Mom's Sour Cream Topped Cheesecake is amazing! It's baked in a 9x13 without a water bath, so it's easy and no fuss. You'll love its refreshing tang and buttery graham cracker crust!
You'll want to print this one for keeps, folks.
I never thought Mom would share her cheesecake recipe with me, let alone allow me to publish it! This is big.
This Sour Cream Topped Cheesecake has been devoured at countless New Year's Eve celebrations, graduations, and who knows how many dinners.
Mom's probably made it nearly 100 times.
She got a version of this recipe from a friend many years ago, then adapted it along the way. After hearing all the changes Mom made, I informed her this was her recipe now.
You're going to love it!
Let the cream cheese and eggs sit at room temperature for an hour before starting. You want to be able to easily mix the batter.
Half and half is used in this cheesecake to make it creamy. Mom even increased the amount of half and half from the original version, for a super creamy cheesecake recipe.
If you're looking for a more airy cheesecake, try this Fluffy Crustless Cheesecake!
9x13 graham cracker crust
Mom's graham cracker crust is the best! It isn't dry at all.
Extra butter produces a moist crust that gets even softer after a couple days.
I wish I knew Mom's secret years ago! It would've spared me the sandy results I use to get from following standard graham cracker crust recipes.
And I love the convenience of using a 9x13 pan here instead of a springform one, which can leak. I use a 9x13 with square edges, similar to this one (affiliate link).
Make the cheesecake
See the recipe card at the end of this post for full instructions. Make this the day before you want to serve it, so it has time to chill and set overnight.
You just need to beat the ingredients until smooth and pour the cheesecake batter onto the unbaked graham cracker crust.
Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees F until set. My oven takes 45-50 minutes, but a couple readers needed a longer baking time in their ovens.
And...no water bath is needed! The cheesecake won't crack at this low temperature. Plus, the sour cream topping would cover it anyway.
Make the sour cream topping
The sour cream cheesecake topping is so easy to make! Just stir or mix fresh sour cream with a little sugar and spread it right on the cooled cheesecake.
It'll greet your taste buds with a refreshing tang.
How to serve it
Mom always slices her cheesecake bars into dainty squares, unlike my lasagna-slab portions you see here. Hey, I had to fill up the plates for the photos, you know?
And Mom simply serves this cheesecake with sour cream topping, unadorned.
It's delicious like that, but I have to say, it's fabulous with fresh blueberries on top! I love the way their crisp, juicy texture complements the creaminess of the cheesecake.
You also could use Italian strawberries with Sugar or one of these Cheesecake Toppings from Scratch.
You'll have to experiment!
And invite me over.
Don't freeze the topping. You can freeze the plain cheesecake, without the topping. Thaw the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator, then add the sour cream topping before serving it.
No. You'll simply mix sour cream with sugar and spread the sweetened sour cream on top of the cheesecake.
More desserts like this
Sour Cream Topped Cheesecake (9x13)
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (buy crumbs or crush 14 long crackers)
- 12 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 8-ounce cream cheese blocks (softened; use full fat)
- 3 jumbo eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups half & half (full fat)
Sour Cream Topping
- 1 pint sour cream (full fat)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- fresh blueberries for serving (optional)
- Set out the cream cheese and eggs at room temperature for an hour before using them.
- To make the crust, crush the graham crackers, if needed, by placing seven cracker sheets at a time in a sealed plastic bag. Crush them with a rolling pin.
- Add the crumbs to a small mixing bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave or a pan on the stove and add the melted butter to the crumbs. Stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Stir the crust mixture until it's blended well, and all the crumbs are moist.
- Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Transfer the crust mixture to the pan and press it evenly onto the bottom surface, not the sides. Set the crust aside to be baked later with the cheesecake filling.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. To make the cheesecake filling, add the softened cream cheese to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Beat the cream cheese until it's thick and creamy, getting rid of any lumps as best you can.
- Add the room-temperature eggs and 1 ½ cups of sugar. Beat until blended and no lumps remain, scraping the bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour and vanilla. Beat to blend.
- Add the half & half and beat at a low speed (to avoid splashing). When the mixture is blended, beat it some more until you see some bubbles on the surface.
- Pour the batter over the unbaked graham cracker crust. Bake the cheesecake for 45-50 minutes, or until it's set. Some ovens may take longer.
- Let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack. Wait at least 30 minutes before adding the sour cream topping.
- To make the topping, add sour cream to a small mixing bowl. Stir or mix in ¼ cup of sugar. When the cheesecake is cooled off, spread on your sour cream topping.
- Cover the pan with foil (be careful not to let the foil touch the cheesecake surface) and refrigerate the cheesecake overnight. Serve the cheesecake chilled, with fresh blueberries, if desired.
- Store the cheesecake covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you want to make this ahead of time to freeze, don't freeze the topping. Just make the plain cheesecake and freeze it. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, then add the sour cream topping before serving.
(Recipe Source: Barely adapted from my Mom's recipe. She makes her crust with margarine. Mom's recipe has several adaptations from the original one she received from a friend. Originally published on August 2, 2017 and updated now with new photos, a video and additional text.)
Sounds really good. Can this be made in a 10” spring form pan?
Hi Tina - We've never tried converting this recipe to a 10-inch springform pan. A 9x13 pan has a 15-cup volume, while a 10-inch springform has a 12-cup volume.
I made this for Easter this year. Absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and it was a big hit at our dinner.
I made a raspberry sauce from frozen raspberries to top the cheesecake.
Try out this recipe, you’ll be happy you did. It’s a keeper!
To add to my review I baked it 57 minutes. It was still a little jiggly but I searched the internet and found that it can still be jiggly as long as 2 1/2 inches a on the sides are firm. It continues to cook out of the oven as it cools down. It was perfect!
Hi Nancy - Thanks for the additional details!
Hi Nancy - Thanks for your review! I'm glad this cheesecake was a big hit. That raspberry sauce sounds delicious!
Delicious and simple!!!!
Hi Theresa - I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reporting back.
How would I adjust the measurements to make it in my 16x11 sheet pan?
Hi Kathy - I haven't tried it, but know that a 9x13 pan holds the same volume (16 cups) as a 10x15 pan. I would keep the measurements the same for the 11x16 pan but bake the cheesecake for less time. You'd have to keep an eye on it and bake it until it sets.
Also, I had a beloved Nonna… I need to try some recipes like struccolo from her Cucina Triestina to keep her memory alive. Glad to have found this site!
Hi Adrianna - Food is such a wonderful way to keep the memories of our loved ones alive. I'm happy you found my site too!
Delicious! Subbed 1 cup heavy cream and cooked 50 minutes. Perfect 😋
Hi Adrianna - I'm so glad you enjoyed this cheesecake! Thanks for letting me know.
Well I have passed the 45-50 minute baking time, still way to jiggley in the center. Hope it turns out because I have no other dessert for Christmas. Just keep checking on it in the oven. I did check my oven to make sure it was hearing corrwctly
Hi Debbie - How long did it end up taking?
Loved the cheesecake, but the cooking time as ruffly an hour and a half before middle set.
Hi Debbie - I'm so glad you loved it! I'm trying to figure out why it took so long to set for you. What kind of pan did you use? Do you live at a high altitude? Was the cream cheese too soft?
I used a 9x13 stainless steel pan. No I live in Florida, no high altitude here. I left the cream cheese out for 1 he our along with eggs to come to room temp. Ni sweat, I will make again I will just adjust the time for me.
OK, thanks for letting me know!
Just made this for Easter. Absolutely amazing! Very creamy. I followed the recipe to the letter, except I alway add a touch of cinnamon to my graham crust. I will be printing this one and putting in my book. Thanks
Hi Marge - I'm so glad you loved this cheesecake! The addition of cinnamon in the crust sounds wonderful.
Oh my goodness! I just made this for my daughter’s birthday. She requested cheese cake and I had never made one. Which is surprising,, as I love to bake and cook. I scoured the Internet- kept going back and forth between no bake and baked. I settled on this one. SO glad I did!! I accidentally (happily!) used heavy cream instead of half and half- still amazing!! I’m at so happy at how well this turned out. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Rachel - I'm so glad to hear that! We've loved this cheesecake for decades. Thanks for letting me know!
I have been cooking and baking for years, I followed this recipe to a T and the cheesecake mixture was so watery! It took way over 50 mins to set.... closer to an hour and a half. It’s cooling now but man I hope this is good, otherwise that was a lot of work and wait for nothing.
Hi Chris - We've made this cheesecake 100 times without issue, so I'm trying to figure out what went wrong for you. Is your oven working correctly? I hope the cheesecake turned out good, once it set for you.