A couple of weeks ago my friend Anne posted photos of a slice of New York Style cheesecake she had for dinner one night and the next day for breakfast and then for lunch.  Yes, the same piece.  It looked delicious and decadent.  Rich, dense and yes, huge, it screamed this is New York baby.

And because of her post I have had cheesecake on the brain.  I haven’t made cheesecake in a long time. Not because I don’t like cheesecake, on the contrary, I love cheesecake and therein lies the dilemma. Cheesecake is the Alfredo of desserts and it has a magnetic attraction to my hips, really.  But last weekend was a special occasion and the perfect reason to make one, my Mom’s 93rd birthday, and if you can’t have cheesecake then, when can you?

As much as I love New York style cheesecake my go to recipe is one from the Los Angeles Times. As New York style cheesecake reflects Gotham City’s personality, this recipe epitomizes Los Angeles, smooth and creamy, light and airy and absolutely delicious.


My favorite part of this cheesecake is the sour cream topping, it accentuates the creaminess and lightness of the cake.  Along the way I have tweaked the recipe by adding a lemon berry sauce (which  takes it to the “holy cow!” level) and replacing part of the graham cracker crumbs with chopped pecans to add crunch to the crust.  So good….

The recipe calls for beating the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes creating a light and foamy mixture.  Having the cream cheese at room temperature helps when blending it in with the beaten eggs and yet the mixture can still be pretty lumpy.  So after beating the eggs and cream cheese I use a hand blender to smooth out the batter.  In place of the brandy I have used Grand Marnier or Amaretto for the liqueur, both equally tasty.  Pecans can be replaced by almonds or walnuts in the crust.  If you love cheesecake, and who doesn’t….make this one.

Classic Cheesecake


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/3 cup butter, melted
  • Replace 1/2 cup of graham crackers with finely chopped pecans or almonds
  • Filling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 8 ounce cream cheese-softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • Sour cream topping
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 6 T sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • Lemon Blueberry Sauce
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen blueberries or mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel


  • Place crumbs in bowl and add 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon,stir in butter.
  • Lightly butter 8 inch springform pan bottom and sides.
  • Sprinkle crumbs on bottom of pan-press down. Press crumbs on sides and bottom of pan.
  • Work around sides with fingers to make crumbs of even height.
  • Bake crust at 350 degrees 7-10 minutes until brown on sides. Remove from oven.
  • To make the filling.
  • Beat eggs until light, then add 1/2 cup sugar and beat 5 minutes. Add cream cheese, vanilla, liqueur and mix well. If still lumpy, smooth batter using a hand blender or food processor.
  • Turn into prepared crust, bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool 15 minutes.
  • Pour sour cream topping over and bake at 475 degrees for 5 minutes. Let cheesecake cool before chilling.
  • Chill thoroughly.
  • Sauce:
  • Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Stir over medium heat until cornstarch dissolves. Boil until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until cold.
  • Makes about 2 1/4 cups.
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Thanks for reading, comments welcomed!