Ok. Here’s a throwback recipe I’ve had for years! 

I first used this cheesecake recipe for a Valentine’s dinner for my then college boyfriend, now hubby for over 20 years!  

 Since then, we've enjoyed many Valentine's Days. Some romantic, many with our boys and chocolate treasure hunts. 

But that very first Valentines Day, I remember, mostly because of the company, and partly because of the cheesecake. Who doesn’t love cheesecake?! 

 Truthfully there isn’t anything fancy or unique about this cheesecake. It’s just a good fool proof recipe you can count on. But what I’ve learned through the years of baking is this…. quality vanilla can transfer your confections from good to great! Tongan/rum vanilla extract with it’s cherry undertones is the perfect companion to these cherries.  If you’re in hurry, by all means, use the canned cherry pie filling at the grocery store.  Although, if you want to make your own sweet cherries, go to our previous post cherry hand pies. Either way don’t forget that yummy vanilla!




1/3 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies or vanilla wafers

1/4 cup melted butter

2 tablespoons sugar


4 Large eggs

½ cup butter softened

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice


1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Tongan, Ecuadorian, Kerema or Tahiti Beans)


-1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

1 tsp of Vanillapura Tongan/rum vanilla extract (or Ecuadorian, Kerema or Tahiti)

-3 tablespoons kirsch or orange juice, if desired



  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Wrap outside of 9-inch spring form pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease inside of pan. 
  2. Combine all crust ingredients in bowl. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool.
  3. Place egg whites into bowl. Beat at high speed, scraping bowl often, until soft peaks form. Set aside
  4. Combine 1/2 cup butter, cream cheese and egg yolks into bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add all remaining filling ingredients except egg whites. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Gently stir in beaten egg whites.
  5. Spoon filling into crust. Place cheesecake onto center rack of oven. Place pan of warm water on rack below cheesecake to prevent cracking. Bake 55-65 minutes or until center is set and firm to the touch. Cool 15 minutes.
  6. Loosen sides of cheesecake from pan by running knife around inside of pan. Cool completely. (Cheesecake center will dip slightly upon cooling.
  7. Combine sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in bowl; mix well. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Spoon out 2 to 3 tablespoons cherry sauce from pie filling; drop by teaspoonful onto sour cream topping. Carefully pull knife or spatula through cherry sauce to form hearts. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours.
  1. STEP 8

Stir together remaining pie filling and kirsch in bowl; spoon over cheesecake at serving time.  Don’t forget to add the vanilla. Store refrigerated.

A big thank you to Land O Lakes for this long time favorite recipe.