Fresh Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

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How to make the most delicious strawberry swirl cheesecake recipe, with a graham cracker crust, creamy homemade filling, and fresh strawberries.

slice of strawberry swirl cheesecake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries on a white plate

One of my favorite desserts is strawberry cheesecake. Make that a strawberry swirl cheesecake with a fresh strawberry sauce or strawberry jam swirled into the cheesecake filling, and it’s definitely a dessert to behold.

While white chocolate raspberry cheesecake is my absolute favorite cheesecake, this cheesecake recipe is definitely right up there with it.

While there are a few steps (mainly the swirling and the cooling process), it’s a fairly easy cheesecake to make. And I like that it doesn’t require a ton of ingredients.

Now you can definitely make this cheesecake without any strawberry swirl and just serve it with fresh strawberries or the separate strawberry sauce. But the swirl really adds an oomph to this very yummy dessert.

Looking for more cheesecake recipes? You may also enjoy pumpkin spice cheesecake (made in the Instant Pot) and strawberry miracle cheesecake.

slice of strawberry cheesecake with whipped cream and strawberries on a white plate with a fork

WHERE CAN I FIND THE STRAWBERRY SWIRL CHEESECAKE RECIPE?

If you’d rather skip all of my cooking tips, important cooking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the delicious strawberry cheesecake recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

Tips for How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake

Before I send you willy-nilly to the recipe card, I’ll give you a few tips regarding the crust, the creamy filling, and how to make a really flavorful, delicious strawberry sauce to swirl into your cheesecake.

Let’s Talk about the Crust First

The crust really is the foundation for your dessert. So you wanna make it good.

My boys actually love a chocolate cookie crust for cheesecake, and I do too. It would probably pair really well with a strawberry cheesecake.

But this time, I decided to make a graham cracker crust. It’s easy, you just press it into your pan, and then you bake it for about 10 minutes.

graham cracker crust in springform pan for cheesecake recipe

A graham cracker crust is the more traditional cheesecake crust. But you could always use other alternatives, like vanilla sandwich cookies, Nilla Wafers, Pecan Sandies, even gluten-free graham crackers for a gluten-free crust.

What Kind of Cream Cheese Should I Use?

While you can use low fat cream cheese, I’ve had the best luck with full fat cream cheese. Also, full fat cream cheese doesn’t necessarily have all the additives they add in when they remove things from the cheese to make it “lite.”

You really want a creamy cheesecake filling, so never settle but always go for full fat.

When it comes to brands, I’ve had great success with brands like Philadelphia, Great Value, and Aldi’s Happy Farms.

Tips for How to Make the Strawberry Sauce for Cheesecake

While I have another strawberry sauce that’s not quite as sweet, it works better for a topping more than a swirl.

One thing I’ve learned in developing this recipe is that strawberries are really temperamental, and it can be hard to get a really flavorful strawberry taste when you bake them.

A few tips for making your strawberry sauce for cheesecake, especially a swirl cheesecake…

  • Use fresh strawberries over frozen. Frozen strawberries add a lot of water that you just don’t want, and they’re not quite as flavorful as fresh either.
  • Make sure you use good strawberries that really pack the flavor. The fresher the better, though I’ve found some really good ones at our grocery store lately.
  • When you’re making a swirl, you’ll need strawberry purée. So use a blender to purée those berries up really well.
  • You’ll need to bring all of your ingredients to a boil and then cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken up and turns a beautiful red color.
making strawberry sauce for strawberry cheesecake recipe in saucepan with spatula

Now you can avoid making a strawberry sauce altogether and just use strawberry jam. But there’s something about this sauce that really makes the cheesecake.

Tips for How to Make the Cheesecake Filling

mixing strawberry swirl cheesecake filling in blue bowl with hand mixer
  • Using a mixer, mix together the softened cream cheese, pure cane sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  • Using an egg separator, separate the egg yolks from the whites, and add the yolks into the mixture, mixing well.
  • When your filling is creamy and smooth, pour half the filling into your crust.
creamy filling for strawberry swirl cheesecake in graham cracker crust in springform pan
  • Spoon about 1/4 cup strawberry sauce on top of the filling, adding small dollops of sauce here and there.
  • Swirl the sauce into the filling with a table knife or wooden skewer.
  • Pour the rest of the filling on.
swirling strawberry sauce for cheesecake into strawberry swirl cheesecake filling with wooden skewer
  • Add another 1/4 cup strawberry sauce, adding small dollops of sauce here and there all around the top of the filling.
  • Again, swirl the sauce into the filling with a table knife or wooden skewer.
  • Bake, cool, and chill according to the recipe instructions in the recipe card below.

Using the Water Bath Method While Baking

The Kitchn has an excellent tutorial with really helpful tips for how to make the perfect cheesecake. In fact, that’s where I learned how to use the water bath method for making a cheesecake even more creamy.

Before you bake your cheesecake, wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with a good layer of aluminum foil, with foil extending over sides from the bottom of your pan. Maybe even add a couple layers, to help keep water from getting to your cheesecake.

foil wrapped springform pan with graham cracker crust

Then place the pan down in a roasting pan with at least an inch of water in it. I use a turkey roasting pan.

baking strawberry swirl cheesecake in roasting pan with water in oven

This provides a steam bath environment for your cheesecake as it bakes and keeps it very moist.

What Causes Cheesecake to Crack, and How Can I Prevent That?

So this is a problem with any kind of cheesecake and some kinds of pies, like pumpkin piesweet potato pie, etc.

The water bath method will help with this, as it will keep the cheesecake from drying out.

Essentially, that’s what causes it to crack, is when it dries out. It can happen when it’s baked too long and sometimes even when it’s cooled too quickly.

That said, when cheesecake is done, it should be set around the edge but still a little jiggly in the middle. The center is almost set but not quite set.

baked strawberry swirl cheesecake in springform pan

More Strawberry Recipes You’ll Enjoy

Can Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Be Frozen?

As long as you use a full fat cream cheese, cheesecake should freeze well.

Just make sure you cool the cheesecake first. Then chill it.

Once it’s chilled, you can wrap it up with a layer or two of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil.

According to Eat By Date, cheesecake shelf life is up to 6 to 8 months in the freezer.

What to Serve with Strawberry Cheesecake

You can either swirl on a little canned whipped cream, or make homemade whipped cream and use a decorating bag and large tip (I used Tip 1M) to swirl it on.

slice of strawberry swirl cheesecake on white plate with whipped cream and a fork

And, of course, you can serve it with fresh strawberries.

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need to Make This Dessert:

9″ Springform Pan – This kind of pan is necessary for cheesecake, so you can easily remove the sides of the pan when serving.

Aluminum Foil – To prevent water from getting into your cheesecake while baking, you can wrap the outside of your pan with foil.

Medium to Large Saucepan and Spatula

Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer – This will ensure a smooth cheesecake filling.

Egg Separator – Easily separate the yolks from the egg whites.

Roasting Pan – Add about an inch or so of water in the roasting pan; then place the springform pan inside the roasting pan for baking.

Get the printable recipe!

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Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Recipe

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Fresh Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

How to make the most delicious strawberry swirl cheesecake recipe, with a graham cracker crust, creamy homemade filling, and fresh strawberries.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Dessert
Keyword how to make cheesecake filling, how to make strawberry cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, strawberry swirl cheesecake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Resting/Chill Time 6 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 426 kcal
Author Mel Lockcuff

Ingredients

Strawberry Sauce:

Cheesecake Filling:

Instructions

  1. Make your graham cracker crust in a 9″ springform pan (sprayed with cooking spray). You’ll want it ready to go after the cheesecake batter is all mixed up.

  2. Line the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil; this will keep water from getting into your cheesecake during baking.

  3. Whisk together the corn starch and water in a small glass measuring cup.

  4. Add the corn starch mixture together with the sugar in a medium to large saucepan.

  5. Mix in the strawberry purée.

  6. Bring the mixture to a boil on low to medium heat, constantly stirring with a spatula to avoid scorching.

  7. Once the mixture boils, cook it for 3 to 5 more minutes, or until it thickens and turns a deep red.

  8. Remove the strawberry sauce from the heat, and allow it to cool.*

  9. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 325°.

  10. Using a mixer, mix together the softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.

  11. Using an egg separator, separate the egg yolks from the whites, and add the yolks into the mixture, mixing well.

  12. When your filling is creamy and smooth, pour half of it into your crust. 

  13. Spoon about 1/4 cup strawberry sauce on top of the filling, adding small dollops of sauce here and there. 

  14. Swirl the sauce into the filling with a table knife or wooden skewer.

  15. Pour the rest of the filling on, and add another 1/4 cup strawberry sauce, adding small dollops of sauce here and there all around the top of the filling.

  16. Again, swirl the sauce into the filling with a table knife or wooden skewer.

  17. Place the cheesecake-filled springform pan in a roasting pan that has an inch or so of water in the bottom.

  18. Place the whole pan into the oven, and bake at 325° for about 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the cheesecake is cooked through.**

  19. Leave the cheesecake in the oven, and turn the oven off. Allow it to cool in the oven, with the oven door open, for about 30 to 45 minutes. You want a slow cooling process, in order to avoid cracks. 

  20. Now you can remove your cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

  21. Once your cheesecake has completely cooled at room temperature, cover and place it in the refrigerator, and allow it to chill overnight. 

  22. When you’re ready to serve it, just release the springform pan, slice it up, and serve with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Recipe Notes

*I like to put my strawberry sauce in the freezer while I go about mixing up my cheesecake filling. About 30 minutes in the freezer (with occasional stirring) will cool it enough that you can finish making the dessert.

**The cheesecake should be firm around the edge and a little jiggly in the middle when it’s done. The center should be almost set but not quite set.

Nutrition Facts
Fresh Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 426 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 144mg48%
Sodium 312mg14%
Potassium 135mg4%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 1095IU22%
Vitamin C 3.5mg4%
Calcium 86mg9%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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