If you’re a cheesecake lover and you’ve never had a Chicago Style Cheesecake, this is definitely a cheesecake recipe you need to try. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
This delicious Chicago Style Cheesecake is made with more cream cheese than its cousin the New York Style Cheesecake. The extra cream cheese gives this cheesecake a fluffier, super soft, moist and creamy filling that will have your tastebuds longing for another forkful of this amazing cheesecake.
My Chicago Cheesecake Recipe produces a cheesecake that is not quite as dense as a New York-Style Cheesecake, which makes it the perfect dessert after any meal.
What Ingredients do I need to make a Chicago Style Cheesecake?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make a Chicago Style Cheesecake. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
The added egg yolks, additional cream cheese and heavy cream (or sour cream) give this cheesecake the texture that sets it apart from a New York Cheesecake.
*Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature.
How do I make a graham cracker crust?
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, and melted butter in a mixing bowl and combine the ingredients.
- Place the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of a 10 -inch springform pan.
- Place the springform pan with the graham crust in the freezer while you make the cheesecake filling (a shortbread crust is used by Eli Schulman in Chicago).
My favorite springform pan from Nordic Ware.
How do I make a Chicago Style Cheesecake?
- Place a baking pan that the springform pan will fit into the oven.
- Add enough water to come midway to the springform pan.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
- Place the cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese on medium-low speed until softened.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and under the paddle often. The process should take 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sugar and flour and continue to mix on low until blended (scraping down the sides as needed).
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix for about 10 seconds or until just combined.
- Add the egg yolks two at a time and mix for about 10 seconds or until just combined.
- Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract and lemon zest and mix until combined.
- Remove the crust from the freezer and wrap the springform pan with aluminum foil completely covering the bottom of the pan and about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pan.
- Pour the cream cheese batter into the prepared graham cracker crust.
- Carefully place the cheesecake into the preheated water bath.
- Bake the cheesecake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. The high temperature at the beginning makes all the difference.
- Let the cheesecake continue to bake until the top of the cheesecake turns golden. That should be about 50 to 60 minutes.
- Place the fully cooked cheesecake on a wire rack to cool.
- After cooling refrigerate the cheesecake for a minimum of 6 hours. Overnight is best.
Serve the cheesecake with your fresh berries, or your choice of fruit and homemade whipped cream.
Wouldn’t you love to sit down to a slice of this delicious creamy Chicago Style Cheesecake?
New York style cheesecake is known for its dense, smooth, rich and creamy texture. This is because the addition of heavy cream or sour cream tempers the cream cheese. Chicago Cheesecake is known for its firm outside and soft and creamy center, which comes from the extra cream cheese that is added to the batter.
Cheesecake is one of the desserts that freezes exceptionally well. Just make sure to give it time to thaw before serving. Allowing the cheesecake to freeze solid, then double wrap it in plastic wrap will keep it safe from picking up unwanted flavors in your freezer and protect it from freezer burn.
The easiest way to keep your cheesecake from cracking is to set the springform pan inside the water bath. Find a pan large enough to accommodate the cheesecake pan and then fill it about ⅓ of the way with hot water. Preheat the oven as normal and very carefully place the foil-wrapped springform pan into the water bath and bake as normal. The water bath helps bake the cake more evenly and keeps it from drying out and cracking.