Junior’s Cheesecake

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Bring a bit of the Big Apple to your next get-together with friends when you make Junior's Cheesecake recipe part of the plans! This make-ahead recipe is actually pretty easy to make and bakes for about an hour. Just keep in mind the cake should refrigerate at least four hours before you plan to serve it. While you can serve each cake unadorned, you can add a bit of pizzazz by topping each slice with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, or sliced fresh fruit. This classic and easy cheesecake recipe will quickly become part of your repertoire!

Truth be told, this recipe, from Welcome to Junior’s, the restaurant’s own cookbook, makes an even better cake than the one you can buy there, as great as that may be. That’s understandable. Junior’s now ships cakes all over the country. You can imagine that making one at a time with love is preferable. The thin sponge cake layer at the bottom is a distinctive feature of Junior’s cheesecake, but if you don’t want to bother making it, you can bake the cheesecake without it. If omitting the sponge cake layer, place a round of baking parchment on the bottom of the pan to ease removal of the cake.

Make sure to have the cream cheese at room temperature. It will beat up lighter and higher and still produce a fabulously rich and creamy cheesecake. 

Cooking MethodBaking



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseDessert

Dietary ConsiderationPeanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian

EquipmentElectric Mixer, Springform Pan

Five Ingredients or LessYes



Taste and TextureCreamy, Sweet

Type of DishCheesecake


  • Thin Sponge Cake Layer for Cheesecake
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (the regular kind, not light or Neufchatel) (divided)
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar (divided)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • ¾ cup heavy cream


  1. Make the sponge cake as the recipe directs. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Make the cream cheese filling:

  3. Place one (8-ounce) package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes. Then beat in the remaining three packages of cream cheese.

  4. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of the sugar. Then beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after each one. Blend in the heavy cream. Mix the filling only until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix the batter.

  5. Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the baked sponge cake layer.

  6. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour.

  7. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then, leaving the cake in the pan, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

  8. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Slide the cake off the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate. (Or, if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate.) If any cake is left over, cover it with plastic wrap and store for up to a week in the refrigerator.


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