Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake is a decadent dessert that is soo satisfying. The perfect balance of tangy, creamy, and sweet, with the best homemade graham cracker crust.
Blueberry swirl cheesecake- hello, beautiful! OK, so I have been on a cheesecake mission these last few weeks. I think I've tweaked and tried the recipe at least 7 times in search of the elusive, CRACK-FREE, perfectly baked, and oh so dangerously delicious cheesecake. Now that I've found the perfect recipe that resulted in literally THE best cheesecake I've ever had, I am SO excited to share it with you so that you, too can experience this magnificent blueberry swirl cheesecake.
BLUEBERRY SWIRL CHEESECAKE INGREDIENTS:
- Blueberries: Fresh or frozen. No need to thaw if using frozen.
- Granulated sugar: Just a little to bring out the natural sweetness in the blueberries.
- Fresh lemon juice: Never bottled!
- Cornstarch: For a thicker sauce, whisk the cornstarch with fresh lemon juice and a little warm before adding to the blueberries.
Graham cracker crust:
- Graham cracker crumbs: You need 1 and ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs which is about 10 full sheets of graham crackers. You can also use premade graham cracker crumbs which can be found in the baking aisle at most grocery stores.
- Granulated sugar
- Butter: Melted and slightly cooled. Unsalted or salted butter is fine since the filling isn't very salty.
- Cream cheese: Full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. Softened to room temperature.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour: Helps to stabilize the filling and also helps prevent cracks.
- Sour cream: Full-fat and room temperature (or at least not cold. I usually take the sour cream out of the fridge at the same time as the cream cheese.)
- Eggs: Room temperature is crucial for cheesecake! Take the eggs out of the fridge at least 1 hour before using them, or to quickly bring the eggs to room temperature you can place them in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5-10 minutes.
- Vanilla extract: Pure or imitation is fine.
- Lemon juice: Fresh-squeezed, please!
HOW TO AVOID CRACKS IN CHEESECAKES
- Don't open the oven door to peek at your cheesecake during baking. I know it's tempting, but cheesecake does not like sudden changes in temperature. Not one bit. And what cheesecake wants, cheesecake gets
- Use a water bath: Waterbaths help to cook the cheesecake more evenly and control the temperature. To make a water bath, place your springform pan in a large roasting pan filled with 1 - 2 inches of boiling water.
- Avoid overmixing: Overmixing creates pockets of air bubbles that rise to the top during baking and turn into cracks.
- Don't overbake: Overbaking dries the cheesecake out and makes the filling less flexible. When cheesecake is done the sides will be somewhat puffed up and the center will still jiggle slightly.
- Use room temperature ingredients: Room temperature ingredients come together more easily and evenly. Let the cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream sit out on the counter for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours prior to using.
- Don't take the cheesecake out of the oven right away: Turn the oven off and open the door very slightly. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour while it comes to room temperature gradually. Then cool completely on the counter before refrigerating.
- Flour: Adding flour to the filling makes it stronger and adds extra insurance against cracks.
HOW TO MAKE BLUEBERRY SWIRL CHEESECAKE:
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray the inside of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray and wrap multiple layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the bottom and up the sides. Make sure the pan is wrapped very securely so that no water from the water bath is able to seep in.
*Note: No matter how well you wrap your pan with foil, sometimes water still finds a way in and basically ruins an otherwise perfect cheesecake. To make sure there's zero chance of this happening, I always tie a slow-cooker oven liner around the springform pan after wrapping it with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Make the Lemon-Blueberry Sauce:
In a small bowl, whisk warm water, lemon juice, and cornstarch.
Add the fresh or frozen blueberries and sugar to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries start to release their juices, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat, cook, and stir until the sauce is thick. Take the pan off of the heat and strain the warm blueberry sauce through a sieve and into a bowl. Cover and set aside to cool.
Make the Graham Cracker Crust:
Mix the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl or a food processor until combined. It should resemble wet sand. Spread the crust mixture out in the prepared pan and use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it down tightly and evenly in the bottom and slightly up the sides. Prebake the crust for 10 minutes while you make the cheesecake filling.
Make the Cheesecake Filling:
Use a hand-held mixer to beat the room temperature cream cheese, sugar, and flour together until smooth and creamy with no lumps. Add the sour cream and mix until smooth. Mix in the room temperature eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined after each. Add the vanilla extract and fresh lemon juice and mix until smooth.
Pour the filling on top of the prebaked crust. Tap the pan on the counter several times to spread the filling out evenly and to get rid of any trapped air bubbles (which can rise to the surface and turn into cracks).
Dot the top of the cheesecake several times with blueberry sauce and use a chopstick or a butter knife to make a swirl design. Save the rest of the sauce for serving.
Place the springform pan inside a large roasting pan and very carefully pour boiling water around the pan going up about 2 inches around the sides.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, the sides should be slightly puffed up with a 2-3 inch wobbly center.
Turn the oven off, leave the cheesecake in, and barely crack the oven door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour, then take it out of the oven and the water bath and let it cool completely at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until fully set, at least 3 hours, but overnight is best.
Slice the cheesecake using a large, sharp knife, and wipe the knife clean between each slice. Serve cheesecake with the remaining blueberry sauce. You might want to reheat the sauce a little if it’s too thick.
Keep leftovers, covered tightly, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake
- 8 or 9-inch springform pan
- 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons warm water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 and ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 (8 oz.) packages full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Begin boiling water for the water bath.
- Line the bottom of your springform pan with parchment paper and spray the sides with non-stick cooking spray. Wrap the pan with at least 3 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Tie a slow-cooker oven liner around the pan so no water can seep into the pan from the water bath. If you don't have one, wrap the pan with extra layers of heavy-duty foil.
Make the Blueberry Sauce:
- Add the blueberries and sugar to a small saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until the blueberries start to release their juices.
- In a small bowl, whisk the warm water, fresh lemon juice, and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add it to the pan with the blueberries and bring to a boil, stirring constantly and mashing the blueberries as you do. Once boiling, continue to cook and stir until very thick, then strain the sauce through a sieve and into a bowl and set aside.
Make the Graham Cracker Crust:
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl or a food processor until combined. Add the crust to the prepared springform pan and use the bottom of a measuring cup or clean glass to press it evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Prebake the crust for 10 minutes.
Make the Cheesecake Filling:
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, and flour until completely smooth with no lumps of cream cheese. Wipe any lumps off of the mixer and sides of the bowl, then add the room temperature sour cream and mix until smooth. It's important the sour cream isn't too cold or the cream cheese will harden and you'll have lumps in the filling.
- Add the vanilla extract and fresh lemon juice and mix until evenly combined and the filling is completely smooth. Make sure there aren't any lumps at this point because you want to mix as little as possible once the eggs are added.
- Switch to a whisk and mix in the room temperature eggs by hand, one at a time, until just combined after each. Use a rubber spatula to wipe the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pour the filling into the pan over the prebaked crust. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to spread the filling out evenly and release any trapped air bubbles. Spoon small dollops of the blueberry sauce on top of the cheesecake and use a chopstick or a butter knife to make a swirl design. Save the remaining sauce for serving.
- Place the springform pan inside a large roasting pan and very carefully pour the boiling water inside, going up about 2 inches around the sides of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, the sides should be set and puffed up with a 2-3 inch slightly wobbly center.
- Turn the oven off, leave the cheesecake in, and crack the oven door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes-1 hour, then remove from the oven and the water bath and let it cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled to room temperature, refrigerate the cheesecake, still in the springform pan, overnight before slicing and serving.
- The next day, remove the sides of the pan and use a large, sharp knife to slice the cheesecake. Run the knife under very hot water and wipe clean between each slice.
- Cover leftovers and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the cheesecake for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge before serving.