Shavuot is almost here and it's time for some cheesecake! I already shared a few cheesecake recipes on my blog and I am sharing another option for you to easily whip up and enjoy. I made this Basque cheesecake, also known as Basque burnt cheesecake, since the top of the cake looks almost burnt after baking. It also has many cracks and it doesn’t look pretty or impressive - a fitting name for this dessert. Now, for my version, I created a gluten free version so the recipe is more suitable for various taste buds, and also I have been trying to reduce my own gluten intake.
What is Basque cheesecake?
The name of this cheesecake comes from its origins. It was invented back in the 1990's in a La Vina restaurant in the Basque region in Spain. It's known for its silky smooth creamy inner texture and burnt cracked caramelized top.
The batter of the cake looks very runny before baking and that’s perfectly normal. Also the cake rises while baking and then falls back down while cooling. This is how the cracks are created and that’s just how this cake works. As I mentioned, it doesn’t look so beautiful - like a traditional, smooth cheesecake - but the taste, oh that's where you'd be impressed. It’s the perfect taste and you just can't resist having more than a single slice.
What is the difference between Basque cheesecake and normal cheesecake?
The main difference between Basque cheesecake and a regular cheesecake is that this one has no crust. The second thing is that you just bake it as is, no water bath needed (but that’s true also with other cheesecake recipes that I shared on my blog).
This gluten free Basque burnt cheesecake is baked at a high temperature which creates the top burnt crust. It helps to add the caramelized exterior and the unique final look.
Before you bake the cake it's important to take the eggs and cream cheese out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. This way, they will easily mix with the rest of the ingredients and you won't have a lumpy batter.
To make the cake I only used a bowl and a spatula for mixing. No special kitchen equipment is needed. I baked the cake in a cake ring that I sealed with foil and baking paper. You can use any round baking pan. It doesn't really matter since you need to line it with baking paper. Because the cake rises while baking, well above the pan height, you will need high walls to hold it. Don’t worry it won't spill from the pan although it looks like it might. The size of the pan I used is 8inch / 20cm. For a bigger cake you can double the ingredients and use a 10inch / 26cm pan.
Before you dive into the cake and scarf it down, the cake must cool down for an hour or two. When taking it out of the oven it still has a jiggly center that needs to set.
The ingredients for this Basque cheesecake are cream cheese, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla (paste or extract), cornstarch and cream. I used only ½ cup of sugar, if you like sweeter cakes you can add an additional ¼ cup.
The process of making the cake is simple, just mix all ingredients together and pour it to the pan to bake. The cake needs to bake for 50-60 minutes depending on your oven.
The outcome is a creamy rich cheesecake with a caramelized top. You can serve it with a sweet dessert wine or just as is. I am sure everyone will love it!
For more Shavuot recipes, be sure to check out my Shavuot recipe index.
Here is the recipe for this amazing gluten free Basque burnt cheesecake:
Gluten Free Basque Cheesecake
- 1 lb. (450 grams) cream cheese
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup cream
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- Take the cream cheese and eggs out of the fridge and bring to room temperature.
- Set the oven to 200°C / 400°F with the fan.
- Line an 8inch/20cm round cake pan with baking paper, I used 2 sheets to have high walls all over the pan.
- In a bowl, add the room temperature cream cheese and sugar and mix well.
- Add the salt and the eggs, one at a time.
- Mix well to incorporate the eggs in the batter.
- Add the vanilla and cream and mix.
- Sift in the cornstarch and mix again.
- Pour the batter to the lined pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes.
- Cool the cake completely before cutting it, 1-2 hours at room temperature.
- Serve and enjoy!
Taste is good. Lacks the texture of runny & creamy center that I was looking for in Basque cheesecake.