This Traditional Cherry Cheesecake is a delicious and creamy vanilla cheesecake with a tart cherry pie topping.
If you're looking for a cheesecake that's picture-perfect, then this recipe for traditional vanilla cheesecake with an easy cherry topping is just what you've been looking for!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Traditional Cherry Cheesecake is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
This recipe was originally shared in 2013. This post has been updated with additional information, including a recipe card complete with nutritional information, but the recipe itself has remained unchanged.
The ingredient list:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
- cream cheese
- graham cracker crumbs
- sour cream
- pure vanilla extract
- lemon zest
- cherry pie filling
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- hand mixer and a large bowl or stand mixer
- measuring cups and spoons
- 9" round springform pan
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- cooling rack
- baking spray
- citrus zester
- offset spatula
- kitchen timer
Why this recipe works:
Because it has that yummy traditional cheesecake flavor and consistency.
The lemon zest adds a brightness of unexpected flavor but doesn't overwhelm the overall flavor of the vanilla cheesecake.
It's super simple to make, and because who doesn't love a cherry cheesecake?
Can other toppings be added to this cheesecake?
Feel free to make your own fruit compote or citrus curd (like this homemade orange curd).
Or, top it with your favorite flavor of canned pie filling.
You can even go crazy-for-chocolate and top it with chocolate ganache (find the recipe for chocolate ganache within this recipe for S'mores Cheesecake) if the mood fits.
How this recipe came to be:
My husband's favorite dessert is cherry cheesecake. He always orders it when we're out at a restaurant, and on the rare occasion that he even has room for dessert.
We're the type of people who fill up on the breadbasket even before the entrees arrive and then we're hardly even hungry for what we ordered.
Sound familiar to anyone out there? LOL
For my husband Mark's recent birthday, instead of going out to a restaurant to celebrate I cooked him a meal fit for a king.
I'm not saying that anyone had room for dessert, but afterward, I served up this Traditional Cherry Cheesecake (shown below) and everyone had a slice.
Just don't ask me where we all put it!
A menu for a special occasion:
Cherry Topped Cheesecake
How to make a traditional cherry cheesecake:
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- If making homemade graham cracker crust, pulse graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form.
- Add melted butter and sugar and pulse again until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Pour into the bottom of a 9" round springform baking pan that has been sprayed with baking spray.
- Press the crumbs evenly into the pan to form a uniform layer and bake the crust for 10 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven.
- Place the pan onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Remove and cool while making the cheesecake filling.
- Add softened cream cheese to a large bowl, along with sugar, vanilla extract, milk, sour cream, lemon zest, and flour.
- Blend until creamy.
- Add eggs (one at a time) to the cream cheese mixture, blending well after each addition.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture into the prepared springform pan and use an offset spatula to spread the mixture evenly in the pan.
- Place the cheesecake into the 350-degree preheated oven and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the cheesecake is only very slightly jiggly in the center.
- Turn off the oven and open the door so the cheesecake cools down slowly for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and run a knife or offset spatula around the sides of the springform pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool completely on a wire rack (at least two hours) before carefully removing the collar.
- Spoon the cherry pie filling on top of the cheesecake and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- For best flavor, allow the cheesecake to sit at room temperature for at least 60 minutes before slicing and seving.
Check out the nifty hack (shown below) of how to cleanly slice a cheesecake:
Additional cheesecake recipes:
*Lemon Drop Cheesecake with Lemon Curd Topping (shown below and featured in the video)
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's creamy and delicious Cherry Cheesecake Recipe.
If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
Traditional Cherry Cheesecake
For the crust:
- 2½ cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter melted
For the cheesecake:
- 4 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup milk
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees
- In a medium size bowl, mix together the crust ingredients to the consistency of damp sand.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom of a prepared 9" springform pan that has been sprayed with baking spray.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove and cool while you prepare the filling.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese, sugar, milk and sour cream together until creamy.
- Add the eggs (one at a time) and blend after each addition. Blend in the vanilla, lemon zest and the flour.
- Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until the cake is set, but still slightly jiggly in the center.
- Turn off the oven and open the door so the cheesecake cools down slowly for at least 30 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and run a knife or offset spatula around the sides of the springform pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan.
- Remove the collar from the pan and allow the cheesecake to continue cooling at least 2 hours.
- Once completely cooled, spoon the cherry pie filling over the top of the cheesecake, and you're ready to serve.
- Note - Cheesecake is best served a room temperature.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's classic dessert recipe for cherry topped cheesecake as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!