Instead of topping your cheesecake with fresh strawberries, bake ’em straight in! This Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake is a fun dessert for warm summer days!
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Speaking of summer, do you have any cool vacations scheduled? We try not to travel much in the winter since there’s about a 50-50 chance (or better) that our flights will get delayed or cancelled. Instead, we make up for it in the summer and early Autumn. This year we’ve got a river cruise from Prague to Berlin on the agenda. I’ve never traveled into Eastern Europe, and I’ve been hearing amazing things about Prague for years now.
Did you catch the New York Times list of ‘52 Places to Go in 2019‘? This list always comes out in mid-January, which is pretty much the peak of winter here in upstate New York. Needless to say, I always look forward to this list as it lets me temporarily forget about the snow, ice and wind outside. On this year’s list, 4 places jumped out at me.
For starters, the Ontario Ice Caves (#10) look incredible. I recognize that we’re heading into summer, and I’m talking about visiting a place in Canada in February when the average temperature barely climbs out of the teens. But those caves!
Vegas (#13) also caught my eye. I’ve never been to Vegas, and I’d love to see the city at least once. I’m not a huge gambler, but the shows in Las Vegas definitely caught my eye. Laura has been a big Celine Dion fan ever since she was a kid, so it would be fun to take Laura out there. I also hear Vegas has excellent eats!
2 other spots that definitely made me stop were Aberdeen, Scotland (#24) and Lyon, France (#36). I’ve always loved trains, and I totally want to take the overnight train from London to Aberdeen. And Lyon will soon be at the height of the international football (that’s soccer for us here in the States) world. The final of the women’s world cup is set to be played in Lyon in July. Plus, I’ve heard there’s good wine in that area. And bread. And cheese.
Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake
Switching over from travel to food, I have a confession to make about this Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake. Did you happen to see this Fresh Blueberry Cheesecake that I posted last summer? That cheesecake turned out surprisingly well! Not only did it look cool thanks to the blueberries, but the taste was quintessential summer. Well, in the post, a reader asked about making a strawberry cheesecake in the same way. And the rest was history. This Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake is literally the exact same recipe, just with strawberries instead of blueberries. Oh, and I used a graham cracker crust (instead of a vanilla wafer crust) to keep this one a bit more traditional. The result? Just as delicious!
I love pairing cheesecake with fresh berries, but I’ve gotta say that I’m a huge fan of blending the berries right into the cheesecake. In this case, the strawberries got roasted up with a bit of sugar and honey until they were soft. The berry puree then got mixed straight into the cheesecake batter. Done and done! If you’re looking for a fun summer dessert, then this Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake deserves a spot on the list!
Quick side story before we wrap up: I always freeze my cheesecakes (pan and all) after baking as it makes removing them from the pan a bit easier. It also makes ’em easier to slice. When I served this Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake, it was still slightly frozen in the center. Oops. But Laura pointed out that it tasted like strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Kinda fun idea, huh? Enjoy!
Did you make this Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake at home? Leave a comment. Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
Looking for more fun cheesecake ideas? Check out these other favorites:
Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake
For the Graham Cracker Crust
For the Strawberries
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; set aside.
- Using a medium bowl, mix together strawberries, sugar and honey; spread berries on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Transfer strawberries (and any liquid) into a food processor; puree mixture until smooth. Set strawberry puree aside.
For the Graham Cracker Crust
- Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
- Using a food processor or mini-chopper, pulse the graham crackers until finely ground.
- Using a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter; stir until well combined.
- Lightly butter or grease a 9” springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. (Tip: A flat-bottomed glass helps pack the crust mixture down evenly.)
- Bake crust at 375°F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the Cheesecake
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
- Using a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth (~3 minutes).
- Add sugar and flour; mix until well combined. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to fully incorporate the sugar.)
- Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together and add to the bowl in 3 additions, mixing fully after each addition.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla; mix until well combined. Add the strawberry puree; mix until well combined and no streaks appear. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape the bottom and sides of bowl.)
- Pour the batter on top of the cooled crust.
- Wrap the bottom of the pan with a piece of aluminum foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill pan with ½”-¾” of water. Bake at 325°F until center of cake is just barely set (about 90-95 minutes). (Tip: Pull the cheesecake out of the oven when there is about 1" ring of "looser" filling left in the center of the cake.)
- Remove cake from oven and cool for 10 min. Wrap entire pan in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
- The next day, remove the cake from the freezer and release the springform pan. Transfer the cake to a serving platter and defrost in a refrigerator for 4-5 hours.
- Top with additional fresh strawberries before serving.