Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl with a fork, mix first three ingredients and 1/4 cup sugar. Press mixture firmly on bottom and around side of 9" x 3" springform pan to within 1 1/2" of the top.
In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth; slowly beat in 1 1/2 cups sugar. With mixer at low speed, beat in eggs (one at a time) and remaining ingredients, except cherry topping. At medium speed, beat three minutes.
I recommend a water bath to gently bake the cheesecake. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with heavy duty foil.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan. Place cheesecake pan in the center of a roasting pan and gently add a couple inches of water. Carefully place the entire thing into the preheated over and bake 1 hour or until lightly browned.
Turn off the oven and open the door partially. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in pan on a wire rack.
Cover pan with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, overnight is better.
To serve: remove side of pan. With large spatula; loosen cake from pan bottom, slide onto plate.
Mix together all topping ingredients. Spoon cherry topping evenly over cheesecake.
What's a Water Bath?
Here's a tip for making a delicious cheesecake. Use a water bath. You start by wrapping the bottom of the springform pan with heavy duty foil. Then after you add the cheesecake mixture, you will place the pan in the center of a roasting pan.The roasting pan should be large enough to hold the springform pan with room around it, and the sides should be a few inches high. Add a couple inches of water to the roasting pan and place the whole shebang into the oven. The steam that's created will keep the top of your cheesecake from forming a crust and will help cut down on cracks.