I first tasted Burnt Basque Cheesecake on a trip through Spain, and one bite of this creamy, rich cheesecake with its caramelized crust, and I was hooked! Made with five simple ingredients, this is the Best Basque Cheesecake Recipe.
I wasn’t in the Basque Region of Spain but stumbled upon an authentic Basque restaurant while visiting Madrid. After dinner and a tour of his kitchen, the proprietor of the restaurant was kind enough to share his mother’s recipe for Basque-Style Cheesecake with me.
The cheesecake originates from La Viña, a cafe in the resort town of San Sebastian in the Basque region of Spain. The original recipe for this crustless cheesecake was developed by Chef Santiago Rivera in his quest to make a new cake every day in 1990.
I had forgotten about that recipe when a friend asked me if I had ever tried a Burnt Basque Cheesecake, and all those delicious memories came back. Of course, I had to make one of these burnt cheesecakes, and it was even better than I remembered.
The creamy texture of this light and flavorful Basque Burnt Cheesecake recipe is quite different from the dense traditional cheesecake we all know and love. But if you love cheesecake, you must try this recipe!
You might also want to try my recipe for traditional New York-Style Cheesecake.
Ingredients to make Basque Cheesecake
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Basque Cheesecake. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Simple Pantry Ingredients
- Philadelphia cream cheese
- heavy cream
The original recipe doesn’t call for vanilla, lemon zest or orange zest, but feel free to adjust the recipe to your tastes.
These are the spatulas I use in my kitchen. They are durable, heat resistant and easy to keep clean.
How to make Basque Cheesecake
- Add all the ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl with an electric mixer).
- Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Line a 10-inch springform pan with sheets of parchment paper so that the paper extends past the edges of the pan, overlapping the sheets for full coverage.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared pan.
- Place the springform pan on a baking sheet into the preheated oven on the center rack. Bake the basque cheesecake for 40-50 minutes (baking time may vary).
- When the top of the cheesecake turns dark brown and almost looks burnt, turn the oven off. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack. *The center of the baked cheesecake won’t be completely set and will have a fair amount of jiggle to it (think of jello). *You’re going to get an impressive rise, but the cheesecake will settle and fall after its been taken out of the oven.
*Water bath is not necessary for this cheesecake.
Let the cheesecake completely cool before removing it from the springform pan. Allow it to finish cooling for about an hour. Then place the cheesecake into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (overnight is best) to completely chill and set up.
Do not remove the Basque Cheesecake from the parchment paper until it’s been fully cooled and you are ready to cut and serve the cheesecake.
You’re going to love this Burnt Basque Cheesecake, a perfectly caramelized crust with a rich, creamy interior that makes every bite a culinary event.
Insert a digital thermometer one inch into the cheesecake, one inch from the edge of the pan. For a perfectly cooked cheesecake the internal temperature should read 185°F.
Make sure the oven has been fully preheated before baking the cheesecake.
Basque cheesecake is cooked quickly in a very hot oven. This helps give a beautiful deep brown color to the top of the cheesecake.
Absolutely not. Using a water bath will keep the cheesecake from getting that beautiful bronze burnt top that makes it unique.