This Berry Cheesecake, with ribbons of fresh strawberries and blueberries, is perfect for summer celebrations. The creaminess of the cheesecake and the sweetness of the fruit pair in the best way.
This fancy berry cheesecake is an absolute showstopper. It is as beautiful as it is delicious. The blue from the blueberries and the red from the strawberries combined with the white creamy filling of the cheesecake make this the perfect dessert for the Fourth of July.
That being said, you are going to want to make this cheesecake recipe all year long. It is perfect as the centerpiece for any celebration, and no one needs to know that it is far easier to make than it looks.
I made this for Memorial Day. It was the first cheesecake that I’ve made in decades. It was absolutely delicious and very pretty, too.
How to Make Berry Swirl Cheesecake
This is a brief overview so you can see just how easy this recipe is. For the full recipe with all of the measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Make the crust. Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in the base of a spring form pan. Bake it for a few minutes for a simple crust. Read more below on how to make a crust with Golden Oreos instead.
- Make the berry filling for the swirls. In two separate saucepans, combine the berries with water and sugar. Bring them to a simmer and use the back of a spoon to break them down. Simmer for five minutes. I also like to blend them a little to make them smooth, but this isn’t necessary.
- Make the cheesecake filling. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and flour.
- Put the cheesecake together. Pour some of the cheesecake filling over the baked crust. Add a bit of the berry purees. Add more cheesecake filling and berry puree. I do three rounds of this total. Then use a butter knife to swirl the berries within the cheese.
- Bake the cheesecake. After 35 minutes, turn off the oven. Leave the oven door closed and leave the cheesecake in the oven for one hour. Let the cheesecake cool on the counter for an hour. Then allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours.
Fresh or Frozen Berries
Both fresh and frozen berries work great in this recipe. The fresh berries of summer are one of the reasons that I think this recipe is great for the Fourth of July, but you could make this all year long with frozen berries. You could even mix this up with other fruit.
Simplify by Making One Berry Puree
It’s important to note that the berries are done separately for this recipe so that we can have those distinct red, white, and blue swirls. It makes this both a blueberry cheesecake and a strawberry cheesecake. I recently had a reader in Canada ask why not just mix the berries together. If you aren’t into those different colored swirls, you could absolutely make one puree and put the berries together, a strawberry blueberry cheesecake if you will.
No Water Bath Cheesecake
You will note here that we aren’t using a water bath for this homemade cheesecake. Water baths are typically used when making cheesecakes to prevent them from cracking. I find them to be a bit tedious and you run the risk of your pan leaking and water-logging that cheesecake you spent so much time on.
You will notice that my cheesecake is beautiful and crack-free without a water bath. That is due to other important measures we are taking in this recipe.
- We are adding flour to the batter. The flour works its magic by preventing eggs from over-coagulating (or over-solidifying), which means less shrinking and less cracking.
- The cheesecake is getting a short baking time. The bake time in this recipe is just 35 minutes. This prevents the cheesecake from drying out which can contribute to shrinking and cracking.
- We leave the cheesecake in the oven. Finally, at the end of that short baking time, we keep the cheesecake in the oven. This allows the cheesecake to continue cooking slowly while also letting it start to cool slowly. This keeps the cheesecake from shrinking and cracking.
Best Springform Pan for Cheesecakes
You want to use a nine-inch spring form pan for this recipe. The beauty of these pans is that they allow you to pull off the side of the pan at the end so you have a gorgeous cheesecake that is easy to cut.
Cheesecake Tips and Tricks
- Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature. This is my number one tip for cheesecakes. It makes for the smoothest filling. I like to let mine sit on the counter for at least two hours.
- Buy brand name cream cheese. Not all cream cheese is created equal and I find that store brand names just don’t work as well. I get the best results when I use Philadelphia cream cheese.
- Use room-temperature eggs. Let eggs get to room temperature as well before you add them to the cheesecake mixture. If they’re not room temperature, they can drop the temperature of the cream cheese, making the texture chunky. To bring your eggs to room temperature quickly, let them sit in a bowl of lukewarm water for five minutes.
Making Ahead and Serving Cheesecake
Cheesecake should be made the day before you plan on serving it. You want it to have plenty of time to fully cool before you cut and serve it. Additionally, if you put it in the refrigerator, covered, right after it comes out of the oven, it will gather moisture. Make sure you have enough time planned for each step of cooling.
When you plan on serving this delicious berry cheesecake, you may want to serve it with some of our stabilized whipped cream and fresh berries. This whipped cream recipe acts like a frosting, so the morning you are serving it you could pipe on swirls and they will hold. Then top with berries for an over-the-top gorgeous dessert.
Storing Berry Cheesecake
As mentioned above, this cheesecake should be made the day before you are serving it. It will be at its freshest in the first 24 hours after you make it.
Leftover cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for four to five days. I find it easiest to just keep it in the springform pan with foil on the top of it. But you can also transfer it to an airtight container.
Cheesecake can also be frozen. If you plan on freezing it, freeze it as close to that 24 hour mark from baking as possible. The fresher it is when you freeze it the better the results. Slice it before freezing it and place it in an airtight container for up to three months.
As with all recipes, use your best discretion when it comes to cheesecake leftovers.
Other Summer Desserts
If summer is your happy time when you love whipping up desserts with seasonal delights, I have some great ideas for you.
- Cherry Pie Filling: This is great to make with fresh or frozen cherries. Make it into a pie or use it to top my No Bake Cheesecake.
- Blackberry Cobbler: Use fresh or frozen blackberries to make this great and super easy dessert.
- Blueberry Coffee Cake: This coffee cake uses both blueberries and lemons to create a bright treat that will make any morning shine.
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake: Your family will have no idea that there is zucchini in this moist and perfect cake.
If you make this delicious cheesecake recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Berry Swirl Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (200 grams)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (66 gams)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (113 grams)
- 1 cup chopped strawberries fresh or frozen (130 grams)
- 1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen (143 grams)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar divided (24.7 grams)
- 24 ounces cream cheese room temperature (678 grams)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (49.5 grams)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (7.5 grams)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (9.3 grams)
- 3 eggs room temperature
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Spray the sides of the pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. (Alternatively, use 16 crushed Golden Oreos with their cream and 4 tablespoons of melted butter for the crust.)1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- While the crust is baking, combine the chopped strawberries, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir consistently, breaking up the strawberries as you go, until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Repeat this with the blueberries. You can do this in the same saucepan without cleaning it first. To make the purees smooth use an immersion blender (optional).1 cup chopped strawberries, 1 cup blueberries, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Once the crust is done baking, increase the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Beat the cream cheese on medium-low until broken apart and smooth. Add in 3/4 cup granulated sugar and beat until combined. Add in the flour, vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating until combined and scraping up the bottom of the bowl to ensure it is all well combined.24 ounces cream cheese, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 eggs
- Pour approximately 1/3 of the cream cheese batter over the crust and gently spread. Add a few spoonfuls of each berry mixture. Pour the next 1/3 of the batter on top and gently spread to the edges of the pan. Add more berries, just plopping spoonfuls of them onto the batter. Add the rest of the batter and then spoon on any more berries you might have left.
- Using a butter knife, carefully swirl the mixture.
- Bake the cheesecake for 35 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave in the oven with the door closed for an hour. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and set it on the countertop allowing it to cool for 1 hour before moving it to the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
- Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. See instructions in the post for freezing.