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Easy Delicious Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Recipe

The easiest, creamiest, most decadently delicious and perfect vanilla bean cheesecake recipe you will ever make or eat! Hands down! Cream cheese never tasted so good!

Easy Delicious Cheesecake dessert
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For my family, my Easy Delicious Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is the standard all other cheesecakes are measured by. It’s one of our favorite desserts for birthdays, holidays and special occasions.

My recipe IS a baked cheesecake, but nothing about it is traditional.

A couple of my kids won’t eat any other cheesecake – only this one. I’ve never had a guest that didn’t feel this beautiful dessert is absolutely scrumptious and want the recipe. I’m guessing you’re not only going to love how simple it is, but will enjoy the rich, creamy flavor of vanilla bean cheesecake as much as we do!

easy delicious cheesecake dessert

What is Cheesecake?

Is it a pie? Is it a cake? The jury’s still out out. There are so many different opinions.

Cheesecake is one of those things that people are very particular about. There are the purists for whom only a traditional New York Style cheesecake will do. And then, there are those who don’t want to be tied to the oven and opt for completely no-bake cheesecake options.

The agreed givens seem to be:

  • Cheesecake has a crust, usually made from graham crackers, cookies or pastry.
  • It has a creamy cheesecake batter filling consisting of cream cheese, eggs and/or cream. The filling can be baked or no bake.
  • Perfect cheesecakes have topping. It can be fresh or canned fruit, chocolate in any form, nuts or even caramel. If it’s sweet and you can dream it, it can be topping.
  • Cheesecakes can be different sizes and shapes. You can make 10 inch rounds in a springform pan for this cheesecake recipe. Or, you can make them in ramekins or my quick and easy favorite, a 9×13 pan. Variety in size and shape seems to be another agreed upon constant.
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5 Reasons this Simple Cheesecake is THE Best

  1. Besides being decadently delicious, luscious and creamy Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is also super easy to mix up and assemble.
  2. My simple cheesecake can be baked in a regular 9×13 cake pan or springform pans (one 10-inch or two 6-inch).
  3. There’s no need to worry about a water bath in the oven.
  4. And, it’s made with limited ingredients. Only 6, plus whatever you decide to top it with.
  5. You will literally have it baked and in the fridge, cooling, in about 45 minutes! Easiest cheesecake ever!
  6. You can serve it with or without whipped cream. This delicious vanilla bean cheesecake doesn’t need whipped cream, since it’s so creamy already. However, it can be pretty (and tasty) to top individual servings with fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream.
Easy Delicious Cheesecake dessert

The Ingredients

  • yellow cake mix
  • eggs, room temperature
  • butter, room temperature
  • full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • sugar
Homemade Vanilla Extract
  • homemade vanilla extract (Made with whole vanilla beans, so the black vanilla bean seeds speckle through the cheesecake adding extraordinary flavor. You could sub plain vanilla extract if you prefer.)
  • sour cream
  • optional decorations and toppings: berries, fruit, canned pie filling, chocolate drizzles or curls, pecans and caramel drizzle
easy delicious cheesecake dessert

About Vanilla Beans

Can I just use fresh vanilla beans in the cheesecake?

Absolutely! You can scrape the beans from 1 whole vanilla pod as a substitute for the homemade vanilla extract in this recipe.

However, I choose homemade vanilla extract because I still get the bean seeds into my cheesecake, but get MUCH more flavor from that one bean by putting it into my homemade vanilla. For me, it is a more economical and quick, fuss-free option when making vanilla bean cheesecake.

For lots of great info on choosing vanilla beans check out my Homemade Vanilla Extract post.

vanilla beans on a white cutting board
Which vanilla beans should I use?

I use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans, however Tahitian Vanilla Beans or Mexican Vanilla Beans will also work. Whether you use put your vanilla beans in homemade vanilla extract or scrape them straight from the pod into your vanilla bean cheesecake batter, choose the bean flavor you prefer most. Check out this post for more info on choosing vanilla beans.

How to Make Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

My easy, delicious vanilla bean cheesecake recipe is made in three simple stages – crust, cheesecake batter and topping.

Make the Crust

The crust really sets this luscious dessert apart from the crowd. It bakes up to be something like a soft, chewy sugar cookie and it’s so easy to make. A yellow cake mix, a little butter and an egg are all you’ll need to whip up this sweet, tender crust. Buzz it together with a mixer. Press it into the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan or a *10″ springform pan. Then set the crust aside, while you move on to your filling.

crust collage

Make the Cheesecake Batter Filling

Mixing the vanilla bean cheesecake filling is what you would expect, if you make a lot of cheesecake. Beat together cream cheese with eggs, sugar and vanilla. Pour the filling over the crust in your baking pan. Bake cheesecake at 350° until the filling is set. There will only be minimal, if any, browning.

Making the filling and baking it

Make the Topping

The topping for my easy, delicious vanilla bean cheesecake is another unique feature of this recipe. Whip together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spread the topping over the baked dessert, shortly after it is removed from the oven. The cheesecake will still be warm.

sour cream layer

Chilling the Cheesecake Before Serving

Once the sour cream topping layer is gently smoothed over the top of the warm vanilla bean cheesecake, it’s time to refrigerate it. The yummy dessert will need to cool and let the cream cheese filling set up for at least 4 hours, before serving.

I like to set the *cooling rack in the fridge, then set the cheesecake on top of it. Allowing the cool air to circulate around it on all sides helps to cool it more quickly and evenly.

When the cheesecake is completely set and cold, it’s ready to be sliced and served. Choose the decorative toppings you want and use them to complete the entire Easy Delicious Vanilla Bean Cheesecake or to decorate individual slices as they are served.

If you still don’t feel like baking, you can make a delicious no-bake cheesecake with a similar design. For a star-spangled no-bake cheesecake check out Nora’s red, white and blue 4th of July Cheesecake!

easy delicious cheesecake with raspberries and blueberries decorating the right side

Decorating or Topping Your Cheesecake

  • Create your beautiful cheesecake design with fresh fruit and with or without whipped cream.
  • Or opt to spoon on thick, fruit-studded pie filling.
  • Drizzle on chocolate and caramel with sprinkles of nuts.
  • Pile it high with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

My Easy Delicious Cheesecake is a recipe that will stay at the front of your recipe box. It will be requested, often, and it’s a recipe you’ll make, again and again!

Enjoy!

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easy delicious cheesecake with raspberries and blueberries decorating the right side

Easy, Delicious Cheesecake


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 22 reviews

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1218 servings 1x

Description

This extraordinarily easy and delicious Vanilla Bean Cheecake has a “cookie” crust that sets it far and above any cheesecake you’ve ever eaten.  You’ll have it baked and chilling in about 40 minutes, from start to finish.  Once you’ve tried it, all other cheesecakes will be measured against this beauty!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • For the Crust:
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature

For the Filling:

  • 2 (8 oz) pkgs full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon homemade vanilla (or other high-quality vanilla)

For the Sour Cream Topping:

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon homemade vanilla (or other high-quality vanilla)

Options For the Fruit/Decorative Topping:

  • Cut fresh fruit or berries of your choice
  • 1 (21oz) can fruit pie filling (your choice of flavors)
  • Fudge and/or Caramel Topping for Drizzling
  • chopped nuts
  • whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix cake mix, egg and butter for crust, with an electric mixer, until they are incorporated and crumbly. Press into an ungreased 9×13 pan OR an ungreased *10″ springform pan.  (You could try try dividing it between two smaller springform pans, too.  I would recommend 5″ or 6″.)  Set the crust aside.
  3. For the cheesecake filling, beat the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla on medium/high speed with an electric mixer. Continue beating until the filling is smooth and creamy.  Pour filling over the crust in your prepared pan.
  4. Bake cheesecake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until the cheesecake is set in the center.  (You’ll be able to, lightly, touch the center with your finger and feel that it is no longer liquid-y.)
  5. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and set on a wire cooling rack to begin cooling while you mix the sour cream topping.
  6. Stir together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. When fully mixed, spread the topping over the warm cheesecake.
  7. At this point, I place my cooling rack in the refrigerator and set the cheesecake on it.  Leave the vanilla bean cheesecake in the fridge to cool and firmly set for at least 4 hours.  It should be cold and fully set before trying to remove it from a springform pan or trying to cut it.
  8. Once cool, it’s time to decorate your cheesecake and add that next layer of flavor that will elevate it to a truly special dessert.  There are so many options for doing this:
  • The simplest, and a well loved option, is canned pie filling.  You can add it to the entire cake or each individual piece as it’s sliced.  Doing them individually allows you to have two or three options for guests to choose from. 
  • Drizzling fudge and caramel topping and sprinkling with chopped pecans is an elegant and rich topping for a special occasion.
  • My personal favorite on vanilla bean cheesecake is an arrangement of fresh fruit and/or berries.  Again, you can decorate the entire cake or individual slices.  Fresh fruit has a great balance of acidity and tartness that’s great for cutting through the creamy richness of this scrumptious cheesecake.
  • Whipped cream is a decorative option that is beautiful piped around the edges, whichever topping you select and you can always top with whipped cream before adding fruit..

Get creative and enjoy how simple it is to create this delicious and elegant dessert!

Notes

Can I just use fresh vanilla beans in the cheesecake?

Absolutely! You can scrape the beans from 1 whole vanilla pod as a substitute for the homemade vanilla extract in this recipe.

However, I choose homemade vanilla extract because I still get the bean seeds into my cheesecake, but get MUCH more flavor from that one bean by putting it into my homemade vanilla. For me, it is a more economical and quick, fuss-free option when making vanilla bean cheesecake.

You can choose any variety of vanilla bean you prefer.  My favorite is a Madagascar Bourbon vanilla bean.  However, you may enjoy a Tahitian vanilla bean or a Mexican vanilla bean.  For lots of great info on choosing the vanilla bean that makes sense for your vanilla bean cheesecake check out my Homemade Vanilla Extract post.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Category: Dessert, Cheesecake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

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glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

42 thoughts on “Easy Delicious Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Recipe”

  1. This cheesecake is soooo good and unique! Also not having to bake it in a water bath is great. 🙌🏼 Thanks for sharing the recipe! Hoping to make it as a surprise for Valentine’s Day!






    Reply
  2. I must say this is the exact Cheesecake recipe my Grandmother used when we were kids. Every birthday she would send my brothers and I one of these. They are truly awesome! So much flavor and not sweet.






    Reply
  3. Loved loved loved this cheesecake. I had never tried adding sour cream before but it adds a unique flavor to the cheesecake. Thanks for the recipe.






    Reply
  4. Wow. What absolutely beautiful presentation. The cheesecake came out great and I had so much fun trying to recreate your artistic fresh berry decoration.






    Reply

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