Basque Burnt Cheesecake recipe that literally comes together in 5 minutes using 5 simple ingredients yet has an unbelievably texture and taste, the best Cheesecake I have ever had! Basque Burnt Cheesecake, or as some people refer to it San Sebastian Cheesecake is the easiest cheesecakes of all, a must try!
Baking this cheesecake is the perfect choice if you feel intimidated by making traditional cheesecakes that comes with the pressure of water bath, whether it will crack or shrink, over or underbakes... Taste-wise it has the creamiest, most amazing custard like texture with a caramelized top, the most delicious cheesecake of all!
What is Basque Burnt Cheesecake
The cheesecake is originated from Spain´s Basque´s region, in fact some also call it San Sebastian cheesecake that is referring to a Basque town. It is said that a restaurant called La Viña Bar in San Sebastián makes the very best Burnt Cheesecake - this place is high on the list for most foodies - actually on my list too to visit after the pandemic is finally over! Basque Burnt cheesecake is a crustless cheesecake that is baked at very high temp to achieve the iconic, lovely burnt = caramelized crust on top. It has a beautiful rustic appearance with cracked edges yet extra creamy texture.
5 reasons you should make this Basque Burnt Cheesecake
- It is extremely easy - No fancy ingredients nor equipment is needed and you don´t have to worry about any advanced baking techniques during the process. Both the mixing process as well as the baking process is very simple even if you are a beginner in the kitchen. Safe to say that is impossible to mess up making Basque Burnt cheesecake!
- It is super quick - you literally have to mix 5 simple ingredients together and then bake it. No need to make crust or topping, the entire process is done in one bowl
- No water bath needed - with traditional cheesecakes we want to avoid the cheesecake to crack at all cost and for that water bath is needed. I know many people feel intimidated by that, good news is that you can forget about water bath when making this Basque Burnt Cheesecake
- Imperfection is appreciated this time! - Normally we want a neat side, neat top, avoid burning it, avoid cracks on top, avoid that it shrinks etc... Not this one! The more rustic the better.
- Extremely delicious - I honestly think it is the most delicious cheesecake ever! It effectively tastes like caramelized cheesecake with a super creamy custard like texture similar to Crème brûlée. I don´t really miss having a crust neither a topping, it is perfect just it is
My Top 5 Baking Tips for home bakers
- Read the recipe carefully including my tips and recommendations on how to avoid and fix typical issues during baking this Basque burnt cheesecake recipe
- Avoid using substitutes and changing the recipe unless you are aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavour. Reducing sugar, replacing egg, using milk instead of cream etc. will all have an impact on your baking
- For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is provided as an indicative figure only and might be used for less complex and large batch recipes however it is not an appropriate method for more delicate, complex pastries
- Did you know that most home ovens can significantly under or oven run? Also, oven temperature hugely drops when opening the oven door therefore it is recommended to always pre-heat the oven above the required baking temperature.
- Temperature is so important when it comes to baking and especially when it comes to something as delicate as Japanese Cotton cheesecake….accurate oven temperature is key, can make or break any recipe. Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to avoid disappointment and overburnt or underbaked cheesecake
Important notes regarding the INGREDIENTS of this Basque Burnt Cheesecake recipe
- Cream cheese: I always use full fat Philadelphia when I state cream cheese in my recipes (the one that is available in Europe), I find it easy to cream and very pleasant in taste. Probably I would avoid low fat cream cheese in this recipe. Please make sure you bring the cream cheese to room temp before using it, it makes a lot of difference
- Cream: Also known as whipping cream or double cream, has a fat content between 36% and 40% . Avoid substitutes like vegetable based “whipping cream”
- Flour : I use pastry flour in this recipe which is low in protein. Perhaps it is not called pastry flour in your country but you will be able to identify the different kinds of flour using my Flour Guide in here. AP works just fine too, make sure you sift it though whatever flour you use
- Sugar: Normal granulated white sugar is totally fine in this recipe. Please note that reducing sugar will have an impact on how the cheesecake will caramelize. I use less sugar than most other recipes out there and would not reduce it more. Definitely avoid sugar substitutes in this recipe. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Egg: Use room temperature eggs as always
- Vanilla (optional): This is not mandatory in fact this Basque cheesecake is perfect even without vanilla. If you use it, please please avoid using artificial vanilla. There are several great brands for fine, pure vanilla, I use Nielsen massey which I love and really recommend. I usually use vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract which has lovely vanilla bits in there too
My top 5 tips regarding the TECHNIQUE of this Basque Burnt Cheesecake recipe
1. What cake pan to use to make Basque Burnt Cheesecake
I recommend using a 8 inch / 20 cm Spring form . Line the bottom and side of the baking pan with 2 parchment papers so it will be easy to remove the cheesecake from the tin once baked. No need to smooth the parchment papers while lining the baking pan, in fact keep it "wrinkled", remember the more rustic the better!
2. The process of making Basque Cheesecake
Have I already mentioned how easy it is to make this Basque Burnt cheesecake?
- Start creaming room temp cream cheese and slowly add sugar to it while mixer on medium speed
- Again, slowly add room temp eggs to the mixture one by one while mixer on medium speed
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly pour in room temp cream
- Switch from your mixer to a spatula and fold in sifted flour
The only key point here is to have all your ingredients on room temp so they will properly emulsify. You can use a Electric hand mixer or a Stand mixer, it does not really matter too much, alternatively you can even make the cheesecake batter by hand with a whisk but I am too weak for that.
The quantity stated in the recipe makes a 8 inch / 20 cm cheesecake, adjust quantity if you a have smaller / bigger pan.
3. How to bake Basque Burnt Cheesecake
Two considerations, regarding oven temperature; First one is the temperature on paper, if it’s too low the cheesecake won´t caramelize so this Basque Burnt Cheesecake should be baked on rather high temp. It is called "burnt" but it rather means caramelized so obviously we do not want to burn the entire cheesecake, more like caramelize the top. I find in my oven 210C / 410F is the sweet spot, however please check your cheesecake halfway through and adjust the temp if needed. If it was burning way too much, you can even cover the top but either way, it has to be somewhat burnt so don´t be shy! In general, it is better to slightly under bake it than over bake, the middle part should be jiggly when you take it out of the oven then it will set into a creamy consistency.
Second consideration is your REAL oven temperature, what do I mean on that? Almost all home ovens over or underbake and beside not measuring the ingredients properly the second most common reason behing baking failures is ovens making fun of us. As mentioned several times, Digital oven thermometer is really not that expensive and a must if you are baking regularly and want to have consistent, good results.
4. Most difficult part of making this Basque Burnt Cheesecake
It is the waiting after baking! The cheesecake will slightly puff in the oven, then will shrink on room temp. Since it has this amazing custard like texture, similarly to Crème brûlée, you have to wait until it comes to room temp then to cool it in the fridge. Do not remove the cheesecake from the cake form while the it is still warm or it might collapse. I recommend to chill the cheesecake for at least 4 hours. Waiting is the most difficult part of the recipe but worth it!
How to store the cheesecake
After baking the cheesecake should be stored in the fridge until it sets. I suggest you cover the cake to make sure it does not absorb any smell from the fridge.
Leftover cake – if there is any – should be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days in air tight container.
How to freeze this strawberry cake
The creaminess of the cheesecake might be fully spoiled with the process of freezing, so overall I do not recommend to freeze this cheesecake.
What to serve Basque Burnt Cheesecake with?
Honestly, nothing, you will see once you have the first bite! This Basque Burnt Cheesecake does not require any fruit compote, neither chocolate or caramel or any other topping, it can´t get any more perfect! It has a creamy, rich texture and the caramelized top just gives an extra quick into it. This Basque Burnt Cheesecake is not too sweet and can be the perfect afternoon tea or weekend treat, all you need is a fork and enjoy!
If you really want to serve something with this Basque cheesecake I suggest a nice dessert wine!
Some more cheesecake recipes for you to try
I have several cheesecake recipes from easy to more advanced, all of them taste amazing and with the help of my detailed instructions you can easily make any of them!
Jiggly Japanese cheesecake - This is the ultimate fluffy, souffle like cheesecake recipe that some refer to Japanese Cotton cheesecake due to its unique texture! It comes together in 10 minutes, however don´t confuse quick with easy. My recipe will help you step by step to make this amazing cheesecake! Recipe in here
No-bake Oreo cheesecake - This easy No bake Oreo cheesecake recipe is a must for Oreo and cheesecake lovers! A crunchy, decorative tall 2 ingredients Oreo crust filled with extra smooth cream cheese mousse loaded with Oreo pieces! This No-bake Oreo cheesecake is super light and taste amazing with just the right amount of sweetness! Recipe in here
Baklava cheesecake - This baklava cheesecake recipe is one of the most surprising combinations ever and works so well that I might just admit that this is the most delicious cheesecake I have ever made! Taking classic baklava one step further, this is a must try recipe for baklava and cheesecake lovers. Lighter than traditional baklava, in the meantime more exciting flavor profile than traditional cheesecake, the best of both! Recipe in here
No-bake Pistachio cheesecake - I have made many cheesecakes in my life but this No bake Pistachio cheesecake is special! If you are a cheesecake and pistachio lover and like to make delicious desserts without a lot of fuss, this will be a recipe you will love! Crunchy 2 ingredients crust filled with creamy, airy pistachio cream cheese mousse that has a lovely natural pistachio flavour, fully natural! Recipe in here
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Basque Burnt Cheesecake
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Start with preparing a 8 inch / 20 cm Spring form
- Pre-heat oven to 230C / 446F
- Cream room temp cream cheese and slowly add sugar while mixer on medium speed
- Slowly add room temp eggs to the mixture one by one while mixer on medium speed
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly pour in room temp cream
- Fold in sifted flour with the help of a Rubber spatula
- Pour cheesecake batter into prepared 8 inch / 20 cm Spring form
- Reduce oven temp to 210C / 410F
- Bake the cheesecake for 50min. Check the cheesecake at around 35-40min and adjust baking time if necessary. The cheesecake should be puffed, the top should be caramelized, the side should be baked and centre slightly jiggly.Make sure your oven is on the right temp by using a Digital oven thermometer
- Let it cool in the tin then chill it in the tin for about 4 hours in fridge
- After cheesecake set in the fridge, remove from tin and enjoy