This Vanilla Cheesecake is super creamy and not as heavy as traditional baked cheesecake thanks to a good dose of sour cream -- it's soft and luscious and perfect with fresh berries!
- 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 (8 oz) packages light (or regular) cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- 3 cups light sour cream (I used 5%) or 0% plain Greek yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease a 9" Springform pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press into the prepared pan and up the sides about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm no longer moist. When done, reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, prepare your filling. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until smooth.
- Add sour cream and beat on low until combined.
- Pour into crust and smooth the top. Bake at 275 degrees F for about 2 hours or until the outer 2 inches are set but the center is still jiggly.
- Turn off the oven and let sit in the warm oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before carefully running a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. Let cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge completely, then remove from the pan and serve.
- Baked cheesecakes store perfectly in the fridge for a few days, and the freeze wonderfully as well!