Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

The Perfect Crustless Cheesecake

Netflix finally added all seasons of Friends so I've been spending my 2015 watching and re-watching Friends episodes. When I watched the episode with all the cheesecake, I knew I had to get me some cheesecake. It turned out I had a large tub of cream cheese and sour cream sitting in the fridge that needed to be used quickly. It was obvious. The universe wanted me to make cheesecake. That or I really need to stop buying in bulk at Costco.

The cheesecake was probably the quickest baking project that was consumed quickly and happily. It was light and fluffy, rich but not too rich, and it had the perfect hint of lemon. I have never made cheesecake before but I had my fair share of store-bought and restaurant cheesecake. I can say with utmost confidence, this cheesecake was the best cheesecake I ever had.

The recipe is incredibly simple. It doesn't include crust and instead of baking in a fancy springform pan, the one with a removable bottom, I simply baked them in ramekins I had sitting around. The ramekins were great as portion control. I otherwise wouldn't have known when to stop eating!

the perfect crustless cheesecake

The Perfect Crustless Ramekin Cream Cheese Recipe

Makes 14 standard-size ramekins 


  • 5 large eggs; room temperature
  • 2 cups (one pint) sour cream; room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 32 oz cream cheese (4 8-oz packages); room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter; room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
ramekin cheesecake


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Butter the bottoms and sides of the ramekins. Set aside.
  3. Hand-whisk together the eggs, sour cream, cornstarch, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. 
  4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese, butter and sugar.
  5. Add the sour cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the ramekins about 3/4 full.
  7. Add ramekins into a baking pan. The cheesecake will cook in a water bath. 
  8. While baking pan containing the ramekins is in the oven, fill the baking pan with water until it goes half way up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to get water inside the ramekins. 
  9. Bake for two hours. You will notice that the batter will puff straight up past the top of the ramekins. Do not fear. Once cooled, it will deflate. 
  10. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let them cool completely. Then chill for at least four hours before serving.
new york cheesecake