I first posted this recipe on Sunday Supper Movement.
So, for someone who never used to like cheesecake, I’ve certainly enjoyed my fair share now. They’ve become something I love to make, eat and post fairly regularly.
And let me tell you, this Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake does NOT disappoint. It’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s indulgent and insanely delicious.
Baked vs unbaked cheesecake
Aside from the obvious difference of one being baked and one being unbaked, the main differences between baked and unbaked cheesecakes are in the setting ingredient and the texture.
Baked cheesecakes generally contain eggs and are baked at a low temperature for an extended period. The texture is normally dense, rich and very smooth.
Unbaked cheesecakes most often use gelatine as a setting agent (but there are others) and their texture is generally more light and fluffy.
This Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake recipe is of the baked cheesecake variety which can seem daunting to some but I’m on a mission to change that thought.
This cheesecake is simple. Pinky promise. There is no need for a bain marie in the oven and once it goes in, you don’t need to think about it until the timer goes off.
It’s really no different to putting a no-bake cheesecake in the fridge and waiting for it to set for 4 hours.
How to make Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
I begin by making this Homemade Strawberry Sauce recipe.
- The base of this cheesecake is a simple mixture of cookie crumbs, a couple of ground spices and melted butter
- This mixture gets pressed into the base of a lined 8 inch round spring form tin
- Half of the cheesecake mixture of cream cheese, sugar, eggs, sour cream and lemon juice is beaten together and spread over the base
- Now use a teaspoon to drop little dollops of strawberry sauce over the level cheesecake mixture
- The remaining cheesecake mixture is placed on top …
- … and spread over so that it’s level
- Finally, drop little rounds of strawberry sauce all over the top
- Then, drag a knife through the centre of them winding your way around the top of the cheesecake until you have a swirl effect.
The cheesecake now goes off to bake for 45-50, just until it only has a slight wobble in the centre
Tips for the perfect baked cheesecake
- The right cheese: Many baked cheesecakes are made with either ricotta or rich cream cheese. Ricotta will give you a lighter texture while the cream cheese will give a much richer, denser result.
- Room temperature ingredients: Making sure all your ingredients are at room temperature will give you a smoother texture. There’s nothing worse than adding cold eggs to perfectly creamed sugar and cream cheese only to see it go lumpy as it resets from the cold.
- Don’t overmix: Beat the cream cheese first up for up to a couple of minutes until it’s smooth and creamy. After that everything should be mixed through until JUST mixed through. This will result in a smoother texture.
- Make it ahead: It’s best to make this the day before or the morning of the day you want to serve it. This will give it plenty of time to bake and cool in time to serve.
Often with baked cheesecakes, the cake tin sits in a bain marie / water bath while it bakes. Supposedly this stops them from cracking once they cool.
I don’t have time for this messing around, so all my baked cheesecake recipes are made without a water bath.
Can you freeze Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
Yes, baked cheesecakes freeze really well.
Sit the cheesecake on a baking tray and place in the freezer until very firm. Now wrap it really well. I like to use a layer of aluminium foil, then twice wrap it in plastic wrap.
To thaw the cake, sit in on a plate in the fridge overnight.
How long does cheesecake last in the fridge?
Baked cheesecakes do require refrigeration and will keep well in the fridge for 4-5 days. Make sure it is covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
How to cut the perfect cheesecake slice
Run a sharp carving or chefs knife under hot water then wipe it dry before cutting into your cheesecake, for the perfect slice.
Alternately, you can use a kitchen blowtorch on the blade for just a few seconds to heat it enough to cut a smooth slice.
Variations on this Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
- Chocolate crust: For something a little different, why not use oreos instead of regular digestives / grahams for the base.
- Other berries: You could use any berry sauce you like to make this cheesecake
- Caramel: Why note substitute the strawberry sauce for a caramel or dulce de leche swirl instead.
This Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake recipe is definitely a crowd pleaser. With it’s sweet strawberry sauce swirl and decorated with fresh berries it’s such a pretty dessert. It’s also rich, so serve smaller slices and let people go back for more.
Other recipes you might like
- Simple Strawberry Flan
- Strawberry Frangipane Tart
- Easy Baked Cheesecake with Fresh Cherry Sauce
- Black Forest Cheesecake
- Lemon Meringue Cheesecake
- Dulce De Leche White Chocolate Cheesecake
Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
- 200 g 7oz digestive biscuits / cookies (notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 100 g 3.5oz unsalted butter, melted
- 750 g 1.7lb cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup 150g / 5.3oz caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 1 egg yolk, room temp
- 200 ml 6.7 floz light sour cream, room temp
- zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup strawberry sauce
- Preheat the oven to 160C / 325F / 140C fan forced. Grease and line the base and sides of an 8 inch round spring form tin with baking paper.
- Use a food processor to process the cookies / biscuits to fine crumbs. Add the cinnamon and ginger and pulse to combine (notes)
- Tip the crumbs into a bowl, then mix through the melted butter.
- Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared tin. Bake for 10 minutes then set aside while you make the filling.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (notes), beat the cream cheese on low-med speed for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as required.
- Add the sugar and vanilla and beat well, again scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Add the eggs and extra yolk, one at a time beating until each is incorporated.
- Add the sour cream, salt, lemon juice and zest and beat well. The mixture should now be looking completely smooth and glossy.
- Pour half of cheesecake mixture over the base. With a teaspoon, dollop small blobs of strawberry sauce over the top. With a spoon or spatula, carefully spoon over the remaining cheesecake mixture. Smooth out the top just a little, then again use a teaspoon to dollop over the remaining strawberry sauce. Use a knife to run through the little strawberry patches to give it a swirl effect.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven. There should be a slight wobble in the centre.
- Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for half an hour with the door closed.
- Remove it from the oven and let it cool at least a further 45 minutes at room temperature before covering (a plate over the top of the tin is finand placing in the fridge to set completely. Let it cool and set for at least 2-3 hours.
- You can use this recipe for Strawberry Sauce
- Cookie base: I use a digestive biscuit called Arnotts Granitas but Arnotts Shredded Wheats will also work. In the US, Graham Crackers make the perfect crust.
- Making the crumbs: if you don’t have a food processor or blender, put the cookies / biscuits in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin
- Stand mixer: I prefer using a stand mixer but a handheld beater will also do the trick.
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
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