to write a comment and I hope you will comment on how this recipe compares with your Grandmother’s. The cracking should not be a problem if you keep the oven door closed and let the cake cool in the oven for an hour. You can always cover the crack with powdered sugar! Enjoy!

      • Jackie says:

        Hi Mary,

        I finally got a chance to make your cheesecake & my grandmother’s back-to-back. They ARE very similar, but yours has a bit more of a tart nuance than my grandmothers. I have to say I do like hers better, but it may just be because that’s the one I grew up with.

        My pans are shorter than yours, so I had to use a 10″ springform for your recipe, while hers definitely fits into the 9″ one.

        I tried some tips that I read in this blog: lowering the temp from 350 to 325, putting a small pan of boiling water into the oven with the cheesecake (on a lower rack), and leaving the oven door closed during cooldown. I also wrapped the edges of the pan with strips of wet towel. I ended up with a much more even texture and a top that didn’t deflate during the cooldown.

        Altogether a very successful experiment!

        Thanks for your recipe.

        Jackie

        • Mary says:

          Hi Jackie:
          Thanks for taking time to comment and give us all some more suggestions. I would try using less or no lemon juice in the recipe to eliminate the tartness.

  33. Sharon says:

    I just put the cheesecake in the oven but I want to make a pumpkin cheesecake like this. Would I substitute a can of pumpkin for the sour cream or add it to the mixture? What is your suggestion? I can tell this one is going to turn out great. Thanks

    • Mary says:

      Hi Sharon:

      I have never tried any variations on this recipe except for different toppings (bluberry or strawberry sauce) so I say, give it a try and substitue the sour cream for the pumpkin pie mix. Please let me know how that turns out for you.

  34. becka says:

    Let me tell you my story, I have had a cheesecake just like this from a woman who’s recipe is an old family recipe which she doesn’t give out. I stumbled upon yours and gave it a try. Mine unfortunately, didn’t work out so well. It looked fine until i turned the oven off and let it sit in there. I checked it after 20 minutes and it had completely fallen flat. Any ideas on where I went wrong? I would love to be able to make this cheesecake it is so delicious! Although mine doesn’t look pretty it still tastes pretty good! Please help!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Becka:

      Think of this cheesecake as if you are baking a souffle. Keep the oven door closed while baking and also let it sit for one hour after turning the oven off not twenty minutes. Hopefully the next one will come out fine. Be patient and remember it will fall a little after baking. Thanks for commenting. Good luck.

      • susan says:

        I tried to make your cheesecake, in the beginning it looked great when i checked it after an hour it was still wet so I left it another 12 minutes, however the last 10 minutes the entire top started cracking. I don’t know what happened, after the one hour check it was still very pale and wet.

        • Mary says:

          Hi Susan:
          It sounds like your oven needed to be set higher (check the calibration of your oven temperature to make sure it is working correctly). Please read some of my previous replies on this problem and hopefully that will be of some help to you. Thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope you’ll try again.

  35. Jenn says:

    Hi! I have been searching for this recipe for years! I am so excited to have found it and plan one making a few for Thanksgiving.
    I usually make a pumpkin cheesecake and everyone is requesting it again this year. Have you ever added pumpkin or any other type of flavoring/filler?
    How would you suggest I accommodate for the heavy pumpkin while still achieving a Fluffy result?
    Thanks!

  36. Ellen says:

    Hi,

    I found your recipe thru google and cannot wait to make it. I am making it for Thanksgiving, but doing a trial run of it this weekend as we have family coming and going starting this week. I love the light and fluffy cheesecakes I find not so often in a restaurant. Just had one quick question for you. What type of milk do you use (ie, whole, 2% etc…)?

    Thank you and I will update you on how it turns out.

    Waremst Regards

    • Mary says:

      Hi Ellen:

      I use whole milk. It’s a good idea to do a trial run first. Please carefully read “Helpful Suggestions” at the end of my recipe; especially in regard to the type of springform pan and oven temperature. I eagerly await your comment. Happy Thanksgiving.

      • Ellen says:

        Okay, so I made this last night as a trial. My family was anxious to try it so it was not chilled thourougly. I have to say it was not what we were expecting. It was more spongy and didn’t taste too much like cheesecake. Maybe because we took it out to early. However I just looked at the video again and realized I made a dumb error. I only put in one package of cream cheese instead of 2. Do you think this could be why it was spongy and also a bit watery? The flavor was nice, it just wasn’t a weird consistency? Please help. I really want this to work out. How should the consistency be? Thank you.

        • Ellen says:

          Okay, I am trying again today and will try it at Thanksgiving and let you know how it turned out. My entire family was like, how can you miss that. Her and her family is going to have a lot of laughs over my dumb mistake over the holidays. So anyway, will let u know.

          • Ellen says:

            Okay, it’s done. I think it sat in the oven too long after I turned off the oven. The middle sank and cracked, but it’s chilling now and we’ll see tomorrow.

          • Mary says:

            Hi Ellen:

            It will settle down while it is cooling similar to a souffle. The cracking is not unusual and can be caused by over beating the whites, or oven temperature, but it does not affect the taste. Covering the crack with a fruit preserve or dusted powder sugar works wonders. Hope you and your family enjoy the cake and that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

          • Mary says:

            Hi Ellen:

            I like your determination to try again, that is the secret to a good cook/baker. I hope the second time around works out well for you.

        • Mary says:

          Hi Ellen:

          Sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you. This is a recipe that needs to be followed carefully..no elimination of ingredients. The consistency is a softer texture cheesecake rather than the usual dense/heavy cakes. But it should not be watery or spongy. It will raise in the oven like a souffle but will shrink after cooling.

  37. Julie says:

    It is my son’s 20th birthday and he found your recipe and wanted to help me make it for his birthday cake. He loves to bake, says it;s his hobby. We followed the directions and it looks wonderful. It is still cooling in the frig. and we will let you know how it tastes on saturday. If it tastes as good as it looks then we we always use this recipe. He even watched your video. Thanks again for the family time!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Julie:

      Happy birthday to your son. Hope he was completely pleased with the cheesecake. Would love to hear how you all enjoyed the finished product.

  38. JeaNette says:

    Mary I have been looking for a recipe like this. I will try it and hope that it is exactly what I am looking for … a heavenly melt in your mouth chesse cake….. I will let you know and you should post this on the recipe webiste like food.com. I have been looking there for a recipe like this. THANK YOU for sharing this recipe but more important THANK YOU for sharing the history of this cake! JeaNette

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jeanette:
      Please let know how this recipe turns out for you. Be sure to read the Helpful Suggestions listed at the end of my post of the cheesecake. Remember oven temperature and type of springform pan are important tips to follow.

  39. Steve says:

    Hi Mary!

    I am in the process of baking my first ever cheesecake. I am using your recipe and I will let you know how it turns out. I am practicing for a baking competition at work. Thank you for sharing your recipe and happy holidays…

    Steve

  40. Steve says:

    Hi Mary,

    I just removed my cake from the oven after baking for 1:15 at 300 and leaving in the oven for 1 hour. The middle of my cake seems to have collapsed. There is a ridge along the outside edge. The middle is about 1/2 inch lower than the outer ridge. The outside of the cake is brown, the inside is very light and spongy. I was about to run a spatula around the edges, but the cake seems to have shrunk away from the edges of the pan. There is a large crack in the middle.

    Should I have run the spatula around the edge after the baking time but before leaving it in the oven?

    Do you have any guesses as to why the middle collapsed? Does this mean I did not cook it long enough? I used a pan with a non-stick surface, but the pan was pretty cheap and I do not know if it was technically a non-stick springform pan.

    I used kraft cream cheese, but the sour cream I used may have been subpar.

    One last thing, I beat the egg whites for several minutes. There was a lot of foam, but the foam was not frothy and did not make peaks.

    I am pretty happy with it regardless. I snuck a sample and it tastes great. I am hoping to get some feedback so I can make a more presentable cake for my baking contest.

    Thank you, in advance, for your feedback!

    Steve

    • Mary says:

      Hi Steve:
      I highly recommend you read the Helpful Suggestions listed at the end of my post on the cheesecake recipe especially the type of springform pan used and the proper oven temperature. Egg whites must form stiff peaks, otherwise cake will not rise and bake properly. Only run a spatula around the rim after removing from the cool oven and not before. Sinking in the middle is normal but it should not be overly sunk. Most of these problems are due to oven temperature and pan used. Good luck and please let me know if the suggestions have been helpful.

      • steve says:

        Hi Mary,

        The cheesecake was a big hit. It was aboslutely delicious. although I followed the helpful hints, I think that my non-stick springform pan was poorly made. I am going to get a new one.

        I think you are right on, the main reason why my cake collapse is the egg whites were not beaten long enough. I also may need to callobrate my oven.

        Thank you for your help! I thought it would take me longer to make a workable cheesecake but with your help I am almost there.

        Thanks,

        Steve

        • Mary says:

          Hi Steve:
          Great news. So glad the suggestions helped you and that you found this a delicious cheesecake. It gets easier each time you make it. Good luck in the baking competition. Let me know how it goes.

          • steve says:

            Hi Mary,

            Okay, so I may another cheescake for the baking contest Monday. The good news, I won! The bad news, the cake still collapsed. I user better sour cream and beat the egg whites until peaks formed. I followed the tips for cooking with a springform pan.

            When the cooking time is done, the cake looks absolutely perfect. It collapsed during the time when i leave it in the oven with the oven off. Do you think I need to cook it longer? Or use a water bath? My guess is my oven may be a little off, but I dont have a thermometer to calibrate.

            Thanks for your help!

          • Mary says:

            Hi Steve:
            Congratulations! Collapsing is normal in this recipe. Think of baking a souffle, which also collapses upon cooling. However, this does not affect the fluffiness of the cake. Just remember not to open the oven door during the one hour needed to cool down since it will cause too rapid a collapse. Celebrate your win! Happy Holidays.

  41. Sue B. says:

    Hi Mary,

    Both of my parents are diabetics and I know traditionally cheesecakes can be one of the un-healthiest desserts, especially for diabetics. That is why I am going to try to make your recipe more diabetic friendly by using low or non-fat ingredients and “fake” sugar. I am worried that the lack of “fat” will ruin the cheesecake though. I plan on baking a test lower-fat, more diabetic version today in hopes that it will work out and be acceptable to bake for my family holiday party tomorrow.

    Any tips or suggestions will be appreciated and I will let everyone know how my test turns out.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Sue:
      I suggest using low fat cream cheese and low fat sour cream. Follow the baking method carefully (read Helpful Suggestions) on my cheesecake post. I think it will turn out just great. The “fake” sugar is fine. Please let me know how it turns out. Happy Holidays.

      • Sue B. says:

        The cheesecake turned out better than I thought it would. I used non-fat everything and splenda, and it was still lite and airy. My family enjoyed it, although it was missing some of the richness in flavor that regular cheesecakes have.

        Overall not a bad experiment in trying to make a more diabetic friendly cheesecake. The hardest part was waiting for it to chill long enough before eating it.

        • Mary says:

          Hi Sue:
          Happy to hear the cheesecake turned out well. May I suggest for more flavoring try adding a little lemon zest and even a dash more vanilla. You’ll also notice after it has been in the fridge overnight, it has more flavor. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with others.

  42. Amy says:

    I just made this cheesecake for the first time. It’s incredible. My 11 year old daughter and I made it as a “Practice run” for a family dinner comming up and are excited to make another!

  43. Yudi says:

    Hi Mary,

    I am going to try this recipe very soon. I found a recipe called the Japanese cheesecake online which is also a fluffy one. There are 2 versions of this recipe. If you have time, would you have a look and let me know what you think?

    http://www.food.com/recipe/japanese-cheesecake-90032

    http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipes.recipeListing/filter/dia/recipeID/2312/Recipe.cfm

    This is a store in Osaka, Japan that sells the fluffy cheesecake.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG95APv_m0k&NR=1&feature=fvwp

    • Mary says:

      Hi Yudi:
      The Osaka cheesecake in the video looks similar to mine but the recipe was not available, so I can’t compare it. The two other Japanese recipes are not similar to mine at all. They use flour in one and cornstarch in both plus a water bath is used during baking. This would tend to give a cake-like texture which is not similar to mine. My cake results in a souffle-like texture thus making it light and airy.

      • Yudi says:

        Hi Marie,

        Hi Marie, I will try to bake the cheesecake today. I use a very high quality springform pan by Kaiser. Not sure what it’s made up of though.
        1>. Do you think I should put it in the lower rack?
        2>. Yeah, I notice that you did not use any water bath. Should I use one?
        3>. I am not sure why the corn starch in those 2 Japanese recipes. I will try your recipe because I like those normally that use sour cream to create creamier texture.

        I will keep you updated.

        • Mary says:

          Hi Yudi:

          Use the middle rack in the oven and don’t use a water bath. Please read carefully the Helpful Suggestions on my Blog for the cheesecake recipe. Oven temperature and one hour cool down are very important in producing the light, airy texture of this cheesecake. I look forward to hearing your comments once you make this cheesecake.

          • Yudi says:

            Hi Mary,

            I followed the advice. The cheesecake went flat in the middle. This seems to be the infamous problem people face when egg whites are involved.

            For some reason, I always have problem with egg whites (whether making angel food cake, tiramisu, etc). I even left the eggs out for 4 hours. All utensils are clean. Still, it did not turn up to the volume that you got from the youtube video. I got probably half of that.

            The taste is so superb though. It is definitely a keeper. I am just frustrated with egg whites.

            I tried just beating egg whites using those that come from cartoon (just egg whites). It still does not want to expand much. Not sure what else to do.

          • Mary says:

            Hi Yudi:
            Take a look at this video on YouTube. I do not recommend using carton egg whites, intsead use fresh eggs at room temperature. Adding a sprinkle of cream of tartar to whites would help in stiffening the whites. Good luck and thanks for your comment.

  44. Ann says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I was very pleased with the results! I did make some changes as I’m on a diet. I used fat free sour cream and fat free fromage blanc. I substituted lime juice and zest for the milk and I used cream of tartar (1/8 tsp per egg) and part the sugar (2 tlb per egg) in the egg whites during beating to help stabilize the egg whites. I used a dark 6 inch springform and halved the recipe and cook time. I wrapped the spring form in foil and placed it in a preheated water bath at 300 degrees for 40 min, and left in warm oven for an hour. It did not expand more than 1/4 of an inch. Cracking was very minimal and it only shrunk about 1/4 of an inch during cooling. Consistency was everything I hoped for. Super light, fluffy and sweet with the zing of lime and it fits in my diet!!! :-) Next try I will reduce or replace the sugar not being used to stabilize the egg whites…. I’ll never go back to dense cheesecake again!

  45. Dan says:

    Hey Mary, thought we’d try a version of your chesecake using an irish drink, football special, however it didn’t turn out properly. Even before adding the drink over the cheesecake the cake came out soggy, any sugestions?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Dan:
      Too bad about the soggy cake. Please read all of the Helpful Hints posted under my cheesecake recipe before trying again and then take a long sip of your Irish drink and keep it off the cheesecake.

  46. Marianne says:

    Hi Mary,
    I made this cheesecake yesterday for my daughter’s 25th bday. I served fresh cut strawberries and whipped cream. It was a hit! So creamy and the flavor was amazing–I’ve converted the non cheesecake lovers into asking for seconds!
    Thank you so much for posting your recipe. I made 1 change: Vanilla wafers for the crust and I sprinkled them on the top as well. Alyssa commented that the topping added a surprise of texture and really liked it.
    Thank you Mary! ~Marianne

    • Mary says:

      Hi Marianne:
      Thanks for taking the time to comment and share with others how much you and your daughter enjoyed the cheesecake. Love the vanilla wafer change and will pass that suggestion on. A very happy birthday to your daughter.

  47. Carol Evans says:

    Hi Mary,
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My father-in-law has fond memories of eating fluffy cheesecake in NYC. We don’t have that version here in Seattle, so I can’t wait to make this for him!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Carol:
      What a lovely daughter-in-law. Please comment again and let me know if this recipe is what your father-in-law remembers. Thanks for writing.

  48. Eddy says:

    Hi Mary,

    I made your cheesecake the other day and the flavor is delicious but unfortunately the middle collapsed while the edge stayed up when i left it in the oven for the last hour. I wanted to know if this is normal for the cheesecake? Does it happen to yours? or does it stay the same volume as when the first hour is over?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eddy:

      If you didn’t peek during the one hour cooling down this should not happen. Oven temperature and type springform pan used also make a difference. See the Helpful Suggestions posted at the end of the recipe. Give it another try. Enjoy!

  49. Donna says:

    hi, this definatly sounds like what i’ve been searching for but i would like to make it banana, any ideas as to the best way to do that with still keeping it LIGHT & FLUFFY?

  50. Pati Church says:

    Wow!!! I just made this recipe and this morning, and it’s incredibly good! I usually make a heavier cheescake and have been wanting one that’s similar to Magiano’s restaurant. This is it! I omitted the lemon juice and cut back 1/4 of a cup on the sugar, however, and it’s totally delicious! The texture is exactly what I’d hoped for. Thank you sooooo much!!!

    • Mary says:

      Hi:
      Great to hear this recipe is exactly what you are looking for. Thanks for the comment and sharing your changes with others.

  51. Amy says:

    I did this recipe for Christmas with my daughter. She is now making it for a cooking competition, ages 10-13. She is excited and so am I. Luckily, she decided to make one as a practice before the one she makes as her entry. The one that is going to the competition will be topped with powdered sugar, strawberries and a lemon (to make a flower in the center). Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Amy:
      What a joy to know that your daughter is cooking at a young age. Congratulations to her and I wish her the best in the competition. Please let me know how she does. Thanks for sharing this news with us.

      • Amy says:

        My daughter got first place in the cake competition (ages 10-12 division)! Everyone loved it. Since she was judged on difficulty, taste, and appearance, she took slices of strawberries and tangerine and made a flower on top with blueberries around the edge.

        • Mary says:

          Hi Amy
          How wonderful!! My congratulations to your daughter. I know you must be very proud of her and so am I. I love her decoration ideas for the cheesecake. Thanks for letting us know the outcome of the competition.

  52. Maria says:

    Hi Mary,
    Noticed on your video you say to use 1 1/2 cups of sugar in filling. On your written recipe it says 1 1/4 cups of sugar. Which would you prefer? I have been looking for a cheese cake that looks like the one my mom and I would go to Woolsworth for. That was back in the 60’s. My son likes cheese cake and I want to try to make this one for his Birthday so he can taste a real cheese cake.Not the dense ones.
    Thanks for your time……Take Care……………………Maria

    • Mary says:

      Hi Maria:
      The amount of sugar is 1 1/4 cup. Thanks for commenting and I hope you will comment back on how your son likes this cheesecake.

  53. Kevin says:

    This cheesecake is fantastic. An awesome tweak to try out is to use graham cracker AND either butter cookies (the little flower shaped ones) or gingersnap cookies. Combined with the graham cracker its the bees. the bees knees. I also will use just a little less of the egg whites, I found that the cake was almost too airy- would enjoy a little more of that cheesecake hardiness

    • Mary says:

      Thanks for the comment and the suggestions. As for a more hardy cheesecake, this is the not the recipe you want. I explicitly show that this cheesecake is different..not hardy, but light and airy which makes it different from the conventional cheesecakes.

  54. karen says:

    Mary, made your delicious cheesecake, bit hit,made it again today, with dark pan, lowered heat, as per Tony, didnt brown well….took it out removed sides, it totally cracked and flopped!!! What did I do wrong, I have a picture off my fluffy flop I could share with you…..I want to try again, need some assistance!!!!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Karen:
      Since your first cheesecake came out perfect, my suggestion would be to use the same pan and temperature you used for the first cake. Ovens vary in temperature settings and perhaps lowering the temp in your oven was too low thus the cheesecake did not cook fully. Hope this helps and don’t be afraid to try again.

  55. Karen says:

    Thank Mary. I decided to not toss it just put in fridge overnight. It was delicious tasting! I couldn’t give it to my MIL ! I added creM of tartar to whites. Not sure of correct amount. Can you give me proper cream of tartar measurement. I’ve never made such a delicious flop LOL !!!! Will try again!!!!!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Karen:
      You can serve “a flop” in a dessert glass with some berries on top! As for cream of tartar, I don’t use it so I can’t be of help on that. Just make sure your egg whites are at room temperature before beating and they will whip up beautifully.

  56. Karen says:

    Thanks for your delicious recipe and all your prompt replies! I can’t wait to try this recipe again !!! If it looks a bit loose when coming out of oven I might let chill without removing springform sides I think I should invest in a oven thermometer, this cake is worth the investment!!!!!! Going to try your meatball recipe next! Thanks so much !!

  57. Karen says:

    Hi Mary. One more question. Do u have a recipe for a ricotta cheesecake. Can ricotta be added to the fluffy aunt Mary cheesecake. I have one on the oven as we speak , got brave and am trying the exact recipe this time with breadcrumb crust!!!

    • Mary says:

      I too love a ricotta cheesecake however I have not used ricotta in place of sour cream or the cream cheese in this recipe. Thanks for your comments and don’t forget to let me know how the meatballs came out.

  58. Karen says:

    One more Q. Half of this cake is going to my MIL ( she is diabetic) how long must I chill before cutting in half??

    • Mary says:

      Hi Karen:
      Leave the cake in the springform pan until completely cooled. Once removed from pan then chill in the fridge before slicing. Have you tried baking with Stevia (natural sweetener)? That might be a better substitute for a diabetic.

  59. Karen says:

    Meatballs were soooo moist !!! I have never made moist enough meatballs. Always added more eggs, which neverade them this moist! Would love a ricotta cheesecake recipe from you!!! Yesterdays cheesecake came out perfect!! I prefer the breadcrumb crust!!! Can you share a ricotta cheesecake recipe with one of your biggest fans???? Love your recipes and your assistance!! Do you cool your cake totally before removing sides??? Thanks for patiently answering all my silly questions.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Karen:
      Glad the meatballs worked out well. Remember they freeze well and can be added to homemade pasta sauce. Leave the sides on until the cake is removed from the oven after the one hour waiting period. Once out of the oven sometimes the sides will pull away from the cake. That means cake is set up and ready for sides to be removed. I am sorry I don’t have a ricotta cheesecake recipe

  60. Karen says:

    Mary , since the meatballs where such a hit, do you have a chicken cacciitore recipe?

  61. Karen says:

    Hi Mary. Just noticed I have extra large eggs should I reduce number of eggs??? Want to make a hurricane cake!!!

  62. Aysha says:

    Thank you so much for a beautiful recipe. I increased just a bit in the crust, and used half the portions for the filling. For topping, I used sour cherry jam with enough water to make it spreadable. This recipe was amazing. Did it for hubby’s birthday, he LOVES cheesecake. Friends who visited also asked for the recipe.

    I am tempted to try just a slight baking soda next time to increase fluffiness (building on the potential of a citrus reaction)….

    • Mary says:

      HI Aysha:

      Thanks for commenting and I am so happy you enjoyed the cheesecake. Love the sour cherry jam topping addition. Let me know how adding baking soda works out for you. Enjoy!

  63. Constance says:

    Thank you Mary!
    I use to have a lemony fluffy cheesecake at the Woolworth’s when I was a girl, and it was always my favourite.
    Whenever I told people that the cheesecake of my childhood was not heavy and dense, but fluffy they could not imagine what I meant.
    I am trying this for Thanksgiving.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Constance:
      I miss Woolworth’s! You might want to add more lemon juice to this recipe. This is definitely a fluffy cheesecake. Maybe you’ll give it a try before Thanksgiving and will comment back. Thanks for writing.

  64. angie glavas says:

    Mary!
    upon putting the cheesecake into the oven it was super high and light…after 1 hour of baking time and the 1 hour of sitting in the oven with the heat turned off…i pulled out the cheesecake and it had delated to about 1 inch high. I was so disappointed!
    What happened??! I used a cream cheese with 1/3 the fat and a
    low fat sour cream. Would that cause the failure?…It behaved like a souffle.. as if the egg whites could not support the structure. So disappointing : ((( Help!

  65. Susan Devries says:

    Hi, love your blog. I actually have a question for your readers – so many of whom have had their cheesecakes “collapse” after baking. I have had this problem when using my gas oven but not my electric oven. Anyone else? The gas seems to cook with a moister heat. I have the same problem with certain cookies: snicker doodles and gingersnaps to list a few – they are puddles in the gas oven but bake perfectly in the electric.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks for the guestion and I too would like to hear from our readers. I have always baked the cheesecake in an electric oven. Hope to hear from you out there.

  66. Kristin says:

    Hi Mary,
    Just made this cake for a friend who likes “fluffy” cheesecake. Thanks for all the help. I used a 10 inch spring pan and it still rose up like a souffle then collapsed. I did let it sit the full hr. All in all though it stillnlooked pretty good. My real question though is about the taste. Mine came out very ” eggy”. Do you think maybe I was not aggresive enough when folding in the whites?? Any ideas or tips would be appreciated!

    • Mary says:

      Not sure about the “eggy” taste. Did you use only large eggs, not jumbo? The taste should be light and lemony. Next time try more lemon juice to give it more of a citrus flavor. What did your friend think of the cheesecake?

  67. Terri says:

    An old old trick to prevent cheesecakes from cracking, is add a pan of water to the oven while baking. Not a lot, just a couple of inches in a small roast pan, cake pan or casserole baker. Leave it in the oven for the entire baking time. The light steam will magically keep the cake from cracking….and it does work! Do this instead of the old fashioned water bath, which is also another way to bake a perfect cheesecake, no matter which recipe you try. Another way is the water bath, line the OUTSIDE of your springform pan with tin foil, to prevent leakage. Set batter filled pan inside a shallow roast pan or baker, that has a few inches of water in it, then just follow cheesecake directions. These 2 methods are old fashioned but fool proof! It’s worth the little extra steps too.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Terri:
      I have not used a water bath for this particular recipe but I would love to know the results if you do try it for my cheesecake recipe. I would love to share the results with my viewers.

  68. Tiffany says:

    I was looking for a way to adapt this to pumpkin….I will try the original soon, as I have been looking for a recipe that doesn’t come out like a sweetened pasty cheese stuck to your throat that requires a glass of water to swallow, lol. I succeeded in looking at pumpkin recipe’s similar to your ingredients, and used slight adjustments in both to achieve an airy, excellent pumpkin cheesecake (didn’t want to alter yours, but it came out great). I added a can of pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg after whipping the cream cheese (oh I added a third one, maybe because of the addition of pumpkin idk, sugar, vanilla and egg yolks, I also reduced the sour cream to under 1/2 C, omitted the lemon juice (because of the pumpkin), and used cream instead of milk, same amount. I gently folded in the egg whites, baked on 300 in a water bath for 1hr 45mins, turned off, opened door(house has no drafts in kitchen)for few minutes, closed and sat for over an hour, then completely cooled on counter, ran knife around edges didn’t take edge off, covered and refrigerated over night (at least 8 hrs). Not only did it look and taste great, my boyfriend was shocked at how fluffy and the delicate softness of the texture , heavenly, just what I was looking for! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Even though altered, had to be w/addition of pumpkin ?, it still came from your basic cheesecake, I also only used Kraft and a sour cream that is “real” with no extras, like Daisy, as others put gelatins, etc to make up for consistency. I used the water bath because I’m accustomed to it, and pumpkin one did,didn’t think it would hurt and didn’t, when I make the original, I won’t, I’m sure it will be just as heavenly.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Tiffany:
      Thanks for sharing your ideas on how to make my original cheesecake into a pumpkin cheesecake. I have received requests for a pumpkin cheesecake recipe which would keep the fluffy and light version of my recipe and I will share your ideas with them. So glad it turned out so perfect. Let me know how you like the original

  69. Lizette says:

    Hello Mary,

    I just have one question: can I use a different brand of sour cream? I live in the Philippines and I’m pretty sure we don’t have that particular sour cream available here. I plan to make this when I’ve gathered all my ingredients (cream cheese is quite expensive here). Thank you!

    Have a happy Halloween!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Lizette:
      Thanks for your question. Just read the label on the sour cream carefully and make sure there are no added ingredients such as gelatin. I know Daisy, Friendship, and Breakstone brands are free of added ingredients. If you are new to baking a cheesecake please read the Helpful Suggestions on my blog carefully. Good luck and Happy Halloween to you.

  70. Lucy says:

    truly wonderful recipe.. everyone who tried it loved it!

  71. Phia says:

    I can’t wait to share this to you Ms. Mary..I tried baking this almost 3 hours ago and it’s so beautiful! Perfect in anyway, the smell..the fluffiness…really perfect! I’m so happy to try this recipe and I can’t wait to tell this to you..It came out so perfect that I’m so happy singing and dancing in my kitchen!! But of course I haven’t tasted it yet, it’s still chilling right now and will be served tomorrow in our family gathering. Even though, the smell of it is already talking to me! Thank you so much for a very wonderful recipe Ms. Mary, you’re such a very generous lady!My problem now is what to put on top of it..it seems everything will goes well with it!God Bless Ms. Mary, Happy New Year to you and to your family!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment and I want to wish you and your family a very Happy, Health New Year. Wait till you taste this cake. It’s scrumptious. I like putting a fruit puree on top and then sprinkle with powdered suger or just plain, it’s marvelous. I would love to hear from you after you and your family taste this airy cheesecake. God Bless and enjoy!

  72. Phia says:

    Hi Ms Mary,the cheesecake was a big big hit in our gathering! i topped it with cherry pie filling and it was so gorgeous! I can’t thank you enough for the recipe. Everyone was so surprise that I made it, they thought it was store bought!They say it was even better. Thank you so much! Your really a Cheesecake Fairy Ms. Mary!
    Thank you so much! God Bless!

  73. Nick says:

    Mary,
    I’ve been using this recipe for more than a year. I make 1-2 cheesecakes a month for people at work. It is always a total smash hit. I use this as a base recipe and add different ingredients for different flavors of cheesecake. Cakes I’ve made with this recipe:

    Peppermint
    Lemon
    Key Lime
    Caramel
    Cherry
    Red Velvet
    Turtle

    I have a couple suggestions that I have learned over the last year to get the perfect cake:

    After you turn the oven off to let the cake cool wait 15 minutes and then take the cake out. Use a HOT WET paring knife to gently cut the cake from the edges of the pan before the cake cools. This will allow the cake to shrink while it cools but since it is no longer stuck to the sides of the pan it WONT GET ANY CRACKS in it.

    This cake decorates really nicely with whipped cream as frosting. Use any flavor INSTANT PUDDING in the heavy whipping cream as a stablizer, about 1/3 package for a pint of cream. If you don’t use a stablizer the whipped cream will not be whipped after a few hours I usually pick a pudding flavor to compliment the cake I am making. Then use a pastry bag to decorate the cake.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Nick:

      Thanks for adding your suggestions to my cheesecake recipe. I will post your suggestions and I plan to try them also. Happy baking.

  74. Violetta says:

    Dear Mary.

    I was sso excited to find your recipe I have been looking for this particular recipe for a very long time. After an hour of baking I inserted the tooth pick, it came out clean, The cake looked beautiful! However an hour later when I opened the door to remove it, the center had collapsed. My oven seem to be to temp for the baking…Any idea why this happened.. I do intend to try it again!

    Violetta

    • Mary says:

      Hi Violetta:

      I have heard from others saying the cake collapsed. Please read ALL the helpful suggestions on my blog for the cheesecake. I recently received a comment about the method they used in baking the perfect cake. It is the last comment made on the post for cheesecake. Hope it works for you. Happy baking and please try again and let me know how it comes out.

  75. Tom says:

    I read all of your comments and made sure I did everything EXACTLY as you said. I even bought a thermometer for inside the oven(good thing because my oven was off by 15 degrees). I used an unthreaded non stick springform pan. I bought all name brand ingredients and I baked at 300 for 1 hour and 15 mins. I kept the door shut the whole time and let it sit for 1 hour after baking. I whipped the egg whites until they formed peaks like your video. I put it in the fridge to cool over night. First of all it burnt a little on the top and sides and there was a huge crack down the middle. When I took a bite it was WAY too airy and fluffy. Don’t get me wrong, I was trying to make a fluffy cheesecake(the way my local cheesecake shop makes them)but this was TOO fluffy. Next problem was that it was very bland. I have ate a lot of cheesecake in my lifetime and this didn’t even taste much like cheesecake. Maybe it needs more sugar and maybe I need to stir the egg whites instead of folding into mix. Not sure, but a few of my friends tried it and none of them thought it was good. There’s nothing I could of done different. I followed everything step by step to a tee!!

  76. Jessica says:

    I tried this recipe out today and I’m happy to report that it was a huge success! The taste was wonderful and I amazed everybody by how fluffy it was! Thank you so much for sharing your Grandmother’s recipe :)

  77. Patricia says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe! I have been looking for something like this for a long time as it reminds me of my childhood- A light,fluffy cheesecake. My mom passed away unexpectedly a couple years ago and took the recipe with her as she never wrote it down. I watched her many times making it but she wouldnt share the exact secret and said she would let me in on it when I was old enough to know. I am baking your recipe now and it is settling in the oven and looks PERFECT! She always put full or halved fresh strawberries mixed with a strawberry glaze on the top of the cheesecake and it was always a holiday part hit!! I cant wait to see if it comes out even half as good as my Moms. The glazed strawberries are waiting!!!

    Thanks again!!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Patricia:
      Can’t wait to hear from you after you serve the cheesecake. I hope it will meet your expectations and be the recipe your Mom had made. Look forward to hearing from you again.

  78. Priti says:

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!

  79. Renee says:

    Mary,

    I tried your recipe and I wanted to thank you. . .it was awesome. I read all the blogs on peoples expectations so I got a perfect light & fluffy cheesecake. I also did my own slight variation by placing my cheesecake in a very shallow water bath and by the time I pulled it from the oven 2hrs & 15mins later it was a work of art. I served it to my husbands family with some raspberry preserves and they loved it. Thank you again for your recipe : )

    • Mary says:

      Hi Renee:
      Thanks for the comment and so happy to hear you had a “work of art”. Did you bake the cheesecake for a total of 2 hrs. and 15 mins. or did you bake it for the 1 hr. and 15 mins. and then left it in the oven with the oven turned off for an additional hour? Your reply will help others who want to try the water bath method.

  80. Sandy says:

    I made Mary’s light and fluffy cheesecake yesterday and blogged about it today here (http://teacuplane-sandy.blogspot.com/2012/04/light-fluffy-cheesecake.html).

    It was easy to make with my Kitchen Aid mixer just as Mary said. Next time I’ll make sure the toothpick is completely clean when I take it out of the oven. The only change I would make is to add some lemon zest in addition to the lemon juice in the recipe and add a tiny bit more sugar to just make it a tiny bit sweeter.

    Thanks Mary – good recipe and loved your videos!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Sandy:

      Thanks for the lovely comment and for posting my recipe on your Blog. Remember this cheesecake freezes very well. I freeze mine in individual slices, wrap in foil, and thaw in refrigerator when ready to serve.

  81. Joyce says:

    Hi Mary,

    I am in the process of expanding my cake repertiore and the few reviews and feedbacks I read have got me interested in your recipe.
    Want you opinion – Do you think this cheesecake filling would be good in an Apple Crumble Cheese Cake?
    I would use my own shortbread base recipe and the apples will have a slight hint of ginger….yet to research the crumble but probably will adapt shortbread recipe

  82. K rybak says:

    It’s in the oven!!!! We’re really excited to try it!!!

  83. Liz says:

    Hello Mary,
    I am so happy to find this recipe. It is very similar to a seacret family recipe that I have but misplaced. So I am excited to try yours and see if it also tastes similar. I plan to searve it with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream as I did my old recipe. Will let you know how it turns out. Thanks so much for sharing; it is a very unique style of cheese cake.

  84. Linda says:

    What type of milk do you use (whole, 2%, etc.)? Have you ever used heavy cream?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Linda:
      I use whole milk in this recipe but never heavy cream. Hopefully, I will be posting more family recipes. Thanks for asking.

  85. Tasha says:

    Delicious!!! Thank you so much for the recipe, everyone loves it, I’m baking a third one right now and that’s in only a week!!! The best cheesecake we’ve ever had!

  86. firda says:

    hi,

    what can i use to subtitude the sour cream.

  87. Jackie says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful delicious cheesecake recipe. My family raved about how good it tasted. Thank You Mary for sharing family recipe your recipe made Christmas dessert fantastic.

    I’m sorry to hear of Aunt Mary’s passing.Thanks again,Jackie

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jackie:

      So happy to hear this recipe worked so well for you and that it was a big hit for Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  88. Baking dad says:

    LOVE this recipe. I have been using it for about a year now, it is st party’s day and work and wife have asked for me to make a mint cheesecake. I am not too fond of mint flavoring. So here is my idea and I would like your thoughts please. 1/3 cup creme de menthe, 3 cream cheese pkgs, 1/2c sour cream, 6 eggs, 1-1/4 c sugar, 1/4 c milk. I want to have a choc swirl too, so will add melted choc chips after egg whites then swirl. And will use thin mint cookie crust. Dropping lemon juice and part of sour cream as I am concerned about too much liquid.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Mary says:

      Hi:

      I cannot vouch for your additional ingredients will affect the texture of this recipe which is the main objective of a light and fluffy cheesecake. But as all cooks know, it is worth experimenting and finding a new and better method. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

  89. Michelle says:

    Mary, wondering if I can make this cheesecake in a mini cheesecake pan since the mixture cooks higher and lighter than other cheesecake recipes? I will probably test it out, but was curious if you had ever tried this route and had any tips.

  90. Angel says:

    Hi Mary,

    I wanted to try out your cheesecake for my husbands birthday. He loves cheesecake. I had a few doubts abt the texture. Is its texture similar to the cheesecake factory cheesecake? Light, fluffy and creamy? I was going for that. I dint want it to have a spongy or cakey texture..

  91. Eric H says:

    This cake looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it. I like all kinds of cheesecakes but I really want the light and fluffy texture. I was wondering how this could be tweaked to make a pumpkin cheesecake. Any ideas?

    • Mary says:

      I have not made this cheesecake with pumpkin so I recommend you carefully check the ingredients in a pumpkin cheesecake and this recipe and see where you can add or substitute canned pumpkin.

  92. Catherine says:

    Hi, Mary,
    Thanks for sharing this recipe.
    The texture is light and velvety!
    I used graham cracker crumb but the crust turned out kind of soggy. Maybe I will pre-bake the crust next time.
    My friends all enjoyed it. Thank you!

  93. Sandy says:

    This is very similar to the recipe I have been looking for that my mother used to make. In hers, we used a purchased graham cracker pie crust…I’m wondering if it was maybe less eggs or what. I am not a cheesecake fan, but absolutely love this one IF I can figure out how to make it a bit smaller.
    Thank you for the recipe.

    • Mary says:

      It must be baked in a springform pan and you can find a smaller size than the one I used. I would just divide the ingredients in half but follow all the rest of the methods for baking. Happy Holidays and Enjoy!

  94. ROSE says:

    I just made your cheesecake receipt only different I used graham cracker pie crust 9 oz and cut receipt in half and it came out perfect. It is delicious and I will now always use your receipt. Cheesecake is my favorite and I have my own receipt but I always wanted it a little more fluffy and yours get the perfect results. Thank you and Happy Holidays!!!

    • Mary says:

      So happy to hear this recipe turned out so well for you. I am glad to know that cutting the recipe in half still gives the same fluffy texture. Happy Holidays to you and yours. Enjoy!

  95. Naomi Dene says:

    I am 79 years old and have been searching for a recipe like this since I was about 19 years old. I had a piece of cheesecake to die for in a hotel in Seattle. This sounds like it could be it and I’m anxious to try it. The only thing it was a very strong lemon flavor with lemon zest. I will probably add the zest.
    Thank You so much . I plan to make it this week.

    • Mary says:

      Hope this is the recipe you are looking for. Do add the lemon zest and maybe a little more lemon juice as this has a light taste of lemon. Please let me know how this turns out for you. Enjoy and Happy Holidays.

  96. Joy says:

    Hi Mary,

    You’re so nice and open-minded to share your recipe with everyone , thank you so much for this.But I still have below questions hoping you could help clarify.

    For the silver springform pan , is it that kind of Aluminum spring form pan ?

    BTW, no need to put any water in the oven while baking ?

    And do you have the picture for cutting your cheesecake ? I’d like to see the texture.

  97. Anna G. says:

    I have now made this cake twice, though with my own crust recipe (they had to be gluten free), and everyone loved them at both parties I took them too. The flavor is fantastic and I love how light it is! Thank you for sharing!

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