This unique looking cheesecake has become very popular recently. The cheesecake is creamy and light with a caramelized surface. It is also much easier to make than traditional cheesecake and hard to mess up.
The last few months I have been seeing images of Basque burnt cheesecake everywhere. So I finally decided to try making one for myself to see what it is all about. And now I understand the hype. It’s not just the appearance. The cheesecake is so creamy and delicious. It’s lighter than traditional cheesecake and it’s also incredibly easy to make.
What is Basque Burnt Cheesecake?
The cheesecake originated from Spain. It is a crustless cheesecake that is cooked at very high heat. This results in its rustic appearance with cracked edges and an almost burnt surface.
The Japanese also have created a version of the basque cheesecake that has recently become very trendy because their version has a melty, lava-like custard center. The Japanese version is cooked less and then frozen to let it set.
The recipe I’m sharing today is more similar to the traditional basque cheesecake which doesn’t have a gooey center, but it is very creamy and light.
Basque Cheesecake Texture
The texture of this cheesecake is a cross between the classic American cheesecake and the Japanese souffle cheesecake. The Basque version is not as dense or rich as the American version but also not as cake-like or fluffy as the Japanese version. It is wonderfully creamy, light and smooth and since it isn’t quite as rich as American cheesecake, I found myself eating several slices in one sitting.
Springform Pan Versus Round Cake Pan
The cake is usually made in a springform pan. Because the cake batter is so thin, you need to use a big enough sheet of parchment paper that covers the entire cake pan. Using a round parchment paper to cover the bottom and then a separate sheet that covers the edges won’t work because the batter will leak through the bottom of the pan. (Trust me on this. I learned the hard way.)
When you cover the entire springform pan with one large sheet of parchment paper, you end up with crinkly and uneven edges which is why the cheesecake has such a rustic appearance.
For my first cheesecake, I cooked it in a springform pan. The cake came out very fluffy and light. But I didn’t love the cracked and uneven edges so I decided to try baking one in a round cake pan.
Round Cake Pan
A round cake pan does not have a removable bottom, so you don’t need to use a giant sheet of parchment paper. Instead, you can cover the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper and cover the sides with another piece of parchment paper. Appearance-wise, I found this cake to be nicer to look at but the cake didn’t rise quite as high and was not nearly as fluffy. So this can be made in a round cake pan but the cake will be thinner and denser.
Refrigerating the Cheesecake
Much like other types of cheesecake, this cake should be refrigerated for several hours so that it sets and the flavor fully develops.
If you try to serve it right away, the inside will not yet be set and the flavor will be bland. Once refrigerated, let the cake come back to room temperature before serving.
Basque Burnt Cheesecake
- 1 lb (2 blocks) cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp + 2 tsp all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray the interior of an 8-inch round springform pan with cooking spray and then line it with a large enough sheet of parchment paper so that it completely covers the interior of the cake pan and also comes up 2 inches above the pan. (You can trim the edges that are too high with scissors.) Press, pleat and crease the parchment paper as needed so that it sticks to the interior edges.
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese and sugar. Beat with paddle attachment at medium speed until light and smooth. Scrape down bowl with spatula as needed to evenly mix.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until one egg is completely incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape down sides as needed.
- Add heavy cream, salt, vanilla. Mix at medium speed until fully incorporated and batter is smooth.
- Sift in flour. Switching to the whisk attachment, whisk at medium high speed until batter is smooth and no flour lumps remain (about 1 minute). Because of how thin the batter was, I had difficultly mixing out all the lumps so I also used a hand whisk and mixed for a few seconds at the end to remove any lumps.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Place cake pan on a baking sheet. Place cake into the oven and bake about 60-65 minutes or until surface turns a dark brown and center is still jiggly.
- Let cake cool at room temperature. The cake will deflate about 1 inch when it cools. Refrigerate the cake overnight to let it set and so the flavors can fully develop. Let the cake come to room temperature before cutting and serving.
- Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit.
- Make sure to fully soften the cream cheese for several hours at room temperature before using. I prefer using Philadelphia brand cream cheese.
- You don't need a flour sifter to sift the flour. I use a small wire mesh strainer.
- Your oven rack should be positioned around the middle of your oven. This should give your cake pan enough room without the parchment paper touching the top and allow the cake cook in the top half of the oven so that the surface gets enough color.
- You must cover the entire cake pan with one sheet of parchment paper because otherwise the batter will leak through the bottom of the springform pan.
- If you don't own a springform cake pan or don't want the cake to have cracked and uneven edges, this cake can be made in an 8 inch round cake pan but the cake will not be as fluffy (see post for details). The photos in this post of the full cake are using an 8 inch round cake pan. If making in a round cake pan, you do not need to cover the cake pan in one single sheet of parchment paper. Instead, you can cover the bottom with a round sheet and then use a separate sheet for the edges, making sure the parchment paper around the edges is about 4 inches in height as the cake will initially rise quite high before deflating as it cools.
- You should refrigerate the cake, which lets the cheese flavor develop more fully. The cake does not taste as rich if it is served right away.
- For the springform pan, I used Hiware 8 inch springform cake pan.*
- For the round cake pan, I used Fat Daddio 8 x 4 inch round cake pan.*
- *This product link is an affiliate link. This means I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases (at no extra charge to you).
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.