Cheesecake is my absolute guilty pleasure treat. I can literally eat an entire cake (don’t ask me how I know). If you’ve felt intimidated by making cheesecake, I promise you don’t need to be an expert baker. A creamy, gorgeous, and delicious cheesecake is totally doable with this recipe. Unlike many other cheesecakes, this one isn’t overly heavy. It’s lightly sweet and perfectly refreshing!
I make this cake every year for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Watch a short tutorial here.
Shavuot in a Nutshell
Shavuot celebrates the harvest season in Israel and the anniversary of giving the Ten Commandments (the Torah) to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. The word Shavuot literally means in Hebrew weeks; it comes 49 days (7 weeks) after Passover ends. It is customary to eat dairy food on Shavuot for several reasons. So like all Jewish holidays, the big question is- “What do we eat!?”
Here are some great recipes for your Shavuot menu:
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For the crust:
- oil or butter for greasing the pan
- 8.8 oz (250 grams) graham crackers or tea biscuits
- 1 butter stick melted
For the cake:
- 1 large container 35.3 oz Fage 5%
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 pack instant vanilla pudding
- 1 ½ cup (360ml) sour cream
- 2 tablespoons (20 grams) granulated sugar
- Line a pan with parchment and lightly grease it.
- Crush graham crackers (or cookies) and melted butter in a food processor.
- Pat the crust mixture into the prepared pan, covering the pan. Use a straight-sided glass or measuring cup to tamp the crust evenly against the pan. Aim for about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thickness for your crust.
- Place the crust in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 320°F /160°C.
- In a large bowl, mix Fage and sugar. Let it sit for five minutes until the sugar dissolves.
- Add eggs and vanilla pudding, and mix with a spatula or a wooden spoon until combined.
- Pour the batter over the crust and place it in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until the cake is slightly golden on the edges and the center is slightly wobbly in the center.
- Mix sour cream and sugar and let it sit for five minutes until the sugar dissolves
- Spread on the warm cake and let it cool completely.
- Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours before slicing.
Tips and Tricks:
- Skip the sour cream topping and top with whipped cream instead, although I would do this closer to serving and eating it.
- Add the finely grated citrus zest of any kind that you like by rubbing it into the sugar before adding it to the cake.