This Blueberry Cheesecake is a killer. It may well be the highest and best use of blueberries. Ever. Baked to achieve that allusive light-yet-rich creamy cheesecake filling, studded with blueberries inside and smothered in an incredible glossy blueberry sauce topping.
I know sometimes the thought of a quick ‘n easy no-bake cheesecake recipe is enticing.
But if you want to make cheesecake the way it’s intended to be, with a filling that’s somehow fluffy but creamy at the same time, rich but not so dense that it sticks to the roof of your mouth, then a baked cheesecake is the way to go.
Add pops of blueberry littered throughout that lemony cheesecake filling, then OMG that insane glistening blueberry topping ….
It’s a sight to make a grown man weep. (Well, girl.
Cheesecake made easy
Don’t let the number of steps you see visualised below daunt you. While cheesecakes aren’t usually pitched as a recipe for beginners, you don’t need to be an experienced cook to make mine. I’ll walk you through it so you can have confidence that you’ve got this, even if you’re a first timer.
I’ve written the instructions out carefully, you’ve got step photos AND an instructional recipe video.
And unlike cakes, you don’t need to worry about sinking and collapsing. So even a cheesecake that doesn’t go quite to plan is still going to be very, very good!
Blueberry Cheesecake Components
Here are the 3 parts to this Blueberry Cheesecake (which, by the way, is a rendition of this Strawberry Cheesecake, in case you’d like to browse reader feedback!):
- The biscuit crust – I’m a cheesecake crust tragic. I just love the texture contrast of the sweet crunchy crust with that insanely creamy filling. So my cheesecake crusts go up the sides, rather than just being on the base. But you can skip the sides if you prefer;
- The creamy rich-yet-light filling – a juxtaposition you can only achieve with baked cheesecakes, the consequence of which is that it’s not sickeningly rich (ie we can eat more!
- Blueberry sauce topping – with a syrup that drips slowly down the side of the cheesecake as you plough your way through it….
1. Cheesecake biscuit crust
Here’s what you need for the cheesecake crust – just plain sweet crackers (any type will do – loads of options listed in the recipe) and butter (the glue).
How to make the cheesecake crust
Blitz to make crumbs (or bash a ziplock bag with a rolling pin – very therapeutic), mix with butter then press into the cake pan.
TOP TIP: Make quick work of the crust by using something round with a flat base and straight walls to press the crumbs into the pan.
Everybody thinks cheesecake biscuit walls are really fragile – but they are actually rather sturdy once the cake is cooled. I don’t have fairy fingers – and I’ve never destroyed one!
2. Blueberry cheesecake filling
Here’s what goes in the cheesecake filling. Standard baked cheesecake ingredients, with the addition of blueberries.
- Cream cheese – must use block, not the spreadable cream cheese in tubs (too soft). If you can only get spreadable, just skip the sour cream;
- Blueberries – fresh or frozen is fine here. If using frozen, do not thaw it (otherwise it bleeds when you stir it in and you’ll end up with a purple cheesecake!);
- Sour cream – lightens up the mixture a touch so it’s not ridiculously rich. Just 1/2 cup makes such a difference!
- Flour – just a tiny bit really helps stabilise the filling to keep it slightly aerated (rather than dense so it sticks to the roof of your mouth) and so it doesn’t collapse in the middle;
- Eggs – the key ingredient that gives this cheesecake aeration. You don’t need to whip it – eggs just naturally rise when baked (you can see in these Egg Frittata Muffins how much egg rises);
- Vanilla – for flavour;
- Lemon zest – because the flavour of lemon is terrific to bring a touch of freshness to cheesecakes, and is a natural pairing with blueberries; and
- Sugar – white, to keep the colour of the filling white.
How to make the cheesecake filling
Here’s how the filling is made and baked:
The cheesecake filling is very straightforward to make – everything just gets mixed in a bowl, poured into the crust then baked.
You don’t need to fuss with a water bath to prevent surface cracks. That’s only required to rectify recipes that don’t make the filling correctly, bake at the wrong temperature, or for too long.
Why cool cheesecake in the oven?
The cake is cooled in the oven for two reasons:
- If you cook the cake all the way through in the oven, it puffs up too much which causes surface cracks; and
- To keep the cheesecake creamy inside. The oven is turned off before the cake is fully cooked, then it finishes cooking in the turned off oven. The gradual drop in temperature creates an environment such that the cheesecake finishes cooking but cannot overcook.
3. Blueberry sauce for the cheesecake
Here’s what you need for the blueberry topping:
- Blueberries – frozen or fresh is fine here;
- Sugar – to create the syrupy consistency;
- Vanilla – for flavour;
- Lemon – to cut through the sweetness and because it goes so well with blueberries; and
- Cornflour/cornstarch – to thicken the syrup so it drips slowly down the cake when you cut it, rather than running everywhere.
How to make blueberry sauce for cheesecake
We cook some of the blueberries with the sugar, lemon and vanilla so they break down to create the vibrant purple sauce.
Then stir in cornflour/cornstarch to thicken, and lastly stir in whole blueberries.
Word of warning: this blueberry sauce stains! The pictured wooden spoon is now permanently purple!
Here are some key tips for cheesecake making that may have been the cause of issues you’ve had with recipes in the past:
Why did my cheesecake crack?
Cracks occur because the cheesecake rises too much. This can happen because filling that was beaten for too long so it aerated too much, or overcooking.
- Excess beating = aerated batter = cheesecake rises too much = cracks in surface
- Overcooking = cheesecake rises too much = cracks in surface
But don’t forget, it doesn’t matter if your cheesecake cracks because you’re smothering it with sauce!
So how do I ensure my cheesecake won’t crack on the surface?
3 key tips:
- Make sure you don’t over beat the batter by using room temperature ingredients so they incorporate faster, and follow my recipe beating time directions;
- Cook in a moderate oven, not hot – if the oven is too hot, the cheesecake will rise too fast, causing the surface to crack;
- Turn the oven off while the cake is still jiggly (partially undercooked) then leave it in the turned off oven to cool – it will finish cooking during this time.
This is how jiggly the cheesecake should be when you turn the oven off – more jiggly than you’d expect!
Do I need to use a water bath to bake cheesecakes?
NO. Though you’ll see many recipes swearing by the water bath method to ensure the surface of your cheesecake doesn’t crack, it’s not necessary if you make the filling properly, don’t over beat, cook in a moderate oven and don’t overcook.
In fact, when I published the Strawberry Cake recipe, I did a side by side comparison of water bath vs no water bath cheesecakes. As you can see in the photo below, there is no difference in the surface of the two cheesecakes – except the water bath one was a LOT more of a hassle to get into the oven!
My cheesecake fell apart when I removed it from the cake pan!
I feel your pain – that was the disaster that occurred to me with my very first cheesecake!
Here’s how to make it easy (and safe) to remove your cheesecake: flip the base UPSIDE DOWN, line it with baking/parchment paper and secure the sides so the excess paper is sticking out.
If you do this, you don’t need to lift the cheesecake over the ridge of the base, it just slides right off. Similarly with the paper, grab the overhang then push the cheesecake off the paper. Voila! Cheesecake in tact!
Blueberry sauce optional!
I know I’ve been going on and on about how great the blueberry sauce is. And it certainly adds an extra special touch here, but I only do it when blueberries are in season – and cheap! Because this cheesecake calls for 250g/8oz blueberries IN the cake (2 Australian punnets) and 375ml / 13oz ON the cake (3 punnets)
For the rest of the year, I only use blueberries inside the cake and a serve it with cream.
Nobody has ever complained.
Watch how to make it
Don’t be daunted by the number of steps – they are straightforward, I’ve just broken it down into managable steps.
If blueberries are expensive right now but you’re absolutely busting to make this, skip the topping and serve with cream instead.
Cheesecake Biscuit Base:
- 200g/7 oz Arnott’s Marie crackers or other plain biscuit (Aus) or 28 Graham Cracker squares (Note 1)
- 120g / 8 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
- 1 lb / 500g cream cheese , well softened (Note 2)
- 2 tbsp flour , plain/ all purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat, sub sour cream)
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- Zest of 1 lemon (can skip)
- 3 eggs , at room temperature
- 250g / 8oz blueberries (Note 3)
Blueberry Topping for Cheesecake:
- 375g / 13 oz blueberries (Note 3)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (or water)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F (140°C fan). Place shelf in middle of oven.
Line inverted base: Get a 20cm/8″ springform cake tin. Turn the base UPSIDE DOWN (Note 4), butter lightly then press on a square piece of parchment/baking paper. Then clip into the springform pan – excess paper will stick out, see photos in post and video.
Line sides: Butter and line the side of the pan.
Cheesecake Biscuit Base:
Break up biscuits roughly by hand and place in a food processor.
Blitz until fine crumbs. Add butter, briefly blitz until dispersed and it resembles wet sand.(Note 5)
Pour into the prepared cake tin. Use a spatula to roughly spread it out over the base and up the walls.
Use something with a flat base and vertical edges (I use a measuring cup) to press the crumbs up the wall almost to the top of the sides, and flatten the base.
Cream cheese: Use a stand mixer (with paddle) or handheld beater to beat the cream cheese until just smooth, no longer than 20 seconds on speed 4. (You do not want to aerate cheesecake filling too much as it causes cracks when it bakes)
Add flour, beat for 5 seconds on speed 4 until just incorporated.
Add vanilla, sour cream, sugar and lemon zest. Beat until just combined (10 sec max, speed 4).
Eggs: Add eggs one at a time – beat for 5 seconds on speed 4 in between each. After the last egg, beat as needed until batter is smooth – but stop beating immediately once smooth.
Blueberries: Stir in blueberries with a rubber spatula. Pour into prepared crust.
Bake: Bake for 70 minutes. The top should be a very light golden brown, not cracked, and near perfectly flat. It should jiggle slightly when you gently shake the pan (sets in next step).
Cool: Cool the cake in the oven with the door open 20 cm / 8″ (Note 6), then refrigerate for 4 hours+ in the pan or overnight.
Release: Remove sides of springform pan. Use overhang paper to slide cheesecake off the cake pan base. Then slide the cheesecake off the paper.
Blueberry Sauce for Cheesecake:
Place 1 cup of blueberries (125g/4oz), vanilla, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Stir then bring to simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 7 minutes until blueberries breakdown.
Mix cornflour and water, then stir in – it wil thicken quickly.
Stir in remainig blueberries. Sauce should be syrupy – remove from stove and cool. Will thicken as it cools.
Once cool, stir. Adjust thickness 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time to make it the perfect “oozing” consistency (see video, Note 7) – be careful, don’t make it runny!
Spoon onto cheesecake so it’s completely covered – you’ll have maybe 1/2 cup sauce left, good for touch ups. Refrigerate 2 hours+.
Slice and serve!
- Australia: Arnott’s Marie Crackers, Arrowroot and Nice are ideal, I’ve made it with all these.
- US: Use 28 squares / 14 full sheets, yes I measured it with my last Graham Cracker packet I brought back from my last trip.
- UK: Digestives are ideal, I LOVE digestives!
The crumb should be like wet sand so when pressed, it stays packed firmly, especially up the wall. It’s delicate when uncooked but once the filling is cooked, it becomes much more stable.
2. Cream Cheese – In the UK and some parts of Europe, block cream cheese isn’t available. If you can only get spreadable cream cheese in tubs (softer than block), skip the sour cream.
Make sure the cream cheese is quite soft but not melting. The softer it is = easier to beat until smooth = less beating = less aeration = no cracks. Too much beating = aerated cake = cake rises = cracks.
3. Blueberries – fresh or frozen. If using frozen, do not thaw before adding into batter, and add 5 minutes onto the bake time.
4. Inverted cake pan with overhang paper: The base of springform pans have a slight ridge. By inverting it, there is no ridge which makes it easier to slide the cheesecake on a serving platter without ruining the crust. There is no risk of batter leakage as the crust is thick enough to hold it all in.
5. Crumbs: OR crush in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin or large can.
After butter is added, it should just hold together when pressed between fingers.
6. Cool in oven: This helps stop the surface from cracking. You don’t need a water bath – see in post to see how the surface is not cracked!
(But if yours does crack a touch, it doesn’t matter – you’re smothering it in blueberry sauce!)
7. Blueberry topping should be like thick syrup consistency, not a set jelly. It should ooze slightly when cut.
8. Different measures: Cups and spoons vary slightly between countries (US and CAN are different to most of the rest of the world). I have made the cheesecake recipe using both US and Australian measures, using Australia Marie crackers and US Graham Crackers. The Graham Cracker crust is slightly crunchier because the biscuit doesn’t crush to a fine sand like Marie Crackers do. Both are delicious!
9. Make Ahead / Storage: Cake is at its best consumed within 4 days, after that I feel like it starts getting denser but still really fab, most people wouldn’t notice a difference! Ideal to top the day or or day before. After 2 to 3 days, the top does start to “sweat” but it’s not very noticeable.
More cheesecake recipes
And for blueberry monsters
Life of Dozer
Click! Snap photo of cheesecake.
Shift camera slightly to the left. Click!
Is it disturbing to know Dozer’s furry head is just out of frame of every single food shot on this website??
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