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Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake Copycat Recipe
Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Dessert
Calories: 710
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Recipe Rating: 4.9 (23 reviews)
Menu Description: "Our famous Original cheesecake recipe! Creamy and light, baked in a graham cracker crust. Our most popular cheesecake!"

Oscar and Evelyn Overton's wholesale cheesecake company was successful quickly after it first started selling creamy cheesecakes like this clone to restaurant chains in the early 1970's. When some restaurants balked at the prices the company was charging for high-end desserts, Oscar and Evelyn's son David decided it was time to open his own restaurant, offering a wide variety of quality meal choices in huge portions, and, of course, the famous cheesecakes for dessert. Today the chain has over 87 stores across the country, and consistently ranks number one on the list of highest grossing single stores for a U.S. restaurant chain.

Baking your cheesecakes in a water bath is part of the secret to producing beautiful cheesecakes at home with a texture similar to those sold in the restaurant. The water surrounds your cheesecake to keep it moist as it cooks, and the moisture helps prevent ugly cracking. You'll start the oven very hot for just a short time, then crank it down to finish. I also suggest lining your cheesecake pan with parchment paper to help get the thing out of the pan when it's done without a hassle.

This recipe is so easy, even a 2-year old can make it. Check out the video.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup melted margarine

4 8-ounce pkgs. cream cheese
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Optional Garnish
Whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Place a large pan or oven-safe skillet (that the cheesecake pan will fit inside) filled with about 1/2-inch of water into the oven while it preheats. This will be your water bath.

2. Combine 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon into a medium bowl. Mix in 1/3 cup melted margarine. Press the crumb into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the cheesecake dry when placed in the water bath in the oven. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.

3. Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese with the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Blend the mixture for a couple minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add them to the cream cheese mixture. Blend the mixture just enough to integrate the eggs. 

4. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the filling into it.

5. Carefully place the cheesecake into the preheated water bath. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees F, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool.

6. When the cheesecake has cooled, combine 1/2 cup sour cream and 2 teaspoons sugar. Spread the sweetened sour cream over the entire top surface of the cheesecake. Cover and chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. To serve, slice the cheesecake into 12 equal portions. Apply a pile of canned whipped cream to the top of each slice and serve.

Makes 12 servings.

Submitted on: 04/18/17
I've made many cheesecakes over the years ... This one was superb, and really did taste very much like the one at the Cheesecake Factory. I made it for Easter this year, and everyone raved about it. I too baked it at 350 for about 70 minutes, I didn't want the top to burn, as other reviewers had warned. Bravo!!
Perfect copy
Submitted on: 04/15/17
I have made this recipe a number of times and it is delicious! Perfect copy. I too had issues with the 475 temp and a dark brown top so I am trying it at 350 as recommended. Other than that, it is perfect and really easy to make
Never fails
Submitted on: 04/05/17
This is the 4th time I have made this recipe in the last 3 weeks. I absolutely love the way it turns out each time. However the most recent time it was much darker than the times before. I noticed that the process in which I set the water bath up this time was much different and may have been an issue for the browning of the cake. Regardless it still came out incredible. Brown isn't bad especially when there's a wonderful spread to top! Definitely recommend it to anyone reading these reviews.
Submitted on: 01/01/17
Baked exactly as directed and what a great recipe! I usually make chocolate, espresso, pumpkin cheesecake recipes and think plain old cheesecake is boring. However, my sister requested a plain cheesecake for her birthday. Excellent recipe! Love water baths. I always use them. Never started off at a higher temp before, but I read about it because I was unsure. Great idea! (Ignore Tammy!). Maybe she had it on the top rack or something. This is the best looking cheesecake every! No cracks.
Excellent recipe
Submitted on: 11/25/16
We loved this cheesecake. We took it to thanksgiving dinner and it was selected before pies! I like the cinnamon in the crust. The texture is perfect and it slices well. Thank you so much!
Submitted on: 11/24/16
Turned out identical to our favorite cheesecake from cheesecake factory! Will make it more often now that I know it's possible and not as scary to make as I thought.
Absolutely Amazing!!
Submitted on: 09/04/16
My son kept asking me to make cheesecake because he loves it from the Cheesecake Factory. He raved about this recipe! It's very moist and everything tastes delicious, crust, middle and topping. I followed the recipe but used butter instead. I also skipped the parchment paper on the sides and just slightly brushed it with butter to prevent sticking. Wonderful receipe that I know my family will request many times in the future. Thanks for sharing!
Submitted on: 06/11/16
First time making a cheesecake and this was perfection, I topped with a homemade strawberry sauce and everyone practically licked their plates. I baked @ 350 for 65 minutes in a water bath and it came out with just the right amount of jiggle. Already have been asked to make again, this is the only recipe I'll use. Thank you Todd!
Awesome Cheesecake Recipe
Michael D.  
Submitted on: 05/20/16
I did not have a springform pan (gotta get one) so this barely fit in my 10c 9in pan. Don't know about Cheesecake Factory...never been...but this is a very good cheesecake. 5-stars
Submitted on: 07/30/15
I haven't tired this yet but the video that goes with this is amazing! Thank you.
cheesecake heaven
Submitted on: 10/31/14
As a first time cheesecake maker, this was awesome. it really does taste just like Cheesecake Factory's. And I did it just like the 2 year old # didn't whisk like I was supposed to. Still turned out great. Think next time I will try baking at 350 for the whole time like one reviewer suggested. The few minutes at 400+ did a number on the top of the cake (was getting dangerously close to burning the top). Either way, this was overall a wonderful recipe. Thank you so much, Todd Wilbur!!
Submitted on: 05/10/14
Have made this several times now and everyone thinks I brought this from Cheesecake Factory and put it on my plate. This is really dense and rich.
Melissa Byrne  
Submitted on: 04/19/14
I've tried other cheesecakes and this is my favorite!!!!
Submitted on: 05/13/13
This was easy, smooth and creamy. I will make this again! I cut the recipe in half because my I only had a small spring pan, and it still turned out great.
Like The Pro's
Submitted on: 05/01/13
I made this and my wife told me that it tasted like the one from the Princess Cruise Ship
Submitted on: 10/21/11
Amazing and very easy to make.
Heaven in your mouth!!
Christy Curtis  
Submitted on: 09/12/11
It has been a long time since I have made cheesecake. This was sooo good! It didn't last long in my house.
Cody Bowe  
Submitted on: 07/04/11
Great Recipe Thanks Alot!
Submitted on: 10/16/06
Oh my God! This is officially the best cheescake I've ever made! I've tried many recipes however, nothing comes close to this one. I would make it again.
Submitted on: 08/03/06
This cheesecake is great, I have made it several times and have always received rave reviews. I usually top my cheesecake with fresh fruit and I never use the sour cream and sugar mixture on the top.
Submitted on: 07/16/06
This recipe is perfect! I had no problems with cooking time suggestions - it turned out great. It's super-easy to make and it will impress your family and guests. Delicious.
Submitted on: 03/26/06
Don't bake it at 475 for 12 minutes...my cheesecake was a dark brown color at that time and smelled burnt. I would recommend baking it at 350 for the whole time or until LIGHTLY browned on top.
Submitted on: 12/23/05
This cheesecake is so good! I would make it again and again!