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Horizontal image of a slice of a white dessert with a crust and juicy red fruit topping on a white plate with blue stripes next to a fork and a white stand.

Classic Cherry Cheesecake

  • Author: Jennifer Swartvagher
  • Total Time: 12 hours, 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x


Tart and creamy, cherry cheesecake is a classic dessert that you must make this week. It’s the ideal sweet treat, just like Grandma’s.



For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (10 crackers, about 5 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

For the Filling:

  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 16 ounces sour cream, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature

For the Topping:

  • 1 14.5-ounce can pitted tart cherries 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the ingredients for the crust. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. 
  3. Bake for 9 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Increase oven temperature to 375˚F.
  4. Add cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until whipped and fluffy. 
  5. Add sour cream, butter, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice, and sugar. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time on medium speed, fully incorporating between additions.
  6. Grease the side walls of the springform pan with unsalted butter. Double wrap the base of the springform pan with aluminum foil.
  7. Place springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour in filling mixture.
  8. Fill roasting pan halfway with about 6 cups boiling water, making sure it doesn’t go up past the foil on the pan.
  9. Bake for 1 hour. The filling should be set, still wiggly but not wet in the center.
  10. Remove springform pan from water bath. Set aside to cool on the countertop for 3 hours. Then refrigerate for 6 hours. 
  11. Once the cheesecake is chilled, drain cherries, reserving the juice in a small bowl. 
  12. In a medium saucepan, combine cherry juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Bring mixture to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened.
  13. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and reserved cherries. 
  14. Spread over filling. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Unmold from springform pan, slice, and serve.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Category: Cheesecake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: cheesecake, cherry, cream cheese, sour cream, graham cracker