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Last updated on May 26th, 2024 at 01:52 pm

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Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

Strawberry cheesecake is a heavenly combination of a buttery graham cracker crust, creamy rich filling, and sweet strawberry topping, this one hits all the right spots! If you ever tried the Cheesecake Factory Strawberry Cheesecake and fell in love with that sophisticated dessert, be sure that with my recipe you will make a better version at home. I know many people think cheesecakes are hard to make, but with the right guidance, this will be the easiest yet most stunning cake you will serve.

Strawberry Cheesecake is easily my go-to recipe in my wide collection of featured cheesecake recipes. I love this particular recipe because of the perfect combination of sweet and tangy flavors. Also, for its simplicity, as this is one of the easiest and most stunning desserts you can make.

Each layer has its own merits. The crust is exceptional because of its simplicity, buttery taste, and a hint of cinnamon. The filling is so creamy because of the blend of cream cheese, cream, and sour cream. The topping uses fresh strawberries and nothing but fresh fruits in a sweet syrupy glaze!

While I like this as a summer dessert when the strawberries are in season, you can make and serve it anytime using frozen strawberries. It is similar to the Cheesecake Factory’s version, but I have to say that mine is better. It is also a lot less expensive.

No matter what you are having, this dessert will probably be the star of the meal so make sure everyone saves some room for a piece. When I say easy to make, I mean, you can let the kids make it while you watch. And you can adapt it to how you like it by changing the fruit, using a different crust, or adding other flavors.

The best thing about strawberry cheesecake is that the flavors meld so well together with the graham cracker crust, it is like a trio of terrific tastes in every single bite. Each layer of this sweet treat is incredible from the buttery crust to the sweet and tangy strawberry topping. If you are a fan of cheesecake and strawberries, you have to try this easy recipe.

What you’ll need to make strawberry cheesecake:

Special items:

  • Mixing bowls – You need several different sizes for different mixing steps.
  • A springform pan – This amazing tool makes removing your cheesecake a breeze.
  • A large roasting pan – For giving your cheesecake a water bath.
  • A cooling rack – For cooling your cheesecake.
  • A stand mixer – For mixing and beating the filling properly.

Ingredients for the crust:

  • Graham cracker crumbs – I prefer to buy the cookies and crush them myself instead of buying the crumbs. That way, they taste fresher.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar gives you the best flavor and helps the cookie crumbs stick together. 
  • Cinnamon – For an additional boost of warm sweet flavor.
  • Butter – Melted unsalted butter is best for making the crumbs come together for a buttery flavor.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • Cream cheese – For the richest and creamiest cheesecake, use full-fat cream cheese.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar is best for the right flavor and texture.
  • Large eggs – Let them come to room temperature before using.
  • Sour cream – This ingredient is also important for the rich and creamy filling so get full-fat sour cream.
  • Flour – Just a little bit of all-purpose flour to add bulk and lift.
  • Vanilla extract – For the best flavor, use 100% pure vanilla. 

Strawberry topping:

  • Strawberries – Use fresh strawberries, that are sweet and fragrant.
  • Sugar: To thicken and sweeten the homemade strawberry sauce.
  • Cornstarch – to thicken the sauce.
  • Water – to make the cornstarch slurry.
  • Lemon juice and zest – For a bit of freshness and tanginess in your topping. 
  • Vanilla – to balance the strawberry and lemon flavors.

How to make the strawberry cheesecake?

Prepare the oven

Before you begin, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and move the top rack to the middle of the oven. Also, butter a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.

Make the crust

While you wait, mix all the crust ingredients in a large bowl. Then, press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of your prepared pan. Chill for 20 minutes before covering the outside of the pan with aluminum foil.

Mix the filling

Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer on medium-low until it is light and fluffy. Then, add the flour and sugar, and continue beating until it is all mixed and creamy. Now, add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat until it is just mixed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Bake the cheesecake

Pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan on top of the chilled crust. Then, put it into a large roasting pan and add enough hot water to reach the middle of the springform pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the springform pan you are using. After 40 minutes, check to see if the edges are puffy. The middle should still be jiggly. Now, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside to cool for an hour with the oven door open just a bit.

Chill the cheesecake

After an hour, put the cheesecake on a cooling rack for two hours. Then, loosen the sides with a butter knife and put it in the fridge to chill for at least six to eight hours.

Make the topping

Once the cheesecake is chilled make the topping. Mix the diced strawberries with the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla, in a saucepan. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes. Make a slurry by mixing cornstarch and water and add it to the strawberry mixture. Stir until thickened, and gently stir in the halved strawberries. Let the topping cool, and spread it on top of the cheesecake. Flip the strawberries, cut face down, and refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Expert tip

Why use a water bath

I may not use a water bath with all of my cheesecake recipes but with this one, I feel like it is important to help your cake cook more evenly, preventing cracks. A water bath, which is also known as a bain-marie (French for Mary’s bath), is done to keep the environment moist and make it bake evenly so the crust does not get overdone.

A water bath will also help the cheesecake stay silky and creamy. The main complaint about cheesecakes is cracking. If the crust is too dry or the cake cools too quickly, cracks are almost inevitable without a water bath. The easiest way to do a water bath is to put the cake in a roasting pan and pour in some hot water.

The only time I do not add a water bath to my cheesecake is when it is less than two inches deep or smaller than six inches in diameter. Large slab cheesecakes and no-bake cheesecakes also do not need a water bath. The easiest way to know if you need a water bath is if it is in the recipe or not. If my recipe does not call for one, you don’t need it.

If you do not want to give your cheesecake a bath for some reason, there are a few alternatives. You can put a pan of water underneath the pan on the lower rack in your oven.  Also, make sure you keep the oven closed the whole time it is baking. And finally, let it cool gradually by turning off the oven and leaving it inside with the door open a crack for one hour. 

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Different fruit: Instead of strawberries, you can use cherries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries.
  • Another crust: Instead of a graham cracker crust, use an Oreo crust for a chocolatey strawberry cheesecake.
  • No crust: Have you ever made a crustless cheesecake? It is easy and will work well if you let it chill long enough. 
  • Topping: Use the strawberry pie filling as a topping, or simply top it with whipped cream and fresh berries.
  • Chocolate lovers cheesecake: Add some chocolate chips to your cheesecake batter or sprinkle them into the topping for a chocolate strawberry taste. 
  • Other flavors: Instead of vanilla extract and lemon zest, use orange extract and zest or lime extract and zest for a different citrusy flavor. 

Serving suggestions:

This is the perfect dessert for any meal or just whenever you want something sweet and creamy.

More cheesecake recipes:

Frequently asked questions

What makes this cheesecake different than New York cheesecake?

New York cheesecake has an extra egg and one egg yolk. Also, it has three tablespoons of cornstarch to make it thicker and denser. Traditional New York cheesecake also only has a little bit of sour cream or heavy cream for flavor but not to make it less dense. Overall, the cake is heavier and richer than a regular cheesecake.

Why did my cheesecake fall in the middle?

If you whip too much air into your cheesecake batter, you could end up with a fallen center. Overbeating adds a lot of air to the batter, which ends up falling as it heats up. It may also be that you did not cook it long enough. Being underbaked is one of the main reasons for a fallen cake. Or maybe it was cooled too quickly. Be sure to let it cool gradually with the oven door open.

Do all my ingredients have to be at room temperature?

For a rich and creamy cheesecake, all of your filling ingredients should be at room temperature. At room temperature, the ingredients blend easier and smoother. If you use cold cream cheese, it will be harder to stir and take longer, possibly leaving chunks that do not get blended in. Eggs should always be at room temperature too since they are easier to incorporate that way.

Why is my cheesecake watery?

A runny or watery cheesecake can happen for several reasons. Overbaking can cause the batter to be flatter and squeeze out the water. Underbaking will make it runny. It may just need a little while longer to chill. Overmixing can also be the culprit. But one of the main reasons people end up with runny or watery cheesecake is from using too much liquid.

How do you keep a cheesecake from dropping in the center?

You just have to be patient and not open the oven door before the 40-minute mark, and you will be fine. Cheesecakes are like divas, they cannot come out before it’s ready! The result is well worth the wait though. Avoiding the sharp temperature change is very important, that’s why cooling it in the oven with the door ajar is important.

How do you prevent cracks in a cheesecake?

These pesky cracks are easy to prevent. Just don’t overbeat and overbake the filling. Cracks occur when you overbeat the filling. Air bubbles form and get trapped in the mixture. Once you bake, they try to escape by going up to the surface, thus, the cracks. However, if your cheesecake is cracked, it’s not a problem, top it with whipped cream and fruit to cover the cracks. Check my pumpkin cheesecake bars for details on how to fix the cracks.

How to store:

  • Refrigerate: After your cheesecake is chilled, you can keep it refrigerated for up to four days in a sealed container. 
  • Freezing: You can also freeze your cheesecake. Wrap it in foil or plastic and you can freeze it for up to three months in a freezer bag.   
  • Defrost: The best way to thaw is to leave it in the fridge overnight.

More strawberry recipes:

Recipe tips:

  • Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before starting.
  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl.
  • Do not open the oven door until the 40-minute mark.
  • Never overmix. Just stir or beat until combined. Too much air in the cake will make it fall.
  • Be sure to turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for an hour with the door open slightly so it can cool gradually.
  • If you do not have a springform pan, use a regular pan with parchment paper hanging over the sides to help you remove it.

Easy Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake is easy to make with a perfectly creamy and rich filling. Topped with sweet strawberry sauce from fresh strawberries.

  • Prep Time30 MIN
  • Cook Time45 MIN
  • Servings 12 slices

Easy Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake is easy to make with a perfectly creamy and rich filling. Topped with sweet strawberry sauce from fresh strawberries.

  • Prep Time30 MIN
  • Cook Time45 MIN
  • Servings 12 slices

Ingredients

Cheesecake crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter melted

Cheesecake filling:

  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) full-fat cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 8 ounces full fat sour cream room temperature
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Strawberry Topping:

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh strawberries half of them halved, and the other half diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust the top rack to be positioned in the middle of the oven.

Cheesecake crust:

  • Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and stir until well combined.
  • Press the mixture into 10 1/2 inches or 9-inch buttered springform pan. Using a measuring cup, press the crust and try to line the sides about to the middle of the pan edges, set aside.
  • Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  • Cover the outside of the springform pan with foil, the bottom, and sides. It will later be placed in a pan with water, this is done to avoid water leaking into the cake.

Cheesecake Filling:

  • Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before you begin.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl using a hand mixer beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy on medium-low speed.
  • Add the sugar and flour and continue beating until well combined and creamy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat after each addition until well combined.
  • Add the sour cream, and vanilla, and beat just until combined, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Pour cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pan. Level the top with a spatula.

Bake:

  • Place the cake in a large roasting pan, and add enough hot water, so it reaches the middle of the springform pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes.
  • Try not to open the door to the oven. At the 40-minute mark check on the cheesecake if it's done. A small area in the center should wobble slightly and the edges should be puffed.
  • Turn the oven off prop open the oven door and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven for one hour.

Chill:

  • After one hour, remove from the oven and place it on a cooling rack for about 2 hours, until the cake is cool enough to be transferred to the refrigerator.
  • Using a butter knife, run it through the sides of the cheesecake, and transfer it to the fridge to chill for at least 6-8 hours or better overnight before serving.

Strawberry Topping:

  • Add diced strawberries, vanilla, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a saucepan. Stir and bring to simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes until strawberries break down.
  • In a small bowl mix cornstarch with water until fully dissolved, then add to the saucepan with the strawberry mixture and stir.
  • Add halved strawberries, gently stir not to crush them, and cook for 1 minute to soften. The sauce will be syrupy. Remove it from the stove and cool. It will thicken as it cools.
  • Once cooled, if the sauce is too thick, stir in a bit of water to make it saucier.
  • Top the cheesecake with the strawberry sauce. Flip strawberry halves so they are facedown. Refrigerate 2 hours or more.
  • Garnish with fresh strawberries. Slice, serve, and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts

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Comments

(14)
Millie Watts

Millie Watts

Great recipe. Very easy to make and absolutely delicious. I added 150ml of baileys and reduced the cream a little. Big hit with the family!!


Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

mmm love the baileys

KJ Shier

KJ Shier

Please help me with this step: Add the sour cream, vanilla, and cream, and beat just until combined, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. After the sour cream and vanilla what cream am I adding?


Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

heavy cream

Nancy Horn

Nancy Horn

You had me at cheesecake. I love it. Add in strawberries and even make it even better. Pass me a slice.

Toni

Toni

This looks so good! Totally irresistible!

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