Basque burnt cheesecake

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Basque burnt cheesecake recipe

I was convinced that the cheesecake from my second cookbook was the best. It took a bit of work to get it to the right consistency. I wanted it heavy but light and not cloyingly sweet. A friend even entered it into the best cheesecake in Johannesburg competition and it won. I was affirmed that at least it was very good. Until I tested this Basque burnt cheesecake. Now I’m convinced this is cheesecake heaven and it is the culmination of a slight obsession.

I first ate it in January Basque burned cheesecake at Tjing Tjing Momiji as part of the dessert plate and I wept a little. It was so perfect. They made mini versions which were also baked in the signature roughly folded baking paper and served with a sour cherry compote.

This cheesecake really doesn’t need anything but if it did, a tart cherry sauce is all I could imagine it would be. The pastry chef generously told me the origins of the recipe and I think I wept again. More joy.

Basque burnt cheesecake recipe

On my first test 4 months ago, I used the original recipe from  La Viña in San Sebastian It’s all over the internet as Basque burnt cheesecake but it’s also in the cookbook Basque Country by Marti Buckley which I absolutely adore.

I halved the quantities for that test and baked it in a smaller pan at the very high temp recommended. This resulted in it being too burnt on the outside and too runny in the middle.

Further research assured me that it was meant to be like this, but I wanted it to be cooked through and set. More Googling (I told you this was an obsession) and I got to the Bon Appetit version which had slightly tweaked quantities with less sugar, an extra egg, and very precise instructions to make it. The texture in the pic looked like what I wanted.

Basque burnt cheesecake recipe

A few tips to consider when making Basque burnt cheesecake:

  1. Oven temperature: The tricky bit comes in with the time in the oven and the temperature. I baked it at 180C / 350F fan for about 50 minutes longer than the recipe. I think my oven runs cool, especially on the fan, and the 180C fan is in fact 180C/350F. When I baked it on the conventional setting for round 2, the top element burnt the cheesecake, so I prefer to use the fan for more of an even bake. I watched it like a hawk and took it out after 1 hour and 50 minutes when I was 100% convinced it was cooked through despite it still being very jiggly. It puffs up like a souffle and then deflates fairly dramatically as it cools and it absolutely must do this.
  2. Baking time: I know I’m banging on and on here about this but it’s a very expensive cheesecake to make so you don’t want to mess it up. My advice is to follow the Bon Appetit recipe precisely as I did and then bake it at a lower temp for longer until you get the colour that I (and BA) achieved. Or do what they did but then don’t blame me if something goes wrong. Remove, cool, and allow to fully set in a cool room or a fridge overnight.
  3. I found that using a more expensive cream cheese such as Philadelphia cream cheese really made a difference. Make sure your cream cheese is full fat

I’ve shamelessly copied the recipe off of the BA website just making it metric (and correcting some grammar). Doesn’t it drive you bonkers when you see imperial recipes? I’ve adjusted the method to my lower temperature, but you could just follow the instruction on Bon Appetit if you prefer.

Basque burnt cheesecake recipe

Basque burnt cheesecake

This is a recipe for the famous Basque burnt cheesecake with the Bon Appetit tweaks. I have converted this to metric measurements and baked it for longer at a slightly lower temperature. 
Print Recipe
Basque burnt cheesecake recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour 40 minutes


  • 1 kg / 2 lb. cream cheese room temperature
  • cups sugar
  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 500 ml / 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cake flour / all-purpose flour


  • Place a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 180C / 350F fan-assisted. Line the pan with 2 overlapping sheets of baking paper in your 25-26cm spring-form baking tin, making sure the paper comes at least 5cm above the top of the pan on all sides.
  • Because the paper needs to be pleated and creased in some areas to fit in the pan, you won’t end up with a clean, smooth outer edge to the cake; that’s okay! Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-low speed, scraping downsides of the bowl, until very smooth, no lumps remain, and the sugar has dissolved about 2 minutes.
  • Increase the speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating each egg for 15 seconds before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then reduce the mixer speed to medium-low. Add cream, salt, and vanilla and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Turn off the mixer and sift flour evenly over the cream cheese mixture. Beat on low speed until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat until the batter is very smooth, homogenous, and silky about 10 seconds.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake cheesecake until deeply golden brown on top and still very jiggly in the center, 1.5 hours to 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly (it will fall drastically as it cools), then unmold. Let cool completely. Carefully peel away the parchment from the sides of the cheesecake. Using a knife that you have dipped into hot water and wiped dry (if you want a clean edge), slice into wedges and serve at room temperature, preferably with a glass of sherry alongside.
  • This cheesecake can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 4 – 5 days


Use a 25cm - 26cm (10 ") springform baking tin 
Author: Sam Linsell

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Basque burnt cheesecake recipe




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  1. Christina Colbert says:

    What size/type of pan are you using? Springform? Please advise. Thank you in advance.

  2. Hi Christina – thanks for pointing that out and I have just updated the recipe. Use a 25cm – 26cm (10 “) springform baking tin.

  3. Hi Sam, the cheesecake looks amazing !
    If I halve the ingredients, how long do you think it’ll need to be in the oven ?
    Alison x

  4. Gwynn Smith says:

    I am so pleased to see that you have done all the hard work and shared a tried and tested recipe. I bake when I am stressed so with lockdown have become a bit of a baking fiend. This cake was next on my list, so pleased you have noted all the pitfalls and advised accordingly. I will report back on my attempt ?

  5. That looks superb. I’m going to try it for a Father’s Day gift from me to me, which in fact will be enjoyed more by my wife, who loves baked cheesecake. We’ll all be winners ?

  6. What if you don’t have a paddle attachment?

  7. I love your new feature of allowing for recipes to be up scaled! I must admit that most of the time I half recipes, especially if it is a dessert or sweet treat to limit the amount of unhealthy foods. I have the cutest little antique baking tins in sizes 15, 17 and 18 cm. I just adjust the baking time as needed. I love to experiment and try out new recipes but don’t want to waste ingredients if a recipe isn’t successful. Then a question on the heavy cream – I think I have read that when “heavy cream” is listed in overseas recipes it is often the fat content of what we use in South Africa as “normal cream” (perhaps clover or woolies whipping cream . What cream did you use? Would the “Woolies double thick cream” be fine to use? I really enjoy your blog, you have the most amazing talent! Warm regards

  8. Hi Colleen, I’d say just use the whipping attachment but whip it less than the recipe. I haven’t tested it with it so I can’t say exactly

  9. Sounds like an excellent win-win situation to me Andrew 🙂 and happy fathers day for Sunday.

  10. HI Gwynn, I hope its a success and just keep an eye on the top and its largely about knowing your oven

  11. Thanks for the kind word Mariette and its a good idea to halve this recipe as it’s very rich and expensive to make so a little goes a long way. Woollies Double-thick is the same as heavy cream. I actually used 1 x whipping cream and 1 x double-thick but either or will do.


  12. Definitely trying t hi s out Sam!!! ?

  13. Hi Sam. I’d also like to know the baking time if you half the recipe?

  14. Hi Hesca, I haven’t tested it for half a recipe other than my first fail. But I Googled this for you and they made half:

    Personally, as I say I prefer to bake it longer at a lower temperature so I would guestimate around 1 hour to 1 hour 10 for a half recipe. I don’t like the very scorched top the very high temps deliver but that is my personal preference.There are a plethora of versions of this recipe on line as its quite famous so perhaps read through a few and then come up with a plan.


  15. Hesca Joubert says:

    I made it tonight after watching the Bon Appetit video to see how much it should jiggle. 60 mins looked right, but 50 might have been better. Will demold and cut it tomorrow. Fingers crossed that an hour was the sweet spot!

  16. HI Hesca. I hope it worked out for you and a pleasure

  17. Gary Walker says:

    Hi Sam thank you for a wonderful recipe.Mine came out perfect and looks exactly like yours in the picture!

  18. I’m so impressed Gary that is incredible. How long did you bake it for and at what temp?

  19. Hey Sam !! Its looks so tasty:)))) what do you think with which cheese I can change the creamcheese?

  20. Hi Ram, you cant change the cream cheese in this recipe its basically only cream cheese.

  21. Hi Sam! Can I replace 1 cup of the heavy cream with sour cream? I like my cheesecakes with a little bit of tartness.

  22. Hi Sam! Can I change 1 cup of heavy cream with sour cream? I like my cheesecakes with a little bit of tartness.

  23. Hi Sam trying this recipe on Thursday….a cut abive my usual cheesecake recipe! Will let you know the ‘tasters’ comments….will use normal pick n pay whipping cream im sure that’ ll work?

  24. HI Mir, whipping cream will work. In my experience, Philadelphia cream cheese is the best here and I know that makes it extremely expensive.

  25. Have made it for my birthday tomorrow…..ill put in the fridge once its cooled off
    .previously used p n p plain cottage cheese but an experienced caterer remarked the cheese was too liquid y so this time used looks delicious! I used p n p housebrand cream too,,,,works fine! Baked for 1 hr 46 mins…..didnt need longer..lets see the comments tomorrow…..

  26. I made this one again for the 3rd time last night ahead of celebrating due date of my baby today (who is deciding to stay put and still enjoy the cheesecake it seems). It is so easy and keeps so well in fridge for a few days to devour over time. I made half the recipe this time for smaller one and it worked perfectly – still baked for 1.5 hour, just made sure it wasn’t too high in oven.

  27. I’m soo glad this recipe worked out for you Lizelle, its such a winner.

  28. Made my first Basque Burnt Cheesecake yesterday using your recipe but added some lemon curd. It was so good. I looked at about 5 different recipes before I settled on this one. I baked it at 180 for 90min and came out perfect. Thank you for sharing, will be making this again

  29. So glad it worked out for you Ann as its an expensive one to mess up (I know because my first one did). Its such a good cheesecake

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