Image Courtesy Grace Hallenbeck

People tell me I make the best cheesecake.  They think it must be difficult to make a great cheesecake…NOT!  So, here’s a secret that is…well…no longer a secret!  It’s a recipe I believe I got from the inside of a cream cheese box many years ago.  It is so easy to make and the best tasting I’ve ever had!  Try it and let us know what you think! 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (one sleeve from a box)
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 packages (8 oz each) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 container 16-oz sour cream
  • 4 eggs


  • In a round spring-form pan, or a 9×13 pan, mix graham crumbs, butter and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.  Press onto bottom of pan.
  • Beat the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla with a mixer until blended.
  • Add 1 cup sour cream and mix in well.
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each just until blended.
  • Pour over crust.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or until the center is almost set.
  • Remove cheesecake from oven.
  • In a bowl or its container, mix remaining sour cream, remaining sugar and remaining vanilla.
  • Carefully spread over cheesecake.
  • Bake 10 minutes.
  • Cool completely on counter.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours, or best overnight.

Other recipes by Grace here and here.

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Grace currently hails from the shores of North Carolina, a trial retirement location, where she programs and broadcasts a weekly local news show on (all-volunteer) Radio Hatteras. Homesickness overwhelms her many days. A 50-year resident with a heart for Frederick, Grace attended West Frederick Junior and Frederick High Schools. A de facto paralegal from the days when legal secretaries did much research and writing, Grace worked in private law firms. Other employment included IBM, radio, band music, Montgomery County Attorney’s Office, and a long term position with the Montgomery County Council where she retired as a facilities manager. Grace was a minority practical conservative in a liberal charter government. Notwithstanding that environment, Grace is a resourceful, logical, thrifty, innovative, and independent thinking woman--and a great cook! She has been described as “thorough and meticulous.” Having cut her teeth in local government for 28 years, she is well acquainted with the workings of charter government. Grace will share writings of her amusements and observations...and, yes, recipes!