The Brooklyn Vanilla Cheesecake is a stunner like her namesake.

Vanilla is one of my most favorite flavors.

I made this cheesecake over the top delicious by adding a beautiful vanilla pastry creme to not only the filling…..

But, also the topping.

Then, I finished her off with a mile high meringue.

Three layers of heaven all combined into one magnificent dessert.

You can most definitely make this in one 9 inch springform pan.

But, it makes an even bigger statement served as individual desserts in miniature springform pans.

I would suggest making the vanilla pastry cream the day before you make the cheesecake.

Then, make sure the cheesecake has completely cooled before adding the pastry cream to the top of the cheesecake.

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The Brooklyn Vanilla Cheesecake

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  • Author: Jennifer Williams
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes (plus chill time)
  • Yield: 1 cheesecake, or 6 individual cheesecakes 1x


My Brooklyn Vanilla Cheesecake is a show stopper melt in your mouth divine piece of heaven.  You will not find a yummier vanilla cheesecake anywhere on the internet.



Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • 2 cups (454 grams) milk
  • 6 tablespoons (78 grams) sugar
  •  2 1/2 tablespoons (18 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped, plus pod
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter softened



  • 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (I use 2 boxes of Central Market Pure Butter Shortbread Cookies). Place cookies in a ziplock bag and crush. They are so buttery and they crush easily.
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon (81 grams)  of butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (227 grams) sour cream
  • 1 cup (199 grams) white sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open to scrape contents in bowl


  • 4 egg whites (allow to stand at room temperature so that you get a big, fluffy meringue)
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) white sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


Vanilla Pastry Cream

  1. Pour milk into saucepan.
  2. Scrape contents of vanilla pod into milk and then add in the pod.
  3. Heat milk to almost boiling.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, whole egg, egg yolks, and cornstarch in a bowl.
  5. As soon as milk starts to simmer, remove vanilla bean pod and discard.
  6. Pour a small amount into the egg mixture to temper the eggs, whisking quickly so that the eggs do not cook.
  7. When the eggs have been tempered, add the egg mixture into the hot milk in sauce pan and continue to whisk vigorously.
  8. Heat the custard over medium heat, and continue to whisk.
  9. While whisking, allow the custard to come to a boil.
  10. Lower the heat and continue to whisk for another 45 seconds.
  11. Remove the mixture from the heat and add butter.
  12. Whisk until the butter is completely incorporated.
  13. Pour custard into a bowl and cover completely with plastic wrap (make sure the wrap is directly on the custard’s entire surface to prevent a skin from forming on top.)
  14. Let custard cool to room temperature.
  15. Once cooled completely, place in the refrigerator to completely chill until ready to use.


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 Celsius).
  2. Placed cookies in large ziplock bag and crush with rolling pin.  These cookies are soft so this does not take long.
  3. Pour crumbs in bowl and mix with melted butter until combined.
  4. Press this mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.

Cheesecake Filling

  1. Beat cream cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup sugar together in a bowl using a stand or electric mixture until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition (but do not over beat as this can cause your cheesecake to crack).
  3. Gently fold in 1/4 cup of the vanilla pastry cream.
  4. Split and scrape vanilla bean int mixture.  Pour in vanilla extract, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  5. Pour mixture over cookie crust in springform pan.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until almost set in the center.  My cheesecake takes exactly 1 hour to bake.  However, I set my kitchen time at 55 minutes to make sure that I have not overcooked it before finishing the last 5 minutes of cooking time.  If I am baking these in individual springform pans, I set the kitchen timer for 45 minutes.
  7. Remove cheesecake from oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
  8. Place in refrigerator to chill at least 3 to 4 hours. I chill mine until the next day.  That is completely up to you.
  9. Once the cheesecakes have chilled, spoon remaining vanilla pastry cream over the cheesecake or individual cheesecakes.


Directions – Meringue

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
  2. Beat egg whites at medium speed in glass bowl using an electric mixture or metal bowl using a stand mixer. Beat until soft peaks form (This means the egg whites will curl over the beaters when lifted).
  3. Add sugar gradually while beating at high speed.  If you add the sugar too quickly, your meringue will collapse because it will lose the air you are trying to create.
  4. Continue beating on high speed until the sugar dissolves and beautiful, glossy, stiff peaks form.  You will know you have achieved perfection when you lift the beater(s) out and the tips of the meringue stand at attention (straight up) when you turn the beater(s) upside down.
  5. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating.
  6. Place a drop of meringue between your index finger and thumb to test whether you can feel any sugar granules. If you can still feel sugar, continue beating until sugar dissolves.
  7. Spread the meringue over the vanilla pastry cream. 
  8. Make sure that the meringue touches the sides of the cheesecake (meaning you can not see any vanilla pastry cream).  This will prevent your meringue from shrinking.
  9. Bake the meringue topped cheesecake in the oven until tips over meringue are a golden brown, approximately 10 minutes. Watch closely to keep from burning.
  10. Chill cheesecake in refrigerator at least one hour.  (Do not cover as this will cause your meringue to collapse.) 


  1. You can also make these as individual desserts by using 6 miniature springform pans.  The heart shape is especially cute!
  2. If you can not find the Central Market cookies, use the Pepperidge Farm Butter Cookies.
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes (plus chill time)
  • Cook Time: 45-55 minutes
  • Category: dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Drop me a comment below and let me know what you think of The Brooklyn Cheesecake. I would love to know on what occasions you have served it.

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The Brooklyn Cheesecake - J Dub By Design™
The Brooklyn Cheesecake – J Dub By Design™

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