Cheesecake can seem like an intimidating project to a beginning baker, but it's not hard to learn how to make strawberry cheesecake. The flavor of fresh berries and the thick, dense texture of cheesecake are a natural pair, so berry cheesecakes are perennial favorites. Strawberry cheesecake also goes well with a variety of crusts and garnishes, so it's easy to customize a particular recipe to flavors or ingredients that you like most.
Each recipe calls for slightly different ingredients, so make sure you have what you need on hand before you start baking. In most cases, the process for how to make strawberry cheesecake is similar, so you'll likely need many of the ingredients below.
- Cream cheese
- Graham crackers or cookies
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries
Most cheesecakes also require an electric mixer to combine the batter, a springform pan for easy removal, and cooking spray (or melted butter) to coat the bottom and sides of the pan.
Making a strawberry cheesecake can be time-consuming, so be sure to allow enough time to assemble your cheesecake, bake it, decorate it, and let it chill thoroughly before serving.
- First, prepare the crust. Combine crushed graham crackers or cookies with butter and other ingredients according to your recipe. Mix the ingredients until they stick together but are still crumbly. Empty the crust into the greased springform pan, and press it evenly into the bottom of the pan with your fingers. If you like, you can choose to extend the crust slightly over the sides of the pan as well, but don't push the crust up to the top of the pan, as it will lose its shape when the sides of the springform pan are removed. To even out the crust, press it with the flat side of a large spoon. Pre-bake the crust according to the directions of your recipe.
- The second step is to prepare the cheesecake batter. Before mixing, let the cream cheese and butter sit at room temperature for at least 45 minutes or until they become soft. With an electric mixer, combine these ingredients with the sugar, vanilla, sour cream, eggs, flour, and any other components your recipe requires. Beat until the mixture is lightened, smooth, and somewhat fluffy.
- Spoon the prepared batter into the pre-baked crust and return the pan to the oven. Bake at about 325 F for an hour or as long as your recipe requires.
- When the cheesecake is finished, let it cool to room temperature then transfer it to the refrigerator to chill. Allow the cake to chill for at least four hours before serving.
- Before you transfer the cake to the refrigerator or after it has chilled, decorate it. Slice fresh strawberries and combine them with sugar in a saucepan to create a macerated glaze. Lay more fresh slices on top of the cheesecake, and drizzle the finished glaze over them.
Tips for How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake
- To save time, use a pre-made graham-cracker or other cheesecake crust.
- Instead of using fresh berries, use frozen. Alternately, you could make the cheesecake with strawberry cream cheese or mix small pieces of fresh berry into the batter before it's baked.
- Don't overbake the cheesecake. It may crack if it becomes too dry. To help prevent cracking, let the cheesecake cool in the oven (turned off) for several hours after it's done baking.
- Add the full amount of butter the recipe calls for to the crust. If the crust is too crumbly when it's pressed into the pan, it will fall apart when the cake is sliced.
- Top the cake with a variety of fresh berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and drizzle them all with the macerated strawberry glaze.
- Serve each slice of cheesecake with a chocolate-covered strawberry.