Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

November 5, 2015

This Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is the BEST cheesecake ever! You get four layers of utter deliciousness – graham cracker crust, rich tangy vanilla bean cheesecake, white chocolate mousse and a sweet fluffy whipped cream layer. You’ll be savoring every last bit of it!

Slice of cheesecake on a brown serving plate, garnished with whipped cream and berries.

My Favorite Cheesecake Recipe!

This is so good you’ll lose all self control. Normally, I have better self control but not with this! Bring on a big slice. Well worth the splurge and every calorie!

During the holidays we all need an over-the-top dessert right?

Better Than Cheesecake Factory Copycat!

This is just like the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory but even better. And you aren’t paying $8 a slice. Yikes!

Slice of cheesecake on a plate with a whole cheesecake in the background.

What is This Cheesecake Made of?

  • Graham crackers (you can buy them whole or pre-crushed)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Vanilla beans
  • Eggs
  • Sour cream
  • Heavy cream
  • White chocolate

Is There a Substitute for the Vanilla Beans?

This cheesecake is definitely best with vanilla beans but I know they can be so pricey these days (the price has tripled since I shared this recipe), so you can also make this using vanilla extract.

If doing so I’d use 1 tsp in the cheesecake, 1 tsp in the mousse and 1/2 tsp in the whipped topping.

Image of a whole cheesecake decorated with swirled whipped cream on top, fresh raspberries and mint.

How to Make Cheesecake

  • Preheat oven and line outside of springform pan with a sheet of heavy duty foil.
  • Mix graham cracker crust mixture then press evenly into springform pan and bake.
  • Make cheesecake filling and pour over graham cracker crust and bake. Let cool then chill through.
  • Make mousse layer and spread over cold cheesecake. Chill through.
  • Top with whipped topping.
  • Garnish with berries and mint if desired.

I know this cheesecake has two extra layers than a traditional cheesecake but I promise it’s worth the extra effort. This is the ultimate holiday dessert!

Side image of cheesecake factory copycat cheesecake.

10 More Cheesecake Recipes to Try!

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

5 from 13 votes

This Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is the BEST cheesecake ever! You get four layers of utter deliciousness - graham cracker crust, rich tangy vanilla bean cheesecake, white chocolate mousse and a sweet fluffy whipped cream layer. You'll be savoring every last bit of it!

Servings: 16
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Cool Time 10 hours
Total Time 12 hours 25 minutes



  • 1 2/3 cup (216g) crushed graham cracker crumbs (about 13 full sheets)
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp (3 oz) unsalted butter, melted


  • 3 pkgs. (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (210g) granulated sugar
  • Seeds of 2 Vanilla Beans*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (180g) sour cream
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream


  • 7 oz white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (355ml) heavy cream
  • 6 oz cream cheese, nearly at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (22g) granulated sugar
  • Seeds of 1 Vanilla Bean

Whipped cream topping

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (22g) granulated sugar
  • Seeds of 1/2 Vanilla Bean (optional)


  1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with a sheet of 18 by 18 heavy duty aluminum foil (make sure the foil has no holes, you don't want any water to leak in). 
  2. Add graham crackers and sugar to a mixing bowl and stir to combine, then pour in butter and mix with a fork until evenly moistened. Pour into prepared springform pan and press evenly into bottom. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
  3. For the filling: Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Have a large roasting pan ready and boil about 4 quarts of water (you may not need all of it).
  4. In a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer blend together cream cheese, sugar and seeds of 2 vanilla beans just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, mixing just until combined after each addition. Add sour cream and heavy cream and mix just until combined.

  5. Tap bowl forcefully against countertop about 30 times to release any large air bubbles. Pour over cooled graham cracker crust and smooth into an even layer. Place cheesecake in roasting pan then place roasting pan in oven and carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. 
  6. Bake in preheated oven until cheesecake is set but still jiggly in the center, about 65 minutes, then leave in oven and leaved door closed and let rest 10 minutes. Then remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Tent with foil and chill in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
  7. For the mousse: Melt white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring between intervals, until melted and smooth (or alternately melt in a double boiler). Set aside and let cool until just lukewarm. 
  8. In a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip heavy cream until soft peaks form then add sugar and whip until stiff peaks form (the cream should get to the point where it's starting to lose that wet sheen and it should become quite thick. Tap excess cream of beater blades), set aside.
  9. In a separate mixing bowl whip cream cheese with seeds of vanilla bean until smooth. Mix in white chocolate (it may appear slightly gritty, that's fine). Add in half of the whipped cream mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until nearly combined, then add remaining half of the whipped cream mixture and fold until combined and no streaks remain. 
  10. Pour over cold cheesecake and spread into an even layer. Tent pan with foil then return to refrigerator and chill 1 1/2 hours.
  11. For the whipped topping: In a mixing bowl whip heavy cream with seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean if using until soft peaks form. Add sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Run a knife around edges of cheesecake then spread whipped cream over mousse layer within 2 hours of serving. 
  12. To serve remove foil from pan, pull latch and remove springform pan ring. Garnish with raspberries and mint if desired, cut into slices.

Recipe Notes

  • *Vanilla beans have become so expensive so if desired you can use 1 tsp vanilla extract in the cheesecake filling, 1 tsp vanilla in the mousse and 1/2 tsp in the whipped cream topping in place of vanilla beans. For the holidays I recommend the splurge though.
Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 578 Calories from Fat 405
% Daily Value*
Fat 45g69%
Saturated Fat 26g163%
Cholesterol 161mg54%
Sodium 306mg13%
Potassium 188mg5%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 1530IU31%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 131mg13%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheesecake Recipe
Author: Jaclyn

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  • Charlene

    I have made this recipe before and it is delightfully delicious! I used the back side of my pie server to comb the top and it looked fabulous! I also used stabilized whipped cream recipe for the top so I could put it on the cake right away and not worry about it losing luster. I wanted to make this again only I was hoping to make the cheesecake part in advance. Do you think it would turn out okay to freeze the main cake for a few days and not change the consistency of the texture?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Yes the cheesecake without the topping should freeze fine, but if it’s only for 2 or 3 days you should be fine to just refrigerate. Glad you like the recipe!


    I haven’t made this recipe yet. But plan on it very very soon. I always check comments before I save, print or cook anything. These comments make my mouth water. So I making this cheesecake as soon as I get to aldi’s

  • Ariana

    This cheesecake is SO GOOD!! I bought vanilla bean paste that comes in a tube and it is just as yummy and less expensive. I have been able to find this in Whole Foods.

  • Deb

    Hi! How did you make the circular pattern/decoration on the top of the cheesecake??

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      With a cake comb. I recommend using a turntable though if you have one to make it easier, I didn’t own one at the time and it wasn’t as smooth as it could have been.

  • Darryl Schott

    This was a flawless recipe, and I’ve made many cheesecakes. I didn’t change a thing, and I’d highly recommend not omitting the vanilla beans, as they define the recipe. I enjoyed creating this cheesecake, and we all agreed it was the grandest of all desserts.
    I used a piping bag for an extra adornment of decoration to the edge which added to the flair.

  • Becca P

    Cheesecake is legit, my favorite food. I have made many cheesecakes in the past and fought the battle of browned and cracked cheesecakes. This cheesecake was THE BEST cheesecake I’ve ever made. NO cracks, perfectly smooth and creamy inside, while not under-baked. I made all the layers of this cheesecake plus I made the bottom layer by itself and just topped it with whipped cream and blueberry sauce. Both were a HUGE hit. I went exactly by the directions, except popping the cheesecake layer in the freezer for a bit so I could take it off the springform base. I will definitely be making this again.

  • Becca P

    Do you leave your cheesecake on the sprinform base for serving, or take it off?

    I was thinking of cutting a circle of parchment with tabs to put down before the crust. Bake the cheesecake layer on sunday, freeze overnight. On Monday, add mousse layer and refrigerate 1.5 hrs, then use tabs to lift onto cake plate. Refrigerate overnight and add whipped topping on Tuesday, the day I’d be serving it. I figured freezing the cheesecake overnight would make it stable enough to lift off the base, even after refrigerating again. Or does that all sound ridiculous? Lol! Making it for christmas day this year. Definitely don’t want to screw it up with the cost of vanilla beans now…

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I always leave the cheesecake on the springform pan base. But that idea might work, just can’t say for sure without testing. I don’t think anyone will even notice if you set it over a nice cake plate :).

      • Bea

        I love this cheesecake! I always use a bills cookie crust and a spring form pan with parchment on the bottom. Carefully the parchment always comes off the bottom of the cake and I serve it on a cake plate. It’s delcious and always a crowd pleaser!!!