Raspberry Cheesecake

published Aug 3, 2023
Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

With a simple 3-ingredient topping, this dreamy raspberry cheesecake is the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Serves10 to 12

Prep35 minutes to 45 minutes

Cook50 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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a sliced cheesecake topped with raspberry jam and fresh raspberries on a cake stand
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Raspberry cheesecake is a sweet, rich labor of love that’s both gorgeous and impressive-looking. It’s a delicious balance of creamy vanilla cheesecake, buttery graham cracker crust, tangy fresh raspberries, and a super-easy raspberry glaze on top. 

While a lot of work goes into making one, eating it is the ultimate reward (but if you don’t have the time, you can make these mini easy cheesecakes instead). It’s a special-occasion dessert for sure and a guaranteed hit at dinner parties. Plus, leftover cheesecake always brings me just as much joy as I savor it one sliver at a time.

How to Make Raspberry Cheesecake

I put most of my effort in this dessert into making a perfect classic cheesecake, while keeping the toppings simple.

This is how to make my favorite cheesecake, and it always turns out to be a stunning crowd-pleaser.

  1. Make the crust. Mix graham cracker crumbs (go homemade if you’re feeling extra!) and melted butter together, then press into a springform pan and bake until fragrant.
  2. Make the filling. Beat cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, salt, and a little bit of flour or cornstarch (this helps keep it from cracking) together until thick and smooth. Beat in eggs last so you don’t incorporate too much air — you want a dense cheesecake here — and pour into the crust.
  3. Bake in a water bath. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath made from a roasting pan filled with hot water, which helps the cheesecake cook evenly.
  4. Cool for 1 hour in the oven. Turn off the oven, prop the door open, and let the cheesecake slowly finish cooking and start to cool.
  5. Cool and chill. Unwrap the cheesecake and run a knife around the edge to help prevent cracks. Let cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled through. Don’t skip the chilling part — it’s important!

How to Make the Raspberry Topping

The raspberry topping is as simple as can be, with only three easy-to-find ingredients: raspberry jam, lemon juice, and lots of fresh raspberries. The topping is shiny, vivid, and gorgeous. Most importantly, it adds lots of raspberry flavor to the cheesecake.

  1. Make the glaze. Melt seedless raspberry jam with some lemon juice just until runny and smooth to make a glaze.
  2. Glaze the cheesecake. Spoon 1/2 cup of the glaze over the cold cheesecake, letting some of it drip down the sides. 
  3. Decorate with raspberries. Arrange fresh raspberries on top, then brush the raspberries with the remaining glaze.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

How to Serve Raspberry Cheesecake

Because I don’t like the look of the metal bottom, I like to slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the springform pan before putting on the topping, but you can leave it on there if you want. Top the cheesecake no more than a few hours before serving, and make sure to serve the cheesecake cold.

When cutting cheesecake, you’ll get the cleanest, neatest-looking slices by wiping the knife clean between each cut. The little bits you wipe off are your treat to nibble on as a reward for all your hard work!

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

How to Store Raspberry Cheesecake

Leftover cheesecake can be loosely covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or transferred to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to four days. The crust will soften and the raspberries and glaze will bleed a bit into the cheesecake, but everything will still be delicious.

Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

With a simple 3-ingredient topping, this dreamy raspberry cheesecake is the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Prep time 35 minutes to 45 minutes

Cook time 50 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes

Serves 10 to 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 2 pound

    full-fat cream cheese, preferably Philadelphia brand

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    cornstarch, or 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup

    sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 1

    large egg yolk

For the crust:

  • 12

    whole graham cracker sheets (6 to 7 ounces), or 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 5 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, plus more for coating the pan

For the topping:

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 2/3 cup

    seedless raspberry jam (about 7 ounces)

  • 12 ounces

    fresh raspberries (2 2/3 cups)

Instructions

  1. Place 2 pounds cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric mixer). Let sit at room temperature to soften while you prepare the crust, at least 30 minutes.

Make the crust:

  1. Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven, remove any racks above it, and heat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Use your fingers to coat a small pat of butter all over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan. Cut 2 (18-inch) long sheets of aluminum foil; place them on a work surface on top of each other in a cross. Set the springform pan in the middle and fold the edges of the foil up and around the sides of the pan. The foil gives you extra protection against water getting into the pan during the water bath step.

  3. If using whole graham crackers, break up 12 whole graham cracker sheets into large pieces and place in a food processor with the blade attachment. Pulse until fine crumbs form, about 12 (1-second) pulses. (Alternatively, place the graham crackers in a large ziptop bag, seal the bag, and crush with a rolling pin.) You should have 1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups.

  4. Melt 5 tablespoons unsalted butter in the microwave or on the stovetop. Drizzle over the graham crackers and pulse until evenly moistened and like brown sugar, about 5 (1-second) pulses. (If the crumbs were hand crushed or you’re using graham cracker crumbs, place the crumbs in a medium bowl, drizzle with the butter, and stir to combine.)

  5. Transfer the crumbs into the pan and use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it evenly into the bottom (not up the sides).

  6. Bake until the crust is fragrant and just starting to brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Place the crust on a wire rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes before you make the filling. Keep the oven at 350ºF.

Make the filling:

  1. Bring about 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, make the filling.

  2. Add 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch or 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the bowl of cream cheese. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed until the mixture is creamy like thick frosting and smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the beater and the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula.

  3. With the mixer on medium-low speed, beat in 3 large eggs and 1 large egg yolk one at a time. Wait until the previous egg is almost completely mixed into the batter before adding the next one.

  4. Stir the whole batter a few times by hand, being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl, to make sure everything is incorporated. The finished batter should be thick, creamy, and silky. Don't worry if you see a few specks of un-mixed cream cheese here and there; they will melt into the batter during baking and won't affect the finished cheesecake. Pour the batter into the cooled crust and spread it into an even layer.

  5. Place the pan in a roasting pan or other baking dish big enough to hold it. Pull the rack halfway out of the oven. Place the roasting pan on the rack and slowly pour enough of the hot water into the roasting pan so it goes about halfway up the sides of the springform pan, being careful not to splash any water onto the cheesecake. Carefully slide the oven rack back in.

  6. Bake until the outer 2 to 3 inches of the cheesecake look slightly puffed and set, but the inner circle still jiggles (like Jell-O) when you gently shake the pan, 50 to 55 minutes for a 10-inch pan or 55 to 60 minutes for a 9-inch pan. Some spots of toasted golden color are fine, but if you see any cracks starting to form, move on to the next step right away.

  7. Leave the cheesecake in the oven. Turn off the oven and crack the door open or prop it open with a wooden spoon. Let the cheesecake cool slowly for 1 hour.

  8. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the water bath, unwrap the foil, and transfer it to a wire rack. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cheesecake to make sure it's not sticking to the sides (which can cause cracks as it cools). Let the cheesecake cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

  9. Refrigerate the cheesecake uncovered for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. This step is crucial for letting the cheesecake set and achieving perfect cheesecake texture — don't rush it.

Make the topping:

  1. Juice 1/2 medium lemon until you have 1 tablespoon and place in a small saucepan. Add 2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam and warm over low heat, stirring often, until smooth and pourable (do not let it get hot or simmer). Remove the saucepan from the heat.

  2. Remove the outer ring of the springform pan. Slide a metal bench scrape or large offset spatula between the crust of the cheesecake and the bottom of the springform pan to loosen, then slide the cheesecake onto a cake stand or serving platter.

  3. Spoon 1/2 cup of the jam over the cheesecake and gently spread into an even layer, letting some of it run down the sides if desired. Starting at the center of the cheesecake, arrange 12 ounces fresh raspberries on top of the cheesecake in a single layer, positioning them opening side down. Gently brush the raspberries with the remaining jam. The cheesecake can be served immediately or refrigerated for up to 4 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cheesecake can be baked up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated without the topping. The cheesecake can be assembled with the topping and refrigerated for up to 4 hours before serving.

Storage: Loosely cover leftover cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days; the crust will soften as time goes by.