Cherry Cheesecake

By: MeganPosted: 23/07/2022 Updated: 01/12/2023
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 7 hours 30 minutes
Throw away that processed, overly sweet, canned cherry pie filling and make your very own cherry cheesecake from scratch because it is 1000% better. After you make this velvety smooth, perfectly level, tall cheesecake with a cherry topping you will never have to look for another recipe for cherry cheesecake ever again. It is that good.
Cherry Cheesecake

Throw away that processed, overly sweet, canned cherry pie filling and make your very own cherry cheesecake from scratch because it is 1000% better. After you make this velvety smooth, perfectly level, tall cheesecake with a cherry topping you will never have to look for another recipe for cherry cheesecake ever again. It is that good.

A slice of cherry cheesecake served on a glass dessert plate.

There is nothing better than inhaling a silky smooth, ultra decadent, perfectly balanced cherry cheesecake with a cinnamon sugar graham cracker crust. This cherry cheesecake recipe only uses a handful of pantry staple ingredients and is easier to make than you think!

This cherry cheesecake recipe will forever be one of the recipes I will make every year since they are Eliezer’s favorite. Plus, this cheesecake with cherry topping is really easy to make which makes it a win for me! If you loved this cherry cheesecake recipe, make sure to check out my no-bake mango cheesecake, strawberry jelly cheesecake, and basque matcha vanilla cheesecake.

Lifting a slice of cheery cheesecake from a whole cheesecake.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This show-stopping cherry-topped cheesecake is smooth, creamy, just the right amount of sweetness, and will instantly impress all your friends.
  • Making a homemade cheesecake with cherry topping is surprisingly very easy to make. The hardest part is waiting for the cheesecake to cool and chill in the refrigerator.
  • This cherry-topped cheesecake recipe has detailed instructions with step-by-step photos and tips and tricks to help you make a tall cheesecake with a perfectly level top and no cracks.
A slice of cherry cheesecake served on a glass dessert plate.

Kitchen Equipment

I have listed below all the essential kitchen tools you will need for this cherry cheesecake recipe.

  • Food Processor: you can use a food processor to pulverize the graham cracker crumbs or alternatively, you can place the graham crackers in a large ziplock back and crush the graham crackers with a rolling pin.
  • Electric Mixer: for best results use an electric stand mixer or electric hand mixer for an even, silky smooth cheesecake batter.
  • 9-inch Springform Pan: this cherry topped cheesecake recipe yields just enough for a 9-inch springform pan. A springform pan is necessary to easily remove the cheesecake.
  • Roasting Pan: You will need a roasting pan or a large cake pan that can fit the 9-inch springform pan for the water bath.
A slice of cherry cheesecake on a plate with a bite taken out of it.

Ingredients

All of these ingredients for this cherry cheesecake recipe can be found at your local grocery store. If you do not have access to fresh cherries, you can alternatively use frozen ones instead!

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Graham Crackers: is the base of the cheesecake crust. Honeymaid graham crackers are my favorite, but you can use any brand. You will need to pulverize the graham crackers into crumbs to make the crust.
  • Unsalted Butter: binds the graham cracker crumbs together.
  • Light Brown Sugar: sweetens the crust and adds a touch of molasses flavor.
  • Cinnamon: a touch of cinnamon gives the crust some warmth and depth.
  • Salt: a touch of salt brings out the other crust flavors.
All the ingredients to make a cheesecake crust.

Cheesecake

  • Cream cheese: make sure to use full-fat brick cream cheese at room temperature for the best texture. Do not use whipped cream cheese. I always use Philadelphia cream cheese because it is tangier than other store brands.
  • Granulated Sugar: sweetens the cherry-topped cheesecake.
  • Sour Cream: adds a touch of acidity to break through the dense cream cheese flavor. Make sure you get full-fat and bring the sour cream to room temperature for the best texture and flavor.
  • All-Purpose Flour: a touch of all-purpose flour will aid in the structure of the cheesecake and also give it a gentle rise so that the texture is not overly dense.
  • Salt: balances out all the rich flavors from the other ingredients.
  • Vanilla Extract: is the main flavoring ingredient of the cherry-topped cheesecake. Make sure to use a high-quality vanilla extract for the best flavor. I love using Rodelle’s vanilla extract.
  • Large Eggs and Egg Yolk: eggs give this cherry cheesecake recipe its smooth and rich texture. Using a combination of whole eggs and egg yolks binds the cheesecake together, without adding too much water content for the perfect texture.
All of the ingredients to make the cheesecake batter.

Cherry Compote

This cherry cheesecake topping is so addicting and only requires 5 pantry staple ingredients.

  • Cherries: either fresh or frozen cherries will work for this cherry cheesecake topping
  • Granulated Sugar: sweetens the cherry juice for a more flavorful cherry sauce.
  • Lemon Juice: adds a touch of acidity
  • Cornstarch: thickens the cherry juice for a mouthwatering sauce/jam consistency
  • Vanilla Extract: adds a hint of vanilla flavor
All of the ingredients to make cherry topping.

Substitutions and Additions

This is your personal recipe for cherry cheesecake. That means you can personalize this cherry cheesecake recipe based on your preferences. I’ve listed some substitutions and additions ideas below.

Substitutions

  • Crust: instead of a graham cracker crust, you can opt for Biscoff cookies, vanilla wafers, pretzels, ice cream cones, or even frosted flakes!
  • Vanilla Bean: instead of using vanilla extract, you can add 1 whole vanilla bean instead.

Additions

  • Crust: you can add pecans or walnuts to the graham cracker crust for more flavor.
  • Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice: if you want to brighten up this recipe for cherry cheesecake, you can add lemon zest or lemon juice or even both to the crust and/or cheesecake
  • Cherry Topping: you can add other fruit to your cherry toppings such as blueberries or strawberries for a more fruity topping!

How to Make Cherry Cheesecake

This cherry cheesecake recipe is honestly the best cheesecake recipe you will find online. It is simple and to the point while also guiding you to all the tips and tricks to getting that silky smooth cheesecake with cherry topping.

Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Prep. Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C. Grease the inside of your 9-inch springform cake pan.
  2. Pulverize the graham crackers. Using a food processor, pulverize the graham crackers into crumbs. Alternatively, you can place the graham crackers into a large ziplock bag and crush the crackers with a rolling pin.
Pulverizing graham crackers in a large food processor.
  1. Whisk in spices. In a large mixing bowl add the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk until combined
  2. Add in melted butter. Melt the butter in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds. Pour in the graham cracker mixture and thoroughly mix.
Whisking together the graham crackers, butter, and spices.
  1. Create the crust. Scoop the mix into a greased cake pan. Press firmly for a flat, even layer. Use a flat bottomed glass or measuring cup to make an even flat layer.
Pressing the graham cracker mixture into a pan with a flat bottomed glass.
  1. Bake. Bake the crust in the center of the oven for about 7 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

Cheesecake

  1. Prepare the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F or 163°C. Set a kettle of water to boil. Carefully wrap your springform pan with 4-5 layers of aluminum foil or alternatively use a 10-inch pan to protect the springform pan from getting wet.
  2. Cream the cream cheese. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or beaters, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. About 1 minute.
Cream cheese after being creamed in a stand mixer.
  1. Add sugar. Turn the mixer to low speed. While the mixer is beating, slowly add the sugar in three increments until combined.
Slowly incorporating the sugar into the cream cheese.
  1. Add sour cream, vanilla, flour, and salt. While the mixer is beating, add the sour cream, vanilla extract, flour, and salt and mix until combined.
  2. Mix the eggs. In a measuring cup with a spout, lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolks until combined. While the mixer is slowly beating, add the lightly whisked eggs about one at a time making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg.
  1. Assemble. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
Pouring the batter into the aluminum wrapped pan.
  1. Bake. Place your cake pan into a large roasting pan or large sheet cake pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come up about 1 inch along the side of the cake pan. Place the cake and water bath in the center rack of your oven. Bake at 325°F for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until the cake has a slight wobble in the center 2-3 inches of the cake.
  2. Cool. Turn off the oven, and let the cheesecake rest in the oven and in the water bath for 30 minutes with the oven door cracked. Next, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and aluminum foil and set it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Chill. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.

Cherry Topping

  1. Cook down the cherries. In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, add the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir until combined. Cook the cherries until the cherries begin to release their juices about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Thicken the cherry juice. In a small bowl, mix together the water and cornstarch to make a slurry. Add the cornstarch slurry and vanilla extract until the sauce thickens. Cool completely before spooning the cherry topping over the cheesecake.
The final cherry compote topping cooling in a glass bowl.

Tips for the Best Cherry Cheesecake

  • Use room temperature ingredients. Using room-temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs will allow you to mix a very smooth and creamy batter that has no lumps. It also aids in an even rise when you bake the cheesecake.
  • Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl. After every step, I recommend scrapping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated evenly.
  • Do not overbeat your eggs. Make sure to lightly scramble the eggs before adding them incrementally to your batter and keep your mixer on LOW speed when adding the eggs. Over-mixing the eggs can be the quickest way to ruin a cheesecake and cause it to crack.
  • Use a lot of aluminum foil to protect the springform pan. This is the one step that may ruin your cheesecake if water seeps into the pan. You have 2 options. 1) use at least 5-6 layers of aluminum foil to protect the base of the springform pan or 2) a 10-inch regular cake pan that is not springform to prevent any water leakage into the cake pan.
  • Do not open the oven while baking. Do not open the oven door until the cheesecake has been in the oven for a minimum of 60 minutes. Opening the oven door can cause the cheesecake to deflate and shrink.
  • The cheesecake may seem underdone. The cheesecake will 100% be wobbly in the center and seem underdone. Do not worry! It will firm up when it cools and chills in the refrigerator.
  • Chill the cheesecake: After you cool the cheesecake on the counter, you MUST chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours. If you cut the cheesecake immediately after it cools, it may be soft and soupy in the center.

Storage Instructions

You can store this cherry cheesecake wrapped in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Alternatively, you can freeze the cheesecake separated from the cherry topping, in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. To serve, simply defrost in the refrigerator before serving.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

What does a water bath do for a cheesecake?

A water bath provides moisture from the steam which protects the top of the cake from cracking. The steam also aids in a gentle even rise with minimal shrinkage. A water bath makes baking easier because it is more forgiving and you will be less likely to overbake the cheesecake. The end result yields an ultra-creamy cheesecake.

How do I know if the cherry cheesecake is done cooking?

You will know if the cheesecake is done when the edges are very lightly golden and the center 2-3 inches are still wobbly.

How do you avoid cracks in your cheesecake?

The cracks can occur for a number of different reasons. The main reason is when the edges of the cheesecake are cooking faster than the center. To avoid cracks, I recommend using a water bath and cooking the cheesecake low and slow at 325 F. And keep the oven door closed! Do not open it to check the cake until it has been in the oven for at least 1 hour.

Also, cracks can also occur if the eggs have been over-whipped in the batter. Make sure to slightly scramble the eggs before adding them one by one into the batter to prevent overmixing.

What do I do if my cheesecake with cherry topping cracks?

If your cheesecake cracks, simply cover it with more cherry topping to fill in the cracks and no one will know!

Additional Cheesecake Recipes to Try

Did you make this Cherry Cheesecake?

If you made this dish and loved it, please leave a review and comment below. We would greatly appreciate it!

Share your dish with us on Instagram, and tag us @takestwoeggs—we’d love to see and share your delicious creation!

Hungry for more? Follow us on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, and Facebook for more tasty creations and updates 🍜

Recipe

Up close of a slice cheesecake on a plate.

Cherry Cheesecake

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chill Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes
Throw away that processed, overly sweet, canned cherry pie filling and make your very own cherry cheesecake from scratch because it is 1000% better. After you make this velvety smooth, perfectly level, tall cheesecake with a cherry topping you will never have to look for another recipe for cherry cheesecake ever again. It is that good.
Servings: 12 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

Cheesecake

  • 32 oz (900 g) cream cheese room temperature (four 8 oz packages)
  • 1 ⅓ cup (270 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (125 g) sour cream room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 egg yolk room temperature

Cherry Compote

Instructions

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Prep. Preheat your oven at 350°F or 176°C. Grease the inside of your 9 inch springform cake pan.
  • Pulverize the graham crackers. Using a food processor, pulverize the graham crackers into crumbs. Alternatively, you can place the graham crackers into a large ziplock bag and crush the crackers with a rolling pin.
  • Whisk in spices. In a large mixing bowl add the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Whisk until combined
  • Add in melted butter. Melt the butter in the microwave about 15-30 seconds. Pour in the graham cracker mix and thoroughly mix.
  • Create the crust. Scoop the mix into a greased cake pan. Press firmly for a flat, even layer. Use a flat bottomed glass or measuring cup to make an even flat layer.
  • Bake. Bake the crust in the center of the oven for about 7 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

Cheesecake

  • Prepare the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F or 163°C. Set a kettle of water to boil. Carefully wrap your springform pan with 4-5 layers of aluminum foil or alternatively use a 10 inch pan to protect the springform pan from getting wet.
  • Cream the cream cheese. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or beaters, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. About 1 minute.
  • Add sugar. Turn the mixer to low speed. While mixer is beating, slowly add the sugar in three increments until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to evenly combine.
  • Add sour cream, vanilla, flour and salt. While the mixer is beating on low, add the sour cream, vanilla extract, flour and salt and mix until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Mix the eggs. In a measuring cup with a spout, lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolks until combined. While the mixer is slowly beating on low speed, add the lightly whisked eggs about one at a time making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to fully combine. The batter should be silky smooth. Do not over mix.
  • Assemble. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Tap the pan on your work surface a few times to release any air bubbles.
  • Bake. Place your cake pan into a large roasting pan or large sheet cake pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come up about 1 inch along the side of the cake pan. Place the cake and water bath in the center rack of your oven. Bake at 325°F for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until the cake has a slight wobble in the center 2-3 inches of the cake. The edges will have likely puffed and turned a very pale golden brown.
  • Cool. Turn off the oven, and let the cheesecake rest in oven and water bath for 30 minutes with the oven door cracked. Then run a think bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure the cake doesn’t stick to the sides of the cake and crack when it cools. Next, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and aluminum foil and set it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Chill. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight before slicing and serving.

Cherry Topping

  • Cook down the cherries. In a medium saucepan on medium low heat, add the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir until combined. Cook the cherries until the cherries begin to release their juices about 5-7 minutes.
  • Thicken the cherry juice. In a small bowl, mix together the water and cornstarch to make a slurry. Add the cornstarch slurry and vanilla extract until the sauce thickens. Cool completely before spooning over the cheesecake.

Notes

  • Use room temperature ingredients. Using room temperature cream cheese, sour cream and eggs will allow you to mix a very smooth and creamy batter that has no lumps. It also aids in an even rise when you bake the cheesecake.
  • Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl. After every step, I recommend scrapping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated evenly.
  • Do not overbeat your eggs. Make sure to lightly scramble the eggs before adding them incrementally to your batter and keep your mixer on LOW speed when adding the eggs. Over mixing the eggs can be the quickest way to ruin a cheesecake and cause it to crack.
  • Use a lot of aluminum foil to protect the springform pan. This is the one step that may ruin your cheesecake if water seeps into the pan. You have 2 options. 1) use at least 5-6 layers of aluminum foil to protect the base of the springform pan or 2) a 10-inch regular cake pan that is not springform to prevent any water leakage into the cake pan.
  • Do not open the oven while baking. Do not open the oven door until the cheesecake has been in the oven for a minimum of 60 minutes. Opening the oven door can cause the cheesecake to deflate and shrink.
  • The cheesecake may seem underdone. The cheesecake will 100% be wobbly in the center and seem underdone. Do not worry! It will firm up when it cools and chills in the refrigerator.
  • Chill the cheesecake: After you cool the cheesecake on the counter, you MUST chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours. If you cut the cheesecake immediately after it cools, it may be soft and soupy in the center.

Nutrition:

Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 187mg | Sodium: 486mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 1447IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg

Rate & Review What did you think of this recipe?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating