Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake
This Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake has a buttery, crunchy, salty-sweet pretzel crust, a creamy vanilla cheesecake filling, and a fresh strawberry sauce topping. It's the perfect dessert for spring, summer or any time of the year!
For the Pretzel Crust:
- 2 cups crushed pretzels, I use about 6 ounces of mini pretzels
- ¾ cup melted butter
- ¼ cup sugar
For the Cheesecake:
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Strawberry Topping:
Make the Pretzel Crust:
In a large bowl, combine the crushed pretzels, melted butter, and ¼ cup sugar. Mix until well-combined.
Press the pretzel mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan so that it is nicely compact (I use the back of a large spoon to press it down).
Make the Cheesecake:
Place the softened cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer (you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer), beat on high speed until well-combined and the mixture is smooth.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until the egg is blended in. Note: Once you start adding the eggs, use low speed on the mixer for the rest of the recipe and just until everything is mixed together and smooth. This prevents your cheesecake batter from developing too many bubbles, which can cause cracks.
Add the sour cream and vanilla extract; mix on low speed just until well-combined and the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter into the pan over the crust.
Place the pan on a sheet of aluminum foil and bring the foil up the sides so that the bottom of the pan is wrapped in foil (this prevents the butter from the crust leaking out of the pan and onto the bottom of the oven and burning in the event the pan does not seal tightly; don't skip this step even if your pan says it is leak-proof!).
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is almost set To check: Give the pan a gentle shake (or you can tap the sides of the pan with a wooden spoon). The outer edges should be firm, and the center should have just a very slight jiggle to it - it should not be very loose. The middle may also look slightly sunken in as compared to the sides. This is normal at this point. The cheesecake will even out as it cools.
Turn off the oven. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 2 hours or until cooled. It will finish cooking during this time (so avoid opening the oven door, especially in the beginning), and it will cool down as well.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Cover the top of the pan with a paper towel and then with aluminum foil (the paper towel will help prevent any condensation that might form from dripping down on the cheesecake).
Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or until it is thoroughly chilled.
Make the Strawberry Topping and Finish:
Meanwhile, make the homemade strawberry sauce (<--click the link to go to the recipe); put it in the refrigerator to chill as well.
Gently run a knife between the cheesecake and the pan in case there is any sticking. Remove the sides of the pan. Slice the cheesecake into 12 equal pieces.
To serve: top each slice of cheesecake with 2 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce.
- For a cute presentation, garnish each serving with a dollop of whipped cream, a strawberry slice, and a mini pretzel.
- One recipe of strawberry sauce will be enough for 2 tablespoons of sauce per slice of cheesecake. If you'd like more than that, make a double batch!
- Although homemade is best, you can use store-bought strawberry sauce, if desired. You will need 1½ cups.
- Store cheesecake, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days.
- You can freeze cheesecake whole or you can freeze it in slices. Wrap in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil (if freezing slices, wrap each individually and put them in a freezer bag). For best results, use within 1 to 2 months.