January 1, 2024

Cherry Cheescake

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and leave everyone craving more! This New York style cheesecake strikes the perfect balance, boasting a dense yet creamy texture, crowned with a generous layer of vibrant cherry pie filling or a delectable homemade cherry sauce. But the secret lies in the crust. Trust me on this one! I'm opting for a buttery shortbread crust that elevates the entire dessert.

No fancy chef skills are needed; you can recreate this iconic NYC bakery dessert at home. Below the recipe, you will find some additional tips for mastering this classic dessert in your kitchen.

Recipe Source: Adapted family cheesecake recipe I received from my mother-in-law. Original source unknown. You have probably noticed that I get a lot of my recipes from her. She has so many of our family favorites!

Cherry Cheescake

Savor a dense New York style cheesecake with a velvety filling and a sweet burst of cherry topping.


Anne Voss


Crust Ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter (128g)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (172g)
  • 4.5 tablespoons granulated sugar (63g, equals 4 tablespoons plus 1.5 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (~half to whole lemon, depending on the size)
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 8ounce packages of cream cheese (24 ounces total), room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (~ half to whole lemon, depending on the size)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk


I like cherry pie filling from a can. So I often use that for the topping. Sometimes I make the topping from scratch with the following ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • dash of salt
  • 4 cups cherries (fresh or frozen unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup water



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Attach the side of the pan. Trim off excess paper.
  3. Cut butter into small cubes and chill.
  4. Mix together flour, sugar, and lemon zest.
  5. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly and all the butter is coated in flour. You are looking for pea size crumbs; a mixture with some larger crumbs is okay.
  6. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla extract. The yolk can be a little difficult to distribute, but mix it the best you can. It is okay if there are some clumps of yolk.
  7. Add 1/3 of the crust mixture to the bottom of the baking pan and press evenly over the parchment paper. You only want the crust on the bottom of the pan at this point and no crust on the pan sides.
  8. Carefully remove the sides of the springform pan. Place the bottom of the pan with the crust mixture on a cookie sheet.
  9. Bake crust for 7 minutes at 400°F.
  10. Removed from oven. Let the crust cool completely.
  11. Grease or butter the sides of the springform pan and reattach to the bottom part of the pan containing the cooked crust.
  12. Press the remaining crust dough on the sides of the pan. You want the crust to go up the side of the pan approximately halfway.


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and salt for the filling.
  3. Beat softened cream cheese, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until fluffy using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or handheld mixer. 
  4. Gradually add the sugar mixture into the cream cheese. Mix until well combined.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and add eggs and egg yolk all at once. Beat until just combined.
  6. Add in milk until combined. Don’t overmix.
  7. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust. Tap the pan gently a few times to help pop any air bubbles.


  1. Place the ready to bake cheesecake on a cookie sheet covered with foil or parchment paper. A cookie sheet with a rim is a good idea in case there is any leakage from the pan while baking. It is not uncommon for some of the butter from the crust to ooze out.
  2. Bake in a 450°F oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to 300°F and bake for 50-55 minutes longer until the edges appear cooked but the center jiggles just a little. A very slight jiggle in the center of the cheesecake is okay as it will continue to cook as it cools. You can also test the doneness with a toothpick, but it may cause the cheesecake to crack. Do not overcook or the cheesecake will not have the desired creaminess.
  4. Turn off the oven and open the door. Allow the cheesecake to cool gradually in the oven for 5-8 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and cool cheesecake completely at room temperature.

Wrap and Chill

  1. Once the cheesecake is cooled, you can remove the side of the springform pan. Scrape the sides with a spatula, if needed, to release from the pan.
  2. Do not remove the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Place cheesecake (and pan bottom) on a plate. Cover cheesecake in plastic wrap and chill overnight (see more wrapping tips below)
  4. The next day, you can now easily lift the chilled cheesecake and remove the parchment paper and the bottom of the pan. Transfer the cheesecake to your final serving plate. It is much easier to move when chilled and less likely to break when cold.

Cherry Topping

  1. Use your favorite canned cherry pie filling or make the sauce from scratch.
  2. To make it from scratch combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan.
  3. Stir in water and cherries.
  4. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
  5. Once bubbly, cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour cherry mixture into a bowl to cover and chill until used.
  7. Cover the top of the cheesecake with cherry topping. Served best cold.
  8. Slice and enjoy!

Makes 12 slices.

This website contains affiliate links to Amazon. This means that I may make a small commission if you purchase a product using these links. This is no way affects my opinion of these products. Links are provided to share products I have used when making this recipe.

Recipe Notes

Below you will find tips and tricks to help achieve the best homemade cherry cheesecake.

Much better than the no bake cheesecake recipes, in my opinion.

I also love that this recipe does not contain sour cream. I don't know if it is true, but I think sour cream can make the cheesecake crack while cooling.

close up view of the edge of a whole cheesecake on a serving dish. Crust and cherry topping can be seen.


Cream cheese – it is important to use cream cheese at room temperature so that the cheesecake filling will mix up nicely and be smooth. Cold cream cheese will cause the filling to be chunky. You also want to use full fat cream cheese for the best result and not the reduced fat option.

Lemon zest – contains essential oils and more lemon flavor without being too tart. Avoid adding the bitter pith (the white part underneath the peel).

Supplies Needed

Stand mixer or hand mixer

9-inch springform pan

Pastry blender or fork

Tips and Tricks

Lining the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper makes it easier to remove the cheesecake from the pan.

Press the crust into the pan with the back of a floured spoon or using the bottom of a floured measuring cup. Pressing with your fingers also works well. This is the trickiest and hardest part of the whole recipe. Don't get frustrated. I find using floured fingers works best. It is hard because the crust doesn't always want to press out on the parchment paper. It will work. I promise! Just do your best to cover the bottom of the pan. It doesn't have to be perfect.

If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can cut in the butter with a fork by squishing the butter through the fork tines.

If you love crust, like I do, you can double the crust to have a thicker bottom crust and a higher crust on the sides.

Once the cheesecake is cool you will want to wrap it for chilling. lace the cheesecake (still on the pan bottom) on a plate. Then place a piece of parchment paper on top of the cheesecake, and lastly cover it with plastic wrap. The parchment paper will help so the top of the cheesecake doesn't stick to the plastic. Some of the cheesecake will stick to the parchment paper, but it will be minimal when you peel it off the next day. It will be fine since you will cover up the top with cherries anyway.

It is also normal for the bottom of the springform pan to feel greasy. The butter from the crust often leaks out a little bit when back and gets under the pan. That is why you need to make sure you make the cheesecake on a secondary pan or cookie sheet. Once the cheesecake is well chilled you can pull up on the edges of the paperment paper and lift up the entire cheesecake. Then just peel the paper off the bottom and it will look beautiful in one piece.

Chill the cheesecake thoroughly to get a dense but smooth texture.

slice of cherry cheesecake being removed from the whole cheesecake. The creamy inside filling and cherry topping are shown.


You can use graham cracker crust if you prefer.

You could also make a cookie crust for the cherry cheesecake recipe, such as Oreo or sandwich cookies. Chocolate and cherry would be a good combination.

As noted above, using canned cherry pie filling makes for an easy cherry cheesecake recipe. I like the Duncan Hines Country Cherry version. One 21-ounce can is plenty to cover the top of the dessert.

overhead view of cherry cheesecake slices on plates ready to be served

How to Store Cheesecake?

Store in the refrigerator.

Cheesecake slices without topping can also be frozen. Wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and then store them inside a Ziploc freezer bag.

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April 28, 2024
Love your recipes. So detailed and pictures are with a thousand words!