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If you love good cheesecake then you will be head over heels for this incredible Cheddar Cheesecake. It’s a sweet dessert made with mature nutty cheddar to create a rich luxurious cheesecake filling with deep flavour. Baked into a crisp buttery biscuit base. This is a dessert which will seriously impress and even better it’s a cinch to make.
When I ran the cake stall, my customers always asked me which of the bakes I sold on the stall was my favourite. I would smile beatifically and claim that it would be like choosing between my children. How could I possibly have a favourite?
How times have changed. I’m sorry but I’m selling all my other children down the river for one forkful of this gorgeous cheesecake.
The idea of a Cheddar Cheesecake is so interesting and exciting and the good news is that the reality of enjoying a lovely slice does not disappoint, especially for us cheese fanatics. I’m a bit obsessed by this cheesecake if I’m honest, and I’m not the only one.
The cheddar flavour paired with a creamy sweetness is intriguing at first but long before you have finished your first slice you will have become totally addicted. It just seems so right. It hits all the right balance of sweet and savoury notes and you won’t stop thinking about it until every crumb has been finished. Then you might need to bake it again.
Why you’ll love this Cheddar Cheesecake
- All the flavours you adore from your favourite cheddar are present.
- It’s a sweet dessert but the cheddar gives it a savoury tang that will keep you coming back for more.
- The sweet cheddar filling sits within a crisp buttery biscuit crust for an ideal texture contrast.
- It’s easy to make, perfect if you need to make a dessert in advance and is guaranteed to become the centre of conversation when you serve it.
The golden rules of making a perfect cheesecake
Cheesecakes are so easy to make provided you follow a few necessary rules:
- You must use a springform tin. Otherwise there’s just no way of getting that cheesecake out.
- Pre-bake your crust so it doesn’t go soggy.
- Bake your cheesecake in a waterbath for no-cracking and a lovely texture.
- Cool your cheesecake slowly and thoroughly.
What ingredients do we need?
- Cheddar cheese – for a cheesecake with full on cheddar flavour use a really good quality cheese. Dry, nutty and of medium – strong maturity.
- Cream cheese – it adds creaminess to the filling. For the best cheesecake you must use full-fat.
- Sour cream – that dairy tang is a perfect match for the rich cheese flavour.
- Caster sugar – we use just enough for sweetness but not too much that it tempers the cheddar.
- Cornflour (cornstarch) – it makes the cheesecake a little lighter and creamier. Essential since otherwise the filling could be a bit dense.
- Vanilla extract – use good quality extract for pure vanilla taste. I like Neilsen Massey
- Eggs – medium, free range.
And for the biscuit base
- Biscuits – this recipe uses gluten-free oat biscuits for the cheesecake crust. However you could use digestives, graham crackers or hobnobs. Although if I really want to push the boat out I’ll use these Homemade Digestive Biscuits.
- Unsalted butter – for a gorgeous buttery flavour. You can use salted but then leave out the salt.
- Salt – to balance out the flavours.
How do you make Cheddar Cheesecake?
For full recipe instructions go to the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Make the biscuit crust. Whizz up the biscuits and salt in a food processor then pour in melted butter until it combines with the biscuit to become a thick sandy texture. Press into a springform tin and bake.
- Make the filling. Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the crust.
- Bake in a waterbath. Double wrap the baking tin so the water doesn’t seep into the cheesecake then place in a larger tin and fill the outside tin with water until the water level goes halfway up the cheesecake.
- Cool the cheesecake. Cool in the oven for the first hour then finish cooling on the kitchen counter before transferring to the fridge to chill overnight before serving.
Tips for a perfect biscuit crust
- Pulse the biscuit crumbs in the food processor for more even crumbling. Another method is to place the biscuits in a clear plastic food bag and bash with a rolling pin. This is a surprisingly effective method.
- Let the butter cool slightly before mixing with the biscuit crumbs, this will prevent the biscuit base from becoming greasy.
- No need to grease the springform tin.
- Pack the crust into the tin with a straight sided glass tumbler, then it’s easy to move the crust up the sides of the tin.
- The crust is pre-baked for 10 minutes so it sets firm giving a solid base for the cheesecake filling which won’t crumble when you cut it.
Tips for making the filling
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature so they blend together evenly.
- Try not to over mix the filling once the eggs are added.
- Pour the filling into the cheesecake crust once the tin has been double wrapped and placed in the waterbath. That way the filling won’t spill around as you’re sorting out the tin.
How to bake a cheesecake in a waterbath
Baking the cheesecake in a waterbath helps prevent cracking and is very important to allow the cheesecake to bake evenly. Springform tins are not watertight so you need to make sure to wrap a double layer of foil around the tin so the water doesn’t get in.
BEST LEAKPROOF TIP! However, to ensure absolutely no water has a chance of getting near your cheesecake then the best tip is use a slow cooker liner. Place the tin (wrapped in foil) inside a slow cooker liner. You can tie the excess liner up at the side or fold down it that’s easier. These liners are absolutely watertight and oven proof. Plus you can re-use them again and again.
Place the double wrapped tin in either a larger cake tin or roasting tray with high sides.
Pour just boiled water into the outside tin so that the water level is halfway up the sides of the cheesecake. Place in the oven and bake for the directed amount of time.
How to cool the cheesecake
It’s important to cool the cheesecake slowly which prevents it from cracking.
After it’s finished baking, turn off the oven but don’t open the door and leave the cheesecake in the warm oven for 30 minutes to cool down slowly.
Even then, don’t take the cheesecake out but crack open the oven door and leave it in there for another 30 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven, take it out of the waterbath then leave on the kitchen counter, still in its tin but on a wire rack, to cool at room temperature.
Finally place your cheesecake, still in the tin, in the fridge to chill and firm for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Remove the cheesecake from the tin and serve.
How to serve Cheddar Cheesecake
Serve your Cheddar Cheesecake with freshly whipped double cream (slightly sweetened with a whisper of icing sugar) and some fresh fruit.
Or you could drizzle a fresh fruit compote over the cheesecake when serving. I like apricot compote, as the combination of nutty cheddar and fragrant apricot is divine.
Strawberry, blueberry or even cherry compote also work well
Try adding some nuts into the biscuit base. Just swap out 25g of the biscuits for 25g of walnuts or hazelnuts and add them to the food processor along with the biscuits. This small difference punctures the richness of the cheddar with a lovely nutty base note.
Can you make it in advance?
Actually you need to make it in advance as it requires an overnight stay in the fridge before you can even remove it from the tin. You can make it up to 3 days ahead and just keep it in its tin in the fridge until ready to serve.
How to store leftovers
Cheesecake must be kept in the fridge. The best tip on storing leftover cheesecake is to place the springform tin back around the cheesecake. Then cover the top with foil or even place a plate over the top. This protects it really well in the fridge from being knocked around.
Can you freeze it?
Cheesecake freezes really well for up to 2 months. If you are freezing a whole cheesecake then place it in the freezer still in its springform tin. Freeze it overnight then remove from the tin and wrap well in clingfilm and foil and place back into the freezer to store.
You can also freeze leftover slices layered in airtight containers with baking parchment between the layers.
To defrost the whole cheesecake, unwrap from the cling film and foil then place in the fridge overnight before serving.
Individual slices take about 1-2 hours to defrost on the kitchen counter. However, if you can’t wait that long, a slightly frozen cheesecake is an absolutely sublime treat.
I urge you to give this unique Cheddar Cheesecake a try. If you do then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own culinary creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.
- 250 g oat biscuits - I use gluten-free
- 90 g unsalted butter
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 300 g cheddar cheese - grated
- 300 g cream cheese
- 120 g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornflour - cornstarch
- 60 ml sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs - medium
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C /150°C fan assisted oven / gas mark 3.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and leave to cool for a few minutes whilst you prepare the biscuit crumbs.
- Whizz up the biscuits and salt in a food processor then, with the mixer still on, pour in the melted butter until it combines with the biscuit to become a thick sandy texture.
- Press the biscuit base into an 8 inch springform tin using the bottom of a glass with straight sides and push the base slightly up the sides of the tin.
- Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- Turn the oven temperature down to 150°C / 130°C fan assisted oven /gas mark 2.
- Make the filling by beating the grated cheddar with the cream cheese, sugar and cornflour (cornstarch) in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.
- Add sour cream and vanilla and mix in completely.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix until just combined.
- Wrap the springform tin with two layers of aluminium foil so there are no gaps then place the wrapped tin into a slow cooker liner (see notes).
- Place the springform tin in a larger baking tin with tall sides.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture into the baked crust.
- Pour hot water into the larger cake tin so it goes halfway up the sides of the cheesecake.
- Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door shut for 30 minutes.
- Open the door of the oven so that it is slightly ajar and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and out of the waterbath to cool completely. Keep it still in its tin but place on a wire rack.
- Finally when the cheesecake is at room temperature (after a couple of hours) then place in the fridge, still in its tin, to thoroughly chill. At least 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Remove the cheesecake from the springform tin and serve.
- Use very good quality cheddar. The strength of the cheese is up to you. I like a mature cheddar for good flavour.
- For the biscuits you can use your favourite gluten-free oat biscuits, graham crackers, digestive biscuits. Or even these Homemade Digestive Biscuits. I used Nairns Gluten-Free Biscuit Breaks Oats & Syrup.
- You don’t need to grease the tin.
- Pulse the biscuits in the food processor for even crumbs.
- Allow the butter to cool slightly before adding to the crumbs.
- Use a glass tumbler or a measuring cup with straight sides. Press the buttered crumbs into the base and push up the sides in an even layer. Use the glass tumbler to press the crust in firmly.
- Make sure the ingredients for the cheesecake filling are at room temperature.
- The cheesecake is baked in a waterbath for even cooking and to prevent cracking. Springform tins are not watertight so you need to double wrap the outside of the tin in foil so no water has a chance of leaking into your cheesecake. For double safety then place your wrapped tin in a slow cooker liner which are completely leakproof and ovenproof.
- Place the wrapped tin in a roasting tin with high sides or a larger cake tin. Fill the outside tin with water before placing in the oven.
Make AheadYou can make the cheesecake up to 3 days ahead. Keep the cheesecake in the springform tin to protect it whilst in the fridge.
- The cheesecake freezes well for up to 2 months. If you are freezing a whole cheesecake then place it in the freezer still in its springform tin. Freeze it overnight then remove from the tin and wrap well in clingfilm and foil and place back into the freezer to store.
- You can also freeze leftover slices layered in airtight containers with baking parchment between the layers.
- To defrost the whole cheesecake, unwrap from the cling film and foil then place in the fridge overnight before serving.
- Individual slices take about 1-2 hours to defrost on the kitchen counter.