strawberry cheesecake

When I want strawberry cheesecake, I want cheesecake that’s strawberry-flavored, not plain cheesecake topped with strawberries. And not a plain cheesecake with a swirl of strawberries. Although I’m certainly not against adding a strawberry topping and strawberry swirl to strawberry-flavored cheesecake.

I confess that the strawberry swirl wasn’t intentional. But when I had leftover strawberry puree, I didn’t know what else to do with it. I didn’t want to risk marring the cheesecake’s creamy texture by doubling the puree. So on my first try, I poured half of the cheesecake batter over the crust, then spooned on the puree, then finished with the rest of the cheesecake batter. I liked the hit of fresh strawberry flavor in each bite, but the leftover cheesecake’s crust got soft, almost soggy, after a day in the fridge, which I blamed on the watery strawberry puree.

So I thought I’d try putting the extra puree on top of the cheesecake instead of in the middle. Generally when you plan to swirl things together, you want them to be about the same viscosity, but that would require cornstarch and cooking to thicken the strawberry puree, and I didn’t want to mess with all that.

The swirl on top worked wonderfully, even without thickening the puree.  Of course I still topped the cheesecake with sliced strawberries, but with the bright flavor from the swirl, it was hardly necessary. Now this, with even pink strawberry flavor throughout, beautiful fresh puree, and if you can’t get enough strawberries, sliced fresh strawberries on top – this is worthy of being called strawberry cheesecake.

One year ago: Slaw Tartare
Two years ago: Comparison of 3 brownie recipe (and a box mix)
Three years ago: Red Beans and Rice

Printer Friendly Recipe
Strawberry Cheesecake (adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Tall and Creamy Cheesecake from Baking: From my Home to Yours)

Makes 16 servings

For the crust:
1¾ cups graham crackers
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1⅓ cups (9.67 ounces) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cream
1 cup (8 ounces – both in weight and liquid measurements) strawberry puree, divided

1. For the crust: Spray the bottom of a springform pan with nonstick spray. Either grind the graham crackers with a food processor or place them in a ziptop bag and crush with a rolling pin. Add the sugar, salt, and butter to the crumbs and stir until evenly mixed. Press the crumbs into an even layer covering the bottom of the prepared pan. Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool on a wire rack, then wrap the bottom of the pan in foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bring a pot of water to a boil.

3. For the cheesecake: With a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed until smooth. Add the sugar and salt; continue mixing for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs one a time, mixing just until each one is incorporated. Mix in the cream and ½ cup of the strawberry puree.

4. Pour the batter onto the cooled crust. Spoon the remaining strawberry puree over the batter and use a butter knife to gently swirl it. Place the wrapped springform pan into roasting pan; pour the hot water into the roasting pan.

5. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Turn off the oven’s heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon; let the cheesecake set in the water bath for another hour. Remove the cheesecake from the hot water and let it come to room temperature on a cooling rack. When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours.

I’m donating my Bourbon Pound Cake to Bloggers Bake for Hope.  This and over fifty other treats are available to be shipped directly to you. Bidding is open until midnight (EST) Friday, so hurry and bid to win this pound cake!  All proceeds go to Massachusetts Komen for the Cure.

Comments

  1. Beautiful cheese cake. My favorite dessert EVER!!

  2. This is brilliant! So much better than a regular cheesecake with strawberries on top or swirled in.

  3. What a gorgeous cheesecake! I am much more a strawberry person than a chocolate person…so this cheescake sounds awesome!

  4. yum! love the idea of a strawberry cheesecakes. sounds delish!

  5. Been scratching my head over what to do with 3 pounds of slightly-weepy strawberries! What a beautiful and brilliant recipe. On my to-do today. Thank you!

  6. Beautiful cheesecake! I love this idea since strawberries have been on super-sale recently!

  7. Mmm, I haven’t tried cheesecake in almost a year, but this one tempts me….

  8. Gorgeous cheesecake!

  9. Love the pics from above. Such a pretty pink cheesecake.

  10. Beautiful strawberry swirls! Looks delicious.

    ~Brenda

  11. i’m with you on the strawberry cheesecake thing. plain with strawberry topping is NOT the same!

  12. Plain cheesecake is so boring! The strawberry swirl looks great!

  13. s t u n n i n g cheesecake. wow. could not agree more on the strawberry cheesecake thing … great adapation of dorie’s recipe!

  14. Gorgeous! I’m with you, I want it ALL strawberry flavored, not just a drizzle of sauce on top. :) And, the swirl turned out beautifully!

  15. I’m not a huge cheesecake person, but my favorite was a lemon-strawberry version I once had. I’m betting a little lemon zest wouldn’t hurt this one.

  16. Gorgeous, Bridget!

  17. I hate when strawberry recipes aren’t really strawberry either. A compote or a swirl is just not enough! This one look perfect, off to check if my frozen strawberry stash has enough!

  18. Belle says:

    I made this and think it’s wonderful. Perfect for spring!

  19. Bonnie says:

    This is a wonderful recipe. My son is not a strawberry eater so i decided to try it without them. I want to thank you for this recipe, it is the richest, creamiest and most fabulous cheese cake i have ever tasted. And I must say my first baked one i have ever made. My family is begging me to make another one. I do have one question with the holidays coming up. Can I add anything else to the cheesecake without it not coming out right? any type of chocolate, cherries, pumpkin or toffee?

  20. Bonnie says:

    one question. i usually make without strawberries, but this time i am making it with. is the strawberry puree, strictly strawberries blended or is there anything else added? thanks.

  21. Bonnie – It’s pure strawberries.

  22. Bonnie says:

    I love this recipe! I do have another question for you though. I have decided to try to make mini cheesecakes with this recipe. I just got my pans in so I’m ready to experiment. My question is, have you made them that way, if so, do you keep temp the same, how long do you cook them in water bath and how long to leave them in with oven off? Thanks for your help.

  23. Bonnie – I’ve never used mini cheesecake pans, but I’ve baked cheesecakes in muffin tins. For cheesecakes that small, I don’t bother with the water bath. The water bath helps keep the temperature on the outside of the cheesecake low while the inside cooks through; for mini cakes, the temperature difference isn’t nearly as large so the water bath is unnecessary. I wouldn’t worry about leaving them sitting in the warm oven either. I do cook them at the same temperature that I would use for a full-size cheesecake.

  24. Bonnie says:

    How long do you cook them for. I don’t want to over cook.

  25. Bonnie – That I do not know. It depends on what size you’re making them. For muffin cups, I think it’s on the same order as cupcakes, so 16-20 minutes, but it’s really important to just keep an eye of them. Take the cakes out of the oven when they have just a bit of jiggle to them, like jello.

  26. Bonnie says:

    I will give it a try. I appreciate all of your help. Thank you!!

  27. Bonnie says:

    just for anyone’s info: Tried the mini’s without water bath. Fell in middle as soon as they were taken out of oven. Decided to do the second batch with water bath and and left in oven with door open after cooking. No falling and came out perfect. Still did the same temp, just watched and adjusted times. Thanks for your help!

  28. Bonnie – Thanks for the update! That’s good information. Sorry that my original advice didn’t work out!

  29. Bonnie says:

    Sorry to keep bothering you. Another question. I love the base of this cheesecake. I make it plain, add the strawberries, and even have made it into a turtle cheesecake. My next try is pumpkin. can i add pumpkin pie mix to the cheesecake? if so, how much do you recommend and should I add anything to it like whipping cream. also, would you recommend to swirl it in or add directly to the mix. thank you. :)

  30. Bonnie – I think you could just replace the strawberry puree with pumpkin puree and add some spices. I wouldn’t use pumpkin pie mix because you don’t need the extra sugar. Also, because pumpkin is thicker than pureed strawberries, you can afford to add more without messing up the texture of the cheesecake. To do a swirl, save some plain cheesecake batter, before the pumpkin is added, and swirl that into the pumpkin batter. Or, you could just make this recipe: http://www.crumblycookie.net/2008/11/13/bourbon-pumpkin-cheesecake/ :)

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