I love making cheesecakes because they are really easy and they taste amazing! I was introduced to them after I met my husband and I completely fell in love with them too. You will find some tips included in this post that you can use for any cheesecake.
I know some people have difficulties with them cracking after they come out of the oven, but my method works 99% of the time. In my whole time baking them, I have only had a couple of them crack. Ready for my secret?
No-crack baking method
I always bake my cheesecakes in a water bath and let them sit in the oven for another hour after turning the heat off. Ok, it’s not really a secret, but it works every time!
So, I always wrap my cheesecake pan in aluminium foil, place it in my big roasting pan, and slowly fill that up with water.
Tip for aluminium foil: use an extra wide aluminium foil for better coverage and less chances of water seeping in. The one I bought was 18 in (45.7 cm) wide.
Easy paper cutting trick
For the longest time I didn’t know what the easiest way of doing this was. I would take a piece of parchment paper, then put the pan on top and draw around it with a pencil. Then I would cut it out and place inside. I know, so many steps!! Then I saw this trick (can’t remember where exactly) but it works awesome and it’s really easy!
First, take your piece of parchment paper and fold it in half. Then fold in half again, then bring the corners together so you get a triangular shape. then fold that in half again. Hold the point of the paper over your pan, so that it’s aligned with the center of the pan. Then cut off the excess paper and you are left with a perfect circle. I left a bit extra on mine because I was going to make the crust go up around the sides, but I didn’t end up having enough of it (I used the gluten free crust recipe). If you want to do that, I suggest making a recipe and a half of the gluten free crust. And there you have it!
Making the cheesecake
Now you are ready to make the crust. If you are making the gluten free crust, toast the coconut flour until it looks golden brown, like graham cracker crumbs.
Once made, press it down on the bottom of your spring form pan. I spray the pan with Pam first, then place the parchment paper inside, then spray that again. This way the crust won’t get stuck, and the paper will slide off the pan easily.
Next make the strawberry sauce and the filling. Pour half the filling in the pan, drop some of the strawberry sauce on top, then pour the rest of the filling. Drop more strawberry sauce by 1/4 teaspoonfuls and create a design. I like to cut through the dots going around in a circle to make hearts, but you can create a swirl design by going back and forth. Either way, it will look good!
Simple Strawberry Cheesecake with Gluten Free Crust (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
Gluten Free Crust:
- 80 g coconut flour
- 50 g honey
- 70 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed and drained
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter in a bowl. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-inch spring form pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- For gluten free crust: Toast the coconut flour in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add to a mixing bowl and combine with other ingredients for the crust. Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray, and line with parchment paper. Spray the top of the parchment paper as well. Press the mixture on the bottom of the pan. Next, wrap the pan in aluminium foil, so that the water bath will not seep into the cheesecake or you will end up with a soggy crust.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- Place strawberries and cornstarch into a blender. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour strawberry sauce into a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil and stir until the sauce is thick and shiny, about 2 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup strawberry sauce and let cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for serving.
- Beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually beat in condensed milk. Mix in lemon juice and vanilla extract, then beat in eggs on low-speed until just combined. Pour half of cream cheese mixture over crust; drop half of reserved strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on cream cheese layer. Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce; drop remaining strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on top. Cut through top layer only with a knife to swirl strawberry sauce and create a design, such as hearts.
- Bake in preheated oven until center is almost set, 45 to 50 minutes. Turn off the oven, and open the door slightly. Let cheesecake cool in oven for about another hour. Remove from water bath, remove the aluminium foil, and let it come to room temperature before refrigerating overnight. Serve reserved strawberry sauce and whip cream if desired, with cheesecake.