Gail’s Cheesecake

cheesecake baked***

“The best cheesecake ever!”

Make this cheesecake recipe, and I can just about guarantee you that this is the comment you will enthusiastically receive, over and over by everyone who has even a single bite.  I’m not bragging.  It’s not my recipe.  I just want you to try this particular recipe and compare.

This recipe for cheesecake belongs to Gail, who was someone very special to my mom.  Gail was my mom’s hairdresser for the past 25 plus years. The last 7 years of my mom’s life, Gail came to the house every Saturday evening, after working all day at the salon, and cut, colored and set my mom’s hair.  This was a very important ritual for my mom, and she waited with anticipation for Gail’s arrival every single Saturday.

Along with being a talented (and very kind) hair stylist,  Gail was a magnificent baker.   She’d bake all December…..cookies, pies, and her famous cheesecake.    The Saturday before Christmas,  Gail would bring my mom a huge tin of her homemade Christmas cookies and this deliciously rich cheesecake.   We waited for this delivery the way children wait for Santa!  No matter how full we were on Christmas Eve (even after the Feast of the Seven Fishes),  we would bring out Gail’s cheesecake, if only for a taste of this velvety, creamy, decadently rich dessert.

Of course, being the recipe collectors that we are, we asked Gail for the recipe years ago.  However, there was no need to make it, as we were certain she’d bring this to us year after year.  Also, cheesecake tended to intimidate me.  This year I knew I had to step up to the plate (no pun intended), as this beautiful Saturday ritual is no more.  So I gave it a go and was delighted at how easy it is to make.   I was so proud of it!  To hear my grandchildren say, “this is the best cheesecake ever!” just filled my heart.    And of course……there were the memories!   Those beautiful, beautiful memories.


9 inch springform pan


1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup melted butter

3 TBSP sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon


2 cups sugar

4   8 ounce packages of cream cheese

6 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 pints sour cream

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix ingredients for crust.  Press on bottom of greased springform pan.
  3. Cream sugar and cream cheese.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  4. Add vanilla
  5. Mix in sour cream, combining well.
  6. Pour into pan.
  7. Place cheesecake in pan of water about 1/2 inch up the side of pan.
  8. Bake approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes.
  9. Shut off oven and leave cheesecake in the oven for one hour.

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