New York Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries

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Another cheesecake recipe :D Back to back to baaack. This one is also equally incredible. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge fan of anything vanilla based. It’s such a powerful, potent, yet delicate flavor that I simply cannot get enough of. This cheesecake embodies everything that is right within the world. It’s tall, it’s thick, it’s rich, it’s creamy, and it’s easy to do. I sound like I’m describing a Hollywood housewife…

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries

You’ll find this recipe to be a keeper. If you’re a fan of tall New York style cheesecakes, this will please you greatly. It has that beautiful golden brown crust all over, and the creamy dense center you crave. You can eat this baby plain, with a traditional sour cream topping, or with fresh fruit or berries. I went the berry route, seeing as how I ALWAYS have strawberries in my house. They’re my favorite things in the world to snack on. I got rid of this cheesecake almost as soon as I made it because it doesn’t need to be around a single woman who lives alone. I gave it to a friend of mine, and he is still texting me about this damn cheesecake to this day LOL. It’s really good, y’all. He says it’s “Sex on a plate”, and well…that isn’t a lie.

When this cheesecake bakes, it souflees up and almost looks as though it’s going to spill over, but don’t worry — it’s not. It’ll sink back down as it cools. If you’re taking the temperature of the cheesecake, do it along the sides of the cheesecake. If you pierce the cheesecake in the middle, it might crack on you if you’re not using a waterbath. I didn’t use one this time, but I highly recommend doing it. Always allow your cheesecakes to cool uncovered at room temperature for at least 3 hours before you cover it and let it further chill in the fridge. This prevents condensation from building up on the top layer of your cake, giving it a wet gross appearance. Let’s avoid that, shall we? I also avoided using graham crackers with this recipe, because animals crackers just taste better. You can use whatever you’d like.

If you don’t have vanilla beans, you should buy some — or you could just use more vanilla extract in it’s absence. You could also use vanilla paste. Enjoy this, and make sure you share, because you don’t want your thighs to spread too much ;)

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries
notice how my cheesecake has soufleed up beautifully? she’s almost ready to come out of the oven!

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries
many hours later, she’s ready to eat

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries
isn’t she sexy? owwww… ;)

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries

Nom!! This was so good you guys, make this as soon as you can.

New York Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries
barely adapted from Food Network
Serves: 8 to 10
  • 5 oz. animals crackers, finely ground into crumbs
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
  • pinch of salt
Cheesecake filling:
  • 2 lbs. cream cheese (4 8-ounce blocks), room temperature
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
Strawberry topping:
  • 1 to 2 lbs. fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
  • ½ cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • tiny pinch of salt
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
For the crust:
  1. Melt the butter, covered in the microwave, in a medium microwave safe bowl, or a saucepan. Brush a 9-inch springform pan with some of the butter. Stir the remaining butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom of the pan, taking care to get the crust evenly into the edges. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool.
For the filling:
  1. Beat the cream cheese on medium speed with a stand mixer or hand-held mixer until smooth. Add 1¼ cups sugar and beat just until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed. Add the vanilla beans and beat for 15 seconds or until evenly combined. Slowly beat in the sour cream, then eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla extract; take care not to over whip. Pour into the cooled crust.
  2. Bake the cheesecake on a large baking sheet for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees---the outside of the cake will set but the center should have a slight jiggle.
  3. Remove cheesecake from the oven. Run a knife around the edges and cool to room temperature for at least 3 hours. Cover and refrigerate and additional 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Before serving, clean and hull your strawberries and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the strawberry preserves with the lemon juice and vanilla extract over medium high heat until no longer cloudy in appearance, about 5 minutes or so. The reason we're heating this is to the mixture is easy to pour on top of the cake and isn't cloudy and greyish. Cool the strawberry preserve mixture in the fridge for a half hour or cool to the touch. Arrange your strawberries on top of your cheesecake, and brush the strawberry preserve mixture all over the berries.
  5. Remove the springform ring. Dip a knife in warm water, wipe dry before slicing each piece. Serve immediately and refrigerate any leftovers. Eat within 2 days.
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  1. says

    Gworl! Thank you for this!!

    I will be making this for mother’s day and if things go great, I’ll find a man and make this for him as well!! Lol

  2. Ashley says

    I tried this recipe today. After baking for an hr I noticed my cake did not rise. I looked at some other recipes and notices they advised to increase the oven temp to 450-500 once the filling is added. Maybe i missed something but this recipe led me to believe that all the baking was done at 325 and after an hr and ten minutes this cheesecake was no where near done.

    • says

      Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you! how large was your roasting pan, how much water did you use, and was the water boiling hot? I’m going to adjust the recipe to help prevent this from happening again.

  3. Cass says

    So I’ve done everything and I am about to put the sauce on and I’d like to know when you put in the fridge what kind of cointainer and or cover do you put on it to preserve it?

    • says

      i usually keep the cheesecake in the springform pan, in the fridge, w/ plastic wrap then foil on top of that. it normally doesn’t last more than 2 days in my house lol.

  4. Brittany says

    If you weren’t going to use vanilla beans how much vanilla extract should you use in its place? and does it taste much different if you do so? Thanks!

  5. Erika says

    Okay Resha…I’m making this tonight. These pictures have my mouth watering at work smh Strawberry cheesecake is my absolute FAVORITE dessert! I’ve never made it before…any beginner’s tips??

  6. says

    I used your recipe but I added 3 tablespoons of cake flour after seeing the comment about the cake not rising. I also baked it at 500 degrees for 12 minutes then decreased the temp to 200 degrees for a hour. Other than that your recipe is delicious.

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