San Sebastian Cheesecake

1 hour 30 min.
With a traditional San Sebastian cheesecake, you can dream yourself away to the Basque Country’s summer warmth and sweet desserts. Indulge in a slice (or two) of this delicious goodness with its creamy, custardy center and crackly, caramelized top. It is garnished stunningly with a fruit sauce and fresh ripe strawberries. Get ready to indulge in a new dessert sensation!


4 portions




  • Cheesecake:

  • Baking:

  • Serving:


Make sure to use high-quality ingredients to get a rich and creamy cheesecake. Mix the ingredients thoroughly to ensure a smooth batter. But be careful not to overmix it, or you will end up with a dense cake. Bake it in a preheated oven at a high temperature and use a mould with tall sides, as the batter will rise while baking and could overflow if the sides are too low. Do not open the oven door while the cheesecake is baking, as this can cause it to deflate and crack.

Bake the cheesecake until the edges are set and the centre is slightly jiggly. The best way to check if it is done is by gently shaking the cake mould. If the centre jiggles slightly, the cheesecake is done. Another method is to insert a toothpick into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done.

Questions about San Sebastian cheesecake

If you are looking for the best San Sebastian cheesecake recipe, look no further. Before preparing this delicious, baked dessert, read below to find out more about it.
What is Basque cheesecake?

San Sebastian cheesecake also known as Basque cheesecake is a baked dessert originating from the Basque region between the border of Spain and France. It is characterised by its almost burnt, caramelised exterior and creamy, gooey custard-like interior. The cake is baked at high temperatures, which creates a distinctive crackled surface and is traditionally served without a crust. It is made from cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and cream and is often flavoured with vanilla or lemon. A creamy San Sebastian cheesecake is a popular dessert option for those who enjoy a creamy and decadent cake with a balance of sweetness and tanginess.

How to make San Sebastian cheesecake?

Mix icing sugar and cream cheese for 5-6 minutes until the sugar dissolves completely. Then, add one egg at a time, whisking each egg into the mixture before adding the next. Finally, add cream and vanilla extract, mix well, and fold in the flour. Line a mould with baking paper, pour in the mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 45-60 minutes. Let the cake cool in the oven with the door open for 1 hour before removing it to cool to room temperature for at least 8 hours. Decorate with fruit sauce and strawberries before serving.

What to serve with San Sebastian cheesecake?

Serving the classic San Sebastian cheesecake with fruit sauce and fresh strawberries is a popular combination. The fruit sauce adds a touch of tartness and freshness to the rich and creamy texture of the cake, while the fresh strawberries provide a juicy sweet contrast with bright red colours.

Why is my San Sebastian cheesecake not burnt?

If your San Sebastian cheesecake is not burnt as it should be, there could be several factors to consider. First, check the oven temperature and ensure that it is set correctly. It should also be fully preheated. It is also important to use the regular oven setting instead of the fan setting so it gets heat both from the top and bottom at the same time. Baking for the wrong amount of time can also result in a cheesecake that is not burnt but still baked. Also, make sure the baking paper is trimmed, as it will shield the top of the cheesecake from the heat if it is too high above the rim of the pan.

How long does San Sebastian cheesecake last?

Basque cheesecake will last for 2-4 days in the fridge. If stored in an airtight container, it should maintain its creamy texture and rich flavour. However, it is best consumed within the first 2 days for the best taste and texture. After baking, let it cool to room temperature before wrapping it tightly with cling film or foil. Then transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the fridge until you need it.

Can you freeze San Sebastian cheesecake?

Yes, you can freeze San Sebastian cheesecake for 2-3 months. It is a great option if you want to store the cake for longer than a few days or if you want to make it in advance. To freeze the cake, wrap it tightly with cling film or foil once it has cooled. Then place it in an airtight container and transfer it to the freezer.

Other recipes you will love

Classic burnt Basque cheesecake with cream cheese

Sure to turn heads and leave a lasting impression on your taste buds, this classic burnt Basque cheesecake is a dessert that is like no other. This cake originates from the Basque region bordering Southern France and Spain, and it is also called a San Sebastian cheesecake, named after the city in which it was invented.

Unlike the traditional, smooth, and creamy cheesecake, this version has a slightly crunchy exterior that gives way to a rich and creamy custard-like interior. The top of the cake is caramelised, giving it a beautiful burnt appearance, and adding a touch of caramel flavour to the mix. It is sweet but not too sweet, and it has just the right balance of tanginess from the cream cheese.

Whether you are a fan of traditional cheesecake or looking for something new, this cake is worth trying. Bake yourself a classic burnt Basque cheesecake and enjoy a new way to enjoy this well-known and loved cake type.

Sweet fruit sauce and fresh strawberries

A sweet fruit sauce paired with fresh ripe strawberries on top of a rich, creamy, caramelised cheesecake is the cherry on top of an already delicious dessert! The sweet fruit sauce is the perfect addition to the Basque cheesecake. It adds a touch of tartness and freshness that balances the richness of the cake while adding a pop of colour to the dessert. The fresh strawberries complete the cake and provide a sweet contrast to its rich and creamy texture. The fresh and fruity Basque cheesecake topping is a winning combination that elevates the dessert and makes each bite a little more special.

If you love strawberries in cakes and desserts, you should try our recipes for a strawberry and cream trifle, fresh fruit salad with whipped cream, or easy mini cheesecakes garnished with fresh strawberries.

Baked Basque San Sebastian cheesecake

This classic dessert is a staple in Basque cuisine and has been winning the hearts of foodies all over the world since its invention in the late 90s. The Basque San Sebastian cheesecake recipe is similar to a New York-style cheesecake but without the crust – it is baked and left to set until it gets the characteristic moist, smooth, and dense texture of a baked cheesecake.

The original Basque San Sebastian cheesecake is a must-try for anyone who loves a good cheesecake and wants to try a baked version with a flavourful, almost burnt, top. With its simple ingredients and easy preparation method, it is a dessert that is sure to impress.

Make it your own

For Ramadan, give the traditional Basque cheesecake a Middle Eastern twist with delicious pistachios. It is the perfect fusion of flavours from two aromatic and flavourful cuisines with a lovely nutty taste and texture. To make a pistachio Basque cheesecake, follow the instructions in the recipe and fold freshly ground pistachio into the cake batter. With a beautifully caramelised top and a creamy, pistachio-infused centre, it is a cake that demands seconds. The pistachios in this cheesecake not only add a beautiful green colour to the cake but also enhance its flavour. The nutty taste of the pistachios blends perfectly with the tangy cream cheese, making the pistachio Basque cheesecake a hit with dessert-lovers of all ages.

Tasty. Yummy. Good!

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