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Basque Cheesecake: A Delightful Dessert from Spain

A Simple Yet Sophisticated Treat
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Basque Cheesecake: A Delightful Dessert from Spain

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 40 min Rest Time 10 min Total Time 1 hr
Cooking Temp: 200  °C Servings: 6
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


The Basque Cheesecake, originating from San Sebastián in Spain's Basque Country, has become a beloved dessert around the world. Its rise in popularity is due to its unique take on the traditional cheesecake, celebrated for its light, airy texture and a beautifully caramelised top. This crustless cheesecake combines the flavours of vanilla and caramel, offering a dessert that's luxurious without being overly rich.

Characterized by its beautifully "burnt" surface, the Basque Cheesecake is an exercise in the art of simplicity. It's a crustless wonder, promising a taste experience that doesn't leave you missing the biscuit base typically found in its counterparts. The surface and sides of the cheesecake develop a caramel-like flavour, reminiscent of crème caramel, while the interior boasts the classic taste of vanilla cheesecake.

What sets the Basque Cheesecake apart is its texture; light and airy, almost mousse-like, yet it possesses a depth of flavour that feels luxurious without being overly rich. It finds its place on the texture spectrum between the airy Japanese Cotton Cheesecake and the more traditional baked cheesecake, offering a delightful contrast to the denseness of a New York Cheesecake. With such a distinctive texture and taste profile, it's a culinary masterpiece that balances indulgence with subtlety.

The beauty of the Basque Cheesecake lies in its simplicity and the quality of its ingredients. Each component is carefully chosen to contribute to the dessert’s unique character:

  • Cream Cheese: At room temperature for smoothness, serving as the rich, creamy base.
  • Caster Sugar: Adds sweetness that complements, rather than overpowers, the cream cheese.
  • Eggs: Provide structure, ensuring the cheesecake is firm yet retains a delicate texture.
  • Thickened Cream: Enhances the cheesecake’s luxurious, smooth consistency.
  • Plain Flour: A small but crucial addition for the perfect, soft texture.
  • Vanilla Extract: Introduces a depth of flavor, elevating the cheesecake with its aromatic presence.

Following this recipe is not just about making a dessert; it's about embracing a technique that celebrates the essence of Basque culinary art. The result is a cheesecake that’s not overly rich but tastes luxurious, striking a perfect balance between lightness and flavour.




  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a 19cm springform pan with baking paper, making sure it extends above the rim for the cheesecake's unique look.

  2. Beat the cream cheese in a mixer until fluffy, then gradually mix in the sugar to keep it smooth.

  3. Add flour to the mixture for stability, then incorporate eggs one at a time. Blend in the thickened cream and vanilla, aiming for a consistent batter.

  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, watching for the top to turn a rich caramel colour, indicating it's done but still retains its light, mousse-like centre.

  5. Cool and Chill: Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. This step helps enhance its flavours and texture, making it ready to serve.


    Ensure a smooth batter by scraping down the bowl when mixing. The cheesecake is designed to rise and crack slightly, adding to its rustic appeal. For a larger pan, simply double the ingredient quantities.
Keywords: Basque cheesecake, Burnt basque cheesecake, San Sebastian cheesecake

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can Basque Cheesecake be made without a springform pan?

While a springform pan is recommended for making Basque Cheesecake due to its ease of removal and ability to accommodate the dessert's unique texture, it is possible to use alternative bakeware. If a springform pan is not available, you can use a deep round cake pan lined with baking paper, ensuring that the paper extends above the pan's edges for easy removal. Keep in mind that the final presentation and ease of serving may vary depending on the type of pan used.

How do you know when Basque Cheesecake is perfectly baked?

Basque Cheesecake is perfectly baked when it has a deep golden-brown, almost burnt surface, and the center is just set but still has a slight jiggle. The baking time can vary depending on the oven, so it's important to monitor the color and texture of the cheesecake. Typically, it takes about 40-45 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. After baking, allowing the cheesecake to cool at room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator is crucial for developing the ideal texture and flavour.

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Amani khazaal

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