Basque cheesecake is crustless and has a creamy interior and slightly burnt exterior. Dare I say this is better than New York-style cheesecake?
What Is Basque Cheesecake?
Burnt cheesecake? Yes, you read that correctly!
Basque-style cheesecake is baked at a high temperature without the water bath that’s usually required for other cheesecakes.
It’s also made without a crust, and the cheesecake filling is poured into a parchment paper-lined pan. This results in a ridged, uneven exterior.
The very top of the cheesecake is intentionally allowed to burn in the oven. The burnt bits perfectly offset the creamy, sweet filling and results in a cheesecake recipe like no other.
Because there’s no crust to make and no water bath to assemble, burnt Basque cheesecake is one of the easiest kinds of cheesecake you can make!
This easy cheesecake recipe calls for just seven basic ingredients. Let’s quickly review what you’ll need to make this burnt cheesecake:
- Cream cheese: You’ll need 2 pounds of brick-style cream cheese to make this recipe. Be sure to buy full-fat cream cheese for best results.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the cheesecake without affecting the flavor.
- Flour: Basque-style cheesecake batter is much thinner, so it needs a little flour in the batter to help it set up.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract is preferred.
- Salt: Adding salt to the batter enhances the vanilla flavor and balances out the tangy cream cheese.
- Heavy whipping cream: Creates a creamy, rich cheesecake. Check to make sure your heavy whipping cream contains at least 36% fat.
- Eggs: You’ll need five large eggs and two egg yolks for this recipe. Make sure to bring the eggs to room temperature before mixing them into the batter.
How to Make Basque Cheesecake
This type of cheesecake is as no-frills as baked cheesecake gets, but the taste is spectacular! There are a few key things to keep in mind when making this cheesecake, which I’ve noted in the recipe overview below.
- Prep the springform pan: It’s essential that you line your springform pan with two large pieces of parchment paper. The parchment paper will be easier to work with if you wad it up first. Make sure to leave about 2-inches overhanging the top as well because the cheesecake will puff up in the oven as it bakes.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar: I recommend doing so in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, if you have one. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy — this can take up to 4 minutes, and you’ll need to stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Add the flour, vanilla, and salt: Continue to mix the cream cheese mixture just until combined.
- Pour in the heavy cream: I recommend turning the mixer to the lowest setting and slowly pouring the heavy cream in until it’s fully incorporated.
- Add the eggs: The eggs will need to be added one at a time, and you’ll need to wait until each egg is fully combined with the batter before adding the next. Add the egg yolks last.
- Bake the cheesecake: Pour the cheesecake filling into the prepared pan and bake until the top is deeply golden brown, but the center still has a slight jiggle to it.
- Chill completely: Let the cheesecake cool in the pan at room temperature for 2 hours. Once it has cooled, you can remove it from the pan and serve it at room temperature or chill it and serve it later.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! The cheesecake puffs up quite a bit as it bakes, and the tall sides of the springform pan prevent it from overflowing and making a mess of your oven.
A regular 9-inch round pan isn’t large enough to accommodate all the cheesecake batter.
Yes, the cheesecake stays fresh for up to four days in the fridge. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap so the edges don’t dry out.
You can serve the cheesecake chilled for a firmer slice, or you can bring it to room temperature before serving for a creamier slice.
As with most of my cheesecake recipes, this one freezes really well too!
You can wrap the whole cheesecake or individual slices with plastic wrap and freeze them in a large freezer bag for up to 3 months. To thaw the cheesecake, place it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before getting started! This includes the cream cheese, eggs, and heavy whipping cream.
- If your cheesecake isn’t dark enough on top before it’s finished baking, you can set your oven to broil at the very end to help it brown. Just make sure to keep a VERY close eye on it!
- Likewise, if the top is getting too dark, simply place a piece of foil over it until the cheesecake is done baking.
- You can serve this cheesecake at room temperature, but I prefer to serve mine cold. If served at room temperature the cheesecake will be creamier, like in the video. Once it’s chilled the texture will be firmer, like the pictures in this post.
- Traditionally, this type of cheesecake is served plain. However, you’re welcome to top it with one or more of the following: fresh berries, whipped cream, or salted caramel sauce.
- 2 pounds brick-style cream cheese softened to room temperature (4 blocks; 32 ounces)
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar (350 grams)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour spooned & leveled (32 grams)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream room temperature (420 ml)
- 5 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 egg yolks at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Line a 9-inch springform pan with two large overlapping pieces of parchment paper to ensure the entire pan is covered with it and some of the parchment overhangs the sides of the pan. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth and creamy. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl 2 to 3 times during this process.
- Add the flour, vanilla extract, and salt and mix on medium speed until fully combined.
- Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly pour in the heavy whipping cream. Once all of the heavy cream is added, continue mixing until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time, on low speed. Then, mix in the egg yolks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for a few more seconds to ensure everything is well combined.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter to bring any large air bubbles to the top.
- Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the top is deeply golden brown but the center is still slightly jiggly.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool in the pan at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
- Once the cheesecake has cooled completely, release it from the springform pan. Place the cheesecake onto a serving plate and gently peel the parchment paper from the sides.
- Serve at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator for several hours and serve cold.