Skip to content
November 6, 2007 / Tony

Charcoal Room Chessecake


This is one of my favorite cheesecakes.  The cake itself is not too sweet and has a rich, velvety texture but what really makes it good is the sour cream topping that is added at the very end of cooking.  It’s a “wow” ingredient that separates it from any other cheesecake I’ve ever had.  I also really like this recipe because it is so darned simple and is about being a cheesecake instead of some other flavor.  I like chocolate and turtle and raspberry cheesecakes and the like but sometimes, a good, simple cheesecake is more satisfying.  This is a truly great recipe.  Here it is:

Charcoal Room Chessecake, recipe courtesy of Bridget Carns

3/4 cup fine graham cracker crumbs

2 T butter, room temperature

1 cup plus 5 T sugar

1 1/2 lb cream cheese, room temperature

3 eggs, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 2 T sugar with fingers.  Press on the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat cream cheese well.  Slowly beat in 1 cup sugar, then eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition.  Add 1 tsp vanillla and pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until set.

Meanwhile, mix together sour cream, 3 T sugar, and 1 tsp vanillla.

When cheesecake is set, remove from oven, and increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.  Spread sour cream mixture on cake and bake 5 minutes longer.  Chill, remove from pan, and sprinkle with the almonds.

A few notes about the recipe:  1)  Sprinkle the toasted almonds on as late as you can.  They will take on some moisture from the cheesecake and lose crispness.  Better yet, just have your guests sprinkle them on as they take their piece.  2)  Cherry pie filling is good on this cheesecake as well.

Enjoy!  People really like to eat this recipe.  I brought it to a baptism and recieved a lot of nice compliments about it.

ADDED: An updated picture with a new serving idea can be found here.


Leave a Comment
  1. janet / May 17 2010 3:33 pm

    Thank you for the recipe. I have been looking for this awhile now, and used to make it all the time. It was called Johnny’s Charcoal Room Cheesecake, and was a recipe from the New York restaurant of the same name. I found it in the Women’s Day Encyclopedia of Cooking, but gave the book away to someone who needed book C to complete the series of recipes A to Z.

    Please be advised, your recipe calls for an extra cup of sugar in the ingredient list. This cake only uses 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons.

    Thanks again for posting it

  2. Tony / Jun 5 2010 8:10 am

    Janet, thanks for the history. I always wondered where this recipe came from. And I’ve taken out the extra cup of sugar. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: