Bursting with Blueberries
No-bake cheesecakes are certainly easy but they can’t compare with the light, fluffy, and creamy texture of a baked cheesecake. Cheesecakes are not typically a dessert for beginners but with our easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, anyone can master this amazing dessert! This cheesecake has a light, fluffy texture that is bursting with blueberries (and a hint of lemon)!
The Graham Cracker Crust
For this recipe we use just a simple graham cracker crust. It is so easy to make and is so tasty! Here are some simple tips for the best results:
- Line the bottom of your springform pan with parchment paper, then clip the springform pan into place. There will be some overhang of the parchment paper, that is ok! When the cheesecake is cooled it will be easy to grab the parchment paper and gently lift/slide the cheesecake off the base of the pan without damaging the cake.
- When you are ready to press the graham cracker crumbs into the pan the consistency will be similar to wet sand. Use a measuring cup to easily and evenly press the graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of the pan (and the sides, if you prefer).
- You can have the crust on the bottom only but I love this crust so much I usually press it up the sides as well! It’s up to you!
- If you don’t have a blender to make the graham cracker crumb/butter mixture you can manually crush and mix them together in a ziplock bag instead.
How to Prevent Cracks
Cheesecakes are known for getting cracks in the top. This is why baked cheesecakes are not typically considered to be a dessert for beginner cooks. However, these tips and tricks make it so anyone can make a beautiful cheesecake:
- Start with room temperature ingredients. This will allow your ingredients to mix easily together and you will not over beat. Over beating the ingredients will lead to aerated batter. Batter with too much air in it will rise too much and lead to cracks.
- Prevent the cheesecake from cooking too fast by using a moderate heat, not high. Cooking a cheesecake too quickly will cause it to rise too quickly. Rising too quickly = cracks!
- Keep a close eye on the cheesecake as it is baking. When it is done it will be puffy, light golden brown on top, and fairly jiggly. If you over-bake the cheesecake it will rise too much. Rising too much = cracks!
- When I say the cheesecake is “done” when it is still pretty jiggly actually means it is a bit undercooked. To cool the cheesecake simply turn the oven off, leave the door open about 8 inches, and allow the cheesecake to cool inside the oven for about 2 hours. This method will allow the cheesecake to finish fully cooking without any cracks!
Did you follow all of the above tips and your cheesecake still cracked?
It’s ok! You’re going to smother it in a delicious blueberry sauce anyway and you won’t be able to see the cracks!
Blueberries Not in Season?
You can substitute the blueberries with blackberries or raspberries instead! They cook similarly to blueberries so simply switch out the berry type without any other alterations. You can also use frozen blueberries! Just be sure to use them while they are still frozen and add a couple more minutes to your bake time.
- 1 Stand mixer with paddle attachment
- 1 Springform pan
- 1 Blender or food processor
Graham Cracker Crust
- 28 Graham cracker squares
- 8 Tbsp Unsalted butter melted
- 16 oz Cream cheese softened
- 2 Tbsp All-purpose flour
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups Caster sugar
- 1 Lemon zested
- 3 Eggs room temperature
- 8 oz Fresh blueberries
- 11 oz Fresh blueberries
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp Cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp Water
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat oven to 320F with the shelf in the middle of the oven.
- Place some parchment paper over the base of a springform pan. Clip the sides in place (some parchment paper will hang out of the bottom). Lightly butter the parchment paper that is covering the base and the sides of the pan.
- Roughly break up the graham crackers by hand and place into a blender or food processor.
- Pulse the blender until the graham crackers are broken into fine crumbs.
- Pour in the melted butter and pulse the blender until the texture is similar to wet sand.
- Pour into the prepared springform pan and press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of the pan. I use a measuring cup to evenly and firmly press the crumbs until flattened.
- Set aside while preparing the cheesecake filling.
- Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. This will take about 30 seconds on speed 4 (medium speed).
- Add in the flour and continue mixing on the same speed for about 5-10 seconds.
- Mix in the vanilla, sour cream, sugar, and lemon zest. Mix on speed 4 (medium speed) for about 10-20 seconds or until just combined.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time. Continue mixing for 5-10 seconds in between each addition. After the last egg beat just until smooth.
- Carefully stir in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the prepared crust.
- Bake for 70 minutes. After 70 minutes the cheesecake will appear puffed, light golden brown, and not cracked. It will still jiggle slightly when you gently shake the pan.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool in the over for 2 hours. Leave the oven door open about 8 inches during these 2 hours.
- After cooling for 2 hours in the oven, refrigerate for at least 4 hours. After 4 hours the cheesecake should sink and have a flat surface.
- In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of the blueberries, vanilla, sugar, and lemon juice. Allow the mixture to simmer over medium heat for 7-8 minutes.
- Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Then stir the cornstarch/water mixture into the blueberry sauce.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the remaining blueberries. Allow the sauce to cool. The sauce will initially have a syrupy consistency, it will thicken as it cools.
- Once the sauce is completely cool you can stir in a little water if it has thickened too much. Add in water 1/2 a tsp at a time. The sauce should ooze but not be runny.
- Pour the sauce over the cheesecake until the top is completely covered.
- Slice and enjoy!
- You can try using different sweet cookies/crackers for the crust if you don’t have graham crackers. If you are making this near the winter holidays you can try ginger snaps for a festive twist!
- Make sure you use cream cheese in block form, my favorite is Philadelphia brand! Also, make sure your cream cheese is very soft before beginning so that it takes less mixing to get it smooth.
- If blueberries aren’t in season when you are making this you can use frozen. If using frozen make sure that you do not thaw the blueberries before adding them into the batter and bake the cheesecake for a few minutes longer.
- Try making this recipe with blackberries or raspberries instead! Or a mix of all 3! No alterations are needed to the recipe for this substitution.
- Make sure to add the parchment paper to the base of the springform pan. This will allow you to easily remove the cheesecake from the pan without hassle! Simply grab the overhang and slide the cheesecake off the base!
- This recipe calls for caster sugar which is a finer sugar than granulated. If you don’t have caster sugar you can make your own by pulsing granulated sugar in a blender until fine (but not powdered). Or you can simply use granulated sugar instead!
- No I didn’t miss a step! This recipe does not need a water bath… For real! Water baths help to make sure that a cheesecake doesn’t crack but cooking at a moderate heat and not aerating the batter also helps with cracking. If your cheesecake does crack, don’t worry! It will be covered in delicious sauce and any cracks won’t be visible.