Cheesecakes with all kinds of add-ins have their place, but sometimes you want a plain, classic version with nothing more than a bit of vanilla or lemon zest, so the tangy flavor of cream cheese and sour cream is at the forefront. Many such recipes have the bonus of being easy to make.

HillJ has made Tyler Florence’s ultimate cheesecake “literally a hundred times; it’s by far the easiest and most adaptable to substitutions of flavors and toppings. Very new-to-cheesecake-baking friendly and if you’re willing to forgo the crust, the use of a graham or other cracker crust is not needed with this recipe.”

If you favor a dense New York–style cheesecake, this recipe is “always a big hit,” says absurdnerdbird, while this one, with step-by-step photos and helpful tables, is “the easiest I’ve found (probably based on how it is explained), and really good too!” says haiku.

bdegregory prefers a creamier cheesecake, and thinks Uncle Anthony’s cheesecake works really well. “I can even manage to get a perfect top with no cracks. I do find it needs just a bit more baking time (10 minutes or so more),” he says. (If your cheesecake does crack, here’s a CHOW Tip on how to fix it.) The Three Cities of Spain cheesecake is “smooth, with a lush, almost mousse-like texture and a sour cream layer on top,” says freelancer77. “It’s hard to describe, but ridiculously easy to make, and everyone I’ve served it to has been very complimentary.”

Simplest of all may be this no-bake cream cheese pie. “I am not ashamed to admit this is my most basic and successful recipe,” says eatswjoy.

Discuss: Best basic cheesecake recipe

See more articles