This Fluffy Crustless Cheesecake is simply the best, and it happens to be gluten-free! This New York-style cheesecake has fans all over the world! It's one of the most popular recipes on Cooking with Mamma C.
This Fluffy Crustless Cheesecake is the best cheesecake I've ever tasted! And it's become a holiday tradition for many Cooking with Mamma C visitors, ever since I posted the recipe in 2014.
I'm almost at a loss for words in trying to describe this New York cheesecake without crust. It's fluffy, airy, luscious, creamy and so delicately soft.
It's pure decadence! And, since it's flourless, this is a gluten-free cheesecake.
Delicious on its own, it's flavored with vanilla and is just begging to be accented with your favorite cheesecake topping. I've tried it with homemade versions of chocolate liqueur, strawberry liqueur and limoncello.
I know. To die for!
But it's excellent with non-alcoholic toppings like Italian Strawberries with Sugar and Lemon, caramel sauce and raspberry coulis.
We enjoy this crustless cheesecake on our trips to Connecticut to visit my in-laws for the holidays. A dear family friend makes it, and my mother-in-law stores it in the freezer to thaw when we arrive.
I asked for the recipe several years ago, and the rest is history!
Cream Cheese - You'll need five, 8-ounce blocks for this tall cheesecake. We're not messing around!
You can use full-fat or low-fat cream cheese. Just make sure it's softened.
Sour Cream - The addition of sour cream to the batter makes this a New York-style cheesecake recipe. Use regular or low-fat sour cream.
Eggs: We're using large eggs here. I haven't tested this with other sizes.
For a keto cheesecake
You can easily make this no-crust cheesecake low carb. To make a keto crustless cheesecake, replace the sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener. Monk fruit sweetener (affiliate link) has the best taste, in my opinion.
How to make fluffy cheesecake
The key to this fluffy cheesecake recipe is beating in lots of air for volume! Besides beating after adding each ingredient, you'll beat the cheesecake filling for seven minutes.
See the recipe card at the end of this post for full instructions, but here's an overview.
Tips for the best crustless cheesecake:
- To prevent lumps, let the cream cheese, eggs and sour cream come to room temperature before starting. Beat each block of cream cheese one at a time, until it's smooth and creamy. Add each ingredient one at a time, beating after each addition, just until combined, then mix everything for seven minutes.
- To prevent over browning, move your top oven rack down to the second lowest position and bake your cheesecake there, with nothing above it so there's room. Also, if you have a dark springform pan, you'll need to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees. Note that your cheesecake will still taste good if it does get brown on top.
- To prevent cracks, bake your cheesecake in a water bath (bain marie) by filling a roasting pan ¼ full with hot water and placing your springform pan (affiliate link) with the batter in it. When done baking, leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door ajar for one hour.
- To prevent water from seeping into your springform pan, place your springform in a large pie dish first. Then set the pie plate with the springform in the water bath and proceed. If you don't have a pie dish large enough, you'll need to wrap the outside of the springform pan with heavy-duty foil (or a double layer of regular foil), covering the bottom, up the sides and inside the top of the rim.
How to tell when cheesecake is done
The cheesecake is done when the top is set, except for a small circle in the middle. Don't insert anything into the cheesecake to test it, or it will crack.
Turn off the heat and let the cheesecake stay in the oven with the door ajar for one hour. This allows the cheesecake to finish cooking in the center while the cake cools down gradually.
Frequently asked questions
You can freeze this cheesecake for up to three weeks with good results. The texture starts to change after that, but it can be used within two months.
Cover the cheesecake (whole, partial or sliced) with plastic wrap, then foil. You can leave the cheesecake in the springform pan and just wrap the whole thing.
Thaw the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight or let it sit out at room temperature for 2-4 hours. You can thaw an individual slice in the microwave on the defrost setting for less than a minute.
You just need to release the buckle, then lift the sides of the pan to remove the circular frame. Keep the cheesecake on the bottom portion of the pan, however. You can even place the cheesecake with the base of the pan on a cake stand.
More dessert recipes to love
- Chocolate Cheesecake - A chocolate version of this gluten-free crustless cheesecake!
- Creamy Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping - A family favorite for decades!
- Lemon Lush Dessert - A recipe made from scratch!
- Torta Caprese - A flourless chocolate-almond cake that's gluten free!
If you try this Fluffy Crustless Cheesecake, be sure to leave a comment and a rating!
Fluffy Crustless Cheesecake (NY Style)
- 5 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 6 eggs (large)
- 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pint sour cream (low-fat is fine)
- Two hours ahead of time, unwrap the cream cheese blocks and set them out at room temperature to soften. Set out the eggs and sour cream also. When the cream cheese is softened, start the recipe.
- Move the top oven rack down to the second lowest position in your oven, with nothing above it (to prevent over browning the cheesecake). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (If using a dark springform pan, you'll need to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees F for this recipe, or the cheesecake will brown too much.)
- Grease a 10-inch springform pan. (See notes if you have a 9-inch springform.)
- Fill a roasting pan ¼ full with hot water. Prepare your springform pan to prevent water from seeping into it during baking. If you have a large pie dish, place the springform in it. If you don't have a pie dish large enough, you'll need to wrap the outside of the springform pan with heavy-duty foil (or a double layer of regular foil), covering the bottom, up the sides and inside the top of the rim.
- In a large mixing bowl, add one block of cream cheese and beat it until creamy. Continue adding one block of cream cheese at a time and beating well, scraping the bowl as needed. There must not be any lumps in your batter. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition on low. Add the remaining ingredients one at a time, mixing to combine after each addition. When all ingredients have been added, beat on high (or as high as you can without splashing) for seven minutes.
- Transfer the batter to the springform pan (filling it no more than ¾ of the way to the top; see notes for what to do with extra batter). Place the springform and bottom pie dish in the water bath and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Then lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for 40-55 minutes, or until the top is set except for a small circle in the middle. Do not insert anything into the cheesecake to test it, or it will crack. Turn off the heat and let the cheesecake stay in the oven with the door ajar for one hour.
- Leave the cheesecake in the springform pan and let it finish cooling on a wire rack. Refrigerate it uncovered the first night if you can, unless you have strong odors in your fridge from onions or something. (See notes.)
- To slice, remove the outer circle of the pan and dip a knife in warm water to make the cuts, wiping the knife clean after each slice. (Keep the bottom of the pan under the cheesecake. You can even place the cheesecake with the bottom portion of the pan on a cake stand.)
- Store the cheesecake covered in the refrigerator (you can keep it in the springform) for up to three days or freeze it for up to 3 weeks. Wrap it in plastic, then foil before freezing it. Thaw the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight or let it sit out at room temperature for 2-4 hours. You can thaw an individual slice in the microwave on the defrost setting for less than a minute.
- Even if you have a 10-inch springform, just fill it ¾ full so it doesn't overflow.
- If you only have a 9-inch springform pan, fill it ¾ full with the batter. Bake the remaining batter in two ramekins or another suitable baking dish, in a water bath, ideally in a separate oven, so you can pull out them out earlier without affecting the springform cheesecake. I bake my extra batter in a separate oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then 25 minutes at 375 degrees, then leave it in the oven with the door ajar for 20 minutes. If you don't have a separate oven, bake the ramekins/baking dish in the same oven with the springform cheesecake for the full amount of time (it's important not to open the oven during baking) and just know that the ramekins/baking dish will come out a bit overcooked, but tasty.
- Some readers have halved the recipe with good results.
- Whenever I cover the cheesecake with foil or wrap the first night, a few drops of moisture pool on top of the cheesecake, leaving a water stain on its surface. If you don't have strong odors in your fridge, try leaving the cheesecake uncovered for the first night.
- I have never tried making this with a crust.
- This cheesecake is barely adapted from a Williams Sonoma recipe.
(Recipe Source: Barely adapted from family friends Lee and Carol, who said it originally came from Williams Sonoma. Originally published on December 22, 2014 and updated now with additional photos and information.)
I made this unbelievable cheesecake last night. Followed your recipe to the letter. I worried it into and out of the oven. I had nightmares about it in my sleep. But at 10:30 this morning I cut into the best cheesecake I ever made (and I've made quite a few) and never had a better one anywhere. Thank you ever so much and my friends in this apt. building thanks you too.
Hi Dawn - Haha! You have a way with words! I'm so glad this was such a hit. You're welcome!
I just made this cheesecake. It made a 9 inch and a 7 inch spring form pan. It is cooling and I can't wait to try it
Hi Francine - I hope you enjoyed it!
I’m also going to half this recipe as I’m cooking for one , but being Celiac I love the fact that it’s gluten free. I also have four mini spring form pans that I might use and adjust the temperature as needed. Can’t wait to try this and freeze the extra when my sweet tooth kicks in again.😊
Hi Terrie - That sounds like a great plan! Enjoy.
I just took the cheesecake out of the oven. Followed directions exactly. Placed the springform pan into a pie dish to keep it from the water. It appears that some moisture seeped into the pan! Haven’t finished cooling on the counter. Will it be edible? I feel awful if it’s ruined! Such a waste!
Hi Perla - You might be able to save it. Let it cool completely and chill as directed. Then remove the ring from the springform pan but leave the base of the pan in place. See if the bottom section of cheesecake looks soggy. If so, you can pick up the cheesecake from the bottom pan and flip it onto a round platter or plate. Remove the base of the pan. You can slice off the section that looks soggy.
Thank you. 🤞
I halved the recipe and made it in a 9" round cake pan. I baked at 400 for 10 mins, but I only baked for 30 minutes at 375 and left in the oven ajar for about 30 minutes. (then cooled and refrigerated)
(the only recipe change i made was using 2 blocks of cream cheese instead of 2.5 because its all i had, it still came out really good!! i will be sure to follow the recipe exact next time for probably even better results)
Hi Bri - I appreciate you sharing how you halved the recipe. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Just tried this and it turned out wonderful, light fluffy . I had fresh strawberries cut up no sugar added . It did not disappoint. I halved the recipe and used a 9x9 pan , with water tray under . I will make this again .
Hi Suzie - I'm so glad halving the recipe worked for you. Was your square pan a springform or just a regular baking pan? Also, did you keep the baking time the same? I get lots of questions about this topic, so it's helpful to have your input.
What changes for cooking time are necessary if I cut recipe in half? Using a 7” pan.
Hi MaryAnn - I've never tried that. Some people have halved my Chocolate Cheesecake recipe using the same baking time with good results. Please let me know if you try it with this recipe.