In dessert, Desserts, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Recipes, Vegetarian

Old Fashioned Cheesecake

Old Fashioned Cheesecake

I grew up watching my mother bake this heirloom recipe of hers - it’s featured at almost every family gathering. And it’s a simple recipe that has a dense creamy texture and is perfect for entertaining as it’s easy to serve in bite size pieces – however, one slice is never enough!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 24 slices



  • 10 digestive biscuits, finely crushed (gluten-free if required)
  • 50 g butter, melted

Cream cheese layer

  • 454 g cream cheese or curd cheese (you can use Philadelphia cream cheese)
  • 2 eggs, large beaten
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1 dessertspoon custard powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 whole vanilla pod deseeded
  • 113 g butter, room temperature
  • 113 g caster sugar
  • 50g sultanas

Topping (optional) - See Lisa's Tips

  • 300ml sour cream - this is optional on top of the cake
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 whole vanilla bean pod

Serving suggestion

  • berries, salted caramel


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°F, gas mark 4, 180°C (160°C fan-assisted).
  • Pre line the base and sides of a 9x9 square loose bottom tin with parchment paper, alternatively you can use a round loose bottom 9inch tin.
  • Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan, then remove from the heat. Crush the biscuits in a clear food bag using a rolling pin, once crushed add to the melted butter, mix well and then place in the base of the baking tin.
  • In a food processor or by hand beat the sugar and butter together until fluffy, then add the eggs, cream cheese, vanilla and custard powder, beat well together. At this point do not over beat the mixture, you want to mix in each ingredient until just incorporated, then move onto the next one as directed. Once its smooth, add the double cream and mix until thoroughly blended, occasionally wipe down the sides of the bowl, again do not over beat the mixture.
  • Gently pour the cream cheese mixture over the biscuit base, if you’re using the sultanas, scatter them over the top and then using the back of a large metal spoon, swirl them into the mixture so that they aren’t visible.
  • Place in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour on the center shelf, if it’s getting to brown towards the end turn the oven temperature down slightly. Once the cake is cooked, turn off the heat and leave the cake in the oven for 15 mins with the oven door slightly ajar this will help to prevent it from cracking. Then remove from the oven to cool. Once cooled store in the refrigerator, until ready to serve, allow to come to room temperature when serving.

Sour Cream Topping (optional)

  • If you would like to add the sour cream topping, remove the chilled cheesecake from the refrigerator and heat the oven to 325°C, gas mark 3, 170°C (150° fan assisted). To make the topping, whisk together the sour cream, 2 tbsp sugar and vanilla bean paste (or seeds), by hand until combined thoroughly. Pour this mixture over the top of the cooled cheesecake, (don’t go over the edges with the sour cream, smooth out the topping without going to close to the edge) then bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave to cool then refrigerate until needed. Remove the tin and parchment paper just before serving.
  • Serve with some fresh berries.
  • Enjoy!
  • If you make this recipe, I’d LOVE to see how you get on so please either send me a photo to or post a picture to Instagram using the #myrelationshipwithfood and tag@myrelationshipwithfood


LISA’S TIP – There’s a couple of parts to this recipe which are optional, you can omit the sultana’s if you’re not a fan. Also, as I mentioned this is my mother’s recipe, I have adapted it by adding the sour cream topping, although again this is totally optional, my mother never adds the sour cream, but I like the contrast in colour, so the choice is yours. Naturally, it will be quicker to make using less ingredients, and if you choose to omit the sultanas and sour cream, and it will be just as delicious! Whatever you choose I hope that you enjoy! You can freeze this cheesecake and thaw before serving.
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