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Mom's Cheesecake | Magnolia Days

Mom’s Cheesecake

Mom's Cheesecake recipe is for an old-fashioned one that is dense, rich, and has a thin pastry crust. Serve it plain or with your favorite topping.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 7 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 8 hours
Author Renee


For the crust:

  • 1 cup sifted bleached all-purpose flour sift before measuring
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

For the filling:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese not whipped, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream at room temperature
  • Very hot water for baking cheesecake in a water bath


For the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. Remove side of the pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Sprinkle vanilla over the mixture.
  3. Make a well in the center and add egg yolk and butter. Use a fork to cut in the butter and yolk until it is combined and crumbly.
  4. Form 1/2 of the dough into a ball. Place the dough ball on the pan bottom. Cover with wax or parchment paper. Roll dough out to the edge (it will be very thin).
  5. Bake until golden, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Assemble pan after the bottom crust has cooled completely.
  6. Divide the remaining dough into 3 equal parts, pressing each one together into a log. Cut 6 strips of wax or parchment paper 3 inches wide.
  7. Place each dough log between 2 strips of the paper. Roll out each dough log to 2 1/4 inches wide by 9 inches long (it will be very thin). The length is important so measure to be accurate. The width should be 2 inches at a minimum. Chill the strips for at least 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer the dough strips to the sides of the pan. It is best to pull off the top paper, lay it back on top, flip it over, and pull off the other paper. If the strips break (which they probably will), press them back together once in the pan.

For the filling:

  1. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
  2. Blend together cream cheese, sugar, flour, sugar, lemon zest, orange zest, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth, using a hand mixer at medium speed.
  3. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add cream and stir or blend to combine.
  4. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
  5. Wrap heavy duty aluminum foil around the sides and bottom of the pan (2 layers to be safe).
  6. Place the foil-wrapped springform pan into a larger deep baking pan (at least 2 to 3 inches deep) that it fits into easily.
  7. Place both pans in the oven. Pour hot water into the large pan so that is about halfway up, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F and bake for 1 hour.
  10. Lift foil wrapped pan out of the water bath and place on a rack.
  11. Carefully lift the pan with water out of the oven and discard water.
  12. Cool cheesecake completely to room temperature, about 2 hours.
  13. Chill cheesecake thoroughly, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  14. Remove foil and side of pan before serving.

Recipe Notes

Time stated includes cooling and chilling after baking. Hands-on and baking time is about 2 hours, 30 minutes.