Let it crack and burn! This crustless Raspberry Lemon Burnt Basque Cheesecake is cooked at high heat to achieve its signature caramelized outside and impossibly creamy inside. It’s the easiest cheesecake you’ll ever make!Jump to Recipe
A cheesecake recipe you can’t mess up
There seems to be a new recipe every few months that almost “breaks” the internet. First, it was the Dalgona whipped coffee craze, then Pancake Cereal… I think Basque cheesecake is next on the list!
This Raspberry Lemon Burnt Basque Cheesecake recipe is easy to love because it doesn’t require precision or much patience. The incredibly luscious, custard-like filling is surrounded by a slightly crisp and almost burnt crustless exterior which comes from cooking the Spanish cake at high heat. Unlike traditional American cheesecake, a burnt cheesecake welcomes cracks on the outside for added character!
The cheesecake is finished with fresh lemon zest and granulated sugar on top and raspberries inside for a dash of brightness and acidity. The pop of color doesn’t hurt the gorgeous and mouth watering presentation either!
What is basque cheesecake?
The Basque-style burnt cheesecake originated at La Viña restaurant in the San Sebastian region of Spain. Unlike a New York style cheesecake, a Basque cake is crustless and cooked at a high heat to achieve the signature burnt top, cracks, and creamy inside. Think of it as a rustic, no-nonsense cheesecake!
Ingredients you need to make basque cheesecake
- Cream cheese – Make sure it’s at room temperature so it’s easy to work with.
- Sugar – Granulated white sugar is best.
- Heavy cream – Try not to substitute this for half and half or regular milk. The results just won’t be as balanced or rich without the cream.
- Eggs – The inside of a Basque cheesecake is almost like custard, which means we need a lot of eggs.
- All purpose flour – Just a small amount of flour is all you need to help thicken the cheesecake batter.
- Vanilla bean paste – You really can’t beat the true vanilla flavor from vanilla bean paste. Vanilla extract can be used as a substitute if you can’t find the paste.
- Lemons – Add fresh lemon zest to the batter and mix it with granulated sugar to sprinkle on top of the cake. It adds a beautiful brightness to the rich bites.
- Raspberries – Fresh are best! Blueberries work as well.
How to make basque burnt cheesecake
A 9-inch springform pan and parchment paper are necessary for this recipe. Without the two, your cheesecake could get stuck in the pan or leak everywhere. Otherwise, the recipe steps are very straightforward!
- Prepare the pan: Line the springform pan with parchment paper, making sure the excess goes up the sides and leaves an overhang.
- Start the filling: Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer or use a handheld mixer. Add the granulated sugar, then the lemon zest and mix until combined.
- Add the eggs: Lower the speed and add 1 egg at a time to the filling.
- Finish the filling: Mix in the heavy cream and vanilla bean paste next. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl and mix on low until fully combined.
- Add the raspberries: Pour the finished batter into the prepared springform pan. Push the raspberries one at a time into the cake.
- Make the sugar coating: Combine the remaining sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Sprinkle half on top of the cake and save the rest for when it’s time to eat.
- Bake the cake: Bake the cheesecake for just under 1 hour. You’ll know it’s done when the top is burnt (or caramelized) and slightly jiggly in the center.
- Cool, slice, and enjoy: Sprinkle the remaining lemon-sugar coating on top of the baked cheesecake. After 10 to 15 minutes, take it out of the pan, slice, and enjoy with extra fresh raspberries!
Helpful tips and FAQs
- It’s perfectly normal and expected for the cheesecake to sink in the middle once it cools. In fact, it’s part of the Basque cheesecake’s charm!
- You can let it cool for a few minutes after it comes out of the oven or leave it in the pan for several hours at room temperature. It’ll turn out firmer if you leave it to cool longer.
- If the top isn’t as brown as you like, turn the broiler on for a few minutes. Watch it very carefully so it doesn’t burn too much.
- Feel free to swap the raspberries for strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or another berry you love.
Why is it called Basque cheesecake?
This dessert is named after the region in which it was invented, Basque, Spain.
What can you serve with burnt cheesecake?
Basque cheesecake is traditionally served with sherry wine! Instead of or in addition to the lemon-sugar coating and fresh raspberries, make some homemade raspberry coulis and drizzle some on each slice.
Can you make mini Basque cheesecakes out of this recipe?
To make mini basque cheesecakes, pour the batter into small parchment-lined ramekins. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center is slightly jiggly and the exterior is nicely browned. Let the mini cheesecakes cool for 15 minutes to an hour before removing from the ramekins and eating.
Can you make it ahead of time?
Yes! Once the baked cake is fully cool, cover it in plastic and place it in the fridge for up to 1 day.
Tools for Raspberry Lemon Burnt Basque Cheesecake
Looking for more berry-licious dessert recipes?
- Strawberry Rhubarb Fruit Galette
- Strawberry Scones
- Cherry, Almond, and Cardamom Galette
- Homemade Strawberry Pop-Tarts
Did you try this Raspberry Lemon Burnt Basque Cheesecake? Let me know what you think in the comments below, or share a picture on Instagram! I love to share all of your recreations on my page.
Raspberry Lemon Burnt Basque Cheesecake
- 24 oz cream cheese full-fat and at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar plus 3 tablespoons for lemon sugar
- 1 ½ lemon zested and divided
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or sub with vanilla extract
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup raspberries fresh or sub for blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven. Butter a 9-inch springform by using 1 teaspoon of softened butter on the bottom and sides of the pan. Then line the pan with parchment paper up the sides; you want it to overhang by at least 1.5-2 inches.
- Using a mixer add cream cheese to the mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, ½ the lemon zest. Mix until combined on medium speed.
- Turn mixer to lower speed and add one egg at a time, mixing in between. Repeat with the remaining two eggs. Scrape down sides in between to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Add heavy cream and vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and mix for another 30 seconds to combine.
- Sift flour and salt into the bowl and mix on low to combine for 30 seconds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared springform.
- Add the raspberries a few at a time and push them into the batter. Leave some showing on top.
- In a small bowl combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and the remaining half of lemon zest. Top half of it on the cheesecake. Reserve the other half for serving.
- Place springform on a cookie sheet and transfer to the oven. Cook between 50 to 55 minutes. The cheesecake should still be a little jiggly in the center and it will be a dark brown on the outside, which is what you want.
- Sprinkle it with lemon sugar and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before removing the springform. This allows the cheesecake to set more.
- Serve at room temperature. You can top with extra berries, optional.