Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 22nd April 2011

Easter has always been a special holiday for my family.  And like most families, Easter is not only a time to bring family together and create special memories but also a time to enjoy traditional dishes.  For me, the two dishes that immediately come to mind when I think of Easter are grilled lamb and Cheesecake. But not just any cheesecake, it must be No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake.   This year I decided to give our family tradition a fun new twist.  Of course I made a Cherry Topping but instead of that no-bake cheesecake I made a New York Cheesecake instead.  I know, crazy!

A photo taken of a New York Cheesecake with Cherry Topping displayed on a white cake stand.

It’s not because I don’t enjoy our traditional recipe.  In fact, I enjoy it a great deal. And it’s not because the family has grown tired of it.  Believe it or not, the first question I’m asked at our family dinner is, “Aunt Grace did you make Cherry Cheesecake for dessert?”

A photo taken looking down on a New York Cheesecake with Cherry Topping on a white cake stand.

So I don’t know where this need to change things up came from.  I just thought it would be nice to have something a little different.  The big question is how will it be received? Only time will tell, but I have a feeling they’ll keep inviting me.

Our Easter feast always begins with an Antipasto of freshly sliced Italian meats, capicola, Genoa salami and prosciutto wrapped melon with provolone cheese, bocconcini cheese, olives and rolls.  Stracciatella soup (Italian egg drop soup-my favourite) is next on the menu.  A pasta dish, usually homemade meat ravioli, lasagna or cannelloni follows that.  Are you full yet?  Honestly, it always amazes me how I can eat this much, but somehow I manage!

A photo of a Cherry Cheesecake on a white cake stand with a cake lifter placed under a just cut slice.

Then comes the turkey with all the fixings, mashed potatoes, gravy and an assortment of vegetables.  We take a bit of a breather while the men congregate around the barbecue and argue about how to best grill the lamb.  Each has their own way of doing it but ultimately it falls to the shoulders of the man who is hosting Easter that year.

A photo of a New York Style Cheesecake with a slice removed and displayed on a white porcelain cake stand.

What amazes me the most about this tradition is that a whole, just butchered lamb goes out to the grill but a whole lamb never makes it to the table? Grilled lamb is a definite family favourite but you would think after eating a huge meal these fellas could wait until it makes it to the table!

A photo of a slice of New York Style Cheesecake with a Cherry Topping and a Graham Wafer Crust on a white dessert dish.

The lamb is always served with a mixed green salad with Italian vinaigrette.

And wouldn’t you think at this point we’d all be stuffed?  Well, we are, but, hey, we’re Italian.  That means we’re still ready for dessert.  Our dessert table includes an assortment of Italian cookies, sweets and of course chocolate (we can’t have Easter without chocolate).  The centre of the table showcases the coveted Cherry Cheesecake.

A photo of a Cheesecake with a graham wafer crust, cream cheese filling and cherry topping displayed on a white cake stand.

I’m looking forward to the dessert table this year because the New York Cheesecake is traditionally quite high, and it will look spectacular.  And it will taste even better! New York Cheesecake is creamy, smooth and rich.  What could be better than this? – Two New York Cheesecakes and a homemade Cherry Topping with hints of brandy, lemon and orange.

A photo of a New York Cheesecake with Cherry Topping.

What traditional dishes will you be enjoying for Easter?  You know I’m going to enjoy eating my way through this Easter holiday.  Please know I’m wishing you all a very safe, delicious and happy Easter with your families.

A photo of a New York Cheesecake with a slice removed garnished with a Cherry Topping.

A close up photo of a New York Cheesecake with a Graham Wafer Crust and a Cherry Topping.


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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Dolci alla Frutta, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fruit Desserts, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Torte

Comments (35)

35 Responses to “New York Cheesecake with Cherry Topping”

  1. Parsley Sage Says:

    Before I left home for the Caribbean, I used to get amazing Italian Easters like this. Amazing eats, incredibly company, food comas. Great stuff. This cheesecake looks outstanding! I’m sure it will be very well received. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. OurEyes EatFirst Says:

    just simply gorgeous! love the pictures and the cheesecake is to die for..

  3. Cookin' Canuck Says:

    Holy cow – is that ever gorgeous! The glaze on the cherries and the cherry juice dripping down makes this so enticing.

  4. Miss @Miss in the Kitchen Says:

    This may be the best looking cheesecake ever! What a feast you have on Easter sounds truly amazing, thanks for sharing.

  5. Sara Says:

    I love NYstyle cheesecake and this is just so beautiful. I’m in love with the pic where a slice is missing. You can see how tall and soft it is and all the topping…..hmmmmm I need to make a cheesecake soon.

  6. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel Says:

    Wow! Another gorgeous dish. Hubs would kill me if I made it though!

  7. Kathy - Panini Happy Says:

    That is just absolutely beautiful! Happy Easter to you!

  8. Grace Says:

    Happy Easter Kathy

  9. An Alaskan Cooks | Alaska Food and Wine Says:

    Oh, my goodness! Readers can almost taste that cheesecake just by viewing the gorgeous photos. This one is definitely “Buzz Worthy” and a keeper. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful dessert recipe. Cheers!

  10. Lizzy Says:

    What a fabulous cheesecake…topping and all…perfection! Not that I’d expect anything else when visiting your lovely blog :)

  11. Jeanette Says:

    Stunning Grace – Happy Easter!

  12. Grace Says:

    Happy Easter to you too Jeanette!

  13. Amy Says:

    Looks yummy.

  14. Peter Says:

    The cheesecake is definitely going to be done!
    That is final, we are cheesecake lovers.
    Joann and I can’t wait. We will make a full report!:)

  15. Alexis Says:

    Yum. Your cherry cheesecake is to die for and I wish we would have been around to try this one. I am sure is was fabulous. One of our first Christmases together, Ricardo requested tha I make him a cherry cheesecake because he wasn’t able to have yours that year. I didn’t know yours was usually no-bake, so I decided to make this decadent NY style cheesecake. The recipe called to crack the oven door a tad while it baked to prevent splitting. After my timer went off, I pulled the cheesecake out and it seemed all jiggly. It was then that I realized that the oven was off. Apparently, my oven had a safety feature that turned the oven off after a period of the door being open. Needless to say, I had to start all over again! The perils of baking sometimes… hehehe

  16. Grace Says:

    Too funny Alexis, kudos to you for starting again. We were talking about your lovely kitchen on the weekend. I must get over to your place very, very soon.

  17. Marly Says:

    I love that first photo – a lovely shot! I hope you’re recovered from all that eating! And I bet everyone loved the change in tradition.

  18. Paula at Dishing The Divine Says:

    I have been looking for a recipe that would use some delicious farmer’s market cherries and the block of cream cheese that I picked up at costco yesterday. This looks delicious!

  19. Married up with Wine » The Things I’m Making Lately Says:

    […] was delicious. Seriously. I used this recipe and substituted the cherries in the topping for our fresh […]

  20. kale @ tastes good to me! Says:

    Stunning photos. The color of the cherries is so rich! I love the idea of adding brandy. Yum!

  21. Nausheen Says:

    Dear Grace,
    I stumbled on to your blog while looking for a cheesecake recipe. Loved the pics of your cheesecake and decided to make it the very day. All went smoothly expect that it didnt set in the middle at all… as soon as i took it out of the pan it started to sink and then when i was tranferring it to the dish it fell apart.
    i followed the recipe to the T. Any suggestions???

  22. Grace Says:

    Hi Nausheen I am so sorry for the late reply I’ve been away. There are a few things that could have happened Nausheen, one, you could’ve possibly beaten too much air into the batter, unlike cakes where we are trying to incorporate air it’s the opposite with cheesecakes. It’s best to beat on a lower setting and beat just to combine ingredients. A tip to prevent air in the batter, use a butter knife to form figure eights in the batter, it will help to burst any air bubbles that may have formed when mixing. Two, do not open the oven door within the first half hour of baking. Three, oven temperature could also be the culprit, I have an older stove and my baking life changed when I bought an oven thermometer. I would preheat the oven and think I’d reach the appropriate temperature when in fact it hadn’t. I usually preheat my oven until the timer goes off and then heat for an additional 10 to 15 minutes to be assured the oven is at correct temperature. Also all ovens are different, baking time is a cue, try not to stick to the recipe in some cases especially with cheesecakes, it’s best to allow the cheesecake to bake until the edges are set but slightly jiggly in the centre when the pan is gently shaken. Four, make sure to cool cheesecakes in a spot that is free from drafts. I usually place a rack on top of the stove and allow the cheesecake to cool there. Nausheen do not be hard on yourself this cheesecake uses a different method for baking. It starts with a very high temperature with a reduction in temperature. Next time you may want to try baking it in a water bath at a lower temperature, 160 C or 325 F, it will be necessary to bake for a longer period of time. I offered some cheesecake tips in this post – If you have some time I hope you’ll take a look. One thing I’ve learned about baking cheesecakes sometimes you can do everything right and still have issues.

  23. Jacob Says:

    Hi Grace,

    Hope this post finds you well.
    Tried your cheesecake recipe over last weekend.
    It turns out OK but not as beautiful as your pics.

    I reduced the amount because I only have 2 sticks of cream cheese at home but still using a 9″ springform pan.

    I tried to look out for the first 12 mins as indicated in your recipe but surface didn’t turn golden by the end of 12mins. I guess the oven temp is not hot enough but I still cover the pan with an aluminium foil to prevent the top being burnt.

    During the last 15 min, I saw that the cake rose quite beautifully as I was opening oven door and remove the foil. The top surface still look pale, so I decided to turn up the heat & remove the aluminium foil hoping it will give it a golden color…. cut the story short; by the time I took out the cake to cool, the cake falls back to it’s original height.

    The next day after chilling it overnight, when I tried to cut into the cake; the cheese was quite hard… harder than cream cheese in original form. Is that normal? I didnt thaw it which I think I should but I always like to keep my cakes in the fridge so that they would last longer.

    Anyway, it tasted good.
    Just curious about the texture.
    How should it be? Soft and creamy?


  24. Grace Says:

    Hi Jacob, this cheesecake is more dense than a usual cheesecake but still should be creamy. Next time I would keep the heat higher in the beginning to allow for a little browning. I’m so happy you still enjoyed the flavour, this is one of my favourites.

  25. Julia Says:

    I tried the New York Cheesecake and it is absolutely delicious.

  26. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    This is one of my favourites Julia, I love cherries, in fact, you just reminded me that I have a pail of sour cherries in the freezer, must do something with them soon – maybe Black Forest Cheesecake – never made one but doesn’t it sound good?

  27. Jacob Says:

    Hi Grace,

    I’m trying to bake this cheese cake again but instead of using a 9″ spring form pan, I’m thinking of baking them in a 10″ x 10″ x 2″ (H) square pan.

    How long do I need to bake them so that they are just nicely done & not overly baked?

    Appreciate your advice.


  28. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Jacob, sorry just getting your comment now, hope I’m not too late I would recommend baking for about 45 minutes, start checking at about the 40 minute mark, the centre should jiggle slightly when the pan is gently shaken.

  29. Jacob Says:

    Hi Grace,

    As I was desperate for a solution; I sort of figure out a timing for a square 9″ x 9″ pan.
    I baked it “bain marie” way like other cheese cake recipe.
    I baked it at 120 C for 1 hrs 20 min.
    What I noticed was baking in a square pan; I don’t get the jiggle in the center effect but it turns out OK too.

    I was baking this recipe again today & I made 2 cakes; one using a 9″ spring form pan & another one a 10″ square pan.

    Put them in the oven at the same time but the result is totally different. I wont know how the texture for the 9″ spring form cake as I’m going to give the whole cake away to a friend. Hopefully they will feedback.

    Anyway, it’s a good recipe.
    Really enjoy it.
    Have a great weekend.

    cheers, Jacob

  30. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it Jacob. I will have to get myself a square springform pan and test it. By the way the longer the cheesecake chills in the fridge the better the texture, up to two days is optimal. Thank you so much for reporting back because I’m sure others will appreciate the feedback.

  31. Tasheena Says:

    So I used your recipe and my cheesecake turned out amazing. It was the best cheesecake I have ever tasted. I made a few changes to it. I made a mixed berry topping. added a sour cream layer. Made it in an aluminum pan u can buy at the grocery store. Cooked it at 325 F for 40 minutes glazed and another 20 minutes. I had a cookie sheet under with enough water to prevent cracking and I let it cool in the oven for an hour with the door cracked open. Thank you for this amazing recipe it is going in my book as a complete success.

  32. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Very Welcome Tasheena, I’m so very happy you enjoyed!

  33. Pat Says:

    Just wanted to say that I made your cherry topping with my NY style cheese cake and everyone raved over the cherries. Great flavor.
    thanks so much

  34. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    I’m so happy all enjoyed and thank you so much for taking the time to let me know!

  35. Tammy L. Says:

    Hi there. I stumbled on your cite while on pinterest. I have been making cheesecakes for a couple of years now and having a lot of fun. As of yet, I have not made NY style, so may try your version. I thought I would put my 2 cents worth in concerning what works for me. I always bake mine at 300 degrees and instead of a water bath, I put a cake pan full of boiling water on bottom shelf. It takes slightly longer to bake but the results are a flat top with not rise and fall, no edges higher than the middle and still creamy. We are 300 FT. above sea level, that seems to affect the outcome of baked goods. I am looking forward to trying some of your recipes.

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