Make the perfect creamy Strawberry Cheesecake from scratch! This simple recipe includes all our tips and tricks for the best cheesecake with sweet strawberry flavor in every bite.
Which cheesecake is best? It’s hard to choose between today’s Strawberry Cheesecake and this classic Cheesecake Recipe. You’ll just have to make them both! OR give our no bake strawberry cheesecake a try next.
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What Makes this the Best Strawberry Cheesecake
Most Strawberry Cheesecakes are really vanilla cheesecakes with a strawberry topping. This recipe uses freeze dried strawberries beaten into the creamy filling so you get that authentic strawberry flavor throughout the cheesecake.
What I CAN tell you without a doubt: this is truly the most delicious Strawberry Cheesecake you’ll ever taste. I don’t make this claim lightly!
It has . . .
- Strawberry flavored cheesecake filling.
- Crisp vanilla wafer crust.
- Creamy whipped cream topping.
- Fresh strawberries on top!
Naturally, we added the FRESH strawberries on top too! No Strawberry Cheesecake is complete without them.
- Cheesecake Crust – We use fine Nilla wafer crumbs blended with melted butter and a little sugar to form a crust for this cheesecake. You could totally use our guide for how to make a graham cracker crust too!
- Freeze dried strawberries – The freeze drying process removes the moisture from the berries while leaving behind a more concentrated sweetness and flavor. You can find them in many grocery stores or get them on Amazon.
- Cream cheese and sour cream – Provides the creamy, tangy base for the cheesecake filling. Be sure to use full fat varieties with no added flavoring or fillers. And choose cream cheese bricks, not the spreadable tubs.
- Eggs – Thicken the filling to a perfect custard-like consistency. Let your eggs come to room temperature before adding them to the cheesecake.
- Toppings – A layer of cool whip or fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries is spread over the baked cheesecake. It tastes great and works to hide any cracks or flaws in the cheesecake appearance.
There’s nothing complicated about making Strawberry Cheesecake from scratch. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions.
- Combine the ingredients for the crust. Press it into a round springform pan.
- Make the filling. Beat together all the filling ingredients, including freeze dried strawberry crumbs.
- Bake. Pour the filling over the crust and bake over a water bath.
- Cool and chill. Let cheesecake cool for 30 minutes, then chill it for several hours.
- Top. Spread cool whip over the cooled cheesecake. Arrange fresh strawberries over the whipped topping.
Slice, serve and enjoy!
Cheesecake Tips and Tricks
- Always use a water bath. A water bath is a pan filled with water that’s placed on the bottom of the oven. As the cheesecake bakes, the water bath creates steam that humidifies the oven, reducing the risk of cracks.
- Cool the cheesecake slowly. Leave strawberry cheesecake inside the oven and turn off the heat when it’s done baking. Crack the oven door open and wait 15 minutes before removing the cheesecake. This helps slow down the cooling process so the cheesecake is less likely to crack.
- Run a knife around the edge of the pan before chilling. This loosens the cheesecake so it’s easy to slide out of the springform pan once its set.
- Room temperature ingredients are best. Plan ahead and let any refrigerated products (like the cream cheese and eggs) sit on the counter for 15 – 20 minutes before adding them to the cheesecake filling. This makes them easier to incorporate so you don’t end up overmixing.
- Chocolate. Use our oreo pie crust recipe for a rich chocolate crust!
Add the cool whip and strawberries AFTER the cheesecake has cooled and chilled. Remove the rim of the springform pan, then add the toppings before slicing and serving.
You may not be able to mend a cracked cheesecake but you can disguise it! If you find cracks on top of your cheesecake, don’t fret. Just pile on the whipped cream and strawberries to cover the crack. No one will be able to tell.
No, fresh (or frozen) strawberries should not be substituted for the freeze dried strawberries in this cheesecake recipe. The water content of fresh strawberries would disrupt the ratio of liquids and solids, resulting in a watery cheesecake that never sets.
Strawberry Cheesecake can be stored covered in the refrigerator for about 5 days. You can also freeze this cheesecake for longer storage. Frozen cheesecake should be double wrapped in foil and freezer bags to preserve freshness.
- Bread Pudding
- Chocolate Lasagna
- Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats
- Strawberry Cookies
- Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
- Strawberry Brownies
- Boston Cream Pie
- Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Homemade Marshmallows
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section below!
Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe
For the Crust
- 1 box Nilla Wafer Cookies (about 80 cookies) 11 ounce
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup unsalted butter melted
For the Cheesecake
- 2 packages freeze dried strawberries 1 ounce each
- 4 packages cream cheese, softened 8 ounce each
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
For the Topping
- 8 ounce Cool Whip thawed
- 1 cup fresh diced strawberries
- Prepare 9-inch springform pan by lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
- Fill broiler pan with about 2 inches of water and place in BOTTOM of oven, on lowest rack. Preheat oven (with broiler pan of water) to 325°F.
- To make the crust, blend cookies and sugar in food processor until fine crumbs. Pour in melted butter and pulse several times until combined. Press crust into bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan (I go up about 1 inch on the sides). Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse freeze dried strawberries until crumbs. It's okay if there are a few larger crumbs.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.. Add in freeze dried strawberry crumbs, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat for an additional 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Slowly add eggs, one at a time until mixture is smooth. Do not over beat. Pour into prepared crust.
- Place cheesecake pan into the middle of the oven, I do the third shelf from bottom in my oven.
- Bake 70 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Turn off oven, crack door open, and let sit undisturbed for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and run a sharp knife gently along the edges to separate the cheesecake from the pan (do not remove the ring yet). Allow to cool on counter (in pan) for about 30 minutes, then place (in pan) in refrigerator for about 6 hours (or overnight).
- To serve, remove outer ring of springform pan. Spread Cool Whip over the top (or just dollop along the edges) and serve with diced strawberries in the center.
- Don’t over beat your cheesecake before baking it. Just stop it. You don’t need FLUFFY….your goal should be CREAMY. Start with softened cream cheese (room temperature) in the first place!
- Water bath. While it doesn’t always PREVENT cracks, it does help add moisture to your dessert so the end result is melt in your mouth deliciousness EVERY time. And your springform pan doesn’t need to SIT IT in the water bath. I just place a broiler pan in my oven on the bottom shelf with about an inch of water. It adds the right amount of moisture to the oven while cooking.
- Freeze Dried Strawberries- I find them at Target and on Amazon. Using a little more will result in a pinker cheesecake.
- Once your cheesecake is done baking (as directed below), turn off the oven, crack open the door, and allow the cheesecake to “cool” for about 15 minutes in the oven. This slow cool process cuts down on the cracking!
Freeze dried strawberries are the secret to sweet, creamy, smooth Strawberry Cheesecake with a beautiful pink color!