If you’re “team cheesecake” but don’t like the dense texture of many recipes, you’re going to love this easy strawberry cheesecake recipe! It’s a well-balanced recipe with just the right amount of sweetness, especially when paired with my syrupy strawberry topping.
Plus, you’ll find many more delicious strawberry recipes from my blogging friends in this monthly Pinterest Challenge!
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Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe: A Pinterest Challenge
Welcome to another Pinterest Challenge…with a new spin! This challenge is hosted monthly by my lovely friend Cindy from County Road 407.
Usually, we find inspiration in a home decor idea or craft from Pinterest. This time, my blogging friends and I are bringing you various recipes using strawberries!
If you’re coming over from Christy at Our Southern Home, you’re probably drooling after seeing her strawberry whipped cream recipe. Is there anything better than fresh strawberry desserts in the summer?
My favorite crust for a cheesecake is hands-down graham cracker crust. The fun part about cheesecakes, though, is you have limitless options on which type of cracker to use.
(I think I see more cheesecake experiments in my future!)
You have several options when it comes to making your crust. You can buy premade graham cracker crumbs, blend whole crackers in a blender or food processor, or pound graham crackers in a ziplock.
Cheesecake Crust Variations
To switch up your crust, try using crushed vanilla wafers, Oreos, or gingersnaps instead of graham crackers.
This recipe calls for adding a stick of salted butter and two tablespoons of sugar to the crumbs. You can always opt for less butter or increase the amount of graham cracker crumbs for a crust with higher walls.
I have more FAQs at the end of this post if your crust is too dark…because sometimes that happens to the best of us.
This cheesecake filling comes out creamy and rich without feeling dense and heavy. One key ingredient to give it a lighter texture is sour cream.
You’ll notice my filling looks quite yellow in this picture. I’m using farm fresh eggs from my brother’s ranch, and the yolks are bright yellow! Let’s just say grocery store eggs pale in comparison (literally).
I’m adding four whole medium-sized eggs in my recipe, but you can experiment with adding fewer eggs if you feel the texture is too custard-like. Fewer eggs could result in a more “fudgy” texture.
Tip: Control Your Temperature
Because this recipe uses eggs in lieu of starch, it’s important to cook the cheesecake at low heat to prevent cracking or cratering. Turning the oven off while it continues to cook is key.
Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake
Ah, my favorite part of this whole recipe is the strawberries on top! There’s no fighting for the coveted few strawberries on this cheesecake because there are plenty to go around!
The trick to nailing this strawberry topping is balancing the water and cornstarch. I’d recommend adding as little water as possible to the cornstarch before combining it with the strawberries and sugar mixture. Then, add more water as needed.
Also, it’s important to cook down the diced strawberries very well before adding the strawberry halves just to coat. This will yield a thicker, gooey texture as opposed to a runny one.
Water bath or no water bath?
The reason some recipes call for a water bath is due to the oven temperature in relation to the egg content. Cooking at a higher heat could lead to curdling of the eggs. A water bath helps regulate the temperature.
Since this recipe calls for cooking at a reasonably low temperature, there’s no need for a water bath. Just make sure you don’t overcook the cheesecake.
A cheesecake will still be wobbly in the middle when it is ready. It will finish setting as it cools and is chilled in the refrigerator.
One thing is for sure. This strawberry cheesecake recipe is bound to be a hit with your guests if my family was any indication!
Soon, I’ll share a video outlining all the steps. For now, you can follow along with my other tutorials over on “the tube!”
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake
- 1 lb strawberries (half diced, half halved)
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1-2 tbsp water or lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease a 9-inch springform pan, or line with parchment paper if desired.
- If using whole graham crackers, break the crackers into manageable pieces, and pulse the pieces in a blender or food processor.
- Combine the sugar and graham crackers in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add melted butter to the mixture, and combine well.
- Press the crust into the bottom and sides of a springform pan. Use a measuring cup or drinking glass to press the crust into an even thickness.
- Bake the crust in the oven for 10 minutes. If too much browning occurs, cover the pan with foil.
- Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Beat the cream cheese at medium speed in a stand mixer until fluffy. Then add 1 1/3 sugar, and continue mixing until combined.
- Add vanilla and eggs (one at a time), just until the yolk is mixed in. Do not over blend, since this will make the cake denser.
- Gently fold in the sour cream.
- Pour the mixture into the springform pan, and bake for 1 hour.
- Turn the oven off, and let the cheesecake stand in the oven for another 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and run a knife around the edge. Do not remove the sides of the pan yet.
- Let the cheesecake cool for 15 minutes. Then, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours.
- Remove the sides of the pan when ready to serve.
- Rinse and dry strawberries. Then, cut half of the strawberries in half, and dice the remainder.
- Combine strawberries and sugar in a saucepan. Cook on low to medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the fruit breaks down to create a jammy texture.
- Reduce the heat, and continue stirring. Then, add a small amount of water to the cornstarch before pouring the cornstarch into the saucepan.
- Add vanilla to the strawberry syrup, and stir until blended.
- Add the strawberry halves, and stir until just coated.
- Remove the strawberry topping from the heat. Let cool before refrigerating until ready to serve.
- When adding the topping, flip the strawberry halves face down on the cheesecake for a prettier presentation.
The cheesecake may still wobble in the center when done. The cake will become firmer as it cools. Overbaking may result in a cracked or cratered cheesecake.
No water bath is needed if the cheesecake is cooked at a low temperature and allowed to sit in the oven until done.
For best results, add the strawberry topping just before serving.
The cheesecake will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can also freeze the cheesecake for 1-2 months, if desired. Cut the cheesecake into portions, and add the strawberry topping after defrosting for best results.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 160mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 4g
More Strawberry Recipes
Pin this page for later so you can come back to try more great recipes from my friends below. We have excellent bakers and makers in this group, so you’re in for a real treat…literally!
Next on your stop is Cindy from DIY Beautify. She’s serving up strawberry mini pies for those needing a little portion control…like me! Enjoy!
What if my cheesecake crust is too dark?
If you feel your crust darkened too much during baking, you can skip the pre-baked step and simply chill the crust in a fridge or freezer for an hour before adding the filling.
Using parchment paper around the inside edges of the springform pan may also help prevent browning.
How do I get a denser cheesecake, like New York-style cheesecake?
New York-style cheesecake tends to have more cream cheese and may skip the sour cream ingredient. You can also get a firmer cheesecake by adding a starch like flour or cornstarch rather than relying on eggs to thicken the batter.
Why do you add sour cream to this recipe?
Sour cream adds fat to the cake, which results in a moister, richer cheesecake.
Why did my cheesecake crack?
This happens often with cheesecakes and is usually the result of overbaking. Remember, the center of a cheesecake may still wobble a bit when it’s done but will set as it cools.