September 2023

Junior's Famous No. 1 Cheesecake

makes one 9 inch cake


For the thin sponge cake layer
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 extra large eggs, separated
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 drops pure lemon extract
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

For the cream cheese filling
4 8 oz packages cream cheese
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Watch the cake carefully while baking. There's not much batter, so it only needs about ten minutes of baking---only enough time for the cake to turn light golden and set on the top. The cake should not brown on top. Let the cream cheese warm to room temperature before making the filling. This lets you beat more air into the cheese mixture, making it a lighter, higher yet still creamy cheesecake.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously butter a nine inch springform pan. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for three minutes. Then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until thick light yellow ribbons form in the bowl, about five minutes more. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it by hand until no more white flecks appear. Then blend in the butter. In a clean bowl, using clean, dry beaters, best the egg whites and cream of tartar together on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining two tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites should stand up in stiff peaks, but not be dry). Stir about 1/3 cup of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites (don't worry if a few white specks remain). Gently spoon the batter into the pan. Bake the cake just until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, only about ten minutes (watch carefully). Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you continue making the cheesecake filling. Do not remove the cake from the pan. Make the filling: preheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously butter a nine inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil, covering the bottom and extending up the sides. Make the batter for the sponge cake. Place one eight ounce package of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about three minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat in the remaining three packages of cream cheese. Increase the mixer spped to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of sugar, then beat in the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one. Blend in the heavy cream. At this point, mix the filling only until completely blended, just like they do at Junior's. Be careful not to over mix the batter. Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the baked sponge cake layer. Place the springform pan into a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about one inch up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake at 350 degrees until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about one hour and ten minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack for one hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold, at least four hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate.

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