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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

This White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake provides the perfect combination of sweet and tart.  Sometimes, when desserts include white chocolate, they are so sweet they can make your teeth hurt.  This cheesecake, however, balances the sweetness from the white chocolate with tartness from the added sour cream and homemade raspberry sauce.  I modified my favorite New York Style Cheesecake recipe to create this fantastic flavor combination.  This cheesecake is wonderful during spring and summer, when raspberries are in season or it can be made year-round with frozen raspberries!

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Ingredients for Graham Cracker Crust
Ingredients for Cheesecake Filling
Ingredients for Raspberry Sauce
  • 6oz (170g) fresh raspberries (or thawed frozen raspberries)
  • ¼ – ½ cup (25g – 50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (4g) lemon juice
Equipment
Making the Crust

Preheat the oven to 325°F/163°C.

Making Cheesecake Crust

Make graham cracker crumbs by pulsing cookies and sugar in a food processor until finely ground.  If you don’t have a food processor, place the graham crackers in a resealable bag and crush with a rolling pin until finely ground.  Make sure to close the bag before crushing the cookies otherwise you will have crumbs all over your kitchen. 

Making Cheesecake Crust

Turn the food processor on and pour the melted butter through the feed tube to moisten all the crumbs.  Scrape down the sides as necessary to ensure all crumbs are moistened. 

Making Cheesecake Crust

Press crumbs into the bottom of a 7-inch spring form pan2 lined with a circle of parchment paper.  I like to put parchment paper on the bottom because it ensures an easy release from the bottom of the pan.  Press the crumbs into a single layer using your fingers or a straight-sided object (e.g., a measuring cup).  Make sure to really pack down the crumbs otherwise the crust can crumble and not hold its shape after it is baked. 

Why Use a Spring Form Pan?

A spring form pan has a removable bottom and a spring on the side that releases the bottom and makes it easier to remove the pan from around the cheesecake.  Avoid baking a cheesecake in a normal cake pan (i.e., a pan without a removable).  You will not be able to get the cheesecake out without destroying it. 

Baking the Crust

Place the spring form pan on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes.  I like to use a baking sheet in case some of the butter leaks while baking.  Cleaning a baking sheet is much easier than cleaning the bottom of your oven.  Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack while making the raspberry sauce and filling.  Do not remove the crust from the pan while cooling.

Another Crust Option

I sometimes make this crust using chocolate sandwich cookies (e.g., Oreos) with the cream middle scraped out.  Turn into chocolate cookie crumbs and use the same amount as the graham crackers to make the crust.  This method adds a chocolate note that pairs nicely with the white chocolate filling.

Making the Raspberry Sauce

Increase the oven temperature to 350°F/177°C. 

Place the fresh raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and turn on for approximately 30 seconds.  The amount of sugar necessary for the sauce will depend on the sweetness of the berries so add it to your taste.  If you have sweet berries (e.g., if it is berry season or the berries are frozen), you will likely need less sugar.  If the berries are tart (e.g., you are making this when berries are not in season), you will likely need more sugar. 

Place a small sieve over a bowl and pour the raspberry puree through the sieve to strain out the seeds.  I like to scrape my spatula against the bottom of the sieve to force the juice and pulp through while the seeds stay behind.  Throw out the seeds and set the seedless raspberry sauce to the side while preparing the filling.

Making White Chocolate Cheesecake Filling

In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer), use the whisk attachment to beat cream cheese and sugar on the lowest setting until very smooth (about 3 minutes).  Keep the speed low (i.e., lowest setting on mixer) to avoid whipping too much air into the filling.  Adding air bubbles will increase the likelihood of the cheesecake cracking while baking. 

 Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each step while making the recipe.  The cream cheese has a tendency to stick to the bowl and you want to make sure you don’t end up with any lumps in your cheesecake filling.

Making White Chocolate Cheesecake Filling

Add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition until smooth.

Next, add the vanilla extract and salt.  Beat until incorporated.  Finally, add the sour cream and melted white chocolate and stir to combine.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl one last time with a spatula to ensure all ingredients have been incorporated and there are no lumps. 

Pour the filling into the spring form pan (on top of the cooled crust).  Add small teaspoons of the raspberry sauce on top of the filling.  Use a skewer, toothpick, or the edge of a knife to marble the sauce with the filling.  To do this, move the knife up and down across the cheesecake and then left to right across the cheesecake.  Avoid marbling too much otherwise the sauce will completely blend with the filling for a pink cheesecake. 

Preparing the Spring Form Pan for Baking

This cheesecake recipe is baked in a bain-marie (i.e., a warm water bath) to allow for gradual and even cooking.  This will help prevent cracks while the cheesecake is baking and while it is cooling.  To ensure that water will not get into the spring form pan and ruin the crust, wrap the pan in 1-2 layers of aluminum foil OR place pan inside a cake pan that is just barely bigger than the spring form pan.  I prefer using a cake pan when possible because it eliminates the possibility of the aluminum foil tearing and allowing water in. 

Making White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake - Bain marie

Once the spring form pan has been insulated, place it into a larger container (I like to use another cake pan) and pour about one inch of very hot water between the side of the larger container and the insulated spring form pan. 

Baking and Cooling the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Very carefully place the pans in the oven (you don’t want to get water on the cheesecake or on yourself).  Bake for 50 minutes and then turn off the oven WITHOUT opening the oven door.  A sudden change in temperature will make the cheesecake more likely to crack.  Let the cheesecake cool in the oven (with the door closed for 45 minutes).  Then, crack the oven door open and let the cheesecake continue to cool for another 45 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven, remove the aluminum foil from around the spring form pan, and allow the cheesecake to cool on a wire rack for approximately one hour (or until the cheesecake is room temperature).  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  Do not let the plastic wrap touch the top of the cheesecake or it will stick. 

If you follow this process, you will get a beautifully creamy, baked cheesecake without any cracks. 

Removing Cheesecake from Pan

As the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake cools, it will pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.  Run a thin metal spatula around the side of the cheesecake to ensure it is not sticking.  Then, release the clasp on the side of the pan and carefully lift the side off the base.  You have two options for removing the parchment paper from the bottom of the cheesecake:

  1. Take a plate that is larger than the cheesecake, cover it with plastic wrap, gently set the plate on top of the cheesecake, and invert the cheesecake.  Remove the bottom of the spring form pan and peel away the parchment paper.  Then place the serving plate gently on the cheesecake (i.e., on top of the crust) and flip the cheesecake back over.
  2. The crust of the cheesecake should be firm enough to allow you to put your hand between the base of the spring form pan and the parchment paper.  Then, carefully peel the parchment paper from the bottom of the crust and place the cheesecake on a serving plate.
Serving the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Refrigerate the cheesecake until a few minutes before serving.  Cut using a knife that was dipped in warm water and then wiped off.  This will help to make clean, sharp cuts.  Wipe off any cheesecake residue between slices to keep everything neat. 

This White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake is the perfect combination of sweet and tart.  The sweetness from the white chocolate is balanced by the sour cream added to the filling and the ribbon of fresh raspberry sauce.  The rich and buttery graham cracker crust provides a really nice textural contrast to the creamy filling.  I made a few of these when testing the recipe and I had to use a lot of restraint to not eat the entire 7-inch cheesecake in one sitting. 

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

While this cheesecake is delicious on its own, you could also serve it with the leftover raspberry sauce and/or a few fresh raspberries.  Try this recipe for a special occasion or as an indulgent treat. 

Storing the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Store any leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap for up to 5 days.  If you want to store it for longer, tightly wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap, place in a resealable freezer bag, and freeze up to one month. 

Defrost by thawing the cheesecake at room temperature for 2-4 hours.  You could also thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. 

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I’d love to know how it turned out!  Please let me know by leaving your thoughts below.  Or snap a photo and share it on Pinterest or Instagram (@windycitybaker).

Notes
  1. You can melt the white chocolate in a double boiler (i.e., a bowl over a pot of simmering water) or in the microwave (i.e., heat for 10-15 seconds at a time and stir after each interval until the chocolate is melted). (Back to “Ingredients“)
  2. If you are making a normal sized cheesecake (e.g., a 9 or 10-inch cheesecake), double all of the amounts for the crust and filling. (Back to “Making the Crust“)

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Cooling Time10 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 slices

Equipment

  • Food processor (or resealable bag with rolling pin)
  • 7-inch spring form pan (10-in spring form pan for a doubled recipe)
  • Parchment paper circles
  • Baking sheet
  • Stand mixer (or hand mixer with large mixing bowl)
  • Silicone spatula
  • Small sieve
  • Skewer or toothpick
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cooling rack
  • Offset spatula

Ingredients

Ingredients for Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 3 Tbsp (43g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup (90g) graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) granulated sugar

Ingredients for Cheesecake Filling:

  • 8 oz package (226g) of Philadelphia brand cream cheese (no substitutions), softened
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large (102g) eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ tsp (4g) vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp (0.8g) salt
  • ½ cup (145g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 8 oz (227g) white chocolate, melted and cooled

Ingredients for Raspberry Sauce:

  • 6 oz (170g) fresh raspberries (or thawed frozen raspberries)
  • ¼ – ½ cup (25g – 50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (4g) lemon juice

Instructions

Making the Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F/163°C.
  • Make graham cracker crumbs by pulsing cookies and sugar in a food processor until finely ground. If you don’t have a food processor, place the graham crackers in a resealable bag and crush with a rolling pin until finely ground. Make sure to close the bag before crushing the cookies otherwise you will have crumbs all over your kitchen.
  • Turn the food processor on and pour the melted butter through the feed tube to moisten all the crumbs. Scrape down the sides as necessary to ensure all crumbs are moistened.
  • Press crumbs into the bottom of a 7-inch spring form pan lined with a circle of parchment paper. I like to put parchment paper on the bottom because it ensures an easy release from the bottom of the pan. Press the crumbs into a single layer using your fingers or a straight-sided object (e.g., a measuring cup). Make sure to really pack down the crumbs otherwise the crust can crumble and not hold its shape after it is baked.

Baking the Crust

  • Place the spring form pan on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes. I like to use a baking sheet in case some of the butter leaks while baking. Cleaning a baking sheet is much easier than cleaning the bottom of your oven. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack while making the raspberry sauce and filling. Do not remove the crust from the pan while cooling.

Making the Raspberry Sauce

  • Increase the oven temperature to 350°F/177°C.
  • Place the fresh raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and turn on for approximately 30 seconds. The amount of sugar necessary for the sauce will depend on the sweetness of the berries so add it to your taste. If you have sweet berries (e.g., if it is berry season or the berries are frozen), you will likely need less sugar. If the berries are tart (e.g., you are making this when berries are not in season), you will likely need more sugar.
  • Place a small sieve over a bowl and pour the raspberry puree through the sieve to strain out the seeds. I like to scrape my spatula against the bottom of the sieve to force the juice and pulp through while the seeds stay behind. Throw out the seeds and set the seedless raspberry sauce to the side while preparing the filling.

Making White Chocolate Cheesecake Filling

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer), use the whisk attachment to beat cream cheese and sugar on the lowest setting until very smooth (about 3 minutes). Keep the speed low (i.e., lowest setting on mixer) to avoid whipping too much air into the filling. Adding air bubbles will increase the likelihood of the cheesecake cracking while baking.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each step while making the recipe. The cream cheese has a tendency to stick to the bowl and you want to make sure you don’t end up with any lumps in your cheesecake filling.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition until smooth.
  • Next, add the vanilla extract and salt. Beat until incorporated. Finally, add the sour cream and melted white chocolate and stir to combine. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl one last time with a spatula to ensure all ingredients have been incorporated and there are no lumps.
  • Pour the filling into the spring form pan (on top of the cooled crust). Add small teaspoons of the raspberry sauce on top of the filling. Use a skewer, toothpick, or the edge of a knife to marble the sauce with the filling. To do this, move the knife up and down across the cheesecake and then left to right across the cheesecake. Avoid marbling too much otherwise the sauce will completely blend with the filling for a pink cheesecake.

Preparing the Spring Form Pan for Baking

  • This cheesecake recipe is baked in a bain-marie (i.e., a warm water bath) to allow for gradual and even cooking. This will help prevent cracks while the cheesecake is baking and while it is cooling. To ensure that water will not get into the spring form pan and ruin the crust, wrap the pan in 1-2 layers of aluminum foil OR place pan inside a cake pan that is just barely bigger than the spring form pan. I prefer using a cake pan when possible because it eliminates the possibility of the aluminum foil tearing and allowing water in.
  • Once the spring form pan has been insulated, place it into a larger container (I like to use another cake pan) and pour about one inch of very hot water between the side of the larger container and the insulated spring form pan.

Baking and Cooling the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

  • Very carefully place the pans in the oven (you don’t want to get water on the cheesecake or on yourself). Bake for 50 minutes and then turn off the oven WITHOUT opening the oven door. A sudden change in temperature will make the cheesecake more likely to crack. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven (with the door closed for 45 minutes). Then, crack the oven door open and let the cheesecake continue to cool for another 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, remove the aluminum foil from around the spring form pan, and allow to cool on a wire rack for approximately one hour (or until the cheesecake is room temperature). Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Do not let the plastic wrap touch the top of the cheesecake or it will stick.
  • If you follow this process, you will get a beautifully creamy, baked cheesecake without any cracks.

Removing Cheesecake from Pan

  • As the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake cools, it will pull away slightly from the sides of the pan. Run a thin metal spatula around the side of the cheesecake to ensure it is not sticking. Then, release the clasp on the side of the pan and carefully lift the side off the base. You have two options for removing the parchment paper from the bottom of the cheesecake:
  • Option 1: Take a plate that is larger than the cheesecake, cover it with plastic wrap, gently set the plate on top of the cheesecake, and invert the cheesecake. Remove the bottom of the spring form pan and peel away the parchment paper. Then place the serving plate gently on the cheesecake (i.e., on top of the crust) and flip the cheesecake back over.
  • Option 2: The crust of the cheesecake should be firm enough to allow you to put your hand between the base of the spring form pan and the parchment paper. Then, carefully peel the parchment paper from the bottom of the crust and place the cheesecake on a serving plate.

Serving the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

  • Refrigerate the cheesecake until a few minutes before serving. Cut using a knife that was dipped in warm water and then wiped off. This will help to make clean, sharp cuts. Wipe off any cheesecake residue between slices to keep everything neat.
  • While this cheesecake is delicious on its own, you could also serve it with the leftover raspberry sauce and/or a few fresh raspberries. Try this recipe for a special occasion or as an indulgent treat.

Storing the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

  • Store any leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap for up to 5 days. If you want to store it for longer, tightly wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap, place in a resealable freezer bag, and freeze up to one month.
  • Defrost by thawing the cheesecake at room temperature for 2-4 hours. You could also thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

Notes

1. You can melt the white chocolate in a double boiler (i.e., a bowl over a pot of simmering water) or in the microwave (i.e., heat for 10-15 seconds at a time and stir after each interval until the chocolate is melted).
2. If you are making a normal sized cheesecake (e.g., a 9 or 10-inch cheesecake), double all of the amounts for the crust and filling. 
3. I sometimes make this crust using chocolate sandwich cookies (e.g., Oreos) with the cream middle scraped out.  Turn into chocolate cookie crumbs and use the same amount as the graham crackers to make the crust.  This method adds a chocolate note that pairs nicely with the white chocolate filling.

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