This is a simple cherry cheesecake recipe with the most decadent filling and sweet cherry topping. Surprisingly easy to make, all you need are pantry staples and fresh cherries to put this dessert together!
Did you know that you can make homemade cheesecake without having to run to the grocery store first? It’s true! This decadent cherry cheesecake is easy to make with only a handful of pantry staples, leaving you with an impressive and crowd-pleasing dessert.
Just like my Blueberry Cheesecake, this easy cherry cheesecake recipe is made with a rich cream cheese filling and decorated with homemade fruit syrup. Every bite is tart, sweet, and oh-so-rich!
The best cherry cheesecake recipe
You can make this dessert year-round with frozen cherries or enjoy it as a summer treat when fresh cherries are in season. It’s sure to become a new household favorite!
- Just like classic New York cherry cheesecake. All that’s missing is the lemon! But you can easily mix some fresh lemon zest into the filling to replicate the rich and tangy flavors of a New York cheesecake.
- Secretly easy to make. Rarely do you look at a cheesecake and think, “that looks easy!” It isn’t too good to be true… this cheesecake recipe is deceptively easy!
- Rich, creamy, and tart. Just like my Strawberry Cheesecake, this dessert boasts rich and decadent flavors and a sweet, fruity syrup on top.
This is a deceptively easy cherry cheesecake made with everyday pantry staples. These are the ingredients you need:
- Pie crust. Use your favorite store-bought or homemade pie crust. I like to use a graham cracker crust but a cookie crust or par-baked pie dough also work well.
- Cream cheese. Remember to leave the cream cheese on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes before you make the cheesecake. This way, it will soften and be easier to work with.
- Sour cream. The tangy flavor balances out the rich and thick cream cheese.
- Sugar. To sweeten the cream cheese filling.
- Vanilla extract. For flavor.
- Eggs. Set them on the counter with the cream cheese so they have a chance to come down to room temperature, too.
- Cherries. Use fresh cherries with the pits removed and discarded.
- Cornstarch. To help thicken the cherry sauce.
- Sugar. For sweetness and to cut through the tartness from the cherries.
How to make a cherry cheesecake
This impressive dessert is fun and easy to make. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1 – Make the crust
Start by making your graham cracker or pie crust.
Step 2 – Prep the filling
Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth. Next, mix in the sour cream and sugar, then add the vanilla. Gently fold in the whisked eggs to finish.
Step 3 – Bake
Pour the filling into the crust. Bake the cheesecake until the edges are set and the middle is still slightly jiggly. Set it aside to cool completely.
Step 4 – Make the cherry topping
Blend some of the cherries with the cornstarch until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and stir in the sugar. Cook over medium heat until it turns into a thick cherry syrup.
Take it off of the heat and stir in the remaining cherries. Set it aside to cool.
Step 5 – Assemble, refrigerate, and serve
Pour the cooled cherry sauce over the cooled cheesecake. Place it in the fridge and leave it overnight to firm up and set. Slice it and serve the next day!
Tips for success
- Full fat cream cheese and full fat sour cream will leave you with the creamiest, richest cheesecake!
- I recommend assembling the crust and baking the cheesecake in a springform pan.
- Only beat the filling ingredients until they just come together. Overmixing will knock the air out of the filling, causing your cheesecake to fall.
- It’s ok if there are cracks in your cheesecake. The cherry topping covers them!
- For clean cheesecake slices, run a sharp chef’s knife under hot running water between each slice.
Dietary swaps and substitutions
Just when you think it can’t get better, you find out how versatile this cheesecake recipe is! It can easily be adapted to fit all kinds of dietary needs and flavors. Explore the list below to find your new favorite variation:
- Low carb. Swap the sugar for my powdered sugar substitute or another low carb sugar substitute, like allulose. You can also make my protein or keto cheesecake recipes and just add the cherry topping.
- Vegan. Just like in my Vegan Cheesecake recipe, you can make this recipe with vegan cream cheese, vegan sour cream, and a vegan egg substitute. Making the cake with a graham cracker crust? Remember to check the ingredients, as many brands of graham crackers contain honey.
- Dairy free. Leave the eggs, but use good-quality dairy free cream cheese and sour cream instead.
- Use another berry. Swap the cherries for strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.
- Chocolate cherry cheesecake. Use the chocolate cookie crust from my Peanut Butter Cheesecake or decorate the finished cake with melted chocolate!
To store. Store the cheesecake or individual slices in the fridge. Cover them with plastic or keep them in airtight containers. Before serving, let the cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes so the cherry topping has time to soften.
To freeze. Place the leftover slices in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 6 months.
More cheesecake recipes to try
Almost. New York cheesecake is made with a rich, cream cheese filling (just like this recipe) whereas regular cheesecake filling is thinned with heavy cream. A classic New York cheesecake also contains lemon juice/zest in the filling, but it isn’t needed in my version.
You’ll know it’s ready to come out of the oven when the edges of the cheesecake look firm and have lightly browned. The middle will still be a bit jiggly, but it will firm up overnight in the fridge.
Yes, but they’ll need to be thawed completely before being used in the sauce.
Cherry Cheesecake Recipe
- 1 9-inch pie crust
- 4 cups cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs whisked
Cherry cheesecake topping
- 22 oz cherries pitted and divided
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- Prepare the pie crust or use a store-bought 9-inch pie crust.
- Preheat the oven to 150C/300F.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream and sugar and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla. Gently fold in the eggs one at a time until combined.
- Transfer the cheesecake filling to the pie crust. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the edges are set and the middle is still slightly jiggly when touched. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely.
- In a food processor, add around 2/3 of the cherries with cornstarch and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and add the sugar. Cook over medium heat for around 10-15 minutes, until it is thick.
- Remove the filling from the heat and add the remaining chopped cherries. Let the mixture cool completely, stirring it regularly throughout.
- Once the filling has cooled, spread over the top of the cheesecake.
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