Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hour, 15 minutes

Servings: 8 - 10 servings

Though one might call this a “basic cheesecake”, there’s really no such thing. Creamy, slightly sour, and a little sweet, a well-done version of this rich dessert is so fulfilling it is a disservice to refer to it as anything other than delectable. 

Made with cream cheese, sugar, and eggs for some lift, it should be baked slow-and-low to prevent cracking. Some bakers use a water bath to achieve this but we found that cooking it for an hour on 300F avoids the hassle. This version uses chopped hazelnuts in the crust for a nutty addition but the filling is classic vanilla. 

When it comes out of the oven, give it at least an hour to cool down on the counter and then chill in the fridge. When it is time to serve, cut a modest slice, sprinkle some additional chopped hazelnuts on top and then drizzle with our Salted Caramel, Cinnamon+Vanilla, or any of the barrel-aged maple syrups on top. Basic? We think not.


For the crust
  • ½ cup ground, roasted hazelnuts

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 6 Tbsp chilled butter

  • Pinch of salt

For the filling
  • 3 – 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temerature

  • ⅓ cup sour cream

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour



  • 1 Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9” springform pan with parchment paper and butter the sides.
  • 2 In a food processor fitted with a blade, add the hazelnuts and pulverize until finely chopped but not a paste.
  • 3 Add the flour and brown sugar and pulse to blend.
  • 4 Add the butter in chunks and combine until it barely holds together.
  • 5 Press into the pan so it is one, even layer. Put in the oven to bake for about 10 minutes or until it just barely starts to brown. Remove from the oven.
  • 6 In a standing mixer or bowl with a hand-held beater, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  • 7 Add the sour cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt and blend.
  • 8 Add the eggs one at a time and incorporate well. Add the flour and blend.
  • 9 Pour the filling on top of the prepared crust, reduce the temperature of the oven to 300, and bake for about an hour. It is done when it is mostly firm but wobbles just the tiniest bit.
  • 10 Remove from the oven and allow to cool slowly - sudden changes in temperature will cause it to crack. When it is fully cooled, put in the fridge to chill.
  • 11 When ready to serve, cut a slice, top it with extra chopped hazelnuts and drizzle with Salted Caramel Maple.