This Lemon Basque Burnt Cheesecake is incredibly easy to make, and deliciously light and creamy! It’s easier to make than most cheesecakes, and boasts irresistible bright lemony flavors and a caramelized burnt top!
To Serve (optional): A dusting of icing sugar, fresh berries or other fruit
Prep: Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Lightly brush extra light tasting olive oil on the bottom and inner sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Line the pan with two large sheets of parchment paper (nonstick cooking paper) in a crisscrossed fashion. Press and crease as needed to ensure that the bottom of the pan is covered. The parchment should rise at least 2 inches above the sides of pan on all sides.
Beat the cream cheese: Add the softened cream cheese (it helps if you cut the blocks into smaller cubes) and granulated white sugar in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer (or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment) to beat on medium speed, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, until smooth and creamy – about 2 minutes.
Beat in eggs: Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium-low speed until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one.
Add cream and flavorings: Pour in the whipping cream, and add the vanilla extract, lemon extract, and the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Continue beating on low speed until evenly combined.
Sift in flour: Using a fine mesh strainer, sift the flour into the bowl and mix on low speed to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until no lumps remain and the batter is very smooth.
Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan gently on the counter to pop any air bubbles that have formed. (You can poke them with a toothpick or cake tester if they are stubborn and won’t pop with gentle tapping.) Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the top is a deep shade of golden brown and has risen, but the cake is still slightly jiggly in the center.
Cool: Transfer the cake pan to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely – about 2-3 hours. The cake will deflate as it cools. Once at room temperature, cover and refrigerate the cake for an hour (or overnight if serving the next day).
Slice and serve: Remove the cake from the refrigerator and unmold by taking off the sides of the pan. Carefully peel back the parchment paper, and allow the cake to come back to room temperature. Then slice, serve, and enjoy! Feel free to serve with a dusting of icing sugar, fresh berries or other fruit if desired.
Storage: The cheesecake can be stored whole or sliced in sealed airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to one week. However, it’ll taste best when eaten during the first 3 days.
Cheesecake flavor and refrigerating: Like most cheesecakes, this one tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had time to develop and meld. You can store it in the fridge overnight if making it a day in advance, but be careful of moisture getting into the cake. Cover the cake properly before storing in a sealed airtight container in the fridge.
Springform pan size: You can bake in an 8-inch or 9-inch springform pan if that’s what you own. The cake will be thicker and you’ll need to increase the baking time by 5 minutes or so.
Caster/superfine sugar option: If using caster sugar, you’ll need about 1 & 1/4 cup + 2.5 tablespoons.
Flavoring options: You can make a classic Basque burnt cheesecake by leaving out the lemon juice, lemon extract, and vanilla extract if you wish. Or just leave out the lemon flavorings, and add 2 TSP vanilla extract for a warm toned vanilla flavored burnt cheesecake.
See post for more tips and ideas for variations if you’d like to customize this Basque burnt cheesecake.