Sara Lee Cheesecake


When it comes to cheesecake, Sara Lee is pretty much the household name. Whenever we think of Sara Lee Cheesecake, we are reminded of bouffant hairstyles, cheesy baking adverts, and an all-around 50’s vibe. We think it’s swell. In this recipe, we will tell you how to make the original Sara Lee cheesecake, give you some tips and provide you with a recipe.

sara lee cheesecake copycat

How To Make Sara Lee Cheesecake

Our authentic Sara Lee Cheesecake recipe is a multi-stage process. But don’t worry, all of the stages are really easy.

To make our cheesecake recipe, you will need a bowl, a small pan, and a pie dish. Simple? Yeah, we thought so too!

The first step is to make the crust. We use graham crackers, a lot of butter, and a little sugar. We combine these together to make a sort of breadcrumb mix. This mix is pressed into a baking pan and then baked to firm it up.

While it is baking, we make the filling for this simple dessert recipe. There aren’t any really ‘fancy’ ingredients (what would you expect from a cheesecake mix that was invented in the ’50s?)  The main flavors running through are creamy cheese, a hint of sweetness, and perhaps just the slightest hint of vanilla.

Once the pie crust is ready, we allow it to cool and then pour in our filling before baking again. What you should be left with is a slightly puffy and really tasty slice of heaven.

But we don’t stop there. The final flourish is another topping of smooth sour cream, mixed with a large helping of powder sugar.

Ok, all set? Here is our authentic Homemade Sara Lee Cheesecake Recipe

Sara Lee Cheesecake

4 from 6 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Enjoy this delicious Sara Lee cheesecake dessert at home today. Follow our instructions and you’ll be enjoying this easy recipe.


  • 11 Graham Crackers, crushed

  • ¼ cup white sugar

  • 1 ¼ stick of butter (unsalted)

  • 16 oz 16 cream cheese

  • 1 ¾ cup sour cream

  • 4 teaspoons 4 cornstarch

  • 1 cup 1 white sugar

  • 1 dash of vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons 3 powder sugar


  • Preheat your oven to 360 °F
  • Suing the technique described above, crush your crackers into fine crumbs. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once it has melted, tip around ¾ into a bowl. Add your cracker crumbs and your sugar and stir to combine.
  • Tip this mixture into a pie dish and compress until flat and even. Be sure to make sure the edges are completely flat too. Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes until the edges turn golden and brown slightly. Remove and allow to cool.
  • While the crust is baking, gently mix the remaining butter, cream cheese, cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Add one cup of sour cream and stir to combine.
  • Remove your crust from the oven and allow to cool. Then tip your filling mixture into the crust. Transfer back to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, before removing to cool for around an hour.
  • Mix the remaining sour cream with the powder sugar and spread over the top of the cheesecake.
  • Either serve immediately or freeze for another day.


  • Read our recipe carefully. We don’t use all of the sour cream in one go. We use the majority in our first ‘baked’ filling and then finish it with some more sour cream (and powder sugar) at the end.

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Tips and Tricks

Here are some great tips to make sure you get a perfect Sara Lee Cheesecake.

  • Our Homemade Sara Lee cheesecake can be frozen! Just like the original. Once you have completed the final step of our recipe, simply allow your cheesecake to cool. Cover it and pop it in the freezer.
  • To thaw your cheesecake, take it out of the freezer one hour before you wish to serve it. Alternatively, a minute in the microwave will work for the full cheesecake> adjust the cooking time accordingly for smaller slices.
  • Make sure you melt your butter and stir your base mix well. By melting the butter, you ensure that your base is really firm and ‘glued’ together.
  • We find the easiest way to crush the graham crackers is in a ziplock bag. From there, hit them repeatedly with either a rolling pin or wooden spoon until you have a fine crumb.
  • If you want to save time to make super fine crumbs quickly, give the graham crackers a blitz in a blender or mixer.
  • If you want a fancy alternative to graham crackers, try using ginger snaps instead. These work really well with a dash of lime in your cheesecake filling. Ginger and lime Sara cheesecake? Divine!
  • When making the base, here is our secret tip. Press the base into the pie dish and make it really firm with a potato masher. You can get some real compression going, making it less likely to crumble when you serve.
  • Don’t overmix your cheesecake filling. If you make it too smooth, you will find that the mixture splits and cracks during the cooking process.


We love the fact that just like the original Sara Lee cheesecake, we can freeze it and serve it at a later date. Having to wait for it to thaw was their unique selling point for years! This makes for the ideal make-ahead dish if you are having a dinner party. But that said, we also love sneaking down at midnight for a sweet treat! How did yours turn out? Let us know in the comments below!


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