This strawberry cheesecake is pure perfection: my with my perfect, creamy and luscious cheesecake that hundreds of you have tried and loved, this version is topped off with a simple strawberry compote that perfectly complements the flavor and adds a freshness that is much desired in summer months. If there's one recipe of mine you try this summer, let it be this one!
What makes my cheesecake the absolute BEST in the world? Well....
- It is easy and no fuss. There are no fancy ingredients or steps. All you need is precision and patience
- The flavor is DIVINE. It is perfectly balanced: the cream cheese flavor shines without being over-powering, it isn't too sweet, and it has a touch of sourness that adds a beautiful freshness
- The texture is to DIE FOR. Seriously! Most baked cheesecakes have a dry, crumbly and eggy texture which I do not like. But this is a baked cheesecake that feels almost unbaked, without being too heavy. It is ultra creamy, silky smooth, and just melts in your mouth
The freshness, sweetness and tanginess from the strawberry compote works beautifully with the cheesecake. Described in just one word, this strawberry cheesecake is luxurious.
Here's everything you will need for this strawberry cheesecake (exact quantities are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this post).
- Graham crackers or wheat digestives
- Granulated sugar
- Unsalted butter, melted
Tip: It is critical to make sure all ingredients are fully at room temperature! Take them out 1-2 hours before you start baking.
- Full fat cream cheese - I strongly recommend Philadelphia, and try to find the cream cheese which comes in blocks, not tubs! Block cream cheese has a higher percentage of fat which makes the cheesecake much more rich and creamy
- Sugar - this recipe has been carefully crafted so it is not too sweet, therefore, I don't recommend reducing the sugar furter
- Heavy cream
- Sour cream - if you don't have access to store bought sour cream, you can make your own. See FAQs below for more details
- Cornstarch (or corn flour depending on where you live)
- Lemon juice
- Fresh strawberries, quartered or cut into large chunks
- Lemon juice
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
Let's walk through the steps to make this incredible strawberry cheesecake. I strongly suggest reading my blog post on making the best cheesecake, too, as I have shared many tips and tricks in it.
Also, check out this video:
1. Bake the crust
Preheat the oven to 350F (conventional) and prep a 9" springform pan by brushing butter or nonstick oil spray on the bottom.
Blitz graham crackers, sugar and melted butter in a food processor until a fine crumb is formed. I like to first pulse with just the graham crackers as it ensures they are properly grinded.
Press the crust into the pan very tightly, using a spoon and / or a measuring cup. I like to take a thin layer of crust up the sides of the pan, too, but you can keep it all on the bottom for a thicker crust. The tighter you pack the crust, the crispier it will be.
Bake the crust for just 8-10 minutes, then let it cool down.
2. Prepare the cheesecake batter
Turn down the oven temperature to 325F. Make sure all ingredients are fully at room temperature.
Add the cream cheese to the bowl of your stand mixer, and use the paddle attachment to mix it on medium speed until it looks creamy. Scrape the edges and bottom of the bowl and mix again. Add the sugar and whip for 3-5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
This point forward, it is important not to overmix the batter. We want to minimize how much air is added to the batter, as we want it to be creamy, not airy. Break the eggs in a separate bowl and lightly whisk them. Add to the batter in 2 additions, and mix until just combined. Then add the remaining ingredients, making sure you sift the cornstarch, and whisk until just combined. Scrape the bowl again to ensure everything is well combined.
3. Bake the cheesecake
Boil 2-3 cups of water. Take 2-3 large sheets of aluminum foil, and wrap them tightly outside the pan with the baked crust (only on the bottom and edges, not the top). I like to overlap the sheets in different directions to help ensure water cannot get into the pan.
Pour the batter into the pan, and tap it on your counter 30-40 times to encourage any large air bubbles to escape. You can also use a skewer or toothpick to get rid of air bubbles.
Place a larger pan in your oven (10" or more) and carefully pour in the boiling water so you have 1-2" of water. Place the cheesecake pan inside this pan, and close the oven door.
Bake for 75-80 minutes depending on how creamy vs set you want your cheesecake to be. Do not open the oven door during baking. At the 75 minute mark, open the oven door and gently shake the pan to see how jiggly the cheesecake is. The sides should be firm but the center should be quite jiggly.
Carefully remove from the oven and rest at room temperature for 2-3 hours. The cheesecake should become flat during this time. Then transfer to the fridge (uncovered) and chill overnight.
Tip: It is critical to refrigerate the cheesecake overnight, otherwise it will leak everywhere and will not be set.
4. Make the strawberry compote
The next day, remove the cheesecake from the pan and transfer to a serving stand.
To make the strawberry compote, mix all the ingredients in a nonstick sauce pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on medium low heat until a thick and saucy compote forms. It will thicken more as it cools. Let cool completely.
When ready to serve, pour the compote onto the cheesecake, and decorate with fresh strawberries. Serve, and enjoy!!
Tip: You can replace the strawberries with any berry of your liking!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you don't have access to store-bought sour cream, I highly recommend making sour cream at home. You have to prepare it 12-24 hours in advance. Mix 1 cup heavy cream, ¼ cup milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in an airtight container or mason jar. Cover and rest at room temperature overnight or up to 1 day. Then mix again, and your sour cream is ready! Excess can be stored in the fridge.
You can use wheat digestive biscuits instead of graham crackers.
Yes! This cheesecake keeps well in the refrigerator for several days. I recommend saving the strawberry compote for the end though, as the strawberries become softer over time and the compote releases more water.
Yes, you can freeze the cheesecake without the compote, and defrost is overnight in the fridge before eating.
Yes. You can halve all the quantities and bake the cheesecake in a 9" pan for ~45-50 minutes (for a thinner cheesecake), or in a 6-7" pan. I am not sure about the exact baking time for the 6-7" pan.
If you enjoy this strawberry cheesecake recipe, I also suggest checking out the following:
- The best chocolate cheesecake with an ultra rich and creamy center, an oreo crust and a ganache topping
- My perfect Burnt Basque (San Sebastian) cheesecake
- Cheesecake Croissant Buns inspired by Buns From Home London with a delicious no bake cheesecake filling
- The best cheesecake French toast