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classic cheesecake recipe with easy cherry topping

Granny's Homemade Cheesecake Recipe with Cherry Topping

Granny's Homemade Cheesecake with a sweet cherry topping is a super rich classic step-by-step dessert recipe that turns out perfectly every time. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs
Servings 16 slices
Calories 512



  • 10 ounces graham cracker crumbs (about 2 ½ cups)
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)


  • 24 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs (whole)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice

cherry topping:

  • 4 cups bing cherries (frozen or fresh)
  • 4 tbsp sugar


To make the crust:

  • Prepare 9" spring form pan by lining bottom with a 9 inch parchment round. Use two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil to line the bottom of your spring form pan.
  • To make the graham cracker crumbs, pulse in food processor until you only see fine crumbs, about 1 minute.
  • Thoroughly combine crumbs with sugar and melted butter. Use the bottom of a glass  to press an even layer firmly into bottom of pan. 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 8-9 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

To make the cheesecake filling:

  • In a stand mixer bowl, beat cream cheese on medium high speed with the paddle attachment until completely smooth and fluffy, scraping occasionally, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and cream mixture until well combined. Scrape again and be sure to scrape entire bowl to release any cream cheese that is stuck.
  • Add whole eggs and egg yolks. Mix until combined. Scrape bowl again to release everything that is sticking.
  • In a separate bowl mix cornstarch, salt, vanilla extract, heavy cream and lemon juice. Stir very well to get any and all cornstarch lumps out. Combine well with the cream cheese mixture. 

To bake cheesecake:

  • Maintain oven temperature of 350 degrees F. Pour cheesecake batter onto crust in the parchment lined spring form pan.
  • Set foil lined pan on baking sheet or large casserole dish and fill baking sheet with enough water so that it is about ¾ inch deep. This water bath will help prevent cracking.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce heat to 275 degrees F and bake and additional 90 minutes or so until the top starts to turn golden brown. The edges should be set and the center should be slightly jiggly but not liquid. Turn off oven, open the oven door to let in cold air, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 60 minutes. This will help prevent the cake from cracking and the cake will remain creamy. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and allow it to cool to room temperature. 
  • Cover the cake with plastic wrap and chill at least 12 hours or overnight before removing from spring form pan.

To make the cherry topping:

  • Combine cherries and sugar in small sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Remove some of the whole cherries and set aside, if desired, or they can all go into the sauce. Cook until slightly thickened while stirring, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Blend sauce until smooth in blender or with immersion blender in pan. Press through fine mesh strainer to create a super smooth sauce and discard solids (or feed them to your chickens like I did). Add reserved whole cherries back into sauce. Allow sauce to fully cool before serving.


Cooking tips:

There are two tricks to ensuring a perfectly cooked homemade temperature:
  1. Be sure to have all cheesecake ingredients at room temperature prior to mixing.
  2. Start off with a very high heat and then reduce the oven temperature without opening the oven door. The high heat is important because it helps the cheesecake set but then the temperature is dropped to cook the entire cheesecake consistently. You don't want to open the oven door because you'll loose all of your heat and don't want the oven ramping back up. Resist the temptation to open the door and peek!
  3. Cheesecakes need moisture to prevent cracking, so a water bath is the ultimate solution. I use the large baking dish I make my Texas Sheet Cake in and fill it with about ¾" water. The aluminum foil covered spring form pan fits in that bath. The added moisture in the oven along with the consistent temperature of the bottom of the pan prevents the cracking.


Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 2070IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 1.6mg