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Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

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This recipe first appeared on Savory Experiements, where I am a contributor.

This easy baked strawberry cheesecake recipe is a simple, rich, and delicious dessert made with fresh strawberries that will impress your friends and family.

Homemade cheesecake with fresh strawberry swirls is a simple but decadent tasting dessert. Made with a graham cracker crust, creamy cheesecake filling and a from scratch strawberry sauce, this dessert will impress and delight!

Cheesecake is one of those desserts that always impresses and pleases when its served! Many people think its complicated and fussy to make, and therefore too difficult to attempt. But this strawberry cheesecake is straight forward, simple, and delicious! Other simple cheesecake recipes you should try are my Fromage Blanc Tart (which is a fun cheesecake recipe like you have never had before), and my Pumpkin Cheesecake with Praline sauce! Both so good!

slice of cheesecake with strawberry topping

How to make strawberry swirl cheesecake

This recipe is so easy to make! Three parts to this recipe are all you need – the crust, the strawberry sauce, and the cheesecake filling. Here is a brief overview of how to make this recipe, but make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below for the full set of directions.

Make the Graham Cracker Crust

This cheesecake uses a simple graham cracker crust as its base. 

  1. Crush the graham crackers into an even crumb.
  2. Stir in the ground cinnamon, ginger, and melted butter.
  3. Press into the bottom of a springform pan.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
college showing how to mix and create graham cracker crust

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.

collage showing how to cook down strawberries for sauce

Mix the Cheesecake Filling

This basic vanilla cheesecake base is flavored with vanilla and a little lemon for a rich and flavorful base that pairs perfectly with the strawberry sauce.

  1. Beat the cream cheese until soft, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the sugar and the vanilla and mix until just combined.
  3. Add in the eggs, and mix until just combined.
  4. Add in the sour cream, salt, lemon juice and zest, and mix until just barely combined. The mixture should be smooth and glossy now.
collage showing how to make cheesecake filling

How to assemble the cheesecake

  1. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture over the crust.
  2. Dollop some of the strawberry sauce onto the top of the cheesecake mixture.
  3. Add the remaining cheesecake mixture on top of the strawberry sauce and gently smooth the top.
  4. Dollop more sauce on top and use a knife to drag through each dollop and swirl the sauce.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 45- 50 minutes, until the cheesecake only slightly wobbles when you gently shake the pan.
  6. 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.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to continue cooling for at least 45 minute.
collage showing how to assemble cheesecake

How do you make swirls in a cheesecake?

To make the pretty swirls on the top of the cheesecake is simple. Add dollops of the strawberry sauce to the top of the cheesecake.

Don’t go too deep when swirling or you will not be able to see the swirls after baking.

using knife to create swirls in cheesecake

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. 

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.

*Note: This strawberry cheesecake recipe does form small cracks around the strawberry sauce dollops. The extra juice just causes some cracks to naturally occur, and that’s ok! It’s hard to achieve a perfectly smooth top with this cheesecake recipe, but even with some small cracks, its still delicious! 

overhead image of cheesecake with strawberry topping in bowl

Questions you might have about this strawberry cheesecake recipe:

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 carbing or chef’s knife under hot water and then wipe it dry before cutting a slice.

Should I use fresh or frozen strawberries? Fresh, in-season strawberries are best 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.

How long will strawberry cheesecake last? This cheesecake should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for four to five days.

whole strawberry swirl baked cheesecake on plate

You might also like these other strawberry dessert recipes:

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Yield: 12 servings

Baked Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Recipe

Baked Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Recipe

This easy Baked Strawberry Cheesecake is a simple, rich, and delicious dessert made with fresh strawberries that will impress your friends and family!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

Strawberry Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries hulled and quartered, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Crust:

  • 1 ¾ cup crushed graham crackers
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 5 Tablespoons melted butter

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3- 8oz containers of full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

Strawberry Sauce

    1. Add 1 cup of sliced strawberries to a mediaum sauce pan with the sugar and mash using a potato masher or pastry cutter.
    2. Stir in the cornstarch, lemon juice and water.
    3. Bring to a low boil.
    4. Stirring constantly, cook for 3-8 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
      Remove from heat, stir in reserved 1 cup chopped diced strawberries and the salt.
      Allow to cool fully before refrigerating or freezing.

Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Grease a 9” springform pan and set aside.
  3. Crush the graham crackers and place in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix in the ground cinnamon, ground ginger, pinch of salt, and melted butter until combined and crumbly.
  5. Place the mixture into the prepared springform pan and evenly spread out.
  6. Use a flat bottomed glass to press the crust in, allowing it to go up the side a little.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool.

Cheesecake Filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes, until soft and fluffy.
  2. Add in the sugar and vanilla and mix until just barely combined.
  3. Add in the eggs and mix until just barely combined.
  4. Add in the sour cream, salt, and lemon zest and juice. Mix until just barely combined. Do not overmix.
  5. The mixture should look smooth and glossy.

Assembly

  1. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into the cooled crust.
  2. Dollop some of the strawberry sauce (the half reserved for the swirls) by spoonfuls onto the cheesecake mixture.
  3. Carefully place the remaining cheesecake mixture on top of the strawberry sauce. Smooth the top.
  4. 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.
  5. Use a sharp knife to drag through the dollops, allowing swirls to create.

Baking

  1. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes, on the middle shelf of the oven, until the edges are golden and the middle is only slightly wobbly.
  2. Turn the oven off, and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes to cool.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool in the pan for 45 minutes, until mostly room temperature.
  4. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours to chill.
  5. Release the springform pan from around the cheesecake and serve with remaining strawberry sauce.

Notes

Store wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 463Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 452mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

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