cheesecake is god’s breakfast

by humanmama on August 19, 2011

The best cheesecake (with good lighting and makeup)

My sister’s baby shower is this weekend, and I was hoping to make something lovely and amazing for it. So I looked, and I looked, and all I could come up with was “Cheesecake.” That’s what my soul kept whispering. “CHEESEcake.” So I looked for a recipe.

I’ve never made cheesecake before, but I have had a springform pan (AKA “The pan that you need for baking cheesecake”) since I got married, and it’s still in the box and has never been opened. That’s almost 8 years, folks. What that means is that this cake is eight years overdue.

Vanilla bean: how can something looking so gross actually be so good?

So I looked online and I found this blog where an actual pregnant woman made a cheesecake, herself, and ate it. And was satisfied. So I made it too, and it was very time consuming and I had to do things like roast strawberries and scrape vanilla bean seeds, but I think it was worth it.

This is Martha Stewart’s recipe. The goddess of things domestic. That crazy minx. I think I’ll make an extra just to eat in my room, by myself. No kids!
ENJOY! But first, THREE tips:

one: make a little more crust by crushing 1 and 1/2 cups graham crackers and melting 1/4 c butter and adding 1/4 c sugar, instead of what they have here,

two: at the very end, put 4 cups of the vanilla mixture into the strawberries, not 5. If you do the recommended 5 cups, you don’t have much vanilla-sans-strawberry mixture to spread on top.

three: don’t buy a vanilla bean. They’re crazy expensive. Try to find someone who has one. Or grow some yourself. It might take a while, but it’s cheaper. If you don’t use one, try adding 1 tsp vanilla.

MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. We’ll see how sister/baby like it tomorrow!

Okay, this camera is terrible, and the lighting is bad. But ohh, yum.










  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup finely ground graham crackers (about 4 sheets)
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound plus 13 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 8 1/4 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place strawberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with corn syrup, and toss gently to coat. Bake until syrup thickens and strawberries turn deep red and shrink slightly, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer strawberries and syrup to a medium bowl, and mash with a potato masher. Let cool completely.
  2. Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the melted butter in a small bowl. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to make an even layer. Bake until crust is firm to the touch and has just darkened, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let crust cool completely.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Put cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, then gradually add remaining cup sugar and the salt. Scrape down sides of bowl; add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl, and mix in vanilla bean seeds and mascarpone until very creamy and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes. (Reserve vanilla bean for another use.)
  4. Transfer 5 cups cream cheese mixture to bowl with mashed strawberries; stir to combine. Pour strawberry-cream cheese mixture on top of crust; smooth with an offset spatula. Carefully spoon dollops of plain cream cheese mixture on top, smoothing with an offset spatula.
  5. Wrap the exterior of the springform pan in 2 layers of foil; set in a large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with boiling water until water reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake cheesecake until set, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours (up to overnight).

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Cassie August 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm

oh, yeah. cheesecake. don’t get me started.



Riley September 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I simply loved this checaeeske! It was the most creamy checaeeske. It was worth going back for seconds. I have eaten checaeeske at many restaurants and I have never had a piece that tasted this smooth and creamy. This recipe should be added to the recipe collection because it is a keeper!


Amanda August 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm

How did everything turn out? Was your cheesecake a big hit?

I got sick and we couldn’t go to the farm, btw! Maybe sometime this week?


Auth September 8, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Oh, this sounds so good. I’ve never done the water bath. It might be worth a try. Maybe that would help avoid the giant crack I aaywls get.My guess is you don’t use the mint dental floss. (heehee)


holly August 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm

This looks crazy difficult. The fact that yours came out even CLOSE to the same in shape and color as that crazy lady Martha’s did is nothing shy of a miracle. Great job.


Virgo September 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Holy moly this looks awesome!! I used to be one of those plpeoe who hated cheese cake. Cheese should not be sweet!! I though. Then I slowly started coming around and now I LOVE it. And this looks pretty amazing :) Bookmarked!


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