There are many ways to make a cheesecake, and I won’t deny that I’m partial the super easy, no-bake varieties, myself. But sometimes you want to go the old-fashioned route to get that traditional flavor and texture with which everyone is familiar. It’s totally worth it.
I adapted this recipe from the Perfect Cheesecake recipe over at Simply Recipes, but added some orange flavor, swapped the sour cream for Greek yogurt, and tweaked a few more things in the name of a less caloriffic and sugary dessert. Don’t worry, though, there’s still lots of rich and creamy ingredients keeping this baby in the yummy splurge column.
I recently posted some sparkly sugared cranberries that are awesome for drink garnishes, dessert toppings, and just for popping in your mouth. They’re tart and sweet and I thought they’d be such a good foil for the orange essence in this cheesecake. I also just love fruit alongside my cheesecake, to cut the richness a bit.
The trick to this way of making a cheesecake is the bain-marie, or water bath. This allows the cheesecake to cook slowly and evenly preventing as much cracking as possible (though mine is proof that even a water bath can only do so much!). And if it does crack — so be it, it’s still heading for tummy highway either way.
Just make sure to treat the aluminum foil with kid gloves so it doesn’t rip and let water into your cheesecake while it cooks.
- 3 cups of Graham cracker crumbs
- 3 Tbsp sugar or sugar substitute
- Pinch salt
- 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 32 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar or sugar substitute
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- Pinch of salt
- Place a large square of aluminum foil on a flat surface and place a 9-inch springform pan in the center. Fold up the sides of the foil around the pan gently so that no water leaks in. Repeat with another sheet of foil.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Crush the Graham crackers in a food processor until ground into crumbs. Put in a large bowl with sugar and salt and stir well.
- Press the Graham cracker mixture into the springform pan in an even layer that rises up the side of the pan.
- Once the crust is firmly packed in, place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes until smooth.
- Add the sugar, beat for 4 minutes more.
- Add the salt, orange extract, and vanilla extract, beating continuously and scraping down the sides of the bowl often.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.
- Add the Greek yogurt and beat until incorporated.
- Add the heavy cream, beating until incorporated.
- Place the foil-wrapped springform pan in a large, high-sided roasting pan.
- Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula if needed.
- Boil 2 quarts of water separately and place the roasting pan into the oven.
- Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan to create a water bath, being careful not to splash any water on the cheesecake.
- Cook at 325°F for 1 1/2 hours.
- Turn off the heat of the oven. Crack open the oven door about 1-inch, and let the cake cool in the oven for another hour. This should help prevent any cracking, but there's no guarantee.
- Cover the top of the cheesecake with foil and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.
If you make this recipe, share a photo and hashtag it #BIJOUXANDBITS. I’d love to see what you’re cooking!