Cheesecake 3 Ways: Classic, New York, Ricotta

Brooke Newberry
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One of the most important things in life is cheesecake.  Forever a crowd pleaser that can be trussed up or simplified – cheesecake is always satisfying and is the perfect canvas for any flavor craving.  Flavor profiles change by season and cultural origin, but one ingredient is constant: soft cheese. 

The major ingredients in almost all cheesecakes are soft cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, egg yolks, whole eggs, and sometimes heavy cream or sour cream. The proportions of these ingredients are what determine the taste (buttery-sweet or tangy) and texture (custard-like, airy and fluffy, or dense).  Lovely no-baked and crustless variations also exist.  Find your cheesecake personality and bake up these three classics below.

The Classic American

Classically made with good ole American Philadelphia Brand cream cheese and a graham cracker crust, this cheesecake is the richest and thickest of the bunch.  Classic cheesecake is the slate for seasonal flavors and can host a variety of conceptual crusts.  Bake up this rich, classic cheesecake recipe.


New York Style

New York-style cheesecake is a super creamy, tangy version of the original and uses heavy cream or sour cream as part of its base.  The addition of sour cream allows the cheesecake to freeze more efficiently.  If you buy a frozen cheesecake at the store, it is most likely made in New York Style. 

Sometimes we also see a sour cream topping for NY Styles.  A mixture of sour cream, sugar, and vanilla tops the finished, cooked cheesecake, and then it is baked again for a short time.

These cheesecakes are usually baked starting with a high temperature that’s quickly dropped down, producing a rich interior and light brown exterior.

Archive this silken, tangy recipe.



Ricotta is an Italian whey cheese made from sheep’s milk whey left over from the production of cheese.  Ricotta cheesecakes are often crustless and are less dense than other cheesecakes.  For another Italian-style cheesecake, try baking a mascarpone cheesecake for a sweet and slightly tart variation.

Try this recipe for a crustless, custard-like ricotta cheesecake.

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