This easy Baked Strawberry Cheesecake is a simple, rich, and delicious dessert made with fresh strawberries that will impress your friends and family!
Classic Cheesecake is one of those desserts that always impresses and pleases when it’s served. Many people think its complicated and fussy to make, and therefore too difficult to attempt. But this easy recipe for strawberry cheesecake is straightforward, simple, and delicious! New York Cheesecake with a ripple of delicious strawberry filling.
How to Make Baked Strawberry Cheesecake
How do you make a baked strawberry cheesecake? This recipe is so easy to make with simple ingredients! Three parts to this recipe are all you need – the crust, the strawberry sauce, and the creamy filling.
Graham Cracker Crust
This baked strawberry cheesecake uses a simple graham cracker crust as its base.
- Crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. You can do this by using a rolling pin a plastic bag or pulse them in a food processor. Most grocery stores also sell boxes of graham cracker crumbs in the baking aisle. If you are in Europe, these are known as digestive biscuits.
- In a mixing bowl, stir in the ground cinnamon, ginger, and melted butter until all of the crumbs are wet.
- Press into the bottom of a springform pan, don’t press them up the sides of the springform pan, just the bottom. You can use a deep dish pie plate or round cake pan, but if you want a restaurant style cheesecake and stunning presentation, you’ll need a springform pan to release from the sides.
- Bake to set.
Fresh Strawberry Sauce
For this recipe I used a homemade strawberry topping recipe that is easy and delicious. Basically just strawberries and sugar cooked down together to make a delicious sauce. Use part of it to create the strawberry swirls and part to top the cheesecake slices.
Again, if you are short on time, you can buy a premade strawberry sauce at the store and call it a day!
This basic vanilla cheesecake base is flavored with vanilla and a little lemon for rich flavor that pairs perfectly with the strawberry sauce. Citrus notes really bring out the natural sweetness of strawberries.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until soft and fluffy, scraping down sides of the bowl as you go. do not skip this step. Skipping this can prevent the cheesecake batter from fully incorporating leaving you with pockets of unsweetened cake. I also highly suggest using full-fat cream cheese for the creamiest filling.
- Add in the sugar and wet ingredients (eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest, vanilla extract and sour cream) until just combined- see instructions for the order to add them. I suggest starting on a low speed so you don’t create a sloppy mess.
- The mixture should be smooth and glossy with no lumps. The trick to a creamy cheesecake is to not overmix the batter. It can actually become more watery the more you mix it.
How to assemble the baked strawberry cheesecake
- Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over the prepared crust.
- Dollop some of the strawberry mixture onto the top of the cheesecake batter.
- Add the remaining cheesecake mixture on top of the strawberry sauce and gently smooth the top or tap to release air bubbles.
- Dollop more strawberry sauce on top and use a knife to drag through each dollop and swirl the sauce.
- Bake in a preheated oven until the cheesecake only slightly jiggles in the center when you gently shake the pan.
- Turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven and the door closed. Allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven and slowly cool for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to continue cooling for at least 45 minutes. Cheesecakes need to have the temperature reduce gradually to maintain a creamy texture and prevent cracking.
How to make swirls in baked strawberry cheesecake
To make the pretty swirls on the top of the baked strawberry cheesecake is simple. Add dollops of the strawberry sauce to the top of the cheesecake then drag a knife through the swirls. You can make elaborate patterns or just go free hand, which is what I usually do.
Don’t go too deep when swirling or you will not be able to see the swirls after baking.
How to prevent cracks in cheesecake?
The trick to stop cheesecake from cracking is to allow it to cool slowly. When the cheesecake is just done, turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to slowly cool in the oven with the door closed for about 30 minutes. Then, you can remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to come to room temperature.
However, the catch is if you use a filling, like this fresh strawberry sauce, that has a lot of moisture, cracks are unavoidable. The moisture will make cracks regardless of what you do. While it might not look like the smooth, picture perfect glass cheesecake at the store, know that those are just strawberry flavored sugar and don’t use real fruit.
And then allow it to chill in the fridge for up to 4 hours before serving. This helps the cheesecake filling slowly set and cool without shrinking and cracking.
For some cheesecakes, a water bath helps to prevent cracking, but since it is inevitable with the moisture from strawberries, it wasn’t necessary in this recipe.
Common Cheesecake Questions:
Why is my cheesecake too liquidy? If you overmix your cheesecake batter, it will come out liquid and too soft. Just carefully mix until just barely combined.
How to cut a perfect slice of cheesecake? To cut a perfect slice of cheesecake, run a sharp carving or chef’s knife under hot water and then wipe it dry before cutting a slice. Wipe and rinse with hot water between each slice.
You can also take a square of parchment paper, fold it in half and place it on the shape edge of the knife. After cutting, use the knife to place the paper between each slice for easy serving.
Should I use fresh or frozen strawberries? Fresh, in-season strawberries are best for this baked strawberry cheesecake because they have the best strawberry flavor. The rest of the year using fresh strawberries or frozen strawberries works well, too. Frozen strawberries are usually frozen within a day of picking, so they retain the same nutrients, but they usually don’t have as much flavor as fresh in-season berries.
Because you are cooking them down with sugar, this doesn’t make much of a difference. Just make sure to fully thaw and drain them before using them in the strawberry sauce.
After you have a good base recipe for a creamy cheesecake filling, the sky is the limit on customizations. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Cookie Crumbs– Everyone loves a buttery graham cracker crust, but don’t limit yourself! Try using chocolate graham crackers or even OREO or snickerdoodle cookie crumbs.
- Fruit Filling– I love the fresh strawberry flavor, but swap out for cherry pie filling, blueberry or any other fruit you like.
- Toppings– Caramel sauce, whipped cream, chopped fresh fruit, fudge sauce– use whatever you’d like as a topping!
- Extract- Swap out vanilla extract for almond.
- Brown Sugar– Like molasses? Swap the white sugar in the crust for brown sugar.
Storage & Freezing of Baked Strawberry Cheesecake
How long will baked strawberry cheesecake last? This cheesecake should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap for four to five days.
You can freeze cheesecake, but it sometimes thaws with added moisture beads on top and can be a little dry. To thaw, place in the fridge for up to 24 hours or until soft.
More Amazing Cheesecake Dessert Recipes:
Baked Strawberry Cheesecake
Make the Sauce:
- Make the strawberry sauce according to recipe directions and allow it to cool. Divide the strawberry sauce in half – half of the sauce will be used to make the strawberry swirls and the other half can be used for a topping.
Make the Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9” springform pan and set aside.
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the cinnamon, ginger, salt and melted butter until combined and crumbly.
- Place the mixture into the prepared springform pan and evenly spread out.
- Use a flat bottomed glass to press the crust in, allowing it to go up the side a little.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
Make the Cheesecake Batter:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes, until soft and fluffy.
- Add in the sugar and vanilla and mix until just barely combined.
- Add in the eggs and mix until just barely combined.
- Add in the sour cream, salt, and lemon zest and juice. Mix until just barely combined. Do not overmix. The mixture should look smooth and glossy, but still thick.
Assemble the Cheesecake:
- Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into the cooled crust.
- Dollop some of the strawberry sauce (the half reserved for the swirls) by spoonfuls onto the cheesecake mixture.
- Carefully place the remaining cheesecake mixture on top of the strawberry sauce. Smooth the top.
- Dollop the remaining strawberry sauce for swirls onto the top of the cheesecake mixture, using spoonfuls to randomly space out the dollops of different sizes.
- Use a sharp knife to drag through the dollops, allowing swirls to create.
- Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, on the middle shelf of the oven, until the edges are golden and the middle is only slightly jiggly.
- Turn the oven off, and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes to cool.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool in the pan for 45 minutes, until mostly room temperature.
- Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours to chill.
- Release the springform pan from around the cheesecake and serve with remaining strawberry sauce.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!