For the Crust
- 12 graham crackers
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted; plus more, room temperature, for pan
- 2 tablespoons sugar
for the Crust
For the Cake
- 3 1/2 pounds (seven 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap exterior of pan (including base) in a double layer of foil.
- To make the crust, process graham crackers in food processor until fine. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Transfer mixture to the pan and pat into an even layer using the bottom of a measuring cup or meat pounder. Freeze the dough in the pan, about 15 minutes. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust is firm to the touch and deeply golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. With mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese; mix until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined; do not over mix.
- Pour cream cheese filling into the prepared pan. Set pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan. Carefully ladle boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of springform pan.
- Bake 45 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue baking until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 30 minutes more. Turn off oven; leave cake in oven with the door slightly ajar, about 1 hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Before unmolding, run a knife around the edge of the cake.
Include a teaspoon of lemon zest to your batter and add another dimension of flavor.