This strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake is a crowd pleasing dessert. It has a creamy and decadent white chocolate cheesecake filling and is baked on top of a honey graham cracker crust.
Strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake is so easy to put together and is perfect for any occasion.
This cheesecake is topped with macerated strawberries, strawberry whipped cream and because it was inspired by Disney's Toy Story character Lotso, little Teddy Graham cookies for a fun touch.
It really is the most delicious combination of flavors.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- White chocolate cheesecake- This cheesecake recipe is not overly sweet and has delicious notes of vanilla. It pairs so well with fresh strawberries.
- Graham cracker crust- This crust is so easy to make and is the perfect base for our cheesecake. It's buttery, lightly sweetened and has a small amount of ground cinnamon.
- Macerated strawberries- By adding sugar and lemon juice to our fresh strawberries, it draws out the natural juices and creates a fruity syrup.
- Strawberry whipped cream- To add an extra boost of strawberry flavor, I add finely ground freeze dried strawberries to some lightly sweetened whipped cream.
KEY INGREDIENT NOTES
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Graham crackers- I use Honey Maid graham crackers and grind them into a fine crumb inside my food processor.
- Cream cheese- I use Philadelphia Original. Do not use less fat or spread. Pull your cream cheese 2-3 hours before baking and let sit at room temperature.
- White chocolate- Use a good quality chocolate. For this recipe, I used Ghirardelli.
- Eggs- I use large eggs and I let them sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- Strawberries- Use fresh, ripe strawberries. Do not use frozen.
- Butter- Use unsalted butter when making your crust.
- Teddy Grahams- Since this is a Disney inspired dessert, I use these teddy bear cookies for decoration. But you can easily omit them if you'd like.
- Freeze Dried Strawberries- I used Trader Joe's brand for this recipe but any kind will do.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Here is how to make and bake this decadent cheesecake.
STEP 1: Make the crust. Begin by placing graham crackers inside a food processor. Blend until finely ground. Mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter until evenly coated.
STEP 2: Press crumbs into pan. Spray a 9" springform pan with non stick spray and line the bottom with a parchment circle. Pour graham cracker mixture into pan. Using a measuring cup, pack crumbs on the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
STEP 3: Bake crust. Bake the cheesecake crust for 12 minutes inside a 325 degree oven. Let cool.
STEP 4: Beat cream cheese. Combine cream cheese and sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes on high speed.
STEP 5: Add wet ingredients. Add cooled melted white chocolate and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Lastly, add eggs on low speed, one at a time. Mix just until combined.
STEP 6: Bake the cheesecake. Pour batter into cooled crust. Prepare water bath (notes below.). Bake at 325 degrees for 70 minutes.
STEP 7: Macerated strawberries. Wash, hull and slice strawberries into quarters. Toss with sugar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerator for 1 hour.
STEP 8: Strawberry whipped cream. Add freeze dried strawberries to a food processor and grind into a powder. Whip heavy cream and vanilla extract on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. Slowly add sugar, followed by strawberry powder and mix on high speed until stiff peaks.
WATER BATH TECHNIQUES
A water bath is essential when baking cheesecakes. It creates steam inside the oven which prevents cracks from occurring in your delicate cheesecake.
It also ensures the cheesecake will come out smooth and creamy.
This technique is leak proof and does not require any foil.
Begin by placing your 9" springform pan inside a 10" cake pan. Place the cake pan inside a large roasting pan. Place inside the oven and pour hot water inside roasting pan, halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Room temperature ingredients blend up easily and will ensure your cheesecake is smooth and lump free.
- Add eggs last and beat just until combined. The longer you mix the eggs, the more air is incorporated into the batter which can cause cracks.
- Grease the pan and line the bottom with parchment. This will help when you're ready to remove the cheesecake from the pan.
- Always use a water bath when making cheesecakes. This will create a moist environment and prevent cracks from happening.
- After the cheesecake has finished baking, turn the oven off and peak the door half way open. Leave inside for 30 minutes. This will also prevent cracks from happening inside your cheesecake.
Yes, you can use other fresh berries instead of strawberries. Raspberries on their own are a great choice. Or mix all the berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries for an ultimate berry cheesecake.
Absolutely. Replace the white chocolate with dark chocolate and add ¼ cup of dutch process cocoa powder. It's the best dark chocolate cheesecake.
Gently jiggle the pan. The top of the cheesecake will be set and have a subtle jiggle in the center.
STORING AND FREEZING
Store this strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 5-7 days.
Slice the cheesecake into portions or leave it whole. Wrap it well in plastic, then foil. Freeze for up to 30 days.
OTHER DESSERTS TO TRY
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Strawberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups Graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon White granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoon Unsalted butter melted
- ½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
White Chocolate Cheesecake
- 9 oz White chocolate chips Ghirardelli
- 2 lbs Cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups White granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 4 Eggs large
- 2 cups Strawberries hulled and sliced into quarters
- 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon White granulated sugar
Strawberry Whipped Cream
- 1 ½ cups Heavy cream
- ¼ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Freeze dried strawberries ground into a powder
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 9" springform pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of the pan with a parchment circle.
- Blend graham crackers inside food processor until finely ground. Pour into a bowl and toss with sugar, cinnamon and melted butter.
- Pour into springform pan and using the back of a measuring cup, firmly press on the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Remove and let cool.
White Cheesecake Filling
- To melt white chocolate, place inside a heat proof bowl over a double boiler. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth and completely melted. Remove and let cool.
- Using a mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl and add in melted white chocolate. Mix until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time on low speed, followed by vanilla extract. Mix just until combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour cheesecake batter inside cooled crust. Prepare water bath.
- Place springform pan inside a 10" cake pan. Place the cake pan inside a large roasting pan and fill with hot water, enough to come half way up the sides of the cake pan.
- Bake cheesecake for 60-70 minutes until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly.
- Turn off oven and peak the door halfway open. Let cheesecake rest inside the oven for 30 minutes before removing.
- Let cheesecake cool at room temperature for 1 hour before refrigerating.
- Chill cheesecake for 8 hours, or overnight.
- Wash, hull and slice strawberries into quarters. Inside a bowl, toss with sugar and lemon juice. Cover and place inside refrigerator for 1 hour.
Strawberry Whipped Cream
- Place freeze dried strawberries inside food processor and mix until they are finely ground into a powder.
- Whip heavy cream and vanilla on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add strawberry powder and sugar. Mix until stiff peaks.
- Remove cheesecake from the pan and place onto a serving platter. Place strawberry whipped cream inside a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe rosettes along the outer edge of the cheesecake.
- Fill in the center of the cheesecake with macerated strawberries. Serve chilled.