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Dad’s Famous Cheesecake

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This is my dad’s cheesecake recipe that he’s made every Christmas since I can remember.

A sweet and creamy cheesecake filling is combined with an easy graham cracker crust for the right amount of creaminess and crunch.

It’s the perfect dessert topped with fresh berries or homemade strawberry syrup.

My Dad’s Famous Cheesecake Recipe

We love cheesecake! There are a variety of flavors we make often, including double chocolate (so rich and decadent) and pumpkin cheesecake in the Fall.

But in my house, this cheesecake recipe is famous! My dad was never much of a cook while I was growing up. But every Christmas he would put the apron on and make two of these cheesecakes, one for each side of the family.

Over the years he perfected the recipe to his liking, with many scribbles and notes written over the original recipe. Now, my dad has MS and is in a wheelchair. But he still makes us cheesecake at Christmas and we relish every bite.

Today I wanted to honor him and his tradition by sharing his wonderful cheesecake recipe here on the blog. This cheesecake is relatively simple to make, but the key secret is to mix the ingredients very well. This will give you the smoothest creamiest results.

Looking down at recipe ingredients including a graham cracker crust in a springform pan, bowl of sour cream, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and eggs.

Recipe Ingredients

CRUST: This is made from a combination of graham cracker crumbs (or crushed graham crackers if you’re unable to find the crumbs), cinnamon, melted butter and a pinch of salt.

FILLING: The filling is made with cream cheese, eggs and sour cream as the base. Sugar and vanilla add the flavor.

TOPPINGS: Growing up, my dad always served ours with strawberry sauce. You can also serve with sliced fresh berries.

Four images showing steps to make cheesecake, including glass bowl of crust ingredients and spatula, white bowl of filling ingredients and hand mixer, uncooked cheesecake in a springform pan, and golden cooked cheesecake in a springform pan.

How To Make The Cheesecake

This cheesecake comes together in two main steps, the crust and the filling, with an additional optional topping:

  1. Mix the crust ingredients together. Press firmly into a springform pan.
  2. Beat together filling ingredients thoroughly using the full recipe instructions below.
  3. Pour into pan over crust. Bake for 60 minutes, then let cool completely.
  4. Add fresh strawberries and other ingredients to a pot. Bring to boil and simmer until the fruit breaks down. Chill in the fridge.
  5. Serve strawberry sauce over top of the sliced cheesecake and enjoy!
A slice of cheesecake on a plate with a fork and fresh strawberry on top. Full cheesecake and more strawberries piled in the background.

Recipe Tips

  • You will need a springform pan for this recipe. It’s a special kind of pan that has a base that separates from the side.
  • Mix ingredients very well. My dad has made many mistakes over the years and emphasizes this in his notes. A well-mixed filling truly makes the best cheesecake.
  • I recommend setting a timer while mixing. That way you know you’re mixing enough.
  • I’m unable to find graham cracker crumbs locally (it’s hard to find “specialty items” in my town) so I used regular graham crackers and made them into crumbs using my food processor. This could also be done by adding the crackers to a bag and beating them with a rolling pin.
  • Place the springform pan on a baking sheet lined with aluminum. The cheesecake may leak a little through the bottom as it bakes and this pan will catch that liquid.
  • Let the cheesecake chill completely (preferably overnight) before serving. I always find that cheesecake tastes better the next day or two. You can make this recipe the night before you plan to serve.
  • For toppings, you can use whipped cream, whipped coconut cream, fresh berries, strawberry sauce, or even jam.
A slice of cheesecake with strawberry sauce drizzled over top and piece cut out of the front.

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A sweet and creamy cheesecake filling is combined with an easy graham cracker crust for the right amount of creaminess and crunch.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


Graham Cracker Crust:

Cheesecake Filling:

Strawberry Sauce Topping:


Graham Cracker Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10" springform pan.
  • Add 400 g graham crackers to a food processor. Start on low, then blend to high until crackers form fine crumbs (this step is optional if you cannot find store-bought crumbs).
  • Add 3 cups graham crumbs, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¾ cup melted unsalted butter, and ¼ tsp salt to a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  • STEP 4: Pour the crust into a springform pan. Press firmly into an even layer with fingertips. Set aside for now.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • Add 3 eggs, 2 softened cream cheese packages, and 1 cup cane sugar to a large bowl. Mix very well for 5 minutes using a hand mixer. Scrape down the sides with a spatula during the process.
  • Add 2 tsp vanilla extract, and 3 cups sour cream. Mix for another 5 minutes with a hand mixer.
  • Place the springform pan on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment. Pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan.
  • Bake for 60 minutes. The center will be jiggly and the top will be golden brown. Let cool completely for at least 1 hour, then place in the fridge to chill overnight.

Strawberry Sauce Topping:

  • Chop 4 cups of fresh strawberries into small pieces.
  • Add 4 cups strawberries, ½ cup cane sugar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp water to a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 3-4 minutes, until strawberries soften. Stir often during this step. Remove from heat.
  • Add 1 Tbsp cornstarch and 2 Tbsp water to a bowl and mix.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture to the pot and heat for another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. The sauce can be served warm or cold. If you want it cold, place it in the fridge overnight.


  • Slice the cheesecake with a sharp knife to break through the crust. Use a pie server to scoop onto plates and top with fresh strawberry sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

Store leftover cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.


Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 781IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving.

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