This Strawberry Cheesecake is a stunner! Based on my classic Baked Cheesecake which I describe as a magically rich-yet-light, finished with a gorgeous strawberry topping that tastes as amazing as it looks.
You’ll love how the sauce slowly drips down the cheesecake with every bite, and how the filling is creamy and rich, but it’s a bit fluffy rather than heavy and dense. And because I love the biscuit base so much, I’ve made it go aalll the way up the sides….
This has been my go-to cheesecake recipe for many years now. It’s the cheesecake that rendered a group of girls silent when we were on a weekend away. And that’s saying something with my friends!
I’ve shared this cheesecake recipe in all its naked glory. Because it really is the sort of cake that’s rich enough and so good (and that BISCUIT BASE!!) that you don’t need to trick it up with anything – just serve a plain slice and it will be devoured.
But it’s that time of the year for excesses. Where we take a cake that’s already perfect as it is, and take it over the top with a glossy Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake….
PS You’re going to go a little bit bonkers when that Strawberry Sauce is on the stove. The smell is outrageous!
I did say that this Strawberry Cheesecake is pretty straightforward, but I never said it’s a quick and easy recipe! It takes time but it’s not complicated. I’m going to walk you through each part, there are process photos and a recipe tutorial video too.
Here are the 3 main components:
Cheesecake biscuit base and walls: blitz and press. No baking required;
Cheesecake filling – plonk and mix. The easiest part!
4 ingredient strawberry sauce – couldn’t be easier (hardest part is trying not to “taste test” too much)
The Cheesecake Biscuit base
Oh that buttery base!!! I love it so much, I make an entire wall of it for this Strawberry Cheesecake. Actually, the practical reason for the biscuit wall is to hold the Strawberry Topping in. But even without topping, I always make my cheesecakes with biscuit walls!
It’s as simple as blitzing (or bashing) biscuits into crumbs then stirring in melted butter. The biscuit base can be made with pretty much any type of plain biscuit – or even plain flavoured biscuits (like gingersnaps!). Arnott’s Marie Crackers or Nice biscuits (Australia), digestives (UK), and in the States, Graham Crackers are ideal.
PRO TIP: Inverted base & paper overhang
To make it easier to remove finished cake: Flip the base of the springform pan. Grease then top with a square sheet of paper. Secure sides of pan so excess paper is sticking out. Then you can easily move the cheesecake as follows:
use the paper overhang to grip, and slide the cake off the base onto the cake stand;
finished cake will slide safely off the inverted base (because it has no lip); then
once the cake on the paper is on the cake stand, slide the paper out from under the cake. Voila!
The easiest part! The ingredients in the cheesecake filling are simply cream cheese (Philadelphia all the way!), sugar, lemon zest (this really gives it a special touch), vanilla, a tiny amount of flour (for stability – keeps it fluffy) and eggs. It’s a plonk-and-mix deal.
This cheesecake has sour cream in it which lightens it up a bit. While rich, it has a slightly aerated texture which is quite different from a New York cheesecake which is much denser and calls for twice as much cream cheese as this Strawberry Cheesecake recipe!
PRO TIP: Don’t overbeat, it can cause craters
No need for water bath
Some recipes say to bake cheesecake in a water bath, swearing that this a) makes the cake more moist; and b) is the secret to avoiding cracks.
Out of curiosity (because some people are so adamant!) I made this exact cheesecake with and without a water batch just to compare. Logistical issues aside (because no springform pan is 100% leakproof, it requires double layers of heavy duty foil and even then, I was still wary).
Both cheesecakes looked exactly the same – no cracks, and tasted exactly the same. Except one was a heck of a lot more of a hassle to get in the oven.
So it’s confirmed. NO WATER BATH!
PS Santa, may I please have new matching oven mitts for Christmas?
Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake
5 simple ingredients – strawberries, sugar, cornflour/cornstarch, lemon juice (or water) and vanilla. Plonk in saucepan, simmer for 10 minutes, stand over stove and inhale the incredible smells. Stir through halved strawberries (nice to soften them a bit), cool then spread on cheesecake.
Don’t fret about getting the strawberry sauce consistency 100% right straight off the stove. Cook the sauce until it’s the thickness you want for your cheesecake (ie slow ooze – watch the video!), then it will thicken more as it cools. THEN use the teeniest touch of water to loosen it up to the desired consistency – as in, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. That’s the safest way to get the sauce consistency perfect. 👍🏼
That Strawberry Topping for the cheesecake…. it is unbelievable. Not only does it make the cheesecake look stunning, it tastes incredible. The addition of a sauce to an already amazing cheesecake really does take it over the top.
As regular readers know, I specialise in “brown foods”. Think – stews, roasts, curries.
So when I make things as beautiful and colourful as this Strawberry Cheesecake, the immature child within can’t help getting overly excited and sending these photos to everyone in the RecipeTin family and more friends than she cares to admit.
And their reactions made my head swell. 😂
Make this. You WILL be praised for days on end! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Accidentally forgot to include adding cornflour/cornstarch in the strawberry topping in the video! Whisked it in off camera. 🙂
Cheesecake Biscuit Base:
- 200g / 7oz Arnott’s Marie crackers or other plain biscuit (Aus) or 28 Graham Cracker squares (Note 1)
- 120 g / 8 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
- 1 lb / 500g cream cheese , softened (Note 2)
- 2 tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat, sub sour cream)
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 eggs , at room temperature
Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake:
- 500g / 1 lb strawberries , half diced and half halved
- 2 tbsp lemon juice OR water (Note 3)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 160C/320F (standard) or 140C/295F (fan/convection).
- Get a 20cm/8″ springform cake tin. Turn the base UPSIDE DOWN (Note 4), butter lightly and place a square piece of parchment/baking paper on the base. Then clip into the springform pan – excess paper will stick out, see photos in post and video.
- Butter and line the side of the pan.
Cheesecake Biscuit Base:
- Break up biscuits roughly by hand and place in a food processor.
- Blitz until fine crumbs (Note 5). Add butter, briefly blitz until dispersed and it resembles wet sand.
- Pour into the prepared cake tin. Use a spatula to roughly spread it out over the base and up the walls.
- Use something with a flat base and vertical edges (I used a measuring cup) to press the crumbs up the wall almost to the top of the sides, and flatten the base.
- Use a mixer or beater to beat the cream cheese until just smooth, no longer than 20 seconds on speed 4. (You do not want to aerate cheesecake filling as it causes cracks when it bakes)
- Add flour, beat for 5 seconds on speed 4 until just incorporated.
- Add vanilla, sour cream, sugar and lemon zest. Beat until just combined (10 sec max, speed 5).
- Add eggs one at a time, beat in between until just combined (5 sec each), and after the last one, beat just until the egg is fully incorporated.
- Pour into prepared crust.
- Bake for 55 minutes. The top should be a very light golden brown, not cracked, and near perfectly flat. It should jiggle slightly when you gently shake the pan.
- Cool the cake in the oven with the door open 20 cm / 8″ (Note 6), then refrigerate for 4 hours+ in the pan.
- Remove sides. Use overhang paper to slide cheesecake off the cake pan. Then slide the cheesecake off the paper.
Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake:
- Place chopped strawberries, vanilla, sugar and lemon juices in a saucepan. Stir then bring to simmer over medium heat.
- Simmer for 10 minutes until strawberries breakdown.
- Mix cornflour with water, then add into saucepan and stir.
- Add halved strawberries and cook for 1 minute to soften.
- Sauce should be syrupy – remove from stove and cool. Will thicken as it cools.
- Once cool, stirl. Adjust thickness to make it the right “oozing” consistency (see video, Note 7) with a tiny touch of water (be careful!).
- Spoon onto cheesecake so it’s covered with a single layer of strawberries. Flip strawberry halves so they are facedown. Refrigerate 2 hours+.
- Slice and serve with remaining Strawberry Sauce!
Australia: Arnott’s Marie Crackers, Arrowroot and Nice are ideal, I’ve made it with all these.
US: Use 28 squares / 14 full sheets, yes I measured it with my last Graham Cracker packet I brought back from my last trip.
UK: Digestives are ideal, I LOVE digestives! The crumb should be like wet sand so when pressed, it stays packed firmly, especially up the wall. It’s delicate when uncooked but once the filling is cooked, it becomes much more stable. 2. Cream Cheese – In the UK and some parts of Europe, block cream cheese isn’t available. If you can only get spreadable cream cheese in tubs (softer than block), skip the sour cream. 3. Lemon Juice or Water – Depends on sweetness of strawberries. If they aren’t that sweet, use water instead. 4. Inverted cake pan with overhang paper: The base of springform pans have a slight ridge. By inverting it, there is no ridge which makes it easier to slide the cheesecake on a serving platter without ruining the crust. There is no risk of batter leakage as the crust is thick enough to hold it all in. 5. Crumbs: OR crush in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin or large can. 6. Cool in oven: This helps stop the surface from cracking. 7. Strawberry topping should be like jam consistency, not a set jelly. It should ooze slightly when cut. 8. Different measures: Cups and spoons vary slightly between countries (US and CAN are different to most of the rest of the world). I have made this recipe using both US and Australian measures, using Australia Marie crackers and US Graham Crackers. The Graham Cracker crust is slightly crunchier because the biscuit doesn’t crush to a fine sand like Marie Crackers do. Both are delicious! 9. Make Ahead / Storage: Cake is at its best consumed within 4 days, after that I feel like it starts getting denser but still really fab, most people wouldn’t notice a difference! Ideal to top the day or or day before. After 2 to 3 days, the top does start to “sweat” but it’s not very noticeable.
More Cheesecake recipes
And more strawberry goodness …
Life of Dozer
He’s been waiting all year for a moment like this – when a whole piece of Strawberry Cheesecake fell on the floor!!
(But no, he didn’t get the whole thing. Can you imagine the other mess I’d have to deal with if I did let him?!)