This strawberry swirl cheesecake is light, creamy, fluffy, smooth, and perfect for any special occasion! This is the ultimate strawberry cheesecake, with three layers of strawberry sauce within and on top of the cheesecake. Delicious!
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow y’all. If you are part of the Sweet Tea fam, you received this recipe in your inbox earlier this week as a special surprise.
If you aren’t subscribed to the newsletter, you need to get in on this action! I have fantastic things planned this year just for the Sweet Tea family, including giveaways and special deals for some amazing opportunities.
But I feel like I couldn’t let everyone else down, y’all have had an entire Valentine’s Menu laid out over the past couple weeks, I couldn’t leave you hanging without the most important part of Valentine’s Day: dessert!
I usually make this crustless Ricotta Cheesecake, but this year I decided why not whip up a New York Style cheesecake that is just as light and fluffy as the ricotta cheesecake but jazzed up even more than just the typical cheesecake with a little sauce on top.
So how about sauce swirled on top? And in the middle? And then poured even more on top?
Oh, I’m talking somebody’s language now! Might need to hide some strawberry swirl cheesecake for yourself, because
To make the cake is really, really easy. At most you need a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer, and they’re pretty inexpensive (this is the hand mixer I use). This is needed to really beat the cream cheese into a smooth texture, with very little to no lumps. No one wants lumpy cheesecake.
After that, you really can mix by hand. In fact, mixing by hand could stop you from accidentally over-mixing, which can cause cracks. Which, honestly, isn’t a bad thing here. If you get cracks, which my recipe tries to avoid as much as possible but it can depend on your oven and all types of variables, it just means more nooks and crannies to pour strawberry sauce into. Sounds like a win to me, but here’s a little secret: a bit of cornstarch in the batter helps keep your cheesecake from cracking. Optional, but it doesn’t bother the flavor or texture much.
The cheesecake batter is creamy, tangy, and the addition of lemon zest really adds that ‘great cheesecake’ flavor to it. I promise you, if you taste a cheesecake without lemon zest, you’ll notice.
Sour cream, of course adds that tang and it helps lighten up your cheesecake (I have a vendetta against dense cheesecakes) and the eggs are really important to hold that cheesecake together. The egg whites lighten the texture, giving you a more fluffy, softer mouthfeel, while the yolks bind the whole cake together and helps give that velvety, silky richness.
Now, about the water bath. I don’t know why it gets such a bad rep, it’s really an easy step that helps give you a really creamy cheesecake (and reduces the chance for cracking).
To further reduce cracking, cool in oven with the door open before cooling in the fridge for at least six hours.
So if you’re reading this Valentine’s Day morning, there is still hope on having this for dessert!
Serve up with the world’s easiest strawberry sauce and you are good to go at wowing your date, your family, your Galentine’s group, and your belly. This strawberry swirl cheesecake is just so good!
Looking for this year’s Valentine’s Menu ideas? Here are the recipes!
Brunch/ Breakfast in Bed:
This Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake!
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- 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 18 oz strawberry jam
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (optional)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter, granulated sugar, and salt together evenly. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of 9-inch springform pan evenly.
Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Set aside and let cool while you make the sauce and cheesecake filling.
In a small sauce pan, heat strawberry jam over medium heat with 1/2 cup water. stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes until the jam is liquid and mixed with the water.
Mix some of the liquid with the cornstarch to create a slurry then mix it with the jam mixture in the pan. Stir and allow to thicken for another 3 minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover, and cool in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese well on medium speed for a minute to ensure there will be no lumps. Add sugar, cornstarch, and salt and beat on medium speed, until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary to make sure all the sugar and cream cheese are mixed.
Turn the mixer to low/stir and add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla; mix well, scraping sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until mixed. Don’t over mix, your cheesecake will crack.
Pour half the filling over the crust evenly, then spoon in and swirl a generous amount of 1/2 tsp dollops of the strawberry sauce in the filling. Pour the rest of the cheesecake filling over the first layer, then repeat dolloping and swirling with more strawberry sauce until satisfied with the amount of swirls.
Double wrap the bottom edges of the springform pan with foil, sealing tightly to prevent water from getting into the pan and making your crust soggy.
Place the springform pan into a larger oven-safe pan and pour very hot water into the large pan, until it’s 3/4-1 inch deep, making sure the water doesn’t come up higher than the foil.
Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the center is almost set. The center will still jiggle while the edges will be set and puffed up slightly. If you see any cracking while checking at the 55 minute mark, immediately proceed to the cooling step
Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven with the door open for at least an hour, then cover with plastic wrap and transfer into the refrigerator to set up for at least 6 hours.
Release the sides of the springform pan before pouring the residual strawberry sauce over the top if desired (or serve on the side). Slice and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 94mg Sodium: 350mg Carbohydrates: 67g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 46g Protein: 5g
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.