Recipe Review

Forget All Other Cheesecake Recipes. This Is the ONLY One You Need.

updated Feb 25, 2021
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Credit: Kelli Foster

Despite the fact that I don’t care much for cream cheese on its own, I really love cheesecake. It’s pretty much the perfect dessert: exceptionally creamy with just the right amount of tang. But to be honest, I rarely make it at home. My past attempts have always turned out too dense and or too dry — and I’ve never been able to avoid the dreaded crack across the top.

But recently Kitchn’s Social Media Editor, Andrea, has been raving about a recipe she tried from the blog Baker by Nature, describing it as “literally perfect.” I scanned the comments on the recipe to see what others had to say, and the reviews were just as glowing: “sensational,” “amazing,” “delicious.” Several commenters also noted that they used this recipe for their first attempt at cheesecake, and it was a breeze. To top it all off, it was also Baker by Nature’s most popular recipe last year. Needless to say, I needed to give it a try.

Credit: Kelli Foster

How to Make Baker by Nature’s Extra Rich and Creamy Cheesecake

Before getting started on the crust or the filling, you’ll prepare a 9-inch springform pan by spraying the inside with nonstick cooking spray and wrapping the bottom and sides with several layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

To make the crust, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl until combined, then firmly press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 8 minutes in a 350ºF oven, then set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling, use a high-powered blender, food processor, stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or very large bowl with an electric hand held mixer to beat five blocks of room-temperature cream cheese until completely smooth. Beat in sugar and vanilla extract, followed by room temperature eggs and egg yolks (added one at a time), and finally the heavy cream. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth the top with a spatula.

Place the cheesecake in a large, deep pan (like a roasting pan) and fill the pan with two inches of hot water. Bake the cheesecake for 70 minutes. Turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake inside (with the oven door closed) for 35 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Gently run a knife around the edge. Cool completely, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.

Credit: Kelli Foster

My Honest Review of Baker by Nature’s Cheesecake

I’m going to cut right to the chase: This cheesecake is absolutely unbelievable, and perhaps the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted.

What makes this recipe stand out so much is that it’s just so eat-able and well-balanced. It has an exceptionally smooth and creamy texture, plus a just-sweet-enough flavor, with a hint of vanilla that kept me coming back for more. While normally a few bites is all the cheesecake I can handle, this one is an entirely different story. It’s so light and balanced (which still being rich, as its name suggests) that gobbling up a big slice was far too easy.

The cheesecake was also very easy to make. Even pouring the hot water into the pan for the water bath was much easier than I expected. What I was not prepared for, however, was lifting the whole thing into the oven. Oh my gosh that thing was heavy! There’s the weight of the roasting pan, the weight of the water, and the weight of the cheesecake. Plus, I was making sure not to spill any of the cheesecake batter (which was filled to the brim) out of the pan, or slosh any water onto the cheesecake or the floor. Next time, I’ll either place the unbaked cheesecake in the large pan, place it on the oven rack, and then add the water, or I’ll add about one inch of water to the pan (it will rise after the cheesecake is added), place it in the oven, and then add the cheesecake.

Credit: Kelli Foster

If You Make Baker by Nature’s Cheesecake, a Few Tips

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Before preheating the oven, make sure your oven rack isn’t too close to the top of the oven. This will save you from having to re-position it while the oven is hot.
  2. If starting with graham crackers, buy a 14.4-ounce box. This will be just enough to yield two cups of crumbs.
  3. Opt for a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. Although I like that the recipe offers several options for mixing the batter, I found both a 9-cup food processor and high-speed blender weren’t quite large enough. I would highly recommend using a mixer.
  4. If using a hand mixer, use a bigger bowl than you think you need. Using your biggest bowl will ensure none of the batter spills over the sides.
  5. Give yourself plenty of time. This is not a dessert you’ll make in the afternoon and eat in the evening. From softening the cream cheese to baking, cooling, and chilling, cheesecake is a time-intensive dessert, so plan for it to take at least a few days.

Have you tried Baker by Nature’s cheesecake recipe? Tell us what you thought!

Credit: Kitchn