Smooth and creamy cheesecake with a homemade strawberry swirl. I don’t know how it can get any better than that?!
Just like most things in life, this cheesecake takes a little time to make. HOWEVER, it is totally worth it! I have discovered the secret to the perfect cheesecake, and patience is key. I recommend making this cheesecake the day before you plan to serve it, that way it will be the absolute best.
What Do You Need For Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake?
Less than you might think! I know a lot of people are intimidated by cheesecakes, but I promise, you will be surprised at just how easy it is.
This cheesecake has three components; the crust, the cheesecake filling, and the strawberry sauce.
Graham Crackers– I recommend using the best you can find. While the store version will work just fine, I find that with cheesecakes it is always best to go with the best! I have also used the golden Oreo’s for this recipe as well and it works just fine!
Sugar– This is really optional, you don’t have to add the sugar, but it does add a bit of sweetness to the crust.
Butter– Butter will bind the graham crackers together to help form the crust. You can use salted or unsalted per your preference. If you use salted butter, you may want to omit the added salt in the recipe.
Cream Cheese Filling and Homemade Strawberry Swirl:
Cream Cheese– The star of the show. When making a cheesecake, Philadelphia cream cheese is the way to go. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. This will make the whole process easier and give you a smooth cheesecake.
Sugar: Just a bit to add a little sweetness
Flour: I use this as a thickening agent. Not too much, just enough to give you a nice creamy texture.
Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract is something else that I don’t like to skimp on, however imitation will work just fine.
Heavy Whipping Cream: When I first started making cheesecake I used sour cream in the base. I had a family friend mention they used heavy cream and I switched and I am SO glad I did. AMAZING!
Eggs: Eggs act as a binder for the base.
Fresh Strawberries: Fresh is always best in my opinion. You can use frozen if they are not in season where you are.
Sugar: To add a little sweetness to the berries
Cornstarch: I chose cornstarch as the thickening agent in the sauce. I find it is better than using flour as flour can give it a strange taste.
How Do You Make Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake?
Not to brag, but I have been called “the cheesecake queen”. I wouldn’t go that far, BUT I feel like I have cheesecakes down to a T. There are a couple secrets I am going to share with you to help you make the perfect cheesecake!
The crust is the easiest part. Add the graham crackers (or Oreo cookies) into a food processor and pulse until you get a fine crumb. Next, add the sugar and melted butter and pulse until everything is combined and add to the springform pan and use the back of a spoon or your hand to form the crust. Finally, bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until a nice golden brown.
To start, you will want to cream the cream cheese (why does that sound weird?) for about 3-4 minutes. This will help get a smooth texture with no random lumps. Then add your sugar, flour, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Pour in the heavy whipping cream and mix.
Make sure that you scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl between each ingredient! This will help insure everything is combined and there is no random lump of cream cheese or sugar in the cheesecake.
Add the eggs last and mix as little as possible, this will also help with the texture of the cheesecake. Overmixing is a big mistake a lot of people make when making their first cheesecake.
My favorite part is the homemade strawberry swirl.
Combine the strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until the sugar is melted and the berries are soft. Bring to a soft boil while stirring constantly. Pour the strawberries into a food processor and pulse until pureed. Press through a thin mesh strainer and that’s it!
Pour half of the cream cheese base into the baked crust and then add half of the strawberry puree and swirl. Add the remaining base and repeat with the strawberry swirl.
So, What’s The Secret To A Perfect Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
Baking. The amount of time and the way you bake and COOL your cheesecake is important to the process of not having a cheesecake with a crater in the middle. While that is fine and the cheesecake will taste just as good, I want to cry a little while I have a cheesecake that cracks!
How To Bake
You want to start baking your cheesecake on a higher temperature. Then reduce the heat without opening the oven door and continue baking until just SLIGHLTY jiggly in the center. The secret is to turn the oven off and slightly crack the oven door to allow the cheesecake to cool slowly for about 20 minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for at LEAST 6 hours, but I recommend overnight.
Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
- 9" Springform Pan
- Food Processor
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt omit if you use salted butter
- 6 Tablespoons butter melted
- 4 8 oz. packages cream cheese
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup fresh strawberries quartered
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 9” springform pan by spraying with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Prepare the crust by adding about 1 ½-2 packages graham crackers to a food processor and pulse until you get about 2 cups of crumbs. Add in the sugar, melted butter and salt and pulse until well combined. Pour the crumbs into the prepared pan and gently press using the back of a spoon to form the crust. Be sure to bring the crumbs up about 1” up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- To prepare the cheesecake filling, add the softened cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment. Cream for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sugar and flour. Once the sugar is combined, increase to medium speed, and mix for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly pour in the heavy whipping cream and start mixing on low speed. Slowly increase the speed to high and mix for about 1 minute.
- Reduce the mixer to low speed and add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract. Mix an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add the fresh strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat stirring constantly until the sugar is melted. Bring the mixture to a light boil until he berries are soft.
- Pour the berries into a food processor and puree. Press the puree through a fine mesh sieve (you should get about 1/2 cup puree)
- Pour half the prepared batter into the baked crust and gently tap to release any air bubbles. Dollop about half of the strawberry puree on top of the cheesecake filling and use a skewer or toothpick to swirl. Continue with the remaining cheesecake filling and top with the rest of the strawberry puree and swirl. (You can reserve 2 Tbsp. puree for topping)
- Bake at 350 for 15 minutes then, without opening the oven door, reduce the heat to 200 and bake for an additional 50-55 minutes until the center slightly jiggles and the edges are set.
- Turn off the oven and slightly crack the oven door to allow the cheesecake to cool for 15 minutes before removing.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack until completely cooled and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to overnight.
- Top with whipped cream, reserved puree, and fresh strawberries and serve