Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

A piece of cherry cheesecake on a white plate with a fork plunging into it. A cheesecake sits in the background on a cake stand.

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5 from 7 reviews

A ridiculously decadent dessert with layers of smooth, creamy cheesecake, whipped cream middle, and a topping that's bursting with a homemade cherry filling. All of this rests on a buttery graham cracker crust. This melt-in-your-mouth cherry cheesecake is made from scratch and is a pure creamy delight.



Graham Cracker Crust

  • 12 Whole Sheets of Graham Cracker, 1 1/2 cups crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Melted Butter

Cheesecake Filling

  • 3 - 8 ounces packages Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Full-Fat Sour Cream (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 Large Eggs (room temperature)

Whipped Cream Filling

  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 8 ounce package Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed

Homemade Tart Cherry Topping

  • 2 - 12 ounce package Frozen Tart Cherries, thawed and drained
  • Juice from the Cherries
  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice


Graham Cracker Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium-size bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and 6 tablespoons of melted butter.
  • Grease a 10-inch springform pan and dump in the graham cracker mixture.
  • Use your fingers to spread it around the bottom of the pan. Use a flat bottom measuring cup to press the crumbs into the pan going about halfway up the sides.
  • Set aside.

Cheesecake Filling

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat on medium-high speed 3 - 8 ounce packages of softened cream cheese and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar only until combined and creamy.
  • Reduce the speed to medium-low, and add in 3/4 cups sour cream (room temperature), 2 teaspoons pure vanilla, 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch only until combined. Be careful not to overbeat. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula while beating.
  • Add 2 large eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Once the eggs have been added and incorporated, stop mixing.
  • Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan.
  • Place the springform pan into a larger round cake pan. Place both of these pans into a large roasting pan. (see notes below for an alternate water bath)
  • Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour water halfway up the side of the larger round cake pan.
  • Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the cheesecake slightly jiggles in the middle. Do not open the door until almost done.
  • Turn the oven off and slightly crack the door and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 1 hour while cooling.
  • Remove the springform pan from the oven and set it on the countertop for a couple of hours to completely cool.
  • Place the cooled cheesecake in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight to chill.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream Filling

  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat 8 ounces of room-temperature cream cheese until creamy and smooth.
  • Add the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and continue to beat.
  • Beat in the thawed whipped cream until fully combined and fluffy.
  • Chill in the refrigerator until ready to spread on the baked cheesecake batter.

Homemade Tart Cherry Topping

  • Thaw and drain 2 - 12 ounce packages of frozen tart cherries. Reserve the juice.
  • Make a cornstarch slurry by whisking together 1/3 cup of cherry juice and 4 tablespoons of cornstarch. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan heat the remaining cherry juice, 1 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and it begins to boil.
  • Slowly pour the cornstarch slurry into the cherry mixture while quickly whisking.
  • Return to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Continue to slow boil until the cherry juice has thickened.
  • Add in the cherries and gently stir. Continue to cook until the cherries are thickened to a spreadable consistency. Set aside to cool.
  • Chill in the refrigerator.

Cherry Cheesecake

  • Pull the chilled cheesecake from the refrigerator. Run a table knife around the edge.
  • Spoon the mascarpone whipped cream filling onto the top of the cheesecake and spread all around.
  • Spoon the cherry topping onto the whipped cream layer and spread it around.
  • Unlock the side latch of the springform pan and remove the sides.
  • Serve on the metal bottom plate or carefully remove and place on a cake platter.
  • Slice and Serve.
  • ENJOY!!



  • Make sure the cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream are at room temperature before mixing. When these ingredients are warmer, they are easily blended together. Cold ingredients will leave you with a lumpy cheesecake filling.
  • Don't overbeat the cheesecake batter. Overbeating can incorporate too much air causing the surface of the cheesecake to crack. Because this cheesecake has layers on top and covering up the actual cheesecake it is not as important. But it's good to know for future cheesecakes.
  • There are two ways to prepare your springform pan for a water bath. The first one is my preferred one.
    • #1 - Sit the springform pan in a larger round pan (12x3 inches). Then sit the larger pan in a large roasting pan and add water halfway up the outside round pan. Since there is no guarantee that a springform pan will seal off any water, this process provides a barrier between the two and ensures no-leak issues.
    • #2 - Securely wrapped the springform pan with two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the pan on top of the foil, and wrap it up the sides to the top of the pan.
  • Don't Open the door and peek while it's baking. Opening the door can cause your cheesecake to fall in the center or crack. It also lengthens the cooking time by letting heat escape.
  • Be careful not to overbake. You can see if your cheesecake is done with the "jiggle" test. Open the oven door and jiggle the pan ever so slightly. If the cheesecake wobbles just a little, you're good to go. If it ripples and is more of a sloshy jiggle, you need to leave it in the oven for a few more minutes. Make sure and pull it out before it fully sets.
  • A slow cool-down is essential when making this Cherry Cheesecake. Cheesecakes do not like sudden and drastic changes in temperature. You want to let it cool down as gradually as possible.