Strawberry Swirl Vanilla Cheesecake


So, cheesecake is typically not at the top of my favorite desserts list.   I often find it to be extremely sweet, rigid and brick-like and especially flavorless when the filling is of the chocolate variety.  Not to mention that the graham cracker crust can be overcooked and a spoiler of the entire slice.

But, oh me oh my.  The beauty pictured above does not party with the “in-crowd” of sweet cheese pies.

No, no.

This rebel fights for moist, creamy fillings that carry particles of air close to their hearts.  She fights for vanilla wafer crusts that stay golden and pure in the heat of a raging oven.  And she stands tall for strawberry boldness that resists the confinement of meticulous layering and swirls freely to the beat of its own unique drummer.

Wondrous rebel cheesecake, I salute you!

And I devour you.  All in one sitting if possible.


This cheesecake is not only elegant- it is pure luxuriousness.

The filling is rich in flavor, but fluffy in texture.  Should a devious finger go prowling for an undetected taste, a light swipe of the interior reaps noticeable reward.  Filling will stick to the finger with even the gentlest of nudges, unlike some New York style cheesecakes that can take The People’s Elbow to the gut and still maintain its firm disposition.

A coveted strawberry swirl that is ribboned through gourmet ice creams and cheesecakes comes right from your kitchen- sans any suspect corn syrup.

The buttery crust is complimentary to the highest degree, supporting the strong vanilla flavor of the white components while keeping its textured firmness in tact to stand out against the creamy fluffed cheese.

It would be easy to obey your eyes alone and smugly slice a third of the cake assuming a lighter cheesecake should yield such a generous portion size, but do not be fooled!  Halfway through one piece will give you that luscious, rich and satisfying feeling that any quality bakery item does- dense or otherwise.

Onward, soldiers:

Soften the building blocks of cheesecake.

cheese tower2

Whip together a creamy whirpool.


Round up ruby reds.

strawberry sauceA2

Berry-fy a filling.

before oven2

Pipe a starry sky.

frosted cake2

Portion the pie.

side cake2

Alone at last.


Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

Landing somewhere in the middle of the dense to airy spectrum, this cheesecake is the highest form of dessert elegance.  A layer of buttery vanilla cookies gets topped with a creamy vanilla cheesecake filling ribboned with homemade ruby strawberry syrup and then capped with a sweetened fluffy whipped cream.  You’re welcome.

Portions of recipe adapted from Project Foodie via SoNo Baking Company Cookbook


  • 1 1/3 C vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
  • 5 T melted butter, cooled to room temp
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 C sugar
  1. Mix together salt, sugar and vanilla crumbs.  Mix in butter.

Strawberry Swirl

  • 1 1/4 C  pureed strawberries
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  1. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Place mixture in saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring.  Keep it at a boil for 2 minutes.  Move to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Cheesecake Filling 

  • 3 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese, completely at room temperature
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 300F.  In a standing mixer, place cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanillas.  Beat for 5 minutes with paddle attachment, stopping three times to scrape down the sides.
  2. Beat in one egg at a time, stopping to scrape after each egg.  Beat in sour cream.


  1. Press crust firmly into a greased 9 inch springform pan.
  2. Pour 1/3 of filling into pan.  Gently take a teaspoon at a time of the strawberry mixture and drop over filling.  Don’t go too close to the edges.  Gently scoop another third of filling over strawberry and spread with an offset spatula.  Repeat with strawberry again and then top with filling.
  3. Shake pan lightly to level the filling.
  4. Place a pan of water on the stove and bring it to a boil.  Meanwhile, put a cookie sheet on the middle or highest rack of the oven.  When oven is preheated, quickly place the prepared cheesecake on the cookie sheet and the pan of water on the bottom shelf.  Close door.
  5. Bake in oven until firm but center is still slightly jiggly- about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Turn off oven when baking is complete and prop oven door open.  Allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature in the now cooling oven.
  6. Refrigerate covered with foil overnight.  When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from the pan and then top with lightly sweetened whipped cream by combining 1 C of heavy whipping cream with 2 T powdered sugar and beating in a chilled bowl until firm enough to pipe.  Slice and enjoy!
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2 Responses to Strawberry Swirl Vanilla Cheesecake

  1. Baker Boonce says:

    That looks sooooo good!!

    I never thought that someone could combine the decadent description of a creamy cake with that of a hardcore wrestling move.

    Bravo! Consider me impressed!

  2. hungrygems says:

    Haha…the wonders of the sugary world expand to all corners of the world (in other words, it includes large men in small spandex pantaloons).

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