Traditional cheesecake gets a funfetti makeover with lots of sprinkles inside and out. Plenty of tips, tricks, and photos to insure you have a perfect and beautiful rainbow-filled cheesecake every time.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF (162ºC). Spray a 9" springform pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a food processor, crush the graham crackers until they become a fine crumb. Pour the crushed graham crackers into a large bowl, add the sugar and melted butter, and stir to combine.
Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform pan, then bake the graham cracker crust for 6-8 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar then beat again until combined, about another 2 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low1, then add the heavy cream, yogurt or sour cream, and vanilla and almond extracts and mix until completely combined. Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing on low until eggs are just combined. Your batter should be smooth and creamy without lumps. Gently fold in the sprinkles until just combined (do not overmix).
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Create a water bath2 by placing the 9" springform pan in a slightly larger round pan (I like to use a 10" cake pan) and then place that pan into an even larger round pan (I like to use a 12" cake pan) or roasting pan.
Fill the outer pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the middle pan, then carefully transfer the whole thing to the oven.
Bake the cheesecake for 75-95 minutes. The middle of the cheesecake (a center approximately 2" wide) should jiggle just a little bit. I use my digital instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature has reached 145ºF (63ºC). Turn the oven off3 and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the springform pan from all of the other pans and allow to cool on a cooling rack for another 2 hours. When the cheesecake is completely cool, cover or wrap tightly and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.
Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and use a spatula or butter knife to gently loosen the crust from the side of the pan, then release the outer ring of the springform pan.
Top the cheesecake with fresh whipped cream (I use my homemade whipped cream recipe). Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Cheesecake freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Mixer speed: it's important not to go above low (or low-medium) speed after you've beaten the cream cheese. Incorporating too much air will create bubbles and potential cracks in your finished cheesecake.
Water bath pans: here is a bundle that includes all the pans I use. Using this method eliminates the need to wrap anything in foil.
Cool the cheesecake: I like to prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon or spatula.