Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Easy Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe

Cheesecake is one of those desserts that never fails to wow people, yet many novice bakers are apprehensive about taking cheesecake on as it is believed to be so difficult to make. This is not the case; in fact as far as baking goes, cheesecake is actually quite easy, it just takes time. To show you just how easy it is, I've provided a step by step with photos.

There are a plethora of cheesecake varieties out there, with perhaps the most famous being the New York Style, but I'll save that for another day. Today we're going to tackle the age-old traditional vanilla cheesecake.

First up you will need a pie crust. Store bought pie crusts work fine, but if you're like me, you'll want to make it from scratch. I've played around with a variety of different ingredients for the crust, and one of my favourite things to throw in there are Hob Nob biscuits. The oats in the biscuits add a lovely crunch to the crust, so if you  happen upon Hob Nobs, grab a pack!

So here's what you'll need for the crust: 

  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled biscuits (or flour if you prefer - if using flour, add 2 - 3 tbsp of sugar to the crust)
  • 6 tbsp of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon. 

*Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, 190 Celsius*

Start off with your biscuits. I chose plain old vanilla tea biscuits for this recipe, but depending on your taste preferences you can choose a wide variety. Play around with it and find what suits you best!

Next up you have to crumble the biscuits into fine crumbs. You can use a food processor, or you can use one of my favourite stress busters. Stick your biscuits into a Ziplock bag, and using a rolling pin roll them out and crush them into crumbs.

It should end up looking like this: 

Add one teaspoon of cinnamon to your crust mix. 

Throw in your melted butter on top of it all, and mix well. 

The end consistency should be one of soggy crumbs. Not too wet that they clump together, but not too dry that you cannot get them to stick.

Finally, in an 8 inch pie dish, mold your crumbs into a pie crust like this: 

 Bake your crust in the oven for about 8-10 minutes until it's slightly golden. Remove and let it cool.

Next up is the cheesecake part. Here's what you'll need for this: 

  • 300 - 500 grams (3/4 - 1 lb) of softened cream cheese (the more cream cheese you add, the more solid your pie filling will be. For this pie I used 300 grams of cream cheese, and the final result was the consistency of cream cheese pudding. Delicious! But for first time bakers of cheese cake, go with 500 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 large eggs
Here's a tip I have found ever so useful. I always thought it had to be Philadelphia cream cheese in the recipe to get the perfect cheesecake. Not so. Philadelphia in Egypt is outrageously expensive, making the overhead costs of just one cheesecake topping out at around 20 dollars. Fortunately, Kiri Cheese is a perfect alternative. Make sure you leave your cheese out before cooking to let it soften, it will make the first step much easier for you. 

Combine your cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl. 

Add your vanilla essence. 

Mix well until you have a smooth mixture like this: 

Add your eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly. Make sure you're scraping the sides of your bowl as you go along to really get all the ingredients mixed well.

The end mixture should look something like this: 

Add the cheesecake mix to your cooled pie crust, and throw it in the oven for about 30 - 40 minutes. You want it to be solid, but still wobbly in the center. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and let cool. Refrigerate from 12-24 hours. Serve on its own, or with whipped cream as a topping, or really whatever you want!

Here's the final product! 

Bon Appetit! :D


  1. Hi,

    This is a fantastic recipe, and great fun to make with the kids. Thanks so much for posting it!

    All the best, Alex

  2. Hi! I am in Hurghada as well.. may I ask, where you get your vanilla essence?

  3. Hey Chloe :) You can't actually find proper vanilla essence anywhere in Egypt because of the alcohol in it. I bring mine from overseas, but you can find vanilla powder here which works just as well. It's in the same section as the baking powder and flour. Happy baking!

  4. I'm going to make this recipe for the first time so keep your fingers crossed for me! :)

  5. Did you use both packages of the cream cheese?