For those who always choose vanilla over chocolate, this aptly named cheesecake sits on a buttery vanilla wafer crust and uses both vanilla extract and real vanilla beans in the batter. Be sure to plan ahead – this cheesecake needs at least 6 hours to chill before serving.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this easy-to-make recipe for Very Vanilla Cheesecake.
1. Info for Very Vanilla Cheesecake
- Cook Time: 2 hr
- Total Time: 2 hr
- Servings: 10
- Calories: 418.51 kcal
2. Ingredients for Very Vanilla Cheesecake
- 8 oz. vanilla wafer cookies
- 1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter
- 2 lb. 3oz. brick-style cream cheese (room temperature, divided)
- 1 1/3 cups (262g) granulated sugar (divided)
- 3 vanilla beans (or 2 1/5 Tbsp. vanilla extract, divided)
- 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
- vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- brick-style cream cheese
- granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- vanilla extract
- Fresh berries (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Lightly grease the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan with softened butter.
Cut a circle of parchment paper 9 inches in diameter and lay the circle on the bottom of the spring form pan.
Create four sheets of aluminum foil, each approximately 18 inches long. Lay one sheet of foil over another to create a cross.
Make another foil cross with the remaining two sheets of aluminum foil, and position it at an angle over the first cross, creating a jagged circle.
Place the spring form pan in the center of the foil circle. Pull the edges of the foil up the sides of the pan and tightly secure on the top edges of the pan. Pack the foil closely to the sides of the pan.
Place the vanilla wafers in the bowl of a food processor or high-powered blender. Pulse into fine crumbs.
Transfer the cookie crumbs to a mixing bowl.
Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until melted, 45-60 seconds.
Pour the melted butter over the cookie crumbs. Use a large fork to mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened and hold together when pinched.
Carefully turn the cookie crumb mixture into the spring form pan.
Using a tamper or the bottom of a heavy glass, tightly pack the crumbs into the base of the pan, creating an even crust.
Bake the crust on middle rack of oven until the edges just start to brown, 9-11 minutes.
Remove the crust from oven when done and set aside to cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Place the cream cheese and sugar into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically, for 5 minutes, until the mixture is completely smooth and no lumps remain.
Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a knife, carefully scrape the seeds from the husks. Add the seeds to the mixing bowl. Discard the husks.
Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and salt to the bowl. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until the sour cream is fully incorporated into the cream cheese, 1-2 minutes.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Turn the mixer to the lowest speed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just until no yellow streaks remain. The batter should be the consistency of yogurt, and ivory in color.
Pour the batter into the cooled cookie crust.
Lightly tap the spring form pan on a counter top 4-5 times to release any air bubbles.
Place the spring form pan inside a large roasting pan. Carefully fill the roasting pan with water until it reaches about 3/4 inch up the sides of the spring form pan.
Bake the cheesecake on middle rack of oven until edges are set and center wobbles slightly when shaken, 75-90 minutes. Do not open the oven door while it bakes.
Check to see that cheesecake is done. Add time as needed, and when done, turn off the oven and crack the door open 1-2 inches. Allow the cheesecake to rest in the oven for 1 hour.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven.
Refrigerate the cheesecake for a minimum of 6 hours, preferably overnight.
To unmold the cheesecake, carefully run a butter knife around the inside edges of the pan. Undo the clasp and slowly remove the sides in an upward motion.
Place cream cheese and granulated sugar into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until completely smooth, 2-3 minutes.
Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract to the bowl. Beat on low speed to incorporate the heavy cream into the cream cheese.
Turn the mixer to medium-high speed, and beat until the whipped cream holds stiff peaks, 2-3 minutes. Do not overbeat.
Spread or pipe the whipped cream cheese over the top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Just before serving, garnish the top of the cheesecake with fresh berries, if desired. Slice and serve. Leftover cheesecake may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.