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Strawberry cheesecake with strawberry topping flowing down the sides.
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5 from 123 votes

Strawberry Cheesecake

This strawberry cheesecake has a light and creamy base topped with a delicious strawberry topping made of fresh strawberries and lemon juice! Read on for detailed tips on how to make the best strawberry cheesecake!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 251kcal

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs See Note 1
  • 2 ½ tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt

Cheesecake Filling

  • 2 8oz packages cream cheese softened, see Note 2
  • 2 eggs
  • cup sugar
  • cup sour cream see Note 3
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Strawberry Topping

  • 1 ½ lbs strawberries
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons sugar adjust as needed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

Crust

  • Use a food processor to make graham cracker crumbs. Alternatively, crush them in a resealable bag using a rolling pin or kitchen mallet. Mix the crumbs with the melted butter, sugar, and salt. It should resemble wet sand and hold its shape when pressed. Add the crumbs to the pan and firmly pat down to get an even layer on the bottom and sides.
    Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
    1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 2 ½ tablespoons butter, 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, pinch of salt
    Graham cracker crumbs made in a food processor and formed into a cheesecake crust.

Cheesecake Filling

  • Make the batter: Reduce the oven to 325°F. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese, eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and salt until smooth and creamy on medium-high speed.
    Scrape down the sides and bottom halfway through. Lastly, remove large air bubbles by reducing the speed to the lowest setting for 1 to 2 minutes.
    2 8oz packages cream cheese, 2 eggs, ⅔ cup sugar, ⅔ cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon salt
    New York cheesecake batter beaten with a mixer until smooth.
  • Water bath: Pour the batter into the springform pan and remove any air bubbles by banging the pan onto the kitchen counter lined with a kitchen towel. Put the springform pan into a larger roasting pan and add hot water a few inches up the side to create a water bath.
    Classic cheesecake batter poured into a springform pan in a water bath.
  • Bake: Bake at 325°F for 75 minutes. Turn off the oven and use a wooden spoon to crack open the oven door. Let the cheesecake slowly reduce in temperature for one hour then remove it from the oven.
    Classic cheesecake baking in the oven in a springform pan.
  • Chill: Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and remove the foil. Once it reaches room temperature, loosely cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours to overnight.
    Perfect crack-free New York cheesecake on a plate.

Strawberry Topping

  • Halve about half the strawberries and set them aside. Purée the other half of the strawberries using a blender or food processor. Pour the purée into a pot and mix in the cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice. Heat over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil.
    1 ½ lbs strawberries, 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch, 3 to 6 tablespoons sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
    Strawberries cut into small pieces and blended with an immersion blender.
  • Turn off the heat and add the strawberry halves. Taste and adjust with more sugar or lemon juice as needed. If needed, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time. Note: The sauce will thicken as it cools.
    Strawberry halves added to cooked strawberry puree.

Top with strawberry sauce and serve

  • Add the cooled strawberry topping to the cheesecake, reserving some for serving on the side. Cut slices using a thin knife that's been dipped in hot water and wiped dry before each slice. Serve and enjoy!
    Strawberry cheesecake with strawberry topping flowing down the sides.

Notes

Makes one 7-inch cheesecake, which is approximately 8 servings.
  1. Graham cracker crust - Reduce the amount by half if you only want a bottom crust with no sides. 
  2. Cream cheese - Use full-fat cream cheese for best results. To soften, leave at room temperature or microwave for 20 seconds at a time at half power until soft (my preferred method). 
  3. Sour cream - Replace half the sour cream with heavy cream for a softer, silkier texture. This will give you a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake that's velvety soft. I highly recommend this for those who prefer soft cheesecakes over dense ones. 
Storage: Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze the plain cheesecake for up to 1 month. I don't recommend freezing the strawberry topping as it gets watery when thawed. Thaw the cheesecake in the fridge overnight and serve with strawberry topping. Store leftover strawberry sauce in the fridge for 3 days in an airtight container. 

Tips:

  • Crust: Use a flat-bottomed measuring cup with straight sides to easily press down the graham cracker crumbs. 
  • Crack-free cheesecake: Cracks can form in cheesecakes due to air bubbles, over-mixing, and improper temperature. Avoid opening the oven during baking to keep the temperature consistent. 
  • Once it's finished baking, allow the cheesecake to rest in the oven with the door cracked for an hour to let the temperature decrease slowly. This prevents the cheesecake from collapsing and cracking.
  • Once the cheesecake comes to room temperature, cover it loosely to prevent any condensation from dripping onto the cheesecake.
  • Chill overnight for best results.
  • Make-ahead for the holidays - Strawberry cheesecake can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge. 

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 302IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg