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The most glorious, delicious, perfect summer dessert is here! Hello Strawberry Cheesecake! This is a showstopper no matter who you serve it to or when you serve it. You only need a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time to make this amazing cheesecake.
I am so thrilled to be sharing this Strawberry Cheesecake recipe with you today! It is a thick and creamy classic cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries and a homemade strawberry-vanilla sauce. After testing lots and lots of variations of cheesecake in the past two weeks, this one is my favorite! Not too sweet, super creamy yet still light and fresh because of the two pounds of berries I use! It’s truly the perfect summer dessert.
Strawberry Cheesecake Basics
This recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake is made with very few ingredients when mixed together give you an amazing finished product. I do recommend certain brands because I have found the most success with them, but feel free to use no-name brands if you prefer them better. Don’t forget the recipe card at the end of this post has the full recipe with measurements and specific directions.
Here’s what you will need:
- Graham Cracker Crumbs– I prefer the Honeymaid brand because they are widely available. Keebler is also great as well. Grinding your own graham crackers in a blender or food processor is a fine way to do it too. Just make sure they end up very fine.
- Granulated Sugar– I add a few tablespoons to sweeten up the crust, more in the filling, and even more for the strawberry sauce. This is a dessert after all! Ha!
- Melted Butter-I prefer salted butter, but use what you have
- Cream Cheese– I love using the Philadelphia brand when making ANY cheesecake because it’s widely available and slightly tangier than no-name brands. Set this out a few hours prior so it’s room temperature.
- Sour Cream– Adds a little more tang to get a perfectly balanced cheesecake.
- Vanilla Extract– adds flavor to the cheesecake and the strawberry sauce. I like using real vanilla extract, but if you just have imitation, don’t let that stop you from making this.
- Eggs– holds the cheesecake together. Be sure to use room temperature eggs and add these in last.
- Fresh Strawberries– this recipe calls for two full pounds of strawberries! I know it’s a lot, but man is it worth it! Swoon. Half is used for the sauce, and the other half for garnish.
How to make Strawberry Cheesecake
The cheesecake portion of this recipe is based on my Classic Cheesecake Recipe. There is LOTS of information in that post which explains the WHY behind everything. Why do we stir in the eggs last? Why do we tap the bowl on the counter to get rid of air bubbles? Why do I not use a water bath? It’s all answered here.
I know there are a lot of steps, but following this method exactly will give you a big, thick crack-free cheesecake. And, don’t forget this list is just the bare bones of the recipe. The FULL recipe is in the printable recipe card below.
- Start by making the graham cracker crust: stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter together and press into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 7 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Set aside to cool.
- Make the cheesecake filling by stirring the very soft cream cheese together with the granulated sugar. Stir in the vanilla and sour cream. Scrape the sides really really well and stir again to ensure there are no lumps.
- Whisk eggs together in a separate bowl and slowly add to the cheesecake filling with the mixer on. Once eggs are incorporated turn mixer off. Scrape the sides really well to ensure a very smooth batter. If there are lumps, stir them in by hand.
- Tap bowl on the counter for 30-45 seconds to remove air bubbles.
- Pour batter into graham cracker crust, smooth the top and bake.
- Bake at 325 degrees, reduce heat to 250 to finish cooking.
- Let the cheesecake sit in the hot oven with the oven closed for 30 minutes before cracking the door and letting it continue cooling for another hour.
- Remove from oven and bring cheesecake to room temperature.
- Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled.
- Wash and hull and slice 2 pounds of strawberries. Reserve half of the berries for garnish.
- Place the other half the berries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until berries are very soft. Place into a blender and blitz until smooth. Refrigerate.
- To serve, top with the fresh berries and drizzle half of the strawberry sauce overtop. Slice strawberry cheesecake into pieces and serve with remaining strawberry sauce.
Do I have to use a Springform Pan?
The short answer is not necessarily, but I would highly *highly* recommend using one. The best baking pan for this cheesecake recipe is a 9-inch springform pan and I don’t have a suggestion for the optional pan to use instead. You can definitely put this into a 10-incher but definitely won’t fit into an 8.
Also, I know you can buy larger 9″x 3″ cake pans without the springform option, but just don’t see any good way to remove the whole cheesecake without ruining it. Moral of the story? Splurge and get the springform pan. Or find a friend and borrow one (I find that this is super easy when you are willing to share some of your strawberry cheesecake).
Can I use any other pan to make this Strawberry Cheesecake?
I have had great success making this strawberry cheesecake in a 9×13 pan and serving as cheesecake bars. None of the ingredients, directions, or baking times are changed. Simply just replace the springform pan with a 9×13.
A note about the Strawberry Sauce
The homemade strawberry sauce recipe that makes this cheesecake quintessentially strawberry is only 4 ingredients. After you cook those ingredients together, you blend them until smooth. You will still have seeds! If you’d prefer the sauce to be seedless, strain out the seeds using cheesecloth.
After you strain the sauce, refrigerate until completely chilled before topping the strawberry cheesecake with it. After the sauce has chilled, it should thicken slightly.
Of course, you can definitely just buy strawberry sauce from the store if you’d prefer to not make it. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
Love Strawberries? Try these recipes:
- Strawberries and Cream Layer Cake
- Easiest Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Summer Strawberry Jello Pie
- Nutella Deviled Strawberries
- Strawberry Mint Limeade
If you loved this strawberry cheesecake, you’re going to devour these other strawberry recipes. The printable recipe card is below! 🙂
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
For the Cheesecake Filling:
- 9" Springform Pan
- Place oven racks in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir graham cracker crumbs together with sugar and melted butter until well incorporated and the mixture looks like damp sand. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, press crust into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix cream cheese 30 seconds 'til smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add in granulated sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix again until incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again briefly.
- Crack eggs into a liquid measuring cup and using a fork, beat until well scrambled. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the eggs into the cream cheese mixture and stop stirring once the eggs have been incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape the sides and bottom again, ensuring the entire mixture is smooth. If there are a few small lumps, try to fold in using the rubber scraper.
- Once the batter is completely smooth and ready, tap the bowl on the counter for 30-45 seconds to remove as many air bubbles as possible. You should see them popping on the surface as you tap the bowl. Pour filling into the center of the graham cracker crust and gently smooth the top. It will be very full!
- Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Reduce temperature to 250 degrees and continue cooking for 45 minutes more. Once this time has elapsed, turn the oven off and keep cheesecake inside for another 30 minutes for some carryover cooking without opening the oven door. Crack oven door to let cheesecake cool slowly for one hour before removing. At this point, cheesecake should be slightly warm. Bring cheesecake to room temperature on the counter (3-4 hours) before covering with plastic wrap and transferring to the fridge.
- Refrigerate until chilled completely (6 hours to overnight). Open springform pan and remove the collar.
- For the Strawberry Sauce, wash and slice 1 pound of strawberries and place into a small saucepan. Sprinkle in sugar and water. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook strawberries for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour into a blender and blitz until completely smooth. Chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes in a shallow dish.
- Wash and slice the remaining pound of strawberries and decorate the chilled cheesecake with them. (Pile them high!) Pour half of the strawberry sauce over top of the entire cheesecake.Cut into slices** and serve with remaining strawberry sauce.