Perfectly smooth, creamy vanilla cheesecake with a lovely and delicate blueberry filling layer, topped with blueberry swirls and served with blueberry sauce. Not too sweet, not too rich, and no cracks! This is my foolproof method for perfect cheesecake, complete with step-by-step photos and a little video too.
Blueberries inside and on top.
The first thing you'll do for this amazing blueberry cheesecake is to make a blueberry sauce. That sauce will serve as the blueberry flavor for the filling, the lovely swirls on the top, and the sauce for serving. The subtle flavor addition from the lemon juice really enhances the blueberry's flavor and also helps contribute natural pectin to help the sauce to thicken and become jam-like. Sauce will thicken a bit more as it cools, so keep that in mind. I like to cook it until I can draw a line in the bottom of the pot with my spatula and it takes 1-2 seconds for the line to disappear.
Don't skimp on the fat.
Full fat dairy products are essential in this recipe to maintain a perfectly creamy texture to the cheesecake filling. It's better to eat a smaller slice than to try to save on calories by using lowfat or nonfat cream cheese and sour cream. Trust me, it's worth it.
Room temperature is key.
For best results, please please please make sure that all of the filling ingredients are completely room temperature. The ingredients incorporate much better this way, and it also helps it to bake evenly when the filling doesn't start out cold. The texture is so much smoother and lighter when made with room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs. Trust me. This also goes for the blueberry sauce. Don't add cold blueberry sauce to the filling mixture or it will cause the blueberry filling layer to bake slower than the vanilla layer.
Hot water bath = no cracks.
I've resisted the hot water bath for cheesecake many times now because the dreaded possibility of leakage, however I recently came across a game-changing tip for avoiding leakage: oven bags!
The purpose of the hot water bath is to keep the baking temperature around the cheesecake filling VERY consistent and even, ensuring that the cheesecake bakes all the way through without the outside overbaking or resulting in a cracked surface. It may sound daunting, but once you've done it once, you'll understand how simple it actually is and how absolutely worth it the process is.
To have a successful water bath, your main priority is to avoid the hot water from leaking into the springform pan. No matter if your pan was advertised as "water-tight", trust me, it's not worth the risk. The best results I've had come from wrapping the OUTSIDE of the pan with a few layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil (regular foil tears too easily), and then placing the foil-wrapped pan into an oven roasting bag like you would use to roast a turkey. The bagged and foiled pan is then placed into a roasting pan for the baking process, and the boiling water can just be poured into the roasting pan with no leaking problems thanks to the foil + bag prep.Print
Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake
Layers of perfectly baked vanilla and blueberry-swirled cheesecake encased in a crunchy graham cracker crust topped with blueberry sauce make this the most perfect cheesecake ever. Not too rich, not too dense, not too sweet, completely addicting.
I've broken down the steps into every detail so you can master this cheesecake perfectly too!
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Total Time: 14 hours
- Yield: Serves 12 1x
- Category: Dessert
For the blueberry sauce-
1 pound (4 cups) frozen blueberries (fresh work great too if they're in season)
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn starch
For the crust-
1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs (230g, about 15 full size graham crackers)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
For the filling-
32 ounces (4 blocks, 907g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar
⅔ cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
9-inch springform pan
heavy-duty aluminum foil
oven bag (the type used for roasting turkeys)
large roasting pan
Prepare the blueberry sauce-
In a medium saucepan, combine frozen blueberries, sugar, water, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Heat over medium heat until boiling. Continue cooking on medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly for about 5-7 minutes until thickened and jam-like. Let cool to room temperature.Prepare the crust-
Preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange an oven rack into the center position.
Wrap the OUTSIDE of a 9-inch springform pan with 3-4 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. This is to help waterproof the pan from the hot water bath. Do not skip this step.Spray the inside of the pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with circle of parchment paper and spray the parchment as well.In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt until all of the crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Firmly press crumb mixture into prepared pan, forming a crust that reaches halfway up the sides of the pan. Be sure the bottom has a nice thick, even layer.Bake crust in preheated oven for 10 minutes until just beginning to brown. Be very careful not to tear the foil when transferring pan to/from oven.Let crust cool while you prepare the filling.
Prepare for the water bath-
Place the foil-wrapped springform pan in an oven bag (the kind used for roasting turkeys), just to cover the bottom and sides of the pan (do not close the bag over the top). Trim the bag as needed. Set wrapped pan into a large roasting pan. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. (Do not add water to pan yet.) Keep oven set at 325°F.Prepare the filling-
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (an electric hand mixer will work also), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until very smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat until very smooth and light, about 3 minutes.
Add sour cream and vanilla, beating until very smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined and smooth, scraping bowl down really well. Do not overbeat once eggs have been added. Add half of filling mixture to a separate mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of room temperature blueberry sauce and gently fold in until combined.Pour the blueberry filling mixture into the baked crust. (The pan should be wrapped with foil and an oven bag, and sitting in the roasting pan at this point.)Gently pour the remaining filling mixture on top of the blueberry filling.Add several small dollops of blueberry sauce to the top of the filling, using a toothpick to create a swirl pattern on the surface. Refrigerate remaining blueberry sauce until ready to serve.Very carefully, transfer the roasting pan with the cheesecake to the middle rack of the oven. Immediately pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, being very careful not to let water get into the oven bag or onto the cheesecake. The water level should reach halfway up the side of the springform pan.
Bake for 1 hour 35 minutes, or until center just barely wobbles when you move the pan (it could take up to 15 additional minutes). Turn oven off and prop oven door open an inch or two by closing a wooden spoon into the door. Let cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour before removing springform pan to a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.When cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, remove aluminum foil from outside of pan and refrigerate at least 12 hours or until completed chilled through. Once chilled, remove sides of springform pan, slice, and serve with remaining blueberry sauce.
Keywords: blueberry swirl cheesecake, blueberry cheesecake