This burnt Basque cheesecake recipe features a perfectly caramelized crust and a creamy, rich interior, making it a standout dessert from the Basque region of Spain. With minimal ingredients and no need for a special pan or water bath, this easy-to-follow recipe ensures a deliciously indulgent treat that will quickly become a favorite for cheesecake enthusiasts and dessert lovers alike.

I had my first taste of basque cheesecake in Japan a few months ago and fell in love with this style of cheesecake. I’m hoping to visit Spain in the near future to try the original, but until then have been trying to recreate a rich, smooth and creamy basque cheesecake that can be made at home with simple ingredients. I played around with a few different ratios of the staple ingredients and finally came up with a basque cheesecake that I love. My basque cheesecake recipe also includes a non-traditional ingredient which I found helped slightly enhance that melty feeling upon first bite: white chocolate.

During my trials, I also landed on one that requires just 4 ingredients and one with sour cream. It was so difficult for me (and my taste testers) to choose a favourite so I’ve provided all three variations. The method of making them are all exactly the same! Depending on how long you bake it, it can range from very melty, to melty to firm like a classic New York Style cheesecake.

What is Basque Cheesecake?

Basque cheesecake, also known as “burnt Basque cheesecake,” is a rich and creamy dessert from the Basque Country in Spain, famous for its dark, caramelized top and rustic, cracked appearance. This unique cheesecake is baked at a high temperature, resulting in a deeply browned exterior while keeping the interior velvety and custard-like. Its distinctive flavor and texture have made it a must-try for cheesecake enthusiasts and dessert lovers worldwide.

Basque Cheesecake Ingredients

Basque cheesecake can be made with 4 simple ingredients:

  • Cream cheese: I highly recommend using a quality full fat cream cheese as this is the primary flavour.
  • Sugar: A finer white granulated sugar for the smooth texture.
  • Eggs: This recipe requires both whole eggs and egg yolks! Save the whites for breakfast or another recipe.
  • Heavy cream: Gives the cheesecake a melty texture.

Many recipes online require corn starch or flour, however I found it unnecessary and not adding it created a smoother richer mouthfeel.

  • White chocolate: My secret ingredient for a touch of extra rich flavour and further enhances the melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Sour cream: Enhances the ‘cheesy’ flavour without it being too overpowering.

I’ve also added a touch of miso for a slightly salted profile, but it’s totally optional! You can also add some vanilla extract or lemon juice to your liking.

How to Make Smooth and Creamy Basque Cheesecake

Basque cheesecake is easy to make but there are a few points to ensure success. Follow the steps closely with the correct temperature and you’re guaranteed results.

  1. Preparation: Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a round cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mixing Ingredients: Loosen the cream cheese with a spatula and then mix in the sugar until dissolved. Add in the eggs, cream and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add in the melted white chocolate and miso and whisk until well combined.
  3. Strain Batter: Pass the batter through a fine mesh sieve into the prepared cake pan to remove any lumps and ensure a silky texture.
  4. Baking: Place the cake pan in the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top is dark golden brown and the center is still slightly jiggly.
  5. Chill: A hard but important step! The cheesecake needs to set and the flavours get even better after an overnight rest.

Lisa’s Recipe Tips

  1. Use room temperature ingredients: This will help make it easier to make a smooth batter.
  2. Strain before baking: Straining the batter will ensure the smoothest textured cheesecake and remove any miso granules if you use it.
  3. Baking temperature and time: Every oven is different. Even between my two ovens the baking time differs. When making it for the first time, err on the lower end. Make notes as you make it and adjust for the next time. Even if you over bake the cheesecake, it’s still delicious with the texture of regular rich cheesecake so you can still enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

I rarely ever eat classic basque cheesecake with anything because it’s so delicious on its own. But sometimes I love to make brûlée basque cheesecake or top it off with some homemade berry sauce.

How to Store Basque Cheesecake

To store Basque cheesecake, first allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator. Basque cheesecake tastes best after an overnight rest. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you need to store it for longer, you can freeze individual slices wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil for up to a month. Thaw frozen slices in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Why did my basque cheesecake crack?

There are three things to keep in mind when cheesecakes crack:
Over-mixing: When too much air is in the batter, it causes to expand excessively during baking and then crack as it cools.
Sudden temperature changes: Rapid temperature changes, such as taking the cheesecake from the oven directly to a cold surface, can cause the cheesecake to contract too quickly and crack.
Over baking: Baking the cheesecake for too long or at too high a temperature can lead to excessive drying and cracking.
Insufficient cooling time: Removing the cheesecake from the oven before it has fully set and allowing it to cool too quickly can cause cracks to form.

How to prevent basque cheesecake from cracking?

1. Mix the batter just until smooth and creamy.
2. Bake the cheesecake at the recommended temperature and time, and then let it cool gradually in the turned-off oven with the door half way open before transferring it to the countertop to cool completely (especially in a cold kitchen)
3. Ensure your oven temperature is accurate to prevent over baking.

Enjoy!! If you make this Basque Cheesecake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rating and if you decide to share it on socials, tag me on instagram @Okonomikitchen. I’d love to hear from you 😁!

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Basque Cheesecake


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5 from 3 reviews

Description

This burnt Basque cheesecake recipe features a perfectly caramelized crust and a creamy, rich interior, making it a standout dessert from the Basque region of Spain. With minimal ingredients and no need for a special pan or water bath, this easy-to-follow recipe ensures a deliciously indulgent treat that will quickly become a favorite for cheesecake enthusiasts and dessert lovers alike.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Version 1: Super Smooth, Rich and Creamy (my favourite)

  • 350 g full fat cream cheese
  • 80 g granulated white sugar
  • 3 (150 g) whole egg, room temperature
  • 1 (20 g) yolk, room temperature
  • 180 ml heavy cream
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 70 high quality white chocolate, melted
  • 8 g miso

Version 2: With sour cream

  • 1 cup + 6 tbsp (330 g) cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup (80 g) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) sugar
  • 3 large (150 g) eggs
  • 3/4 cup + 3 tbsp (230 ml) heavy cream
  • vanilla bean

Version 3: Simple 4 ingredient


Instructions

  1. Line baking tin with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 450 F / 232 C.
  2. With a rubber spatula, loosen the room temperature cream cheese. Add sugar until well combined and smooth.
  3. Add in the egg yolk, whole eggs, cream, vanilla and whisk together until smooth.
  4. Add the white chocolate and miso paste and whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour over a fine mesh sieve into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes. If at 30 minutes the top is still pale, broil for 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove the cheesecake out of the oven. It should jiggle significantly. 
  7. Let the cheesecake cool in the pan on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature. Cover and chill overnight.
  8. Remove the cake and slice with a heated knife. Serve and enjoy!!
Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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3 Comments

  1. Made this recipe a couple of days ago and it was delicious. The addition of the miso and white chocolate is genius! Very creamy and easy to make.






  2. The easiest and creamiest cheesecake I’ve ever made. The sieve trick makes such a huge difference!