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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: 12-18 servings 1x


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!


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


  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!


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