June 16, 2020

Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake

Super creamy cheesecake made with roasted and pureed strawberries for a concentrated strawberry flavor that can't be missed!

4.91 from 21 votes
Yield: 16 squares
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Y’all know I like my bold flavors;  if there is a dish that has an ingredient in the title, I want that flavor to be prominent

If you google “strawberry cheesecake”, or “strawberry cheesecake recipe” you’ll get a ton of hits for a plain cheesecake with a strawberry topping. Maybe there will be 1-2 with a gentle swirl that was baked into it but you probably won’t get anything that looks like the photos you see here (although this Martha one comes a bit close!).

This is a strawberry cheesecake with a ton of strawberry in the filling itself. The strawberries are slow roasted so they soften, cook and their flavor intensifies.

 

Slow Roasted Strawberries 

To make these you pour your berries onto a tray and roast them in the oven for at least half an hour. As they bake the water evaporates and the sugars concentrate as does the flavor. For this recipe, I ask you to roast about 3-4 cups of berries to ensure we get 1 cup of puree, if you have leftover you can swirl it into the top of the cheesecake. If you have even more leftover, well it’s great on top of pancakes, french toast, ice cream, anything! 

Here are three other roasted berry recipes on the site: roasted strawberry challah rolls, roasted strawberry quick bread, and roasted blueberry ice cream

 

 

slices of roasted strawberry cheesecake with strawberry swirl

 

How to Make Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake

Roast the strawberries and puree

They will take about a half an hour to roast, mid-way you’ll want to use the back of a spoon to squish them. Once they are all soft and have released their juices, you’ll puree the berries. Don’t worry about the seeds yet, those will get taken out at a later stage.  

Make the crust

Once your cookies are ground this is as simple as melting butter and stirring it with the crumbs and a bit of powdered sugar. It should hold together but not be overly greasy when you squeeze the mix. Press down on the crumb bits, to create an even layer. If you are making this as a round cake you’ll want to press some of the crumbs up the sides. 

Make the filling

The most important part of this is having room temperature ingredients (especially the cream cheese). Press it to remove any lumps. Scrape down the bowl often to ensure all of the cream cheese gets mixed and there are no lumps (if there are still some hang on, we’ll get to them). Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well. The eggs go in last, and stop as soon as they are mixed in. 

Bake the strawberry cheesecake

Bake in a water bath and low and slow, until only the center jiggles a bit. 

 

 

roasted strawberry cheesecake slice with bite taken

 

How to get that super creamy cheesecake texture

Cheesecake is one of those baking projects that can easily fail. The cakes crack, sink, they over-bake, they can be gummy, or they can be lumpy. But, I have some tricks for getting us a perfectly creamy cheesecake: 

Room temperature ingredients

I know you’ve read this a lot but it really does yield the best result. The two most important room temperature ingredients here are the cream cheese and the eggs. Take the blocks of cream cheese out at least 4 hours before you make the filling. Take the eggs out too but if you forget, set them in a bowl of warm water to come to room temp right before baking. 

Mix the cream cheese well

Use a stand mixer or even a food processor to make the filling; both machines are pretty good ad beating the cream cheese.  

Don’t overbeat the eggs

Since we are using a food processor here we need to be extra careful at the very last step when we add the eggs. They just need to be blended into the filling – this will happen in seconds, and if you overbeat them, the cake will sink in the center. 

Bake it in a water bath

I am very anti-wrap-a-spring-form-pan in foil, so instead I use parchment paper (to lift lift out the cake when it’s done) and put the pan in a bigger cake pan filled with water. The water helps slowly and evenly bake the custard and the steam it releases prevents cracks. 

Bake it slowly, and let it cool even slower

A low temperature for about an hour, then let it cool in the oven. Cheesecake success is all about heating and cooling evenly and slowly. 

 

Key Recipe Ingredients 

Organic Strawberries: Fresh or frozen. Depending on how juicy your berries are, you might need to roast more or less berries. We want to end up with over a cup of puree. The color of the berries will also determine the hue and color of the final pie. The reason I specify organic here is because there are too many fresh and frozen conventional strawberries in the store that are well, huge and have zero flavor (like when you slice them open and they’re white). We don’t want that for the cheesecake because we want flavor! 

Cream Cheese: Full fat. It should be at room temperature and they must be blocks (not whipped). 

Sour Cream or Labneh: If you aren’t familiar with it, labneh is a thick yogurt from the Levant. I normally use sour cream in my cheesecakes but only had lebnah in my fridge the first time I made this and it worked like a dream. 

Cookie crumbs: Graham or digestive. I know graham is the standard, but they aren’t my favorite. Digestives are a British cookie with stellar flavor and crumble. Here’s a source on amazon for them. I find them in the ‘international’ section of a lot of grocery stores. Buy a bunch because they also make a fabulous snack. Oreo crumbs can work too but you’ll need to remove the cream from inside (or reduce the amount of butter in the recipe. 

 

corner slice of roasted strawberry cheesecake

Tips for a Perfect Strawberry Cheesecake: 

  • Berries: Use berries that are dark and a bit soft, the kind have been sitting in the fridge too long and you probably wouldn’t want to eat fresh. You can use frozen here too, be aware that there’s more water frozen onto those so the taste might be a bit diluted. When I use frozen I tend to add about 2 tablespoons of strawberry powder (from ground freeze dried strawberries) to intensify the flavor. 
  • Flavor variety: When you roast the berries you can also throw in some rhubarb to add some tang. One stalk, chopped up would be enough. 
  • Doneness: the cheesecake is done when it’s set on the sides and just a bit jiggly in the center. Don’t over-bake it!

 



Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake

Super creamy cheesecake made with roasted strawberries for an intense berry flavor.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chill Time: 8 hours
Yields: 16 squares
4.91 from 21 votes

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 240g or 2 cups cookie crumbs digestives, graham or oreos with the cream scraped
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 113g or 1 stick unsalted or salted butter

Filling:

  • 454g or two bricks cream cheese
  • 210g or 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 60g or ¼ cup labneh or sour cream
  • 250g or 1 cup roasted strawberry puree (see instructions for how to make)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

Method

Make the strawberry puree

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Place about 24 oz strawberries in a 13 x 9” cake pan and roast for 30-45 minutes, stirring halfway, until the berries have released their juices and the water has evaporated (should still be lots of liquid, don’t let it fully evaporate or let the berries burn). Puree the berries in a food processor and if you don't want seeds, pour through a mesh sieve. Measure out 1 cup or 250g. This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

Make the crust

  • Line a 8×8” metal cake pan with two parchment slings (not glass, not ceramic). If you are using a round pan to make it press one sheet of parchment into the center and use metal clips to hold it in place. Do not use a springform pan here.
  • Stir together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides, using a measuring cup to pack it in. Bake it for 10 minutes at 350 F to get it to set. Let it cool before you begin making the filling.

Make the strawberry filling

  • Using stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until very smooth, stirring and scraping down to ensure no bits remain. Add the salt, vanilla and sour cream and mix to combine.
  • Add the strawberry puree, saving a few tablespoons for the top swirl. Add the eggs and flour and mix until just combined – don’t over do this step, be as careful as you can so as not to overmix the eggs.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 F. Pour the filling through a fine mesh sieve over the crust (this will get rid of any lumps). Add teaspoons of the remaining strawberry puree in dollops on top. Swirl with a butterknife or an offset spatula.
  • Place the pan in a 13×9” cake pan and surround it with hot water (the water should come up to the level of the cheesecake). Bake the cheesecake for 45-60 minutes until you can shake the pan and the cheesecake only jiggles a bit in the center. Shut the oven off but prop open the door. Let the cheesecake cool for at least 30 minutes in the cooling oven.
  • Refrigerate overnight and serve the next day. Store in the fridge.

Notes

Color will depend on your berries: if your berries are very dark, you'll have a bright pink pie. If your berries are white inside, it will be very pale. In these cases I like to add some strawberry powder to darken the color and intensify the berry flavor. 
 
This can also be made in an 8 or 9" round cake pan: grease and line it with parchment paper (use metal clips to hold the paper in place). The bake time will need to be a bit longer, aim for 1 hour 15.  Do NOT use a springform pan unless you have a fail proof way of sealing it for the water bath. 

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39 comments

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Recipe Reviews




  1. 5 stars
    These are wonderful – so much better than regular “strawberry cheesecake” that just has a swirl of jam. The roasted strawberry flavor is amazing, and it looks beautiful too!

  2. 5 stars
    These were amazing and the cheesecake turned out perfectly! The roasted strawberry puree is delicious. Im still putting strawberry puree on toast!

  3. 5 stars
    YUMMO! So creamy and strawberry forward. I always approach the first recipe from a baker I’m unfamiliar with with trepidation. I added two heaping tablespoons of freeze dried strawberry powder to the sugar in the filling mix and placed atop a peanut butter cookie crust with a scant 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and coarsely chopped almonds for texture…. Perfection. Time to study your offerings for my next bake. Thank you so much!

  4. 5 stars
    Just made these and it is some of the creamiest cheesecake I have had! I will only be making cheesecakes from here going forward (have made the cheesecake bars with Lemon shortbread as well, which I also recommend!). I brought some to work as well and they were a hit! This will definitely be added to desserts I make for holidays 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    This was my first time making cheesecake and it worked out perfectly! Rave reviews from everyone who tried it. I used biscoff cookies for the crust because I had a bunch on hand. My strawberries weren’t as red as they could’ve been so the cake didn’t turn out super pink but the flavor was still very good. Texture was on point, super smooth and creamy. I think there is a small mistake in the recipe – vanilla extract is mentioned in the ingredients list but I didn’t see it in the recipe (might have missed it) and step 1 of the filling step mentions lemon, which I didn’t see in the ingredients list.

    • Hi Audrey! I think I just wrote lemon in place of vanilla in the instructions, it’s fixed now. But you could add lemon if you wanted actually, it’ll go well in there. And I’m so happy to hear you all loved it 😀

  6. 5 stars
    Made this with a bit of freeze dried strawberry powder and labneh. It’s the best cheesecake ever. You can do this with other berries. I made another version with raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Both were equally amazing.

  7. 5 stars
    I love this recipe – it’s become my go to cheesecake. The fruit method here has worked for me with multiple fruits (and pumpkin puree), as cupcakes, and once without the water bath because the vacation house only had a springform for some reason. I am waiting for our strawberry plants to fruit with bated breath and mixer ready.

  8. Hi Sam!! Is it possible to reduce the sugar in the cheesecake by 1/4 cup without affecting the texture? Thanks!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this delicious cheesecake for my dad for Father’s Day and it was another resounding hit (like all your recipes have been). I loved the tip about digestive biscuits bc I am not a big graham cracker fan either! Will definitely be subbing with these all the time now. The texture was sooo creamy and the strawberry flavor was very prominent (something hard to achieve with strawberry recipes). Plus the swirl on top makes it look so professional! You’re so talented, Sam and we’re lucky you share your gift with us!

    • Sara, thank you SO much for all of your reviews. I just read through them all and it truly makes me so so happy that one person has enjoyed this many of my recipes 😀 😀 I’m honored you’ve chosen mine for your special occasions and thrilled all of the recipes lived up to their promise!

  10. 5 stars
    This was the best cheesecake I’ve ever eaten or made- a wonderful summer dessert! The strawberry flavor is so strong! I can’t help myself from eating the leftover puree by the spoonful. Sam’s notes about the recipe are always incredibly helpful.

    • Renee, you made my sunday! Thank you for the reviews on the double chocolate cookies, the one yolks, the oatmeal and this cheesecake! I can’t tell you how big my smile was reading them all (esp your love for the oatmeal cookies and this cheesecake!)

  11. Query: Have you ever replaced flour with cornstarch in filling as thickening agent? Or is flour itself crucial to outcome? Planning to make this – springform pan – with chocolate graham cracker crust. I can’t wait!

  12. 5 stars
    AMAZING!! It turned out exactly as it looks in the pictures!! And so very tasty! Thanks, Sam!! ❤️❤️❤️

  13. Hi! This looks so pretty! I’m planning to make this in a 9” springform pan. I’m increasing the ingredients by half. How long do you think it will take to bake at 325?

      • 4 stars
        Thankyou so much for getting back to me. I ended up baking for 75 min. Probably could’ve taken it out 5 min earlier, but there is still a slight jiggle.

  14. 4 stars
    I followed directions exactly and I found the cheesecake to be runny in certain spots..closer to the middle..also, the strawberries color were not as vibrant as yours..

    • Sorry to hear it Rose! What kind of berries did you use? The type of strawberries you use will affect the color (I think I mentioned somewhere that I used hand picked, farm fresh – we have picking farms near us in Virginia) so my berries were small and VERY red. About the runny parts, I wonder what kind of pan you used? Some materials take longer to conduct heat so perhaps yours needed a longer bake time.