This strawberry cheesecake features a buttery graham cracker crust, a creamy vanilla cheesecake filling, and a fresh strawberry sauce on top. This is a simple recipe that always gets rave reviews!

A slice of cheesecake with strawberry topping on a white plate.

This strawberry cheesecake is a crowd-pleasing dessert that I rarely wind up having leftovers of!

For this recipe, I used my go-to cheesecake recipe as the base and topped it with a thicker, berry packed version of my strawberry sauce. A little lemon juice brightens up the strawberry topping and prevents the finished cheesecake from being too sweet.

I know cheesecake requires more TLC than other desserts, but this really is a straightforward recipe that anyone can prepare. So long as you allow enough time for the cheesecake to chill before slicing into it, you shouldn’t have any issues making restaurant-quality cheesecake with strawberry topping at home!

Make this rich and creamy cheesecake for your next dinner party or family gathering. It can be prepared in advance (topping and all!), which makes for stress-free entertaining.

An overhead view of the ingredients for a strawberry cheesecake.

Ingredient Notes

I won’t go over every ingredient that’s listed in the recipe card at the end of the post, but there are a few important ones I want to review:

  • Graham Cracker Crumbs: You can buy pre-made graham cracker crumbs at the store or you can crush full sheets of graham crackers yourself using a food processor. To get 1 ½ cups of crumbs, you will need 11 to 12 full sheets.
  • Cream Cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese sold in foil-wrapped bricks. If you use low-fat or whipped cream cheese, the cheesecake will not set up properly. I have a post on how to soften cream cheese, in case you forgot to do so before starting this recipe.
  • Sour Cream: Breaks up the heaviness of the cream cheese and makes for a creamier cheesecake. Again, opt for a full-fat version for best results.
  • Eggs: Also need to be brought to room temperature. You can do this quickly by submerging them in a bowl of warm tap water for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Strawberries: Select fresh strawberries that are vibrant red in color and don’t have any visible bruises or blemishes.
  • Cornstarch: Is used in the strawberry topping to thicken it up and makes for a cleaner slice of cheesecake.

How To Make Strawberry Cheesecake

Make the Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a mixing bowl.
  2. Turn the mixture into a parchment paper-lined, 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, then let cool.

I have a detailed guide on How to Make a Graham Cracker Crust, in case you need further clarification about the process.

Make the Cheesecake Filling

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Then, add the sour cream. Mix in the granulated sugar and vanilla extract last.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl before adding them to the cream cheese mixture. This will ensure that you don’t over mix the eggs!
  1. Wrap the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil, then place it into an oven bag. Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan.
  2. Bake the cheesecake until the edges are set and the center is almost set, but with a slight jiggle to it. Crack the oven door and let the cheesecake cool for 1 hour in the oven. After that, let it cool completely on your counter before chilling in the fridge for at least 5 hours.

Note that the cheesecake must be baked in a water bath. Detailed instructions on this process have been provided in the recipe card below, but I also have a post on How to Make a Water Bath for Cheesecake that you can reference.

Make the Strawberry Topping

  1. Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch slurry in a large saucepan. Cook until the mixture thickens, then remove from the heat and stir in the remaining strawberries. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl to cool.
  2. Spoon the cooled strawberry topping over the cheesecake. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to slice and serve.
A side view of a sliced strawberry cheesecake on a cake stand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the water bath necessary?

Yes, you must bake the cheesecake in a water bath! It allows it to bake slowly and gently so you end up with a smooth and creamy cheesecake that doesn’t crack.

What’s the best way to tell when cheesecake is done?

You’ll know the cheesecake is finished baking when the edges are set and the center has just barely set but still has a slight jiggle to it. Remember that the cheesecake will finish setting up as it cools in the oven and chills in the fridge.

Can the strawberry topping be added in advance?

Yes, you can spoon the strawberry topping over the cheesecake after it’s chilled for at least 5 hours in the fridge. You can then re-cover the cheesecake and slice it later; the strawberry sauce won’t affect the texture of the cheesecake.

Can the cheesecake be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze the cheesecake whole or in slices. I recommend freezing it without the topping and adding it once it’s thawed out.

A close-up view of a strawberry cheesecake slice, with a bite speared on a fork.

Baking Tips

  • Make sure all of your ingredients for the cheesecake filling are at room temperature before getting started. This will ensure that the filling turns out smooth and creamy!
  • You need to use full-fat dairy products in this recipe. This will keep the cheesecake moist and flavorful.
  • Don’t shortchange the cooling process! The cheesecake must first cool for an hour in the oven with the door cracked, then on a wire rack at room temperature, and finally it has to chill in the fridge for a few hours. If you skip any of these steps, the cheesecake might crack, fall in the middle, or not set up properly.
A slice of strawberry cheesecake on a white plate.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cooling & Chilling Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Strawberry cheesecake features a buttery graham cracker crust, a creamy vanilla cheesecake filling, and a fresh strawberry sauce on top. This is a simple recipe that always gets rave reviews!


Servings: 10 slices

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 ½ cups crushed graham cracker crumbs (180 grams)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled (70 grams)

Cheesecake Filling

  • 32 ounces brick-style cream cheese softened to room temperature (905 grams)
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream at room temperature (230 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature

Strawberry Topping

  • 1 ½ pounds fresh strawberries washed, hulled, and sliced
  • cup granulated sugar (65 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (10 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons water (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or cornflour (8 grams)


  • To make the graham cracker crust: Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a parchment paper circle and set aside.
  • Combine the crushed graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Add the melted butter and mix until all of the crumbs are moistened.
  • Scoop the mixture into the prepared springform pan and firmly press it down into one even layer. I prefer to use the bottom of a measuring cup to help pack the crust down.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly while you make the filling. Keep the oven temperature at 325°F (163°C).
  • To make the cheesecake filling: Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil for the water bath before getting started with the filling.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on low-medium speed until smooth. Add the sour cream and mix until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then, add the granulated sugar and pure vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.
  • In a separate small mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the beaten eggs to the mixing bowl with the cheesecake filling and mix on low speed until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to turn the filling a few times to make sure everything is fully mixed together. Set aside.
  • Wrap the outside of the springform pan with the pre-baked crust in aluminum foil, then place it into a large oven bag. Fold the oven bag down the sides until the bag is the same height/level as the edge of your springform pan.
  • Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan and smooth it out into an even layer. If desired, gently tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to bring any air bubbles to the top, then use a toothpick or skewer to remove any large air bubbles and smooth them out.
  • Make the water bath: Add the boiling water you started before the filling to a large roasting pan until it is about 1-inch deep. Carefully place the wrapped springform pan into the roasting pan.
  • Bake the cheesecake: Transfer the roasting pan with the cheesecake to the oven and bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until the edges of the cheesecake are set and the center is still slightly jiggly. Turn the oven off, crack the oven door slightly, and allow the cheesecake to cool in the warm oven for 1 hour.
  • After the cheesecake has cooled for 1 hour in the oven with the door cracked, remove the roasting pan with the cheesecake from the oven. Carefully remove the springform pan and discard the foil and oven bag. Transfer the springform pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, cover tightly and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 5 to 6 hours or overnight.
  • Prepare the strawberry topping: In a large saucepan, add ⅔ (1 pound) of the fresh strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Add the water and cornstarch to a small mixing bowl, whisk until well combined, then pour it into the saucepan.
  • Mix all of the ingredients together, then place the saucepan over medium-low heat. Continue cooking and stirring often, until the strawberries release their juices and the mixture thickens.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the remaining sliced strawberries. Pour the mixture into a heat-safe bowl and cool to room temperature.
  • To assemble the cheesecake: Add the cooled strawberry topping on top of the cheesecake, cover tightly, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Run a thin knife around the outside of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan, carefully release the springform pan, then slice into pieces, serve, and enjoy!


Storage Instructions: Cheesecake may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezing Instructions: Cheesecake may be wrapped tightly and frozen in a large freezer bag for 2 to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then prepare and add the strawberry topping.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Danielle Rye
Did you make this recipe?Mention @livewellbakeoften on Instagram or tag #livewellbakeoften.