November 14, 2023

Burnt Basque Cheesecake

Homemade Burnt Basque Cheesecake

The Basque cheesecake, also known as "Burnt Basque Cheesecake" or a “La Viña Cheesecake” is a delicious and unique variation of the traditional cheesecake. Originating from San Sebastián in the Basque Country, Spain, it has gained international recognition in recent years for its delightful taste and characteristic appearance.

What is a Burnt Basque Cheesecake?

Unlike the traditional cheesecake, the Basque cheesecake usually has no crust. This gives the cake a rustic look and results in a delicious, caramelised crust on the outside. But what truly makes the Basque cheesecake unique is the significant caramelization that occurs during baking. The top and edges of the cheesecake turn dark brown to almost black, creating a complex flavour and a slightly crispy exterior.

Despite the dark exterior, the inside of the Basque cheesecake has a silky-smooth and creamy texture. It has a light, airy structure that melts in your mouth with every bite.

How do I make a Basque Cheesecake? 

The Basque cheesecake is relatively simple to make, but the art lies in the baking process. The cake is typically baked at a high temperature, contributing to the caramelisation and the characteristic crust.

Tips to baking a perfect cheesecake

Here are some tips to ensure your baking experience is a success:

High Temperature is Key - The unique burnt exterior of the Basque Cheesecake comes from baking it at a high temperature. Preheat your oven to around 220°C (428°F) for that characteristic caramelisation.

Choose Quality Ingredients - Since this cheesecake relies on a simple ingredient list, ensure that the ingredients you use are of high quality. Fresh eggs, good cream cheese, and real vanilla can make a significant difference in flavor.

Room Temperature Ingredients - To achieve a smooth and well-incorporated batter, make sure your cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature before starting. This helps in avoiding lumps and ensures even mixing.

Cool Gradually - After baking, let the cheesecake cool in the pan at room temperature. This gradual cooling helps prevent cracks. Once cooled, refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight for the best texture.

Baking time and oven temperature

Remember, each oven is unique, so some adjustments to baking time and oven temperature might be needed based on your specific baking environment. All oven temperatures in my recipes are based on a conventional oven. If you bake with a fan-assisted oven, turn down the temperature slightly as these ovens tend to become hotter than a conventional oven at that temperature setting. Ovens have the tendency to deviate from the temperature you set the oven to. I would highly recommend using an oven thermometer to ensure the inside of your oven is at the right temperature. My oven for example only goes up to 160C even though I turn it up to 230C 

An oven that is too hot may result in an overbaked or burnt bake, an oven that is too cold may result in underbaked and soggy bakes. Having the thermometer will not only help in getting the right temperature but also helps in determining the right baking time. 

Other factors that may affect baking time

The size of your baking dish may also highly affect your baking time. A wider pan means that the batter spreads out more, resulting in it baking faster than in a smaller pan where the batter is thicker in height. 

Enjoy loves xx

Burnt Basque Cheesecake

A delicious and unique variation of the traditional cheesecake, the Burnt Basque Cheesecake


Demi Bruggink














  • 450gr cream cheese
  • 150gr sugar
  • 180gr heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 9gr cornstarch
  • 1tbsp vanilla paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 220-240°C. Grease a round cake pan (approximately 20 cm) and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Try to avoid using a springform
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Pour the heavy cream slowly into the bowl and beat at low speed until everything is well combined.
  6. Add the vanilla, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt, and mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. pre-mix your cornstarch with 1tsp of water to prevent lumping
  7. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared cake pan.
  8. Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is deep brown. The center should still be soft and slightly jiggly when you lightly shake the pan, and the edges should be lightly set.
  9. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool in the pan at room temperature. After cooling, you can refrigerate the cheesecake to further set overnight.
  10. Once fully cooled and set, remove the cheesecake from the pan and serve.

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