This Strawberry Cheesecake is the perfect summertime dessert that is both creamy and dreamy. This homemade version has an airiness to it that store-bought cheesecakes simply cannot duplicate.
This gorgeous dessert with golden graham cracker crust edges is topped with fresh strawberries and Strawberry Sauce and is a keeper for sure.
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When summer rolls around, our garden is bursting with fresh strawberries and we cannot get enough of them. We love them in desserts, from Strawberry Pretzel Salad to Strawberry Scones – and our family’s favorite, New York-style Strawberry Cheesecake.
Easy Strawberry Cheesecake
Homemade cheesecake sounds intimidating, but it was actually simple, and one of the first desserts I learned how to make when my husband and I got married because it’s so easy!
Decorating is a breeze – Simply add sliced strawberries to the top, spoon the strawberry sauce right on, and you’re done. It will look impressive, and best of all, it’s a make-ahead dessert that takes the pressure off of the host and gets you back to the table to enjoy the company of your family and friends.
Strawberry Cheesecake Video
Watch our video tutorial for Strawberry Cheesecake to see just how easy it is to make. The hardest part is waiting for the cheesecake to chill in the fridge overnight before slicing into it.
Golden Graham Cracker Crust:
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – you can buy pre-crushed, crush them yourself in a Ziploc bag, or pulse your own in a food processor or blender
- Unsalted Butter – moistens the graham cracker crumbs and keeps them set in the pan
- Granulated Sugar – helps bind the crust together
- Cream Cheese – for the classic taste of cheesecake. Be sure to use room-temperature cream cheese so you do not have lumps in your cheesecake
- Granulated Sugar – adds just the right amount of sweetness
- Eggs – be sure to use room-temperature eggs
- Sour Cream – creates a more dense and smooth cheesecake
- Vanilla – use our homemade vanilla recipe for the best flavor
- Strawberry Topping – our Strawberry Sauce recipe makes the best topping and it’s just 3 ingredients: strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Strawberries – you’ll need about 1/2 lb of fresh strawberries to garnish the top
Our Favorite Cheesecake Crust
This simple crust uses only 3 ingredients and is so simple to make.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl and stir until moistened.
- Press the crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment, going 3/4 of the way up the sides. I use a measuring cup with a straight edge to press the crumbs into the pan.
- Bake for 8 minutes at 350˚F and then cool to room temperature.
Pro Tip: We used a classic graham cracker crust but you can change up the flavor by using any crisp cookie such as chocolate Oreo cookies (cream removed), Vanilla Wafers, or Biscoff shortbread.
How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake
- Wrap Your Pan With Foil – Place 2 sheets of extra-wide heavy-duty foil on the counter. Set your springform pan in the center and fold the foil up the sides of the pan (be careful to avoid rips). Fan the foil out at the top to keep the rim clear for rising.
- Mix Cream Cheese and Sugar – Preheat your oven to 450˚F. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium/high speed for 5 minutes until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Add Eggs – Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, letting them incorporate between each addition.
- Reduce speed to low and add sour cream and vanilla to the cream cheese, mixing just until incorporated. Pour the batter over the crust.
How to Bake a Cheesecake in a Water Bath
Baking with the water bath method is the secret to ensuring a perfect rise and a level top. The water around the cake keeps it baking at a consistent temperature and helps to prevent cracks. The foil will act as a barrier and prevent any water from touching your cheesecake.
- Boil a pot of water (boil extra to ensure there’s enough). Set your cheesecake pan in a deep roasting pan and pour hot water into the roasting pan, going halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the center oven rack and bake at 450˚F for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 225˚F without opening the door and bake another 60-75 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake barely wobbles when you move the pan.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it rest in the roasting pan for 45 minutes then transfer the springform pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight before slicing.
How to Make Strawberry Topping
We used our famous Strawberry Sauce and turned it into a cheesecake topping. You’ll love that the sauce can also be made ahead.
To make the sauce: combine sugar, lemon juice, and strawberries and let it simmer for 20-23 minutes until the strawberries break down, release their juices, and turn syrupy.
Yes, while a water bath helps to prevent cracks, see our Blueberry Cheesecake recipe for our favorite no-water bath cheesecake baking method.
Cheesecake needs time to chill and set in the refrigerator, which is why this is the perfect make-ahead dessert. Serving it too soon will be very messy to cut into and the texture will be goopy. Be sure to chill your cheesecake for at least 6 hours.
If your cheesecake does end up cracking in the oven, don’t stress. Just pour that lovely strawberry topping right over the top and nobody will even notice.
The best way to test your cheesecake is to tap the pan gently. If you see the cheesecake is nearly set, with little movement, it is done. If it ripples or sloshes, it needs more time in the oven.
Pro Tip: Before cutting into your cheesecake, soak your knife in a tall glass of hot water to heat it. Wipe your knife with a paper towel between slices. Using a warm, clean knife will ensure perfect lines with each cut.
We love this recipe during the summer because we have an abundance of fresh strawberries growing in our garden, but this cheesecake is great year-round. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few of our favorite go-to toppings for you to try:
- To Refrigerate: According to the USDA food safety recommendations, cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. We do not recommend that you add fresh fruit or strawberry topping until you are ready to serve the cheesecake.
- Freezing: Cheesecake is very freezer friendly. After the cake chills in the refrigerator overnight, wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container. Store it in the freezer for 2-3 months.
- To Thaw: Unwrap the frozen cheesecake and set it on a plate in the refrigerator overnight.
More Cheesecake Recipes
If you loved this Strawbery Cheesecake, then you won’t want to miss these top-rated homemade cheesecakes. Can you tell we love cheesecake?
- Classic Cheesecake
- Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes
- Raspberry Apricot Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust
- No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe
For the Crust:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, from 15-16 whole crackers
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
For the Cheesecake:
- 2 lb cream cheese, room temperature (4 packages, 8-oz each)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
For the Strawberry Topping
- 1 lb strawberries, rinsed, hulled and thinly sliced, plus 1/2 lb more to garnish
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, or more to taste
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice, from 1/2 Lemon
How to Make the Cheesecake
- In a medium bowl, combine graham crackers with sugar then stir in melted butter. Mix until moistened. Press crumbs into your prepared pan, going 3/4 of the way up the sides. Bake in the center of the oven at 350˚F for 8 minutes then cool to room temperature.
- Increase the oven to 450˚F. Place 2 sheets of extra-wide heavy-duty foil on the counter. Set the springform pan in the center and fold the foil up the sides of the pan ensuring there are no rips. Fan the foil out slightly at the tops to keep the rim clear for rising.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and 1 cup sugar on medium/high speed for 5 minutes until completely smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, letting them incorporate between each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Reduce speed to low and add sour cream and vanilla and mix just until incorporated. Pour batter over the cooled crust.
How to Bake Cheesecake in a Water Bath
- Boil a pot of water (boil more than you think you'll need). Set your foil-wrapped cheesecake pan in a deep roasting pan. Pour hot water around the edges about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the center rack of the oven and bake at 450˚F for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 225˚F and, without opening the door, bake an additional 65-75 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake wobbles slightly when you jolt the pan.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it rest in the roasting pan with water for 45 minutes then transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight to fully set before slicing.
How to Make Strawberry Topping
- In a medium saucepan, combine chopped strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue simmering, stirring occasionally for 20-23 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until serving.
- When ready to serve the cheesecake, garnish the top with fresh halved or quartered strawberries. Serve slices of cheesecake generously drizzled with the strawberry sauce topping.