Individual New York Cheesecakes

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Preparation info

  • Makes about


    individual cheesecakes, depending on the size of the molds used
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

The quintessential New York cheesecake is creamy and light-textured, with just a hint of an acidic bite from the sour cream. The recipe is simple, and baking them in individual molds eliminates all the potential problems of a cracked surface, especially since these are served upside down after they’re unmolded. I usually like to decorate the top with a single strawberry half or even a spoonful of a simple berry sauce—strained frozen raspberries cooked down with a little sugar and then cooled.


  • 16 ounces (450 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 (8-ounce/225-gram) container sour cream
  • Fresh strawberries, halved, and/or other berries for finishing
  • 9 (4-ounce/100-gram) aluminum foil cups or porcelain ramekins, buttered and the bottoms lined with small disks of parchment paper, arranged on a jelly-roll pan


  1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat with the paddle on medium speed until well mixed, about 1 minute.
  3. Decrease the speed to low and beat in one of the eggs. After the egg is incorporated, stop and scrape down the bowl and paddle. Repeat for the remaining eggs and egg white, one at a time. Beat in the sour cream.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared molds, filling them to within ¼ inch (6 mm) of the top.
  5. Place the jelly-roll pan in the oven and add about 2 cups of warm water to surround the outside of the cheesecake molds. Bake until firm and slightly puffed, 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. After the cheesecakes are ready, turn off the oven and leave the door ajar. If your oven has a strong spring that snaps the door shut, place a wide metal spatula or other non-flammable object perpendicular to the door to prop it open 4 to 6 inches. Leave the cheesecakes in the partially open oven for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the individual ramekins to a small flat pan or tray covered with parchment paper, Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled.


Use a wide spatula to transfer the cheesecakes to dessert plates. Decorate each with a strawberry, half, cut side up.


Keep the cheesecakes refrigerated for up to 2 days before serving. Plate and bring them to room temperature for an hour or two before serving.

Individual Chocolate Cheesecakes

Add 6 ounces (175 grams) bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate melted with ¼ cup milk or water. Let cool slightly before adding to the egg mixture, before beating in the sour cream.