The key to this New York cheesecake is the water bath. If you don’t have a sizeable lasagna-type pan, you can purchase an inexpensive metal one from the grocery store. This is a family favorite and featured in our book, “When Your Heart Finds Its Home.”

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Ilene’s New York Cheesecake

Course: DessertCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




Make 1 day ahead
See below for equipment needed
Total time



9″ spring form pan
1 flat large lasagna-type dish

This is a family favorite and we even included it in our second book, “When Your Heart Finds Its Home” available wherever books are sold.


  • (4) 8-ounce packages of cream cheese

  • (1) 16-ounce container of sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract

  • 5 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1.5 cups sugar

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature, almost liquid state

  • 1 can Comstock cherries in juice (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Combine everything EXCEPT eggs in a standing mixer.
  • When all is combined, add eggs one at a time, slowly until each egg is incorporated
  • Place your empty spring pan into the empty large lasagna pan. This will be your water bath to properly cook the cheesecake. Make sure your spring pan is properly locked with the bottom fitting snugly.
  • Pour the cheese mixture into the spring pan
  • Add enough tap water to just the lasagna pan to come halfway up the side of the spring pan. This is called a water bath. The water will keep the cheesecake moist while baking
  • Cook for about one hour. Keep checking to make sure the top doesn’t get too brown. If it starts to get dark, lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely on the top of the cake. It’s common for the cheesecake to crack a bit on the top, this is normal. It also will rise above the rim of the spring pan but will decrease when it sits to cool.
  • Test the cake before the hour is up. Depending on where you live and your elevation, it sometimes can take another 15 to 30 minutes to achieve a clean toothpick test. Don’t overcook! a little moisture on the toothpick is alright!
  • Carefully remove the lasagna pan from the oven and remove the spring pan from the water bath (with oven mitts) and cool it on a rack on the counter. DO NOT OPEN THE SPRING PAN.
  • When completely cool, cover it completely with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Remove the spring pan when ready to serve. Can serve plain or with a can of Comstock cherries on top. Perhaps a little sprinkle of powdered sugar on the cherries too.


  • The key to the success of this cheesecake is to make sure you cook it in a water bath – and not overcook it. It is a must to leave it also overnight in the refrigerator still in the spring pan.
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