Monday, February 14, 2011

Junior's Famous Cheesecake

You may recall my previous cheesecake post. Well, I FINALLY got around to making Junior's Famous Traditional Cheesecake. I say this like it's a monumental occasion because it is. I should warn you... this recipe is definitely time consuming.

I'm dividing the recipe into two parts... the thin layer of spongecake and the cheesecake filling. 

  • 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 drops pure lemon extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously butter a 9-inch springform pan. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes.  Then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating for about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand until no more white flecks appear. Then blend in the butter.

Transfer this to a different bowl and clean your mixing bowl and beaters. Make sure everything is dry. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites should stand up but not be dry).

Stir about 1/3 cup of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites.

Gently spoon the batter into the pan.

Bake the cake just until the center springs back when lightly touched, only about 10 minutes. Watch it carefully! Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you continue making the cheesecake filling. Do not remove the cake from the pan!

  • 4 8-oz. packages of cream cheese at room temp (I always use Philadelphia)
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch 
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Place 1 8-oz. package of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in your mixing bowl and beat on low until creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.

Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of sugar, then beat in the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one. Blend in the heavy cream. Mix the filling only until completely blended, do not overmix it!

At this point, the spongecake should be cool. Wrap the entire pan in aluminum foil.

Gently spoon the filling on top of the baked spongecake.

Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan.

Bake the cheesecake at 350 degrees until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan. About 1 hour and 10 minutes. (It took about 1 hour and 30 minutes in my oven).

Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold (4 hours to overnight). Remove the sides of the springform pan. I just leave the bottom of the pan under the cheesecake. Top the cake with whatever you like. This time around I used strawberry slices. 




  1. I'm not a cheesecake person, but I like the idea of making one over a base of sponge rather than crumbs. If ever I make cheesecake, I think I'll make it very much like this.

  2. The spongecake doesn't get soggy like graham cracker crust does. It's delicious too! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. it looks great! I have never been brave enough to attempt a cheesecake

  4. Thanks Jessi. The first time I read this recipe I was over it... too much work... then one day I had nothing better to do so I tried it. The cheesecake is SOOO amazing that it is definitely worth the time and effort!

  5. oh no... give me a slice please... It IS too difficult for me... :(

  6. I really like the idea of spongecake for a base. My husband and I have cut high fructose corn syrup out of our diets, but that becomes problematic with cheesecake since the crust is typically graham. What you buy at the store (unless you pay 6 dollars for a box) contains the ingredient we wish to keep out and making the crackers ourselves adds a lot more work. So, I really appreciate this idea ... it may just allow us to indulge in this treat again! :)

    1. I'm glad to hear that, Annissa! Also, I think the spongecake paired with the cheesecake filing tastes much better than the graham cracker crust anyway, so it's a win win!

  7. My wife has made this recipe several times and it is always so good cake part is so moist, she gets great reviews for her cheese cakes now that she uses this recipe

    1. I'm glad you guys like it! It really is my all time favorite cheesecake. :)