Traditional New York cheesecake recipe - perfect for all the family

This classic New York cheesecake is the ultimate American dessert - Getty images
This classic New York cheesecake is the ultimate American dessert - Getty images

Who doesn't love a slice of New York cheesecake? Served with no fruit, chocolate or caramel, this smooth-tasting cake is loved by New Yorkers and dessert-lovers all over the world. 

German Arnold Reuben is credited with coming up with the dish in the 1920s - although there are reports of cakes made of cheese dating back to ancient Greece. 

Reuben moved to America when he was young and apparently began experimenting after being served a cheese pie at a dinner party. He began serving it in his New York restaurant and the rest is history.

Here's a traditional recipe by Moyra Fraser.




For the base

  • 3oz/85g digestive biscuits, crushed

  • 1.5oz/45g butter, melted

  • 1oz/30g demerara sugar

For the cheesecake

  • 2oz/55g butter, softened

  • 6oz/170g caster sugar

  • 1 lb/450g full-fat soft cheese

  • 1oz/30g cornflour

  • Few drops vanilla extract

  • Finely grated rind 2 lemons

  • 3 large eggs, separated

  • 5fl oz/125ml carton soured cream


Lightly grease a 9in/23cm loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper. Beat together all the ingredients for the base and press over the bottom of the tin. Chill for 10- 15 minutes while you make the cheesecake mixture.

Put the butter, sugar, cheese, cornflour, vanilla extract, lemon rind and egg yolks into a large bowl and beat together until completely smooth, then fold in the soured cream.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff then fold into the mixture using a large metal spoon. Pour on to the chilled base and bake at 325F/160C/gas mark 3 for about 1 hour or until lightly set.

Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake inside for a further hour to cool. Then open the oven door and allow the cheesecake to stand and cool completely for a further hour. Chill and serve in wedges.

Traditional desserts | Read more
Traditional desserts | Read more
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