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Strawberry Cheesecake

This Strawberry Cheesecake features a creamy cheesecake on a graham cracker crust topped with fresh strawberry sauce.

There’s really nothing fancy with today’s recipe. It’s simple, light, and fresh. You’ll probably be able to enjoy more than one slice without feeling bogged down and heavy.

And with strawberries coming into season soon, I can think of no better way to highlight this bright red, juicy fruit.

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 compote that tastes as amazing as it looks.

You’ll love how the compote 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 graham cracker crust so much, I’ve made it go all the way up the sides.

Strawberry Cheesecake

prep time: 15 MINUTES cook time: 1 HOUR additional time: 2 HOURS total time: 3 HOURS 15 MINUTES

Ingredients

For Crust

  • 3 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted

For Strawberry Compote

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 & 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup additional fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For Cheesecake

  • 3 packages of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strawberries, lightly tossed in flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If using the water bath technique, wrap the outside of your springform pan tightly in foil.

For the Strawberry Compote

  1. In a heavy, medium saucepan whisk together the cornstarch and sugar until there are no cornstarch lumps.
  2. Add the water, strawberries and lemon juice.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick; about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and cool.
  5. Once cool, gently mix in 1 cup of strawberries, fresh or thawed.

For the Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor until crumbs are fine.
  2. Combine crumbs with melted butter and white sugar. Mix until well incorporated.
  3. Add crumbs to cheesecake pan, distributing evenly, and pressing down flat firmly as you work the crumbs up the sides of the pan.
  4. Take 1 cup of your strawberry compote and spread evenly at the bottom of your graham cracker crust.

For the Cheesecake

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese for about 2 minutes until whipped smooth. I like to start on a low speed and work my way up to a high speed. You can also shortcut this by using whipped cream cheese rather than cream cheese blocks.
  2. Add sifted powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs into cream cheese. Continue to beat on a medium-low speed.
  3. Lastly, blend in a 1/4 cup of flour.
  4. Fold in 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries.
  5. Fill your graham cracker crust with your cheesecake batter.
  6. Smooth out with a spatula. If you’d like to use the water bath technique, follow the steps below. If you’d like to skip it, jump to step 8.
  7. Place cheesecake pan(s) into a much larger pan.
  8. Fill the larger pan with water, filling up to at most 1 inch below the top of the aluminum foil. Place the cheesecake in its water bath.
  9. Bake your cheesecake, uninterrupted (no opening the door to peek) for a full hour. Check at the 1 hour mark. If your cheesecake wobbles in the center slightly when you jiggle it is done. If not, give it another 2 minutes in the oven.
  10. Once your cheesecake is done baking, turn the oven off, leave the oven door slightly ajar, and allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature in the oven. This will help prevent any splitting.
  11. Once cooled, remove the cheesecake from the oven and place in the refrigerator to cool for another 2 hours.
  12. When ready to serve, top with your remaining strawberry compote or serve on the side.

Notes

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
  • Prepared Pan: There will always be the “next best way to prepare your pan” article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (for majority of baking pans), & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.
  • Water Bath: At times, even I think about skipping this step when baking cheesecake. But it’s helpful to remember that with cheesecake, your primary goal is to bake it slowly and evenly without browning the top. When you bake in a water bath, the water will never get hotter than 212 degrees, no matter how hot the oven is. The hot water insulates the outer ring of the springform pan and keeps the oven moist.
  • Why Add Flour To Cheesecake?: Flour in the cheesecake batter is an easy route to avoid cracking and makes the cheesecake easier to cut. Granted, it does change the texture of the cheesecake a bit. The flour will make the cheesecake more firm and sturdy, while a cheesecake with eggs alone has a softer, ultimate creamy texture.
Daniel Pagan
Dan is the creator and sort of charming host of the YouTube Channel MANCAKE, dad to Gwennie the Corgi, downtown Pittsburgh resident, and an avid baker of all things delicious since he discovered his passion for it many years ago. (He / Him / His)