AMAZING Basque Burnt Cheesecake - The original recipe for Basque Burnt Cheesecake also known as san sebastián cheesecake from La Viña (the Basque region of Spain) contains simple ingredients. 5 to be precise: Cream cheese, Double cream, sugar, eggs, and a small amount of flour. This Cheesecake is unlike traditional cheesecakes in that it is baked at a high temperature, has a burnt top and a silky rich creamy center. It is simply irresistible!
AMAZING Basque Burnt Cheesecake Recipe
This is the easiest cheesecake recipe and this is also the one time I will ask you to burn a cake. Or rather bake it until it is golden brown and has a caramelised/caramelized top.
This golden creamy, crustless cheesecake is cooked at high heat to give it a burnt look.
This rich cheesecake is supposed to be burnt and sunken with a creamy interior.
The texture of this cheesecake is a cross between a classic American cheesecake and a Japanese souffle cheesecake.
The Basque version is not as dense or rich as the American version but also not as cakey as the Japanese version but it is wonderfully creamy, light and smooth.
The original recipe from La Viña contains just 5 ingredients:
Cream cheese, double cream (heavy cream), sugar, eggs, and flour plain/all purpose flour).
Basque Cheesecake Taste
The original cheesecake is made of queso blanco (white cheese) and a golden caramelised top. It has a creamy centre that is light and moussey and a gorgeous caramel crust.
The flavour is mild and sweet. In this recipe, it is just as much about texture as flavour.
Basque Cheesecake Ingredients
Here is what you will need to make this recipe:
Full-fat cream cheese such as philadelphia cream cheese is what is needed in this creamy cheesecake recipe. The recipe also works with Ricotta, Mascarpone. Just make sure to drain the water out of them first.
This recipe requires 6 large eggs. Make sure they are at room temperature before using.
Also known as Heavy cream. Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche also work.
This adds flavour and works well in cheesecake.
Or All Purpose Flour. Corn Flour also works
This adds a light caramel flavour.
I use Light Brown or Demerara Sugar. You can use Caster, Granulated or Dark Brown Sugar.
how to make burnt Basque cheesecake recipe
The foolproof recipe is as simple as it gets. Full recipe instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page. Here is what you need to do:
Preheat oven to 220C/435F/Gas Mark 7.
Line a 20cm/8 inch loose bottomed tin or springform pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper/baking paper by scrunching up large pieces of paper and adding them to the tin. Making sure it comes all the way up the sides.
Beat the Cream Cheese on medium-low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment/electric hand mixer or a whisk until smooth.
Beat in the Sugar, Maple Syrup and Vanilla for 3 - 4 minutes until fully incorporated making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
Stir in Double Cream and beat again till light and creamy.
Add the Eggs 1 by 1, beating in between to incorporate fully before adding the next egg. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down and mix everything together.
Add the Flour to the cheesecake batter and fold in gently.
Pour the batter into the tin and bang the tin on the work surface 2 – 3 times to remove air bubbles.
Then bake for 40 - 50 minutes until the top of the cheesecake is dark golden brown.
Once cooled, rest in the fridge overnight.
To cut the cheesecake, dip the tip of a knife in hot water. Cut a slice of cake and then dry with tissue between each cut.
Top tips on how to make the best Basque Burnt Cheesecake
Use Room temperature Ingredients
Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. It really helps to make the mixture creamy rather then grainy. The Cream should be cold though.
Make sure the paper comes all the way up the sides as the cake will rise before it falls. (A little bit of Craig David for you there).
Full Fat everything
Use full fat cream cheese and double cream. Using light versions of the ingredients won't work in this recipe.
I use Philadelphia Cream Cheese but have also used Supermarket own brands in this recipe before, which have worked too.
You might want to taste your cream cheese first and add a pinch of salt if you think it is needed.
A hand mixer, food processor or blender can be used in place of the stand mixer in this recipe.
Fold in the Flour
When mixing the flour into the batter, you want to be gentle but still incorporate it as fully as you can.
You may find deposits of flour throughout otherwise.
Scrape sides of bowl down
Scrape down the sides of your bowl throughout to make sure everything is fully incorporated.
If your cheesecake isn't colouring, you can turn the heat up towards the end to colour it a little more.
This cake needs fridge time and for best results, I recommend it goes in the fridge overnight.
If you take it out too early, it can seep. It is still safe to eat but I prefer to eat it after it has set a little.
Make it Gluten Free
The Plain Flour can be substituted for Gluten Free or Corn Flour.
You can use Mascarpone or Ricotta instead of Cream Cheese.
You can add some pureed pumpkin to the batter.
You can mix in Chai or Pumpkin Spices to the batter.
Coffee or Chai
You can add Chai or Coffee to the batter by making a syrup using Maple Syrup and the Cream.
Serve with Fruit
Fresh or Poached Fruit works well. Such as poached Rhubarb, Plums or fresh berries work really well with this cheesecake.
Such as Lemon Zest Lime Zest or Orange Zest adds flavour and tang.
Serve with Caramel Sauce instead.
The creamy bit of the Cheesecake is endlessly adaptable
Try using Sour Cream, Plain Yoghurt, Creme Fraiche or Double Cream.
Use Light brown Sugar, Dark Brown Sugar, Caster Sugar or Maple Syrup.
Basque cheesecake keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze Basque Cheesecake?
To freeze the cheesecake as a whole, let it cool completely, then remove from the tin.
Freeze on a tray or plate for 2 hours, then wrap in 2 layers of cling film and 1 layer of foil.
Freeze for up to 3 months.
Once cooled, wrap each slice in 2 layers of cling film and foil and freeze for 3 months.
Thaw in the fridge overnight and then take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead Instructions
Yes absolutely. You can make it up to 3 days in advance.
This is delicious served hot but equally delicious the day after.
Also if you’ve baked it for the right amount of time, the center will still be runny whilst warm, which means you’ll need to eat it straight out of the cake tin but I would highly highly recommend an overnight rest.
Use a knife dipped in boiling water to cut through the cheesecake seamlessly.
Is it really burnt?
It is, but not till it tastes like burnt crusty toast.
The sugar in the cheesecake caramelises and also reacts with the cream cheese to add flavour and colour.
What temperature do I bake it?
I have gone round in circles with this. I have tried some methods and this one worked best.
The goal is to get a burnt look without the centre of the cake being fully set. In my oven, I bake it at 200 C/GM7 for 40 - 50 minutes.
What size cake tin should I use for Basque Cheesecake?
I used a 8 inch/20cm tin. Mine has a removable base which is not important in this recipe.
What if the cheesecake doesn't Colour?
If your cheesecake isn’t colouring, you can bake for 10 more minutes. The original cheesecake from La Vina is not as dark as the internet would suggest.
Where does Basque Burnt Cheesecake come from?
San Sebastian Cheesecake is a recipe by chef Santiago Rivera of La Viña in San Sebastian, Spain. Rivera was looking to add a dessert menu to his Pintxos restaurant after taking it over from his parents and settled on a this decadent cheesecake.
More Cake Recipes:
**Recipe updated September 2023.
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AMAZING Basque Burnt Cheesecake
- 1 kg Cream Cheese Full Fat, at room temperature
- 250 g Light Brown Sugar
- 75 g Maple Syrup
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 150 g Double Cream
- 6 large Eggs
- 3 tbsp Plain Flour Sieved
- Preheat oven to 220C/435F/Gas Mark 7.
- Line a 20cm/8 inch loose bottomed tin or springform pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper/baking paper by scrunching up large pieces of paper and adding them to the tin. Making sure it comes all the way up the sides.
- Beat the Cream Cheese on medium-low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment/electric hand mixer or a whisk until smooth.
- Beat in the Sugar, Maple Syrup and Vanilla for 3 - 4 minutes until fully incorporated making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
- Stir in Double Cream and beat again till light and creamy.
- Add the Eggs 1 by 1, beating in between to incorporate fully before adding the next egg. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down and mix everything together.
- Add the Flour to the cheesecake batter and fold in gently.
- Pour the batter into the tin and bang the tin on the work surface 2 – 3 times to remove air bubbles.
- Then bake for 40 - 50 minutes until the top of the cheesecake is dark golden brown.
- Once cooled, rest in the fridge overnight.
- To cut the cheesecake, dip the tip of a knife in hot water. Cut a slice of cake and then dry with tissue between each cut.