Types of cheesecakes

Types of Cheesecakes

Cheesecake is one of those desserts that you don’t make often, but when you do, you realise how amazing it is. Creamy, velvety, melt-in-the-mouth; who doesn’t want that?

Cheesecake is my go to when I want to impress my friends at a dinner party. I tend to just go for a no-bake cheesecake. It is super easy and quick to make and so indulging.

When I was making a no-bake Oreo cheesecake for Easter, it got me thinking, what other types of cheesecake are there? Where did cheesecake come from?

If you thought that the only cheesecake out there is a New York cheesecake or no-bake one, you’re wrong! There are so many different types of cheesecakes out there that I didn’t even know of.

Cheesecake Origins

Nope, cheesecake did not come from New York.

Let’s go back a few years, 4000 to be exact, to the beautiful Greek island of Samos.

Archaeologists discovered cheese moulds there, dating back to around 2000 BC. This is where it is thought that cheesecake originated from.

In Greece, cheesecake was seen as a good source of energy, and there is evidence to suggest that it was given to Olympic athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 BC.

Cheesecake was also used as a dessert in Greek weddings at the time.

The original Greek cheesecake was made with very simple, raw ingredients; cheese, flour, wheat and honey. Far from the Oreo flavored, Kinder Bueno flavored or New York style cheesecakes we are used to nowadays!

Now that we know that cheesecake is not actually an American invention, let’s take a look at all the different types of cheesecakes we can make!

New York Cheesecake

The New York cheesecake is probably one of the most well known types.

What makes a New York cheesecake different from the rest is it’s texture. It is a very dense, heavy cheesecake, but very smooth and rich.

Because of its dense texture, it is quite a stodgy dessert, so a small slice will be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

By all means though, dive into the whole pie, but you might be regretting it a little later on!

A New York cheesecake is typically made using a lot of cream cheese, a combination of both whole eggs and egg yolks, double cream and/or sour cream and sugar.

The rather large amount of cream cheese accounts for the distinctive tanginess and the eggs bind everything together in the oven.

This type of cheesecake is very minimalistic. The flavors are simple but the overall appearance is mesmerising.

Lightly golden on top, silky smooth interior, optionally topped with a strawberry compote; yum. Can’t beat that really.

If you want a good New York cheesecake recipe, take a look at Joshua Weissman.

New York cheesecake

Traditional Baked Cheesecake

The traditional baked cheesecake and the New York cheesecake are very close relatives.

Both cheesecakes are baked and use similar ingredients. Though, a traditional baked cheesecake uses three ingredients; cream cheese, sugar and eggs. But, you can add sour cream too if you want.

The slight difference between the two is the ratio of ingredients. A traditional baked cheesecake will typically use less cream cheese, making it less dense than a New York cheesecake.

Check out this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

traditional baked cheesecake

No Bake Cheesecake

A no-bake cheesecake is definitely one of the easiest to make. It literally takes a mere 10 minutes to prepare and 4 hours of chilling in the fridge.

This type of cheesecake uses 3 ingredients; cream cheese, double cream and icing sugar. You can also add vanilla extract and make it any flavor you want.

Since a no-bake cheese doesn’t have eggs to bind it all together, like a baked cheesecake has, there are a few things you should look out for to make sure that your cheesecake will hold its shape.

Always go for good quality, full fat cream cheese. Not only does this make for a creamier and silker cheesecake, full fat cream cheese is stiffer and will hold its shape better.

I have used reduced fat cream cheese before and let’s just say the only thing missing from the dinner table was straws to drink it all up! It was an absolute disaster. It made for a lovely cheesecake milkshake though!

I have also made cheesecake with cheaper, store brand cream cheese and it doesn’t work as well as using philadelphia. Philadelphia is more experience but it is so worth it for the quality.

If you do want to use reduced fat cream cheese or are worried about your cheesecake not being stable enough, you can add gelatin. Just be sure not to add too much as this could make your cheesecake very rubbery.

If you want to try making a no-bake cheesecake yourself, take a look at Jane’s Patisserie. She has a recipe for every flavor you can possibly imagine! Oreo, Kinder Bueno, KitKat, you name it!

No baked cheesecake tips

Basque Cheesecake

There are three things you don’t want your cheesecake to do; burn, crack and sink. I was terrified of making a baked cheesecake for those exact reasons.

But, with a Basque cheesecake, we want it to burn, crack and sink! If you are scared of making cheesecake then this is the recipe for you! Even if it burns, it doesn’t matter because this cheesecake needs to burn on purpose!

Originating from San Sebastian in the Basque Country region of Spain, the Basque cheesecake is quite similar to the New York cheesecake in that it uses similar ingredients and is quite dense in texture.

A Basque cheesecake is baked at a really high temperature of 200C/392F for 1 hour and let to cool completely for a few hours or overnight. Like we said, it will sink, it will burn and it will crack but that is what makes it so unique.

This is an imperfect perfect cheesecake recipe and will become one of your favorites! Check out this awesome recipe for a Basque cheesecake from Cupcake Jemma.

types of cheesecake - Basque

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

The Japanese cotton cheesecake became incredibly popular due to its fun, jiggly, pillow like appearance. Going through the efforts of making it just for the jiggle is totally worth it!

A cotton cheesecake is made with the typical baked cheesecake ingredients like cream cheese, eggs and sugar. This cheesecake does also use milk and flour, while some recipes also use cornstarch (corn flour).

What gives this Japanese cheesecake it’s distinctive jiggly and soft appearance is the eggs.

The eggs are separated into egg whites and egg yolks and the egg whites are whipped into a meringue.

The meringue is then folded into the yolky, floury, cheesy mixture and baked at a low temperature for about an hour and a half.

Because there is a bit of technique in making a Japanese cotton cheesecake, you might want to try a few different recipes and see which one works the best for you.

I have tried both this Tasty recipe and this recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking.

Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work the first time as a lot of things can affect the way this cheesecake comes out of the oven.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Always use room temperature eggs so they mix in better.
  • Invest in an oven thermometer so your oven doesn’t play tricks on you.
  • If you live in high altitudes, you might need to adjust some ingredients slightly. Take a look at this high altitude baking guide and adjust accordingly.
Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

What makes this cheesecake Italian is the use of ricotta cheese rather than cream cheese.

An Italian cheesecake is much lighter than a New York cheesecake and has an almost cake like texture.

It is usually made with a pastry crust rather than a biscuit base, but you can also make a biscuit base if you really want to.

Like the New York cheesecake, this is a very simple recipe made with simple and pure ingredients. No fancy flavors or fillings. Check out this recipe here!

Italian ricotta cheesecake

Who would have thought that there are so many different cheesecakes out there! This list isn’t even all of them!

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, if not my MOST favorite and it should be yours too!

Nothing beats a creamy, silky, decadent cheesecake and now you don’t have to limit yourself to just one type! There are so many cheesecakes to try!

Happy Baking!

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