This is a silky smooth cheesecake topped sky-high with gorgeous plump red cherries. This ultimate cherry cheesecake is completely made from scratch and is very easy to make. So, if you are looking for a showstopping dessert, look no further – this is it! A cherry cheesecake on a white cake stand with a slice cut out.

Nothing beats a decadent cherry cheesecake. There is just something classic and special about it. This particular cheesecake recipe is exceptionally smooth and creamy because it’s made mostly with sour cream instead of cream cheese. It has a unique tang to it and it’s lighter in texture than a traditional cheesecake because of the amount of sour cream in it. It’s also topped with a homemade cherry sauce, instead of canned, which is so much tastier and more satisfying. Here are some reviews:

“Lighter than most — the cheesecake was amazing. No complicated water bath. I made one small addition to the sauce – just added a hint of brandy and let the alcohol evaporate before thickening the sauce. Used the PC Black Sweet frozen cherries. Beautiful, creamy dessert with a homemade topping that puts canned pie filling to shame . Will make again.” – Dawn

“Thank you for sharing! I loved your recipe with a couple of changes. I baked for one hour at 325 degrees in a water bath and then turned off the oven and opened the door and left the cheesecake to gradually cool without any cracks for an additional 30 minutes. For the cherry topping, I used one teaspoon of pure lemon extract instead of the almond extract to make it nut-free. The lemon cherry taste was a hit and the whole cheesecake was gone within an hour!” – Surinder An overhead view of a cherry cheesecake and two slices on serving plates.

How to make cherry cheesecake:

picture collage of how to make a cheesecake

  1. Mix together the honey graham cracker crumbs with some melted butter until all is moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9″ springform pan. Bake at 325F for 10 minutes. Set aside to let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until smooth. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between.
  3. Blend in the sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. Pour the batter over the crust and bake at 325F for about an hour or until almost set. Let cool in the oven with the door ajar for 1 hour and bring to room temperature on the counter. Then refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

How to make cherry topping for cheesecake:

pictures of how to make cherry topping for cheesecake

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat up the fresh or frozen pitted cherries, granulated sugar, and water until heated through.
  2. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and almond extract. Continue to cook until sauce thickens.

Homemade cherry sauce in a saucepan.

Expert tips:

  • Use good-quality cream cheese like Philadelphia brand. I’ve used no-name brands in the past and the results aren’t the same, so stick with the good stuff.
  • Use full-fat sour cream for the creamiest cheesecake. You could also get away with low-fat sour cream in this recipe, but it won’t be as creamy as using full-fat. Do not use fat-free.
  • How to tell when the cheesecake is done – Because there is a large amount of sour cream in this cheesecake it will jiggle more and have a larger soft spot in the center when done. Once the edges are lightly browned AND there is about 2-3 inches of the center still wobbly, the cheesecake is done.

Why did my cheesecake crack? 

Cracks in cheesecakes are usually caused by one of these 3 reasons:

  1. Overmixing the batter – Only mix as much as you need to in order to make the batter smooth and mix in the eggs on low speed. Overmixing incorporates too much air and will cause the cheesecake to rise and then collapse as it cools.
  2. Drastic temperature change – Big cracks are often caused by drafts or drastic temperature changes. So try not to open your oven door unless necessary and slowly cool your cheesecake by leaving it in the oven with the door ajar for an hour.
  3. Overbaking the cheesecake – If a cheesecake is overbaked, it will be dry and crack once settled. This is often the main reason.

What to do if your cheesecake cracks:

If your cheesecake cracks while it’s cooling, don’t worry, it will still taste great. Just cover it up with some toppings and no one will know the difference. Now, if your cheesecake cracks while it’s baking, then chances are it won’t be as creamy, but don’t throw it out. Top it with some whipped cream or sweetened sour cream and everything will be just fine.

You might also like:

A slice of cherry cheesecake on a white plate. This cheesecake is perfect for any special occasion. Not only is it beautiful to present, but it also tastes amazing. Each bite consists of a creamy melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake and juicy cherries bursting with flavor.

Did you make this recipe? Please kindly leave a comment with your star rating below.

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The BEST Cherry Cheesecake


  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12

Description

This is a silky smooth cheesecake topped sky-high with gorgeous plump red cherries.


Ingredients

Cheesecake

  • 1&1/4 cup (145g) honey graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp (45g) melted butter
  • 2250g pkg cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups (750ml) sour cream (full-fat or light, not fat-free)
  • 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract

Cherry Topping

  • 5 cups (1&1/2 lbs) frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 (60ml) cup water
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) cornstarch
  • 1 tsp (5mL) almond extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease the sides of a 9″ springform pan.
  2. Mix the cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a small bowl. Press into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until combined.
  4. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between on low speed.
  5. Blend in the sour cream and vanilla until smooth. Gently pour the batter over the crust.
  6. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until the edges are set and 2-3″ of the center is still wobbly.
  7. Turn off oven and run a thin knife along the edge to loosen the cake from the sides. Let cool in the oven for an hour with the door ajar. Then cool to room temperature before refrigerating for a minimum of 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Cherry Topping

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the cherries, sugar and 3 tbsp of the water until heated through. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1 tbsp of water. Stir in the cornstarch and almond extract and continue to cook until sauce thickens (about 1-2 minutes). Let cool completely. Spoon over cheesecake before serving.

Notes

This cheesecake is best made a day in advance. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Expert tips:

  • Use good-quality cream cheese like Philadelphia brand. I’ve used no-name brands in the past and the results aren’t the same, so stick with the good stuff.
  • Use full-fat sour cream for the creamiest cheesecake. You could also get away with low-fat sour cream in this recipe, but it won’t be as creamy as using full-fat. Do not use fat-free.
  • How to tell when the cheesecake is done – Because there is a large amount of sour cream in this cheesecake it will jiggle more and have a larger soft spot in the center when done. Once the edges are lightly browned AND there is about 2-3 inches of the center still wobbly, the cheesecake is done.
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cherry cheesecake recipe, best cherry cheesecake, cherry topping for cheesecake recipe

Recipe adapted from Canadian Living. This recipe was originally published on Feb 12, 2016. It has been recently updated with step-by-step photo instructions and more information.

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