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The Easiest Cheesecake You’ll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe

Posted February 19, 2019 by Stephanie

Guys, I don’t know if I’m proud to admit this or not, but I ate an entire cheesecake. By myself. Okay, Mike had one tiny slice, but I absolutely ate the rest of it. And the truth is, this isn’t even the first time I’ve eaten a whole cheesecake. Cheesecake is my jam. I love it so much. It can be dense like New York style, or fluffy, like Japanese. It can even be liquid-y. It doesn’t really matter, there’s just something about a cheesecake that is so addictive.

Anyway, I don’t really make cheesecake a lot because it’s dangerous. But, apparently burnt cheesecake has been trending. There have been a lot of photos floating around Instagram of burnt Basque cheesecake. I didn’t really know about the burnt cheesecake craze because I haven’t really been on Instagram lately – at least not in the food insta world. Mike’s been taking care of our insta account and I’ve been using my secret finsta to follow hand lettering, comics, and all things kawaii.

But, somehow, somewhere, I saw a glorious photo of a cheesecake with a burnished, almost black top, that contrasted with the creamy pure white insides. I was a gonner. I went down a deep Basque cheesecake hole and learned everything I could.

Here’s what I know: Basque cheesecake is relatively new. It was invented in San Sebastian (a seriously good food city – Mike and I are dying to go back) in the 70s, back when they first got Philadelphia cream cheese. They did a bunch of experiments and the one cheesecake they kept coming back to was a crustless, burnished cake that was light yet dense and full of cream cheese flavor. The restaurant that invented it is called La Vina and while there are plenty of recipes online that claim they have the recipe, I just went with an amalgamation of a bunch of different ones because after I went down the Instagram cheesecake hole, I discovered that the Japanese version of Basque cheesecake looks even more amazing because they have the slightest bit of ooze in the middle.

The Easiest Cheesecake You'll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

The Easiest Cheesecake You'll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Unfortunately mine didn’t end up with the ooze – I think I let it go just a touch too long, but it was crazy good anyway. I was a little skeptical of the burnt top because mine was extra burnt, but when I tasted it, it reminded me of the very slightly bitterness of the brûlée on creme brûlée. The actual cake is lightly sweet, with a good amount of cream cheesiness and is just the right amount of dense. I was absolutely in love. I actually lay in bed in the middle of the night contemplating getting up and having a slice at 3 in the morning.

I’m really sad now because the cake is done and over with. It only took me three days to finish the entire thing. The good news is that Basque burnt cheesecakes are incredibly easy to make. There are no water baths, you don’t have to use a finicky springform pan, you can just squish your parchment paper in rustic style, and somehow, magically, you don’t have to worry about cheesecake cracks. All you need to do is remember to have everything at room temp so the cream cheese mixes up nice and smooth.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to be making another one soon. I might make a half batch just because I don’t think I should be eating another entire cheesecake by myself. Maybe I’ll make some cute lil ones and under bake them so they come out more ooze-y in the middle. I can’t wait to experiment! I just wish I bought more blocks of cream cheese while the were on sale last week…

The Easiest Cheesecake You'll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

The Easiest Cheesecake You'll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

The Easiest Cheesecake You'll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe
makes a 6 inch cheesecake


  • 12 ounces very soft cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour, sifted

adapted via Food Wishes and Tasting Table

Heat the oven to 425°F. Take a large piece of parchment paper and press it into a tall 6 inch round cake pan, pleating and pressing where needed, leaving a large overhang.

In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until very smooth and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, one by one, being sure to incorporate completely. Completely whisk in the cream and then sift the tablespoon of flour on top and fold in.

Pour the batter into the pan with the parchment and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a very deep brown. The cake will still look jiggly in the middle, it’ll solidify as it cools. If you’re really going for the burnished look, turn the oven up to 450°F for the last 5 minutes.

Cool in the pan completely then use the parchment overhang to pull out. Gently pull the parchment away from the cake, slice, and enjoy. Cheesecake will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week (if it even lasts that long).

17 Comments

  1. Monika says:

    Thanks for the recipe! The cake looks great! It might be a liittle bit too black on top, the ones I know are just very dark brown and might have spots of black.
    Aren’t all kinds of cheesecake just so good? NY style Japanese fluffy ones, Spanish, French, German…
    I think it’s trending now, because there are some very healthy and protein-rich varieties of this cake and of course because it’s a fresh and yummi delicacy. What’s better than a healthy low calorie dessert that tastes as good as any unhealthy dessert?
    German cheesecake uses Quark/curd and no bottom or a less fatty bottom (a dough, no cookie crumbs).You can make German cheesecake with full-fat cream cheese too but usually you take low-fat curd (Magerquark) it has basically no calories and only proteins. I grew up with this cake and it was a riddle to me as to how a cheesecake could have 1000cal/piece XD (I really thought cheese cake factory wasn’t a real restaurant but a made up thing for TV shows to enhance the image many Europeans had of American recipes. )
    I also tried vegan cheese cakes with tofu (fresh cold ones with silken tofu and baked ones too), both were really good. They did remind me of cheesecake but didn’t have the characteristic crumbly fresh cheese taste. Of course there are the all those raw vegan cheese cakes too, these are also good in my opinion but veeeery different from what I would call a cheesecake.
    Cheesecake in Switzerland is savory, it’s like a cheese quiche. (if you say NY cheesecake though, people know what you mean).

    1. Stephanie says:

      heehee it did end up a bit too black on top >_< i wasn't watching it :) you're absolute right, ALL cheesecakes are good. i haven't really tried any vegan ones, but i love tofu so they sound kinda amazing. also the german one sound really good too – no fat only protein!??! i don't think we have magerquark here though...

      1. Monika says:

        I’m sure it was still very delicious, it looks moist inside not dry. :)
        Oh yeah it is, I did a very fresh silken tofu cake with blueberries and baked tofu cake NY style with strawberry sauce. Depends on the recipe but it’s basically just eggs and low-fat curd (if you sub the sugar for xylith or sth alike, it’s just proteins), I love to add frozen berries to give it more juice, sweetness and acidity.
        Quark is a kind of fresh cheese.. maybe curd? Someone from the US once told me, that they had Quark and they’d even call it Quark but I don’t know whether it was high or low fat. there are many different ones.
        Magerquark has 65cal per 100g, 9g are protein, <0.01g are fat, so yeah, the only fat in that cakes comes from the egg yolk.

  2. Sara Moore says:

    I wonder if this could be made gluten free with GF flour and use sucralose instead of sugar? Any ideas?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi sara,
      i haven’t tried with either, so i can’t really say, but please let me know if you give it a try :)

    2. Mari C. says:

      I think it’s worth trying with coconut flour. Do you have it in your area?
      Inspiring post. Thank you!

  3. Karin Jackson says:

    Just pulled mine out of the oven. Looks so perfect. Can’t wait to eat with my daughters on our “Sunday Funday”.

    1. Stephanie says:

      oooh YAY!!!! i hope you guys loved it :)

  4. Meaghan Charlebois says:

    SO yummy!! I am the only one in the house/my family who will eat cheesecake so I won’t make this too often. I made a half batch and put in to a mini muffin tin for 2 bite cakes. Will serve them with tea & coffee for company this afternoon but they look good!

    1. Bel says:

      Do you know if I can substitute the heavy cream with yoghurt?

      1. Stephanie says:

        i haven’t tried with yoghurt, but i think it would work. let me know if you try it :)

  5. Nicole says:

    Beautiful. Was thinking of making this for Passover tomorrow—if I’m using almond/nut flour instead of regular, how should I adjust for measure?

  6. Truly the easiest way to make a cheesecake. It’s looking yum, I just can’t wait to try it. I am a foodie and I love to cook and bake. This recipe is actually unique to me, I have never heard of burnt basque cheesecake. Anyways, now I will try this cake at home, and I’ll definitely let you know. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  7. Teri says:

    I just made this and it is SO GOOD. So much easier than making a Japanese cotton cheesecake and no need for the crusty springform pans! Now, any idea to make a fruity version of this? I’m wondering if I could incorporate a fruit puree (ie it’s peach season) and make it a fruity cheesecake instead.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi teri,
      yay so glad you liked it :) i love the creamy dense-ness of it, maybe even more than japanese cheesecake. plus, they’re obsessed with basque cheesecake in japan too! for a fruity version i think you can just swirl fruit in or just top it after it’s done :)

  8. Maria Samson says:

    Hi i made the mistake of using heavy whipping cream instead of heavy cream. You think it will turn out ok??

    1. Stephanie says:

      yes, they’re the same! hope it was delicious :)

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