To read about the connections that make cheesecake a longstanding custom for Shavuot, see our article here.
Here’s a classic recipe for a delicious homemade cheesecake:
Ingredients for the crust:
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Ingredients for the filling:
- 4 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar for the crust. Stir until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform pan, creating an even crust layer. Place it in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until smooth and creamy. You can use an electric mixer or do it by hand.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and flour until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Gently fold in the sour cream until it’s fully incorporated into the mixture.
- Take the crust out of the refrigerator and pour the filling on top of it. Smooth out the surface with a spatula.
- Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly. The cheesecake will continue to set as it cools.
- Once the cheesecake is done baking, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door slightly ajar for about 1 hour. This gradual cooling helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
- Before serving, you can optionally decorate the top of the cheesecake with fresh berries, whipped cream, or a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
Enjoy your homemade cheesecake whether you’re hosting for Shavuot or just celebrating at home!