Basic, Creamy Cheesecake

IMG_3834 Top View Full Cheesecake

So far on this blog, I have devoted my posts to cakes – pound cakes, chocolate cake, carrot cake. The list goes on. This week I am sharing with you a cake of a much different sort. In fact this is not even a cake at all. 

IMG_3837 Full Cheesecake Closeup

Cheesecake is one of the most loved desserts. Its creaminess and richness beat most other forms of dessert. Yet, its simplicity lends it well to a wide range of flavorings and condiments. 

IMG_3836 Side View Cheesecake

Cheesecake is not a cake, but rather a custard. A custard, by definition, is a baked dessert created by combining eggs, milk, and sugar. Cheesecake does not generally contain flour, though some recipes may have a small amount. Flour is usually added for stability, though this recipe needs no flour for texture. When it is refrigerated, it firms up to the most perfect cheesecake consistency, holding its shape while melting in your mouth with each indulgent bite.

IMG_3845 Inside of Cheesecake

You may be wondering why this cheesecake is pink.. Well, for Valentine’s Day, I decided to tint it pink and top it with a Nutella glaze and berries. Yum, utter decadence – as Valentine’s Day desserts should be. Make no mistake, though. This cheesecake is absolutely wonderful without any lavish adornments. If, however, you want to tint your cheesecake, a few drops of gel food coloring will do, mixed in when you add the sour cream to the batter.

IMG_3851 Inside of Cake 2

Let’s talk about crust. Graham cracker crusts are the norm for cheesecakes. I have recently started to incorporated nut flours into my baking and cooking. Nut flours are a good source of nutrition. They also serve to flavor dishes quite nicely and easily take the place of bread crumbs, flour, and in this case, graham crackers. My version of cheesecake crust takes its flavorings from almond and cashew flour. Mixed with a little butter and sugar, this crust beats all graham cracker crusts by a mile. This crust melds so perfectly with the creaminess of the cheesecake, that once you try it, you will hesitate to return to any sort of traditional graham cracker crust for your cheesecakes. 

IMG_3841 Closeup of Inside of Cheesecake

IMG_3847 Cheesecake Bite on Fork

Basic, Creamy Cheesecake

Adapted from Blackberry Cheesecake Squares by Ree Drummond
(Yield: one 8″ round cheesecake, about 1″ high. This recipe can be poured into cupcake molds, that have been welled greased, for individual cheesecakes)
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 c sour cream, room temperature
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1 c nut flour (or any combination of nut flours – I used 3/4 c almond flour and 1/4 c cashew flour)
2 T granulated sugar
4 T unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
3/4 c Nutella
1/2 c heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray an 8″ springform pan with non-stick cooking spray and wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil, to prevent leakage. If making individual cheesecakes, prepare the tin in the same way. Unless using smaller springform pans, it is unnecessary to wrap the outside of the individual cheesecake molds with aluminum foil. I like to use mini-, regular-, or jumbo-muffin tins for individual cheesecakes.

To make the crust:

In a bowl, combine the flours, sugar, butter, and salt and mix until it a well incorporated mixture forms.

IMG_3796 Crust Ingredients

IMG_3809 Crust Mixture

Line your springform pan with the crust mixture or equally divide the crust mixture into your individual cupcake molds.

IMG_3810 Ball of Crust

Press down on the mixture until it is well packed.

IMG_3813 Flattening Crust

Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven and let  it cool on your counter.

IMG_3820 Baked Crust

To make the filling:

In the bowl of your stand mixer or using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together for about 3 minutes.

IMG_3800 Cream Cheese & Sugar

Add the eggs one at a time, allowing the batter to become smooth after each addition.

IMG_3804 Cream Cheese, Sugar, Eggs

Next, add the sour cream and vanilla, followed by the salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure the batter is uniform throughout. If you are coloring your cheesecake, now would be the time to add a few drops of gel food coloring to your batter and blend well, to your desired color.

IMG_3807 Batter Done

Pour the filling into your prepared tins with the cooled pre-baked crusts.

IMG_3822 Cheesecake Batter in Pan

Bake in your preheated oven for:

8″ springform pan: 37-40 minutes

individual cupcake molds: 14-22 minutes (depending on the size of your individual cheesecake molds)

until the cheesecake just slightly jiggles in the center, but everything is set and nothing is loose or looks wet. While the cheesecake is baking, you can make your Nutella Glaze.

To make the Nutella Glaze:

Gently heat the cream to lukewarm (about 15 seconds in your microwave). Add the Nutella and whisk until the glaze is of uniform consistency and nice and smooth. Add a splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. Set this aside until you are ready to use it.

IMG_3831 Salt on Nutella Sauce

IMG_3832 Nutella Glaze

Once the cheesecake is baked, turn the oven off, and leave the cheesecake in your oven with the oven door ajar for about 20 minutes.

IMG_3824 Cheesecakes in Oven

Take out the cheesecake and let it rest on your counter until cooled.

IMG_3826 Baked Cheesecake

Once your cheesecake is cooled, pour your Nutella Glaze over the cheesecake and, using an offset spatula, spread the glaze evenly on the top or drizzle on top for a different effect. Then, transfer the cheesecake to the fridge and let it chill and set up. This process will take between 2 1/2 – 3 hours.

IMG_3833 Top View with Fork

Serve your creamy cheesecake cooled, as is, or topped with berries or a dusting of powdered sugar. 

IMG_3853 Top View Half Cheesecake

IMG_3854 Top View Bite Out Cake

IMG_3848 Closeup of Cheesecake on Fork

IMG_3856 Last Bite on Plate

Sweetly ♥ Yours,



  1. Ian Cavett says:

    This is my first time to your site. I was stumbling around the internet looking for a good cheesecake recipe to make my wife for our 12th anniversary this weekend. I love to bake but had not ventured into cheesecakes before and wanted to surprise her. This sounds amazing and will be a great way to end the dinner I am making. Thank you very much and if this is as delicious as it sounds I will be returning for more!

    • Leelabean says:

      I would love to know how it turned out! And congrats on your 12th Anniversary. Wishing you many more to come.

    • Ian Cavett says:

      The whole family loved it! I had to adjust some of the cooking times because I used porcelain ramekins for individual cooking/serving bowls. It worked out really well. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.

    • Leelabean says:

      I am so thrilled that this recipe was a hit on such a special occasion! Thanks for choosing to use one of my recipes for your apecial day..!

  2. cakewhiz says:

    As a kid, i used to hate cheesecakes and would tell my mom not to call them cakes coz they taste nothing like an actual cake…lol. But now… i can’t get enough of cheesecakes and I enjoy trying out different flavors. Your mini cheesecakes are adorable 😀

  3. Dina Sharaf says:

    Wonderful recipe I love cheesecakes and I love Nutella, combining them together mskes the world a better place
    Thank you for such a great recipe

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