Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake Recipe

by Chef Adel
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Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake

I want to share a recipe that holds a special place in my kitchen and my heart: the Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake. This isn’t your ordinary cheesecake. Oh no! This is the type of dessert that starts conversations, wins over crowds, and might just become the centerpiece of your springtime gatherings.

From the first time I experimented with this recipe – whisking, mixing, and tasting, to the moment I watched the creamy filling meet the golden, buttery, crunch-laden crust, I knew this was a winner. But, of course, the true crowning jewel was the ripe, juicy strawberries gleaming like rubies atop the velvety cream cheese canvas.

How to make Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake

Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake is a delicious dessert that combines the flavors of strawberry, cheesecake, and a crunchy crust.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup crushed freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the filling:

  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree (from fresh or frozen strawberries)

For the strawberry crunch topping:

  • 1 cup crushed freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 cup crushed shortbread cookies
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • For the strawberry topping:
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions:

Prepare the crust:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, crushed freeze-dried strawberries, melted butter, and sugar.
  2. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C) and refrigerate the crust while you prepare the filling.

Make the filling:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla extract, blending until smooth.
  2. Blend in sour cream, then add eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate after each addition.
  3. Mix in strawberry puree.
  4. Pour the filling over the prepared crust and spread evenly.

Bake the cheesecake:

  1. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center still jiggles slightly.
  2. Turn off the oven, slightly open the oven door, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  3. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Prepare the strawberry crunch topping:

  1. In a bowl, mix crushed freeze-dried strawberries, crushed shortbread cookies, and melted butter until well combined.
  2. Sprinkle the mixture over the chilled cheesecake.

Prepare the strawberry topping:

  1. In a bowl, toss sliced strawberries with sugar. Let them sit for about 10-15 minutes or until juicy.
  2. Arrange the glazed strawberries on top of the cheesecake.

Tips:

  • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature before achieving a smooth, lump-free cheesecake filling.
  • Avoid overmixing the batter, especially after adding eggs, to prevent incorporating too much air which could cause cracks.
  • Water bath alternative: To prevent cracking, you can bake your cheesecake in a water bath by wrapping the bottom of your springform pan in foil and placing it in a larger baking dish filled with hot water.
  • Chilling is critical: The cheesecake must be adequately chilled to set correctly and develop flavors. Overnight chilling is recommended.

What to serve with

Serving a dessert as delightful as Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake means complementing it with items that enhance its flavor profile without overwhelming it. Here are some thoughtful pairings that will bring out the best in your cheesecake experience:

Beverage Pairings

For non-alcoholic options:
  • Sparkling Water with a Squeeze of Lemon or Lime: The enthusiasm of the water and the citrus notes can cleanse your palate between bites of the rich and sweet Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake.
  • Iced Tea: A lightly sweetened iced tea or an herbal tea with fruity undertones can complement the strawberry flavor while providing a refreshing contrast.
  • Coffee or Espresso: The bitterness of coffee or espresso balances the sweetness of the cheesecake, creating a harmonious combination.
For alcoholic options:
  • Dessert Wine: A nice Moscato d’Asti, which is lightly sparkling and sweet, can pair beautifully with the dessert without overpowering the strawberry flavor.
  • Riesling: A chilled Riesling, especially a late-harvest one, offers a nice balance between sweetness and acidity.
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine: The bubbles and slight yeastiness of a brut champagne cut through the creaminess of the cheesecake perfectly.

Side Dishes

Light Salads:

  • Mixed Greens with a Vinaigrette Dressing: A light, acidic dressing on a simple green salad can balance the richness of the cheesecake.
  • Fruit Salad: A mix of seasonal fresh fruits would be a refreshing side and echo the fruity theme of the dessert.

Dessert Complements

Whipped Toppings and Sauces:
  • Whipped Cream: A dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream can be served on the side for those who want an extra touch of decadence.
  • Strawberry Sauce or Coulis: Offer additional strawberry sauce for guests who prefer an extra berry boost with their slice of cheesecake.
Light Sweets:
  • Meringues: Small, airy meringues can accompany the cheesecake for a different texture contrast.
Nutty Accents:
  • Toasted Almonds or Pecans: A small bowl of toasted nuts can add a crunchy, subtly sweet element that matches well with the dessert.

Ingredients Substitutes

Crunch Cheesecake

Creating a Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake allows for flexibility and customization, particularly if you need to substitute certain ingredients due to availability, dietary restrictions, or personal preference. Here’s a detailed guide on what substitutes you can use:

For the Crust

  • Graham Crackers: If you don’t have graham crackers or are looking for a gluten-free option, you can use almond flour or any gluten-free biscuits. Crush them to the required consistency.
  • Freeze-Dried Strawberries: These can be substituted with any freeze-dried fruit of your choice to match your desired flavor profile. If unavailable, consider using dried strawberries rehydrated slightly to avoid adding too much moisture.
  • Unsalted Butter: Coconut oil (solid state) or vegan butter can be excellent alternatives for a dairy-free version. Make sure they are unsalted to control the taste.

For the Filling

  • Cream Cheese: For those who are dairy-free or vegan, there are now many plant-based cream cheeses that can be used effectively as substitutes for cheesecakes. If you’re reducing fat intake, you can opt for a lower-fat cream cheese.
  • Granulated Sugar: To decrease refined sugars, you could use coconut sugar or a liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup. However, you may need to adjust quantities to ensure the filling sets are correct.
  • Sour Cream: Greek yogurt is a perfect substitute for sour cream, offering the same tanginess and creaminess. Use coconut cream or a dairy-free sour cream substitute for a dairy-free alternative.
  • Eggs: For a vegan option, silken tofu can work well in cheesecakes to provide the smooth, creamy texture that eggs would typically offer. Agar-agar or aquafaba are other options, though they might affect the texture.
  • Strawberry Puree: Any berry puree can substitute for strawberry, depending on availability and taste preference. If using canned or sweetened puree, adjust the sugar in the recipe accordingly.

For the Strawberry Crunch Topping

  • Freeze-Dried Strawberries: Like with the crust, if unavailable, using a different freeze-dried fruit that complements the overall flavor of the cheesecake is a good option. Alternatively, granola can add crunch without the need for freeze-dried fruit.
  • Shortbread Cookies: Any crunchy cookie or biscuit can work here, including gluten-free options if needed. Vanilla wafers or butter cookies are excellent substitutes.
  • Unsalted Butter: As in the crust, use solid-state coconut oil or vegan butter as a direct substitute.

For the Strawberry Topping

  • Fresh Strawberries: When strawberries are not in season, frozen strawberries can be used. Thaw and ensure they’re well-drained before mixing with sugar. Alternatively, a compote made from other berries or fruits can also top the cheesecake beautifully.

Final Thoughts

This Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake is a fabulous way to celebrate any occasion or just to treat yourself because we all need a sweet escape now and then! Enjoy every creamy, crunchy, and fruity bite.

More Cheesecake Recipes:

Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake

Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 480 calories 31 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup crushed freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the filling:

  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree (from fresh or frozen strawberries)

For the strawberry crunch topping:

  • 1 cup crushed freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 cup crushed shortbread cookies
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • For the strawberry topping:
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Prepare the crust:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, crushed freeze-dried strawberries, melted butter, and sugar.
  2. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C) and refrigerate the crust while you prepare the filling.

Make the filling:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla extract, blending until smooth.
  2. Blend in sour cream, then add eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate after each addition.
  3. Mix in strawberry puree.
  4. Pour the filling over the prepared crust and spread evenly.

Bake the cheesecake:

  1. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center still jiggles slightly.
  2. Turn off the oven, slightly open the oven door, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  3. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Prepare the strawberry crunch topping:

  1. In a bowl, mix crushed freeze-dried strawberries, crushed shortbread cookies, and melted butter until well combined.
  2. Sprinkle the mixture over the chilled cheesecake.

Prepare the strawberry topping:

  1. In a bowl, toss sliced strawberries with sugar. Let them sit for about 10-15 minutes or until juicy.
  2. Arrange the glazed strawberries on top of the cheesecake.

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