Strawberry Cheesecake is sheer perfection – it’s light and creamy, with a crisp graham cracker crust, and luscious strawberry sauce on top. Cheesecakes are easy to make at home, and I’ll walk you through the entire process to ensure success each time you bake this!
This recipe as originally published in May of 2020, but I’ve updated it in March of 2023 to include more success tips! Thee recipe has not changed.
If you’ve ever felt intimidated by the thought of making cheesecake from scratch, there’s no need to be! It’s much simpler than you think, and I’ll walk you through every step!
Why you’ll love this Strawberry Cheesecake:
- Classic Flavor – This cheesecake is a staple dessert for a reason – it’s full of the perfect vanilla cheesecake flavor, with a sweet strawberry topping.
- Creamy Cheesecake – This cheesecake is ultra creamy and luscious, evident from the first moment your fork slides into a slice! It’s truly the best cheesecake recipe you’ll ever taste!
- Approachable Recipe – Even though there are a few steps to this strawberry cheesecake recipe, the whole thing is completely doable no matter your skill level as a baker!
- Cream Cheese – Use full fat cream cheese, in the block style. This needs to come to room temperature before you bake.
- Eggs – Use large eggs at room temperature.
- Sour Cream – Use full fat sour cream, at room temperature.
- Vanilla extract – Use real vanilla extract for best results.
- Butter – I always use salted buter for the best flavor, but feel free to use unsalted butter for the crust if you prefer.
- Strawberries – Use frozen or fresh strawberries. If using frozen, do not thaw them first.
- Gluten-free – Use gluten-free graham crackers to make this gluten-free!
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite, trusted dairy-free products to make this a dairy-free cheesecake.
- Alternate Toppings – See recipe variations section towards the end of this post for other topping recipes.
How to Make this Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make & Bake the Crust. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press into a greased springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes and set aside.
Step 2: Make the Vanilla Cheesecake Batter. In a large mixing bowl, beat your cream cheese on high speed with a hand mixer (or a stand mixer) until creamy, 1 minute or so. Then, mix in the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. You’ll have a silky batter. If there are a few tiny lumps, that’s ok.
Step 3: Bake the Cheesecake. Pour batter into your crust and smooth it out. Bake cheesecake for 88-93 minutes as directed in the recipe. This may seem like a long bake time but it’s very normal for cheesecakes.
Step 4: Chill the Cheesecake. Once the cheesecake is done, turn the oven off, crack the door open, and let cool in the oven for 1 hour. Then, take it out of the oven & out of the roasting pan. Remove the foil carefully and let the cheesecake cool, on a wire rack, to room temperature. Cover it, and chill in the fridge at least 6 hours or overnight before serving. Voila! A perfectly creamy cheesecake, guaranteed.
Step 5: Make the Strawberry Topping. Strawberry sauce is super classic topping – and takes just 10 minutes to make! Cook sliced strawberries in a medium saucepan with sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, corn starch, and vanilla until you have a luscious, syrupy sauce. Cool this in the fridge before using.
Serving + Storing this Cheesecake:
Once the cheesecake has chilled, top with the fresh compote, slice, and serve! Cheesecake is a light, yet fairly rich dessert, so you can stretch this recipe to yield 12 to 16 slices! It’s perfect for a party or family gathering. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Expert Success Tips:
- Room Temperature Ingredients – Your cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs must to be at room temperature or your batter will be lumpy! Leave these things out for 30 minutes to 2 hours before beginning, depending on how cool or warm your home is.
- Don’t Over Mix – Over mixing the cheesecake batter when you’re adding the eggs can result in too much air in the batter, which means it will puff up and deflate as it cools, giving it a bit of a waist around the middle. It will still taste great, but won’t look as pretty.
- Don’t Over Bake – Use the doneness cues given in the recipe card below for best results. No one wants an over baked cheesecake!
- Oven Thermometer – An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is actually running at the temperature you set it to. Your oven may not be accurate. Oven temperature is crucial for most bakes, so I leave an oven thermometer in at all times to keep an eye on my oven’s calibration.
Yes and no! It is rich in a sense because it’s made with “richer” ingredients like cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs. However, it’s different than a dessert that’s rich because it’s loaded with chocolate.
Yes, I think this would be considered a New York Style Cheesecake because of the amount of eggs, cream cheese, and the use of sour cream instead of heavy cream. It’s still a very light, creamy cheesecake!
Yes, I would recommend baking it in an 8×8 or 9×9 square pan, to make these as cheesecake bars. The batter will still be a bit much for a 6-inch springform pan, even when halved. Bake for 30-42 minutes, checking for doneness in the same way, and adding time as needed.
I’m not sure that you would want to, haha. If you want two cheesecakes, you’ll need to mix each one up separately, I don’t recommend trying to double it with this quantity of batter.
Yes! That’s the nature of cheesecake. Allow the cheesecake to come to room temp after it’s baked, and then transfer to the fridge to chill at least 6 hours or up to 1 day before serving.
Yes. Bake and cool the cheesecake completely, then remove the outer rim of the springform pan, leaving the base under the cheesecake for support. Wrap the entire thing in 2 layers of plastic wrap, then 1 layer of aluminum foil. You can also place it in a freezer safe container if you have one that will fit the cheesecake. Freeze for 1-2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving & adding any toppings.
Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe Variations:
- Other Toppings – If strawberries aren’t your jam, try topping your cheesecake with the Easy Blueberry Sauce from my blueberry cheesecake recipe, my 10-Minute Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce, my Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce, or this Pecan Pie Topping.
- Springform Pan – This recipe uses a 9-inch springform pan.
- Offset Spatula – I use an offset spatula for so many things, including smoothing the batter evenly into the pan for this recipe.
More Cheesecake Recipes to Love:
- Mini S’mores Cheesecakes
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
- Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake
- No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits
- Biscoff Cheesecake
- Boozy Key Lime Rum Cheesecakes
More Recipes for Strawberry Lovers:
- Strawberry Rhubarb Galette
- Homemade Strawberry Shortcakes
- Strawberry Blueberry Pie
- Strawberry Scones
- Strawberry Caramel Crumble Bars
- One-Bowl Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
- 10-Minute Strawberry Compote
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Classic Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce
For the Crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
For the Cheesecake Filling
- 32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature Use full fat blocks of cream cheese
- 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature Use full fat
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Strawberry Topping:
- 1 lb strawberries, quartered Can use fresh or frozen – no need to thaw if using frozen
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of lemon zest optional, but good
- splash of lemon juice optional, but good
- Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick spray and make sure the bottom is securely fastened. Stir together crust ingredients and press into prepared pan and up the sides a bit (see photos above). Bake this for 8 minutes. Set aside. Keep the oven on at 350. Fill a large pot with water and set it on your stove, and get out a large roasting pan – you'll need this for your water bath later.
- Make the Cheesecake Filling: Remember that your cold ingredients need to come to room temp before you start or the filling won't turn out. In a large mixing bowl, cream softened cream cheese with electric mixer until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar & mix until just incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as you go. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed after each until just incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream, and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter over the baked and cooled crust, and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Prepare the Water Bath + Bake: Bring the pot of water to a boil. Set your springform pan on a rack positioned in the center of the oven, and place the roasting pan on the rack below, or wrap the base of the cheesecake pan in foil and place it inside a 10-inch cake pan, inside the roasting dish. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan. Both of these methods ensure no leaks.Bake for 88-94 minutes. When done, the cheesecake will have only a slight wobble in the center, and the edges will appear set. A knife inserted into the edge will come out clean, and will have a bit of thick batter when inserted into the center.Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour before removing it.
- Cheesecake Cooling:Once the hour is up, remove the pan from the oven. Remove foil and set the springform pan on a wire rack. Let cool completely at room temp, then cover with foil and refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to 1 day before removing from the pan and serving.
- Make the Strawberry Sauce: Stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, making sure the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add this and remaining sauce ingredients to a pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. It will thicken more and more the longer you let it cool. Store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Serve + Store: Once cheesecake has chilled, remove it from the springform pan and serve with the strawberry sauce! Keep leftovers, well covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days.