Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe - Preppy Kitchen (2024)

For a decadent, creamy summertime treat, try my gorgeous strawberry cheesecake! Simple to put together with a bit of time and a basket of fresh berries, it is a luscious dessert that will wow your guests.

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This strawberry cheesecake is a crowd-pleaser every time I make it! Rich, sweet, and creamy cheesecake filling surrounded by a buttery, crisp graham cracker crust and then loaded with a bright, beautiful strawberry sauce…it is the perfect summer dessert! Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream for added indulgence.

My top strawberry cheesecake tip is to remember that while it is simple, it does take time. So prepare it a day ahead of when you plan to serve it. And don’t rush the cooling process! Cheesecake needs to cool for several hours: first in the oven, then at room temperature, and then in the refrigerator. The first bite of that creamy, fruity slice will be worth it! For more cheesecake recipes, try my oreo cheesecake, classic cheesecake recipe, and lemon cheesecake.

What You Need to Make This Recipe

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Crust — for the golden Graham cracker crust, you need graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted unsalted butter. You can make your own crumbs or buy a box of premade crumbs to save on time.

Cream cheese — full-fat blocks of cream cheese are the best choice for the creamiest, silkiest cheesecake possible. Make sure you set it out at room temperature for at least 1 hour before you begin the recipe. If the cream cheese isn’t soft enough, it will make a lumpy filling.

Sugar — granulated sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness to this strawberry cheesecake recipe in both the crust and filling.

Salt — a tiny amount of salt balances out the sweetness in the cheesecake and amplifies the flavor of the filling. It doesn’t seem like much, but it makes a big difference in flavor!

Sour cream — adding full-fat sour cream to the cheesecake batter yields a softer, more moist, and tender cheesecake. If you don’t have any on hand, use full-fat plain Greek yogurt instead.

Lemon zest — adds a bright citrus note that plays very well with the sweet-tart strawberry topping.

Vanilla — use real vanilla extract for the best flavor. Both store-bought or homemade vanilla extract work beautifully! You can even use vanilla bean paste or scrape the seeds from a pod for little flecks of vanilla throughout the cheesecake.

Eggs — bring the eggs to room temperature and lightly beat them. Eggs help bind the ingredients for a smooth, rich cheesecake.

Strawberries — you need 2 pounds of fresh strawberries, each one hulled and sliced in half. If your berries ar extra big, cut them into quarters.

Lemon juice — while optional, I recommend using lemon juice to add brightness and tartness that balances out the sweetness of the strawberries.

Cornstarch — cornstarch thickens the strawberry sauce so it doesn’t all run off the top of the cheesecake.

How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake

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1. Start by making the simple graham cracker crust. Stir together graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl, then stir in in the melted butter until the mixture resembles wet sand and holds together when squeezed.

Transfer to a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan using a tall, flat-bottomed glass. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350°F or until the crust is fragrant. Let it cool completely.

2. Add the cream cheese to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium-low speed until it’s very smooth. Add the granulated sugar and salt and beat until fully incorporated.

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3. Add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until fully incorporated.

4. Drop in the beaten eggs and beat the mixture just until fully combined. Pour the strawberry cheesecake filling into the cooled crust. Note that the filling will come up higher than the sides of the crust and that your pan will be very full. Bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and bake until the filling is set around the edges and the center has a slight jiggle, about 1 hour. Turn off the oven, and do not open the oven door. Cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Loosely cover and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours.

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5. To make the strawberry topping for cheesecake, start by combining 1 pound of strawberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle with cornstarch and stir.

6. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir frequently. Boil for 5 minutes. Then, use a potato masher to mash the strawberries until they are very broken down and chunky. Cook for about 10 minutes more, until the sauce has thickened.

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7. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 pound of strawberries and vanilla extract. Transfer to a bowl and let the strawberry topping cool until lukewarm.

8. When ready to serve, transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Top with the cooled strawberry sauce. Slice and enjoy!

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Baking A Cheesecake Without A Water Bath

Water baths are often touted as the only way to bake a cheesecake without cracks, but I disagree! My method for baking a cheesecake without a water bath is crack-proof!
You’ll start by baking the cheesecake at a higher temperature for 15 minutes before reducing the temperature to 300°F. It will bake at this lower temperature for about an hour, and you will end up with a creamy, crack-free filling.

Now, be aware that some ovens bake hotter than others. If yours bakes hot, reduce the temperature by 10 degrees (so you will start it at 340°F and then reduce to 290°F). Alternatively, don’t adjust it by 10 degrees; instead, add a baking dish of hot water to the bottom oven rack. This will create steam and humidity that gently cooks the cheesecake without having to place the cheesecake directly into a pan of water.

How To Prevent Cheesecake From Cracking

I don’t consider cracks to be a major issue with strawberry cheesecake because, unlike a plain cheesecake, the entire top surface is covered with strawberry sauce. So even if there are cracks, no one will be the wiser.

However, if cracks really bother you, there are a few simple ways to ensure your cheesecake is perfectly crack-free every time:

  • Avoid over-mixing the batter or beating it at too high a speed. That introduces too much air into the filling, which causes the cheesecake to rise too much and then deflate and crack.
  • Don’t open the oven during baking! Drastic temperature changes are a big culprit for cracks, and this can happen even when the oven is on and hot.
  • Don’t rush the cooling process. Just like during baking, do not open the oven door when the cheesecake is done baking and cooling until 1 hour has passed. This quick loss of heat can also crack the cheesecake, causing it to cool and shrink too rapidly. I typically recommend baking cheesecakes a day ahead of when you need them so you have plenty of time to cool and chill properly.
  • Cool cheesecake in three parts: First, I turn off the oven, leave the door closed, and allow it to start cooling in the oven for an hour. Then, I transfer it to my kitchen counter and let it cool to room temperature. Lastly, I lightly cover the cheesecake and pop it into the refrigerator. Overnight is my preference, but a minimum of 6 hours will also work.

Can I Bake This In A Different Size Pan?

Yes! You can easily turn this into individual cheesecakes! Check out my mini cheesecake recipe to learn how to assemble and bake them.

If you don’t have a springform pan, you can still bake this strawberry cheesecake recipe in a 9” round cake pan. However, unless you line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper, you won’t be able to remove the cheesecake from it. This can make slicing difficult, but it will still taste fabulous!

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What Can I Substitute For Sour Cream?

If you don’t have sour cream on hand and have no time to run to the store, whip up a batch of 3-ingredient homemade sour cream with heavy whipping cream, lemon juice, and milk. Alternatively, you can use whole milk plain Greek yogurt, which is lighter than sour cream but has a similar flavor.

Crust Variations

While I favor a classic graham cracker crust for my baked strawberry cheesecake, there are several cookie options you can try! Try an Oreo crust! Use my Oreo cheesecake recipe as a guide and bake the crust at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until fragrant. You can also make the crust in this recipe by substituting the graham cracker crumbs with finely ground gingersnaps, shortbread cookies, Biscoff cookies, or vanilla wafers.

Can You Freeze Strawberry Cheesecake?

Yes, you can freeze it, but I recommend freezing the strawberry sauce and the cheesecake separately if possible. Thaw both in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours before assembling and serving.

To freeze strawberry cheesecake, wrap it tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. I prefer slicing the cheesecake and freezing individual slices so I can pull out one or two when I feel like enjoying cheesecake. Simply wrap each slice in plastic wrap and foil and place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Freezing the strawberry sauce for cheesecake is also very simple. Once it has cooled completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Pro Tips For Making This Recipe

  • Bring refrigerated ingredients to room temperature. Set the cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs out in advance so they warm to room temperature. This will help them blend better for a smooth, creamy cheesecake filling with no lumps.
  • A simple way to remove air bubbles. Once you pour the strawberry cheesecake filling into the pan, tap it gently on the counter to pop air bubbles.
  • Swap the strawberries for other fruit. Try the topping with other berries like blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries. Or, replace them with peels and sliced peaches or plums!
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Frequently Asked Questions

How to store

Cover and refrigerate the strawberry cheesecake for up to 4 days. If you wish to freeze leftovers, place individual slices or the whole cheesecake in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge for at least 8 hours. The strawberry sauce may become loose and watery and weep into the cheesecake, but the flavor will still be delicious!

Can I use other fruit?

You can absolutely use other fruit toppings for cheesecake. Make a blueberry sauce the same way you cook the strawberry topping and spoon that onto the cheesecake. For full instructions on how to make blueberry topping, check out my blueberry cheesecake recipe.
Cherry pie filling doubles as a delightfully jammy cheesecake topping. Or, cut up a variety of fresh fruit and pile it onto the cheesecake for a fresh spin!

What if my cheesecake cracks during baking?

If your strawberry cheesecake cracks, don’t fret! Cracks really only affect the look of a cheesecake, not the flavor. And this cheesecake will be topped with strawberry sauce anyway, so no one will even know there are cracks.

Can I make this cheesecake ahead of time?

Yes, and I actually recommend it. You can make it up to 3 days in advance of serving. My strawberry cheesecake recipe is not difficult, but it does take time to prepare from start to finish, especially when you take the cooling time into account. For this reason, I usually bake cheesecakes the day before I need to serve them, so they can chill and set completely overnight.

If you love this recipe try these out!

  • Air Fryer Cheesecake
  • No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Mini Cheesecakes
  • Cheesecake Brownies
  • Instant Pot Cheesecake

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If you’ve tried this Strawberry Cheesecake recipe, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe - Preppy Kitchen (15)

5 from 47 votes

Strawberry Cheesecake

Try my show-stopping strawberry cheesecake recipe to wow your guests. It’s rich and creamy, with the perfect balance of sweet-tart flavors. Perfect chilled dessert for the summer!

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Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Prep Time 30 minutes minutes

Cook Time 1 hour hour 35 minutes minutes

7 hours hours

Total Time 9 hours hours 5 minutes minutes

Servings 12 servings

Calories 449kcal

Author John Kanell

Video

Equipment

  • Stand or electric mixer

  • Mixing Bowls

  • Springform pan

  • Baking Sheet

  • Saucepan

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • cups graham cracker crumbs (270 g)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (70 g)

For the Filling:

  • 3 (8-ounce/227g) blocks cream cheese room temperature
  • cups granulated sugar (250 g)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sour cream room temperature (120 g)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs room temperature, and lightly beaten

For the Topping:

  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries halved and divided (900g)
  • ¾ cup water (180ml)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray.

  • In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in butter until well incorporated and mixture holds together when tightly squeezed. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Using a tall flat-bottomed glass, press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. (I find it easiest to start with the sides, then press the remaining crumbs into the bottom.) Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the crust is fragrant and starting to turn golden brown on the edges. Let cool completely.

For the Filling:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the cream cheese. Beat on medium-low speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and salt and beat until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes more, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times during mixing.

  • Add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape down bowl. Add the eggs, and beat just until fully combined, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the bowl once during mixing. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. (It should come up over the side of the crust and will be very full).

  • Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and bake until lightly puffed, the filling around edges is set, and the center has a slight jiggle, about 1 hour. Leaving the oven door shut, turn the oven off, and allow the cheesecake to cool for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Loosely cover with a tea towel or paper towel and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours.

For the Topping:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine 1 pound of strawberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice if using. Sprinkle with cornstarch and stir to combine.

  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 5 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash the strawberries until they are very broken down. Continue cooking until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 pound of strawberries and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and let cool until lukewarm.

  • When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake. Release the spring and removed the sides. Transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate and top with the cooled strawberry sauce. Refrigerate the cheesecake covered for up to 4 days.

Notes

  • Bring refrigerated ingredients to room temperature. Set the cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs out in advance so they warm to room temperature. This will help them blend better for a smooth, creamy cheesecake filling with no lumps.
  • A simple way to remove air bubbles. Once you pour the strawberry cheesecake filling into the pan, tap it gently on the counter to pop air bubbles.
  • Swap the strawberries for other fruit. Try the topping with other berries like blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries. Or, replace them with peels and sliced peaches or plums!

Nutrition

Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 265mg | Potassium: 267mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 428IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg

*Nutrition Disclaimer

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Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe - Preppy Kitchen (2024)

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