Cheesecake with Sour Cream Icing

When I first started cooking/baking, and was talking with a friend about liking to make cheesecake, she suggested a recipe from a mutual friend, and shared this one with me. Given the high dairy content of cheesecake, it’s actually not a stretch to think of one with a sour cream icing/topping. The icing cuts back on the sweetness, maybe reducing the guilty pleasure a bit. Give it a try; I think you’ll be pleased.


For the crust:
1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp melted butter
4 Tbsp sugar

For the cake:
3 – 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
6 Tbsp heavy cream or Half-and-Half, room temperature
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar

For the topping:
1 pint sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


For the crust:
Combine listed ingredients and press into the bottom of a springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Toward the end of this chilling period, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream the cream cheese in a mixing bowl with paddle attachment. Mix gently – do not beat.
Add the remaining ingredients in the order indicated, being sure to add the eggs one at a time and mixing after the addition of each until it’s incorporated.
Pour battler into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Turn oven off and let cake cool in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a further 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, reset oven to 475 degrees.

For the topping:
Combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla, mixing gently – do not beat. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of the cake; put it in the oven to bake for 7 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool completely before refrigerating overnight.


It’s not uncommon for a cheesecake to sink a bit in the middle, giving you a raised border around the outer edge. That was the case for the pictured cheesecake, but as you can see, that allows a certain artistry in the icing of the cake. If you don’t want that border showing, you can increase the amount of sour cream to allow complete coverage.

Another option is garnish the top in a way that covers the border. In this example, the border is covered with walnut halves, and the center portion is honey and chopped pistachios. But more on that one later.

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