Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake is made with a crunchy graham cracker crust, a rich cream cheese filling, and a lush strawberry sauce. The creaminess of the cheesecake filling combined with the bright, fruity sauce make this recipe a lovely dessert for strawberry season or any time.
Strawberry cheesecake with Philadelphia cream cheese
Given the number of cheesecake recipes, we’re clearly fans of a good cheesecake. As complicated as they may seem, they are actually pretty simple. And nothing beats the creamy, dense, and delicious texture of homemade cheesecake.
And this Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake is defiantly a favorite. There is just something about warmer weather that makes me crave fruity desserts. And this easy strawberry cheesecake just hits the spot. It’s so darn good!
The cheesecake features a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth crust loaded with a smooth Philadelphia cheesecake filling. The subtle tanginess of the filling is beautifully complimented by the sweetness of the strawberry sauce.
It’s such a lovely dessert for spring and summer (or whenever you want homemade strawberry cheesecake). So hop in your kitchen and whips this treat for you and your family.
No summer is complete without plenty of strawberry treats! For even more strawberry goodies, try our Bisquick strawberry cobbler, strawberry spoon cake, strawberry blondies, and strawberry shortcake parfaits.
My Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake recipe requires basic pantry and fridge staples, many of which you probably already have in your kitchen. Here’s alit of everything you need. Please see the recipe card below for detailed measurements.
- Graham cracker crumbs: You’ll need about 2 1/4 cups of crumbs or 17 full sheets of graham crackers.
- Granulated sugar adds a touch of sweetness.
- Salted butter: You want the butter melted to hold the cheesecake crust together.
- Philadelphia cream cheese: The cheesecake should be at room temperature, so it combines smoothly with the other ingredients and doesn’t create a lumpy texture. I recommend a full-fat, brick-style cream cheese, not the spreadable one from a tub.
- Sugar: Again, white granulated sugar is best here.
- Cornstarch helps to stabilize the filling. You can also use cornstarch (half the amount) if you need a gluten-free option.
- Eggs: You need 3 large eggs at room temperature.
- Vanilla extract adds depth of flavor. Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Strawberries: Chopped strawberries are cooked down to make the base of the strawberry topping. You’ll also need some halved strawberries to garnish your Philly cheesecake.
- Granulated sugar sweetens the strawberry sauce.
- Cornstarch helps to thicken the sauce.
- Water: We need a bit of water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
- Vanilla extract helps to highlight the flavor.
How to make Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake
A graham cracker crust, a creamy vanilla cheesecake, and delightful strawberry sauce are what you need to make this easy strawberry cheesecake recipe. Here’s a quick rundown of the recipe steps:
#1: Make the crust
- Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salted butter in a medium bowl until combined and moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 325°F, then set aside to slightly cool.
- Turn the oven temperature down to 300°F.
#2: Mix filling
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl until smooth and combined.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix in on low speed. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Pour the batter into the prebaked crust.
#3: Bake cheesecake
- Place the springform pan into a larger silicone cake pan. Then put the silicone pan into an even larger baking pan. Fill the gap between the pans with warm water halfway up the silicone pan.
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Do I really have to use a water bath?
Technically not, but your strawberry cheesecake will turn out so much better. I’ve tested both ways, and a water bath helps to avoid cracks, keeps the texture moist and cream, and ensures the top of the cheesecake doesn’t burn or dry out.
How do you know when Philly cheesecake is done?
Try the wiggle test: When you gently shake the baking pan, the cheesecake should be nearly set, with just a slight juggle in the center, and the edges should look matt and a little puffed. If the center seems wobbly, your cheesecake needs to bake longer.
#4: Cool cheesecake
- Turn the oven off and leave the oven door closed for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, crack the oven door to allow the cheesecake to continue cooling down slowly.
- Then remove the springform pan from the oven and water bath. Chill in the fridge until firm.
#5: Make strawberry sauce
- In a small saucepan, cook the chopped strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch until the strawberries fall apart.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and strawberry halves and let cool.
- Once cooled, top the cheesecake with the strawberry sauce.
Follow these tips and tricks, and your Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake recipe will be nothing short of perfection. A delicious graham cracker crust, a creamy center, and a perfectly fruity strawberry topping. Yummarillo!
- Work with room temperature ingredients: When making the cheesecake filling, ensure your cold ingredients, like cream cheese and eggs, are at room temperature. They will combine more smoothly, preventing a clumpy filling.
- Mix slowly: Overmixing or mixing at too high of a speed can incorporate excess air into the filling, which can cause the top to crack.
- Bake in a springform pan: The sides of the springform pan release easily after the cheesecake has baked and cooled, allowing you to remove the cheesecake from the baking pan mess-free.
- Set up a water bath: It seems like a hassle, but you won’t regret baking your cheesecake in a water bath. The water produces steam that wafts through the oven, ensuring the cheesecake bakes evenly and stays moist. Just be sure to leak-proof the pan.
- Leave the oven door closed: The steams from the water bath will escape if you open the oven door, disrupting the baking process and leading to an unevenly cooked, sunken cheesecake.
- Avoid overbaking: The cheesecake continues baking as it gradually cools, hence it’s important not to overbake. The cheesecake is ready when the edges are set, but the center is still a little jiggly.
- Cool slowly: The gradual cooling process is necessary for the perfect strawberry cheesecake. The cheesecake continues to bake as it remains in the turned-off oven and when it sits in the cracked-open oven. Removing the cheesecake from the oven right away will lead to an under-done cheesecake.
To enjoy, top the cheesecake with the strawberry sauce. Serve each slice with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and a fresh strawberry on the side.
To cut neat, clean slices, fill a quart-size jar with hot water. Dip a sharp knife into the jar between each slice, then wipe off the excess water with a paper towel and cut.
How to store Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake
If you have leftover cheesecake, place the whole cake (or slices) in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It will be good for up to 5 days. Store any extra strawberry sauce in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Can you freeze Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake?
Of course! Philadelphia cheesecake freezes pretty well. However, I recommend freezing the cheesecake and strawberry sauce separately. Here’s what to do:
- Strawberry topping: Pour the sauce into a freezer-friendly container and seal airtight. Freeze for up to 6 months.
- Cheesecake: Place the cake on a small, lined baking sheet and flash-freeze for 1 hour to firm up. Then wrap it in several layers of plastic warp and place in a freezer bag. Alternatively, arrange slices of cheesecake in a single layer on a lined tray and freeze before wrapping each portion in plastic and placing inside a container. In either case, Philadelphia cheesecake can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Thaw: When it’s time to eat, transfer the frozen cheesecake and sauce to the fridge and allow them to defrost overnight. Assemble the cake as outlined in the recipe and dig in.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 1/4 cups / 300 g / 10.5 oz graham cracker crumbs (approx. 17 full sheet graham crackers)
- 1/3 cup / 65 g / 2.3 oz granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup / 1 stick / 115 g / 4 oz salted butter, melted
- 24 oz / 680 g Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup / 200 g / 7 oz granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 lb / 250 g fresh strawberries, chopped
- 1/2 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml / 2 fl oz water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 lb / 250 g fresh strawberries, halved
#1: Make the crust
- Prep work. Preheat your oven to 325°F / 165°C / gas mark 3.
- Make crust. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salted butter in a medium bowl until combined and moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch / 23 cm springform pan.
- Prebake crust. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to slightly cool.
- Reduce oven temperature. Turn the oven temperature down to 300°F / 150°C / gas mark 2.
#2: Mix filling
- Beat cream cheese. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl on low speed until smooth and combined. Be sure to mix on low to avoid trapping air in the mixture, which could cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Incorporate liquid ingredients. Add the vanilla extract and mix in on low speed. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scarpe the bowl as needed to ensure everything is combined.
- Fill pan. Pour the batter into the prebaked crust.
#3: Bake cheesecake
- Set up a water bath. Place the springform pan into a larger silicone cake pan. Then put the silicone pan into an even larger baking pan. Fill the gap between the pans with warm water to reach about halfway up the sides of the silicone pan. Make sure the water doesn't go above the edge of the silicone pan.
- Bake. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the center is mostly set, but still a little jiggly.
#4: Cool cheesecake
- Turn off oven. Turn off your oven. Leave the oven door closed for 30 minutes. The cake will continue to bake but also begin to slowly cool.
- Open oven door. Crack the oven door to allow the cheesecake to continue cooling down slowly. This process helps to prevent cracks.
- Refrigerate cheesecake. Remove the springform pan from the oven and water bath. Chill in the fridge until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.
#5:Make strawberry sauce
- Cook sauce. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan until no lumps remain. Add the chopped strawberries and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, constantly stirring, until the strawberries break down, about 5 to 10minutes. Boil for 1 minute.
- Cool. Remove from the heat. Stir in the halved strawberries and vanilla. Place in the fridge and let cool completely, approximately 2 to 3 hours.
#6: Assemble & serve
- Remove cheesecake from pan. Once the cake has finished cooling, release your cheesecake from the springform pan and transfer onto a serving dish.
- Assemble. Top the cheesecake with the cooled strawberry sauce. You can also add the strawberries to individual slices when you serve the cake. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 460Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 319mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 6g
Why did my Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake crack?
There are a few reasons why your cheesecake could crack. Overbaking can cause cheesecake to crack. A sudden change in temperature can also lead to cracks when the cheesecake pulls away from the pan too quickly.
To prevent cracking, bake your Philly strawberry cheesecake in a water bath and allow it to cool in the oven for an hour with the oven door ajar. And even if your strawberry cheesecake cracks, it will still taste delicious.
How do I fix cracks in my strawberry cheesecake?
With the strawberry topping and glaze, no one will ever see if your cheesecake has cracks. I also found this helpful video on YouTube that shows how to repair a crack in cheesecake.
Can I use other fruit?
Absolutely! The beauty of this Philadelphia cheesecake recipe is that you can easily swap out the strawberries for any other fruit your like. Blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, or peaches will taste delicious.
Reasons to love Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake
Philadelphia cream cheese strawberry cheesecake is such a delightful dessert for spring and summertime. Here are some of the reasons why you should try this easy cheesecake recipe:
- Superb creaminess: The texture of this strawberry cheesecake is thick and creamy. The smooth filling pairs beautifully with the subtle crunch of the graham cracker crust and the refreshing fruit sauce.
- Amazing taste: Cheesecake naturally has a bit of a tangy aroma to it. This one, in particular, has a lovely balance of sweetness and tang from the cheesecake crust and strawberry sauce.
- Strawberry galore: The strawberry topping is heavenly. The base is made with chopped strawberry rather than water, which makes it incredibly flavorful. The recipe makes plenty – be sure to save the rest for ice cream and other treats.
- Perfect for springtime: We love a light, fruity dessert for spring, and this strawberry cheesecake fits the bill. It’s the perfect treat for your next party or get-together.
Other cheesecake recipes to try
If you ask me, cheesecake really is one of the best desserts in the world. This Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake is perfect for spring, but we have many more recipes for you to try. Here are a few of our other favorites: