Easy Strawberry Cheesecake is like a traditional baked cheesecake with a crunchy graham cracker crust, a creamy, light, and fluffy cheesecake filling, and a delicious strawberry sauce on top. It’s a classic dessert that everyone loves and is much easier to make than you think!
Although it is baked it is still served chilled which makes it a refreshing choice for summertime. You can showcase all of the beautiful fresh juicy strawberries that you picked or switch them up and use whatever fruit you like. You’ll notice that the cheesecake recipe itself is a blank slate for all kinds of flavors and sauces!
Strawberry just happens to be a favorite, because who doesn’t love strawberries?! It’s certainly a treat for summer BBQs and potlucks, but it’s also perfect for the holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s day, birthdays, showers, and more!
Ingredients for Strawberry Cheesecake
For the Crust
- Honey graham crackers – You’ll need about 2 cups of crushed Grahams. You can do this yourself, or buy a package of crumbs.
- Butter, melted – This will help bind the crumbs together into a texture similar to wet sand. When baked it will come together and set nicely.
- Cream cheese – Use a block of cream cheese at room temperature. Do not use the container of spreadable cream cheese, it has a higher water content which will affect the texture of the cheesecake.
- Flour – This gives the cake a lighter, more cake-like texture to every bite.
- Vanilla extract – A delicious flavor enhancer that makes everything taste better!
- Sour cream – This will help to lighten up the heavier cream cheese. It’s tangy and creamy but not nearly as thick, so they balance each other.
- Sugar – Needed to sweeten what would otherwise be a very tart cheesecake!
- Eggs – Also at room temperature, so be sure to bring them out ahead of time.
- Strawberries – Sliced in half. If you have really big ones cut them into quarters. Don’t forget to save some extra for garnish.
- Sugar – When the strawberries are cooked, the sugar will help to break down the fruit making them soft and jam-like.
- Lemon juice – Brightens up the flavor in the strawberry topping. Adding a bit of citrus juice is a great way to mellow out the sweetness.
- Vanilla extract – Again, a yummy flavor addition.
- Cornstarch & cold water – Together, they make a cornstarch slurry that will thicken up the sauce.
How to Make a Baked Cheesecake From Scratch
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 320 degrees. If you have an oven with a fan, preheat it to 295 degrees. First place a layer of parchment paper on top, then grease the bottom and the side of a round cake pan (springform works great) with melted butter or oil. See photos for details.
Step 2: To turn your graham crackers into fine crumbs, place them in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. You can also use a food processor or blender if you have one.
Step 3: Combine crumbs and melted butter into a bowl to form “sand”. Transfer that to the bottom of the cake pan and press it down using the bottom of a glass cup or measuring cup. This will help to compact it and level it out so that there is a distinct crust line. Set that aside.
Step 4: Make the filling by beating the cream cheese first until it’s smooth. Then, add in the flour and continue to beat until combined.
Step 5: Add vanilla, sour cream, and sugar and mix until everything is incorporated. Crack one egg at a time, beating in between each added egg until just mixed in. Be careful not to over mix.
Step 6: Pour filling into the prepared crust and bake for 55 minutes. Once the time is up, turn off the oven and crack open the oven door just slightly. This will avoid a sudden change in temperature. Once cooled, refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 3 hours or overnight.
How to Make Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake
This simple sauce can be made with any fruit or berries! Keep this recipe handy for the next time you need a delicious fruit sauce.
First, you’ll bring the strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and vanilla to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and let them cook down for about 8-10 minutes. Slowly add in the cornstarch slurry to thicken it up and let it cook for another couple of minutes. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.
Use it to top your cheesecake with a few extra fresh strawberries, and enjoy a slice or two!
If you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers, keep them in the fridge, for up to 3 days!
Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe Tips
- Wash strawberries! Even if they are organic, it’s always good practice to wash your fruit beforehand.
- Line and prepare the baking sheet. There’s nothing worse than trying to serve a slice of cheesecake and having it stick to the bottom!
- Do not peek. As tempting as it may be to open the oven door to check on your cheesecake, don’t do it! The change in temperature will cause the cake to deflate and possibly crack.
- Serve the sauce on the side if you like. In fact, when you serve a crowd, you could make a few different sauces and allow people to pick their own!
- Start with room temperature ingredients. The cream cheese needs to be soft so it’s easy to cream and the eggs also need to be brought to room temperature to match. It helps with even baking.
What’s Better a Baked Cheesecake or No-Bake Cheesecake?
That’s up for debate! A personal preference for sure and it depends on who you ask. A no-bake cheesecake is denser, and thicker and has the appeal of not turning on the oven. A baked cheesecake is lighter and fluffier. There is no right answer. They are both AMAZING.
Can I Use Yogurt Instead of Sour Cream?
I don’t see why not! I haven’t tried it myself, but I would imagine using plain Greek yogurt would be great as a lighter option.
Can I Use a Store-Bought Crust?
Sure! This is a great way to take a shortcut when you’re short on time.
Why is My Cheesecake Cracked?
There could be a few reasons for this. First, you want to make sure you do not over mix your cheesecake batter. That’s why I say only beat the eggs until incorporated and do not over mix!
You also want to make sure not to over bake the cheesecake. It’s ok that it’s still a bit jiggly (just a bit!) in the middle. It will continue to bake out of the oven and then set as it cools. Last, you really want to make sure there is no sudden chance in temperature in the oven.
What Can I Do With Leftover Strawberry Topping?
Lots of yummy things! My kids love when I pour over vanilla ice cream or swirl it into their morning yogurt. You can use it as a spread over pancakes or waffles or fill up your crepes. The sky is the limit so feel free to double or triple the amount of strawberry topping you make!
More Dessert Ideas
Easy Strawberry Cheesecake
- 2 cups honey graham crackers crushed in a zip-bag using a rolling pin
- 1/2 cup butter melted, about 8 tablespoons
How to Make Cheesecake Base
- Preheat the oven to 320F if using regular oven or 295F if using oven with fan. First place a layer of parchment paper on top, then grease the bottom and the side of a round cake pan (springform works great) with melted butter or oil.
- Add honey graham crackers into zip bag, zip the bag and roll the rolling pin over it until crackers turn into thin crumbs. Transfer the cracker crumbs into a bowl and add melted butter, mix until everything is blended.
- Add the buttery crumbs into the baking pan and using a cup press onto the sides of the pan and the bottom of the pan, to create the base for cheesecake. See pictures.
How to Make Cheesecake Filling
- Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth about 30 seconds. Add flour and beat for few seconds, until flour is mixed into the cream cheese.
- Next add vanilla extract, sour cream and sugar, beat until everything is combined, few seconds.
- Beat in one egg at a time, beating for few seconds after adding each egg. Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake for 55 minutes. After turn off the oven and slightly open the oven door and let the cheesecake cool off, after it cools off refrigerate for 3-5 hours or overnight. Remove from the baking pan.
How to Make Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake
- Into a skillet add strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract, bring it to a gentle boil then simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring few times.
- In a small bowl whisk cornstarch with water and slowly pour it into the skillet with strawberries. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. After remove from the heat and let it cool.
- Once the strawberry topping is cooled add it to the top of cheesecake and refrigerate for few hours before serving. Garnish with fresh stawberries on top, cut a slice and enjoy! You can also serve cheesecake with strawberry topping on the side.
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