My friend Stephanie (who is a co-founder of this amazing non-profit in Portland, Oregon) has been telling me for ages about her awesome cheesecake recipe. She emailed it to me months ago and I never made it, mostly because I had lost half of my spring form pan.

So, this weekend, during Steph’s visit to Chicago, we got down to business by buying a new pan and making her cheesecake. I have not been much of a cheesecake fan in the past which was always a confusing mystery because I LOVE cheese danishes, cream cheese fillings and less sweet desserts. This past weekend, the mystery was solved. Rarely had I eaten really wonderful cheesecake. Restaurant and bakery offerings are usually too cold, too hard and too old. Sinking my teeth into this fresh, light delicacy was a whole different story.

Not having tried any other cheesecake recipes, I can only guess at what makes this one so special. I suspect it is the long whipping time, which makes for a light, fluffy cheesecake and the sour cream topping that is baked on at the end. Steph’s Scrumptious Cheesecake will be a regular fixture in my baking repertoire… as long as I can keep track of this new spring form pan.

Steph’s Scrumptious Cheesecake
24 oz cream cheese
4 eggs
1 3/4 c sugar
1 t vanilla
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
1 T brown sugar
1 pint sour cream

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, the stick of melted butter and
brown sugar. Press into a 9-10″ springform pan, pushing about an inch
of the mixture up the sides of the pan. Set aside. Mix together the
cream cheese, eggs, 1 cup of the sugar and vanilla in a large mixing
bowl or in your stand mixer bowl. Beat for no fewer than 20 minutes.
(This is important. I, who do not have a stand mixer, move my hand
mixer from left hand to right as I read magazines. – Steph)

Pour filling into pan and bake for 40 minutes at 325. Cool in oven for
35 minutes with door open; you’ll notice the filling gel.


For the topping, beat together the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and the
sour cream for no less than 10 minutes. (Don’t scrimp here on the time
you spend with the topping either; it gets fluffier the longer you
beat.) Pour over cooled cake and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool cake completely before slicing and serving.

Note: I used a 9 inch pan and had to adjust cooking times. It definitely needed a good 10+ minutes more. You can tell that the cheese layer is done as the top will be lightly browned. It will continue to cook as it sits in the open oven. The topping should be set when it is done. It will also continue to firm up a bit while cooling.

Find a list of baking tips here.