Ann’s Cheesecake with The Kitchen Noob

What a week to be me!  You think with this being my 7th year at the Mount, that I would be use to the start up, all of the functions and just getting our bodies back into working mode………sigh, but we’re almost back into our normal routine!  One more major function next week, then it’s business as usual, feeding my girls!   I’m also excited to start this years culinary program, I have 25 experienced girls coming back to my classes this year and I’m really going to get them cooking!

My biggest hurdle is equipment, we did raise enough money to buy some mixers this year, and a few other small pieces of equipment, but it certainly isn’t easy!   I need Rachel Ray to come back to Philadelphia and help equip my class, or if by chance Kitchen Aid is reading this post, we could use 4 new mixers, 6qt please, and since I’m asking make them pretty colors, this is an all girls school you know!

But it’s that special time of the week, and I know why everyone is here!  It’s time for Guest Post Friday!!!!  This is truly my happy day, not only does it signal the end of the work week, but it’s also the time of the week when I get to spotlight one of my new foodie friends.  We have such a strong, supportive community and it’s such a joy to be able to introduce you to a new blogger and hopefully a new friend!

Today it’s my pleasure to share my blog with Peter from The Kitchen Noob.   I first met Peter when he joined Foodbuzz, it started with a few emails and developed into a friendship.   Peter describes himself as a Kitchen Noob, but once you visit his blog you’ll see he’s far from a newbie in the kitchen!  Peter will wow you with his creations, and his natural ability to create delicious meals time after time.  I know once you’ve seen some of his creations, you’ll be back for more, just a word of advice, don’t come hungry or you’ll be chewing on your keyboard!

So sit back, relax, put your feet up and prepare yourself for a culinary adventure as I give you Peter…….

 The Kitchen Noob


Hi all! I’m Peter, The Kitchen Noob, and it is an absolute privilege to be guest posting for Chef Dennis.    I was referred to the Ask Chef Dennis section of his blog a couple of years ago when I was trying to figure out how to best utilize Foodbuzz. Chef Dennis has been a tremendous resource in this regard, and not to mention posts some awesome recipes and photos!

I wanted to make something special for this week’s post, naturally, so I decided to go with one of my more lavish desserts, cheesecake. I say this tongue-in-cheek because quite frankly I’m shocked I can even pull this recipe off (I’m a Kitchen Noob, remember?). This recipe is also special to me because it belonged to my mother-in-law, who passed long before I even met my wife, Jen. So, I like to think that this recipe has been handed down from Jen’s family to adopt as a new tradition in our little family. This cheesecake is a great Christmas dessert!

I start by making my crust of graham crackers, sugar and melted butter. Maybe someday I’ll get courageous and add some crushed almonds or pecans. Getting the crust evenly distributed around the pan takes a little patience. I like to bring the sides of my crust all the way up to the top because it bakes down a little bit.

Throw the crust in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

cheesecake batter

While the crust is baking, I start on the cheesecake filling. First, I beat the cream cheese together using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice.

cheesecake batter

I then add the sour cream and mix for a bit before scraping the sides of the bowl again. Then add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and flour. Mix this up for 20 minutes stopping to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl every few minutes to prevent clumping. Those Kitchen-Aid mixers have a few blind spots.

graham cracker crust

Crust comes out of the oven – leave it in the spring-form pan and let it cool while the cheesecake filling is mixing.

When everything is ready, pour the cheesecake mix into the cooled crust. Bake at 350 for one hour, then turn the oven off, leaving the cheesecake in the oven for an additional hour. Don’t open the oven – it let’s all the heat out.

After two hours in the oven pull the cheesecake out, leaving it in the spring-form pan, let it cool for a couple of hours. Cover with foil and place in the fridge to chill for several hours, overnight is best!

Remove the spring-form pan when ready to serve.

I hope all of you cheesecake fans out there give this one a shot. It’s modest and rustic – a cheesecake for the cheesecake purest.

You wouldn’t believe the trouble Jen and I went through to get a decent photograph of the cheesecake! It’s always fun and challenging to make things extra special for occasions or for guests though. Thank you, Chef Dennis, for the Guest Post slot on your blog, and thank you all for reading!

5.0 from 6 reviews
Ann's Cheesecake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Graham Cracker Crust for 10” Spring-form Pan
  • 3 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs - one sleeve of graham crackers yields a little more than one cup of crumbs
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 12 Tbs butter, melted
Cheesecake Filling
  • 4 8oz Pkgs Cream Cheese (Philly)
  • 1 Pint Sour Cream (16oz) I use Breakstone as per Ann's preference.
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 Tbs Flour*
  1. Heat oven to 350. Line large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Graham Cracker crust
  1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until moistened.
  2. Pour crust mixture into 10 inch spring-form pan. Using a round glass or measuring cup start pressing the crust down in the center of the spring-form. Work your way outward, gently tapping the crust down with the glass. Press the crust mixture up the sides of the pan, gently. Make sure crust is distributed evenly – look for mounds or bare spots and use the glass to even it out.
  3. Bake crust at 350 for 10 minutes. Keep the crust in the spring-form pan and let cool while preparing the cheesecake filling. Keep the oven on 350.
  1. Combine all ingredients at low speed, then turn mixer to medium speed and mix for 20 minutes.
  2. But instead of just throwing everything into the mixing bowl, I stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl and paddle before adding the next ingredient to prevent clumps from forming.
  3. I start by mixing up the cream cheese a little to break it up. Then, I add the sour cream and mix to incorporate. Add eggs one at a time. Add sugar and mix, add vanilla, and then finally add flour.
  4. Mix for 15-20 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl and paddle with a spatula every 5 minutes or so.
  5. Pour cheesecake filling into cooled crust that is still in the spring-form pan and still on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake cheesecake at 350 for 1 hour. After 1 hour, turn the oven off but do nto open the oven. Leave the cheesecake in the closed, off oven for 1 hour more.
  6. Remove cheesecake from oven and let cool at room temp for a couple of hours. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 3-6 hours before serving. The longer you let it chill in the fridge the better (best way is put it in the fridge over-night and forget about it).
  7. Remove spring-form pan when ready to serve. The cheesecake should be chilled through. If it's room temp or warm, or feels like it hasn't set, then it should go back into the refrigerator. This takes a lot of patience, but it's worth it!
*Cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs must all be room temperature. I leave these items on the counter (still packaged) over-night the day before I make the cheesecake. *I've made the cheesecake with and w/o the flour. Not using the flour makes the cheesecake more ricotta-like in texture, whereas using the flour makes it heavier and dense.


Don’t say I didn’t warn you, I know I’m seriously craving cheesecake right now….sigh   Peter is right, this is the perfect Holiday Cheesecake, definitely something to share with family and friends as you gather in celebration!  So before you forget, head on over to The Kitchen Noob and say hi to Peter, just don’t forget to tell him Chef Dennis sent you!

I would also like to remind you about the giveaway I am holding for Amelia’s Spicing Pecans.  It’s really easy to enter to win, all you have to do is follow that link and like Amelia’s Spicing Pecans!  That’s it, it’s just that simple, and you even get to pick the flavor of the pecans that you would like to try.  So please go on over and say hi to Mike,  and leave a few words of encouragement for him.   It’s all about community, so let’s show Mike some blogger hospitality!

That’s about it for today my friends,  please take some time to get outside,  have some fun and enjoy your weekend!  The days are getting shorter and it won’t be long until winter is upon us, so take advantage of the daylight and warm weather while it’s still with us!

Till next time, Ciao!


  1. Hi, Dennis! So fun to find another friend guest posting on your blog. And Peter, what a delectable cheesecake! How wonderful that you recreated a family recipe for Jen. My daughter adores cheesecake, and, in my opinion, the more crust the better! We both give thumbs up to this wonderful recipe~

  2. Fantastic cheesecake and it turned out beautifully! Congratulations on a terrific guest post… I love the big, dense cheesecakes like this one – they’re show stoppers!

  3. delicious looking cheesecake
    will check out Peter’s site lovely guest post Dennis
    regards Akheela

  4. Great guest post! Who doesn’t love cheese cake? Love the shots of the process, looks delicious! Thanks for sharing! =]

  5. This cheesecake looks intoxicating. Delicious! My husband loves cheesecake and I love trying new recipes for him.

  6. Another great guest post! That cheesecake looks delicous, and hand-me-down recipes are always the best. I hope Kitchen Aide was reading too and you get your mixers!!!

  7. What a great collaboration (not just the crust and the filling…) Love the cream cheese photo — all of them, actually. Well done, gentlemen!

  8. Great guest post from Peter! This cheesecake sounds so delicious! I want to make my own now, or maybe I’ll just steal a slice of this one!

  9. Two amazing cooks in one place, what more could you ask for. Cheesecake looks wonderful.

  10. Cheesecakes are a wonderful classic dessert and pretty popular all around. This one does look delicious and you have some nice tips here in your instructions. Great guest post Peter. You two enjoy the weekend!

  11. A really great cheesecake. I think we need a tweet this @KitchenAidUSA campaign to “Mixers For The Mount”

  12. What a super guest post – this is my kind of cheesecake. Beautifully turned out and looks so light and airy with the decadent crust.
    I’m sure Kitchen Aid will come to your rescue, Dennis. If they don’t, they’re missing a fabulous opportunity!

  13. Your comments are all very kind. Thank you all very much! 😀

  14. looks fabulous! Can’t wait to try this

  15. Wow that’s a good looking slice!

  16. Great guest post! Gotta love cheesecake and this recipe is well detailed and clear to understand. Interesting the comment about blind spots on the kitchen aid mixer. I have always found that and need to scrape the sides to ensure it is mixed well.
    Chef, I do hope you get your mixers! And in fun colours!

  17. This LOOKS like freshly made cheesecake. Delicious post 🙂

  18. That really looks tasty!

  19. This looks incredible…love cheesecake! It is so hard for me to resist! hehe

  20. Chef, glad to hear you are getting into the swing of things at the Mount…the girls are lucky to have you. Peter, I’m glad to read your touching post in honor of your MIL’s recipe. I use the glass/measuring cup trick to distribute the crust too…some days I feel like I’m chasing crumbs around the springform pan, but it makes a huge difference! A terrific post and it’s nice to meet you.

    Chef, I hope KitchenAid reads this post 🙂

  21. My parents were both educators and September was always crazy in our house. It does take time to get back in the swing of things!
    I totally agree with Mike; your students need those mixers!
    Lovely rustic cheesecake; I’m going to try it for my daughters birthday; her friends in the dorm will adore having cheesecake to sample!

  22. What a beautiful cheesecake. I love baked cheesecakes. I haven’t made one in years. Thanks for the inspiration.

  23. What a delicious looking cheesecake and so special that it’s been passed down through the generations!

    Best of luck equipping your school kitchen Chef Dennis – it is always so difficult to get new things in schools!

  24. Scrumptious!!!!

  25. Peter, I’m going to attack your cheesecake, it looks so good! If I take a bite out of my computer screen I’m going to have to hold you responsible! I really want a piece of that, if even just a bite. I love the rich creaminess of cheesecake.

    Thank you for sharing that recipe with us. I am sure it means a lot to your family.

    Happy Friday Dennis & Peter!

  26. Cheesecakes have always been a favorite dessert, especially since there were great ones in Philly. This looks like a terrific recipe. Have a great weekend!

  27. Lovely recipe! This seems like the perfect cheesecake.

  28. Peter,
    T.his is a beautiful cheesecake with a wonderful pictorial of the process. You make it seem so easy. this is a great guest post!

    Have you tried going to the Kitchen Aid Facebook page, if they have one, or the website to plead your case for the mixers? It’s worth a try.

  29. Thank you all for your wonderful comments, and thanks again Chef Dennis for the guest post slot. This has been an awesome experience! 🙂

  30. I love seeing how dedicated you are to your students, Chef 🙂 I also love being introduced to great new bloggers here. This cheesecake looks heavenly!

  31. Your blog is fantastic! Do you have any posts about Foodsaver machines? Check out my blog and let me know what you think…If you’d like I can send you some free samples if you want to try? Let me know 🙂 Amanda

  32. Just mouthwatering…looks so easy to prepare and delicious.

  33. Oh wow! I normally don’t have room for dessert, but I could seriously go for a serving of this right now! Nothing beats a great classic cheesecake – none of those berry, chocolate, or caramel toppings for me – just give me the cheesecake. 😀


  1. […] special, family recipe cheesecake for my guest post on Ask Chef Dennis tonight. So, hop on over to Chef Dennis’ blog and check out my guest […]

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