This blackberry cheesecake features a swirl of fresh berry puree in the creamy cheesecake and a hint of cinnamon in the buttery crumb crust. It’s the perfect dessert for Easter or any day this year!
This post is sponsored by Sprouts. As always, opinions are 100% my own—thank you for supporting the brands that make IBK possible!
Have I mentioned lately how much I love shopping at Sprouts? They always have the best produce (which is necessary when you’re making blackberry cheesecake) and their bulk bins are a must when I’m looking for nibbles to serve before holiday gatherings.
If you’re menu planning for Easter (or if you’re just in need of groceries. . .) stop by Sprouts soon. And be sure to pick up the ingredients for this cheesecake—you’ll LOVE it!
Why you’ll love this blackberry cheesecake:
- The blackberry flavor in the cheesecake is prominent and complemented by a little lemon and cinnamon. It’s absolutely incredible!
- Because of the addition of sour cream in the cheesecake, you’re pretty much guaranteed a light and creamy cheesecake, even if you’ve never made a cheesecake before.
- The cheesecake needs to chill overnight before you serve it (and you can store it for a couple of days in the fridge) so it’s a great make-ahead option for holidays!
Is cheesecake hard to make?
Honestly? NO. Like anything else in the baking world, cheesecakes get easier with practice. But most cheesecakes really are simple to make.
This blackberry cheesecake does require quite a few steps but none of them is difficult. And you don’t have to mess with a water bath or anything for this recipe, which makes it even easier. Read on for step by step instructions!
Make your berry puree
You’ll start by pureeing your blackberries.
- Pop the berries in a food processor
- Puree until they’re liquid
- Then press through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds, and mix in some granulated sugar
- If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender
- It’s totally fine if a few of the seeds make it into your puree; you just want to remove the majority of them
Make your cheesecake crust
I used a graham cracker crust because I love the lightly cinnamon-y flavor paired with the blackberry in the cheesecake. But you could use vanilla wafer cookies or vanilla sandwich cookies or even gingersnaps if you prefer.
- Combine sugar, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and butter in a bowl
- Stir until the crumbs are evenly saturated with the butter
- Press into a 9-inch springform pan
- I added cinnamon to the crust because cinnamon and blackberries are a really nice combination; if you don’t like cinnamon just leave it out
Make your filling
- Beat cream cheese and sugar together until very smooth
- Beat in sour cream and a few other ingredients
- Then beat in eggs and mix until the filling is very smooth
- As always, you want your cream cheese to be at room temperature so you don’t end up with lumps of un-mixed cream cheese in your cheesecake
- Don’t use low-fat or non-fat cream cheese; your cheesecake won’t have the right texture
How to assemble your cheesecake
OK, we have a lot of components going on. Here’s how to put them all together—this part is super fun. (Seriously.)
- Pour half of your filling into the crust
- Dollop half of the blackberry puree over that and use a butter knife to swirl them together a little. Take care to avoid the crust while you’re swirling!
- Pour the remaining filling over that
- Then swirl the rest of the puree into the filling, again avoiding the crust
Then you’ll bake for about an hour, cool to room temperature, and chill overnight.
Don’t cover your cheesecake until it’s chilled to room temperature or the cake will sweat and the top will end up soggy.
How to make whipped cream
I topped my cheesecake with whipped cream. If you like chocolate and blackberries together, chocolate ganache would be another delicious topping option.
To make whipped cream, just
- Beat cold heavy cream until it thickens
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla
- Beat until the cream holds stiff peaks
You can either pipe or spread the whipped cream on top of the chilled cheesecake.
I strongly recommend using heavy cream rather than whipping cream because heavy cream holds its shape better than whipping cream does.
How to know when cheesecake is done baking
Always refer to your recipe, but in general a cheesecake is done baking when you tap the side of the pan and only the very center of the cheesecake jiggles. The rest of the cheesecake should be set!
How to store cheesecake
Uneaten cheesecake can be stored in the fridge, covered, for 3 or 4 days. You can also freeze your cheesecake for about a month.
To freeze slices of cheesecake, I always place the slices on a baking sheet (or large plate) lined with foil and freeze for about half an hour to set the topping and filling. Then I wrap the slices tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
If you want to freeze your cheesecake whole to serve later, you can do that once the cheesecake has chilled overnight. (I recommend adding the whipped cream just prior to serving rather than before freezing.)
Wrap the chilled cheesecake, still in the pan, tightly with layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then you can freeze it for about a month.
When you’re ready to serve, you can defrost the cheesecake in the fridge overnight. In the morning you should be able to add the whipped cream, slice, and serve like normal!
Did you make this blackberry cheesecake? That’s great! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. Then post a pic on IG–tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see your delicious creations!
Blackberry cheesecake features fresh a puree of fresh berries swirled into a creamy cheesecake. It's perfect for spring or any time of year!
- 12 ounces Driscoll’s blackberries
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from about 8 to 10 graham cracker sheets
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon optional
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 8-ounce packages full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- additional blackberries for decoration
- Place the blackberries in the bowl of a food processor and process until fully pureed; scrape down the bowl of the food processor as necessary.
- Pour the puree into a fine mesh sieve set over a mixing bowl and use a rubber spatula to press as much liquid out as possible. (Don’t worry about it if a few seeds sneak into the liquid; you just don’t want all the seeds.)
- You should have about 1 cup of liquid; if you don’t, puree and strain a few more berries. Discard solids.
- Stir in the sugar into the puree and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, cinnamon (if using), and salt in a small bowl and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan.
- Place in the freezer while you work on the filling.
- Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Beat in the sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt to combine.
- Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, mixing on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat about 1 minute more to ensure everything is mixed together well.
- Pour half of the filling into the crust. Dollop half of the blackberry puree over that and use a butter knife to swirl the two together a bit. TAKE CARE NOT TO DISTURB THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST while you’re swirling!
- Repeat this process with the remaining filling and the remaining puree. Set the cheesecake on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any butter that might leak out and make a mess in the oven.
- Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the center barely jiggles when you tap the side of the pan.
- Cool your cheesecake to room temperature, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Once your cheesecake has chilled overnight, make the whipped cream topping.
- Place a mixing bowl and the beaters for an electric mixer in the fridge to chill for 20 to 30 minutes (so your whipped cream will be extra stiff for piping).
- Beat the heavy cream until it thickens, then add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until the cream holds stiff peaks. (It’s at stiff peaks when you can remove the beaters from the whipped cream and the cream holds its shape rather than folding in on itself.)
- Pipe the whipped cream around the perimeter of the cheesecake. (If you prefer, you can just spread or dollop the whipped cream on top.)
- Top with blackberries, then slice and serve.
- Uneaten cheesecake can be stored, covered, in the fridge for 3 or 4 days or in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for about a month.
- The cinnamon in the crust is totally optional but its flavor really complements the blackberries so I strongly recommend it.
- Be sure your cream cheese is at room temperature before you make your filling. If it’s too cold, it won’t mix properly with the other ingredients and you could end up with chunks of cream cheese in the final product.
- Be sure your cheesecake cools completely to room temperature before you cover it and refrigerate it; if you cover it while it’s warm the cheesecake will sweat and get soggy.
- Run your knife around the cheesecake to loosen it before you remove it from the pan when you’re ready to serve.
- See the body of this post for instructions on freezing your cheesecake whole (or in slices).
- I strongly recommend using heavy cream rather than whipping cream to top your cheesecake because heavy cream holds its shape better than whipping cream does.