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Simple Vanilla Burnt Basque Cheesecake, just what the coming holiday week and month ahead needs most. This delicious cheesecake has a deep golden brown exterior, thus it is called a “Burnt” Basque Cheesecake. Inside you’ll find a creamy, rich, sweet filling. It’s really not like any other cheesecake you’ve had before. It’s the easiest to make and (almost) impossible to mess up.

Vanilla Burnt Basque Cheesecake | halfbakedharvest.com

Hey guys, one last dessert before Thanksgiving next week and it sure is a good one. To be honest, when it comes to cheesecake, it’s never been something I’ve had the desire to make or eat. It’s just never felt that special to me, but the Basque-style cheesecake is completely different.

It’s richer, creamier, and the easiest to make. No water underneath the cake and nothing fancy about it.

It’s the cheesecake that really embraces those cracks, and I love that!

I wanted to share a Thanksgiving dessert that wasn’t pie but also wasn’t a layer cake. Something easy and sweet, but still special enough for the holidays!

This Burnt Basque Cheesecake is perfect. The rich vanilla flavor really shines in this cake. And the warm hot cocoa sauce drizzled over top, well, it just sweetens the deal. The cocoa sauce is not needed, but then again it is, because it makes every bite perfection.

Vanilla Burnt Basque Cheesecake | halfbakedharvest.com

Details – start with the cake

What I love about this cake is truly just how easy it is. Start off by beating the cream cheese with sugar and real vanilla bean seeds. I love to use a vanilla bean pod with the seeds scraped out. Vanilla bean powder also works great too!

You’ll want to really beat in the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla. This infuses the cake batter with a strong vanilla flavor.

Then just add eggs, cream, a touch of flour, and some salt. I also added hazelnut liquor for a special holiday touch that really compliments the vanilla.

It’s really, really simple, but yet still really, really delicious. Kind of sweet, kind of salty, and with a really great vanilla flavor.

The cake can be baked, then chilled and stored in the fridge for a few days. I like to bring the cake to room temperature before serving.

Vanilla Burnt Basque Cheesecake | halfbakedharvest.com

The hot cocoa drizzle

I felt like the cake needed something to compliment the rich vanilla flavor, an espresso chocolate sauce sounded perfect.

It’s a mix of chocolate, cream, vanilla, and espresso powder. Simply combine everything together until melty and warm.

Vanilla Burnt Basque Cheesecake | halfbakedharvest.com

Once the cake has cooled, just slice and serve with the warm sauce on top. Tis’ truly the most delicious.

The perfect way to end a nice Thanksgiving Day with family and friends. Note…this is also great with an espresso on the side!

Vanilla Burnt Basque Cheesecake | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other easy holiday desserts?? Here are my favorites: 

Brown Sugar Maple Cookie Pie

White Chocolate Chai Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting

Lastly, if you make this Vanilla Burnt Basque Cheesecake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Vanilla Burnt Basque Cheesecake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liquor
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Hot Cocoa Drizzle

Instructions

  • 1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lightly butter a 8-9 inch spring-form pan and line with parchment paper going up the sides of the pan.
    2. Split the vanilla bean in half and use a sharp knife to scape out the seeds. 
    3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 3/4 sugar, and vanilla beans on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl until very smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time until the eggs are fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then reduce the mixer speed to medium-low. Add the cream and hazelnut liquor, beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
    4. Sift the flour and salt into the batter, then beat again to combine, about 30 seconds. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
    5. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until deeply golden brown on top and still very jiggly in the center. Let the cake cool 5 minutes, then unmold. Let cool completely. 
    6. Before serving, make the chocolate sauce. Combine chocolate and cream microwave-safe bowl and microwave, stirring every 45 seconds, until melted. Stir in the vanilla and coffee powder. 
    7. Slice into wedges and serve at room temperature or chilled, drizzled with warm chocolate sauce.
Vanilla Burnt Basque Cheesecake | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. I went out on a limb trying a new cheesecake recipes for Thanksgiving. Delicious and easy to make. My only complaint was that I ate too much, oof.

    1. Hi Tracey,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Loved the recipe, made it for Thanksgiving. the crust and the “burnt” part are so good – almost like creme brulee.

    The cake cracked a lot after unmolding- so next time i might let it cool longer. i put it back in the ring mold and refrigerated which helped to reshape.

    1. Hi Megan,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    So awesome and easy! Not too sweet. I’m also at altitude 7k ft and it turned out great. I did the first 35min at 375 and the last 20 at 400 and it was perfect.

    1. Hi Christina,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

    1. Hi Bethany,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Delish!!! I love that it doesn’t feel as heavy as other cheesecakes. I think I overbaked mine slightly, but would definitely make again. Thanks Tieghan!!!

  5. 5 stars
    This came out amazing! The vanilla bean was the over the top. The chocolate sauce was such a great compliment. I had a hard time making a cheesecake without a crust so I added a crust of anisette cookies. It was so delicious. Where can I post me picture?

    1. Hey Dawn,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Just made this for Thanksgiving tomorrow and snuck a small bite of the cheesecake on the side. WOW! I can’t wait to actually eat it! I did sub bourbon for the liqueur since I didn’t have any.

    1. Hi Kristen,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  7. Just made this for tomorrow! I ended up adding a graham cracker crust just bc I love a good graham crust. I want to dig into it now, it looks/smells like heaven.

    1. Hey there,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  8. just made this for tomorrow, i can’t wait to cut into it! if it’s half as good as my house smells right now, everyone will be really happy 🙂

    1. Hi Anna,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  9. I have searched high and low and everywhere is out of heavy cream. Do you have a suggestion for a replacement? Light cream? Extra cream cheese? SOS!

    1. Hi Angela,
      Unfortunately, a pie pan is not high enough on the sides for this cheesecake, I would recommend the springform pan or a cake pan. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  10. I want to make this for Thanksgiving but can’t find heavy cream anywhere. Is there a substitute you could suggest?

    1. Hi Victoria,
      You could try using half and half or whole milk. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    I just took my cheesecake out of the oven and it looks fantastic! I’m shocked because I have never made cheesecake before!

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks so very much for giving this recipe a go, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  12. I’m making this recipe today and until I read the comments the use of the vanilla bean was really unclear. I thought it was telling me to put the whole bean in the cheese and toss the seeds. Thanks everyone for your comments! I also use a convection oven so I’m going to try it at 375.

    1. Hi Renae,
      Yes, you can use an equal amount of GF flour. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  13. Hello Tieghan! I am very excited to make this recipe. Did you bake this on a convection setting or with the normal oven setting?

    1. Hey Emma,
      You will want to use 24 ounces. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  14. What are some other toppings you’d suggest apart from the Cocoa drizzle.
    I want to offer some options for Thanksgiving. Strawberry sauce?

    1. Hey Jessica,
      Sure, strawberry sauce would be delicious here! Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

    1. Hey Jody,
      It really depends on the size of the pans, I would start with 25 minutes. I hope you enjoy this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Sasha,
      I like to use Frangelico. I hope you enjoy this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  15. Ok, so I’m going to attempt this…but, I don’t understand the placement of the parchment paper. And how do you get the cheesecake off of it? Does that make any sense? 😉

    1. Hey Lori,
      You are just going to line the whole pan with parchment and then the cheesecake should very easily remove from the parchment and pan for you. This way you do not need to worry about anything sticking. I hope this helps! xTieghan

      1. Do you do one big piece of parchment that you push down into the springform pan or separate pieces (i.e., a round for the bottom of the pan and a strip to go around the sides)?

    1. Hey there,
      I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have a great week! xTieghan

  16. Do you have any recommendations for making this gluten free? Is 1:1 gf flour sufficient or should something else be subbed in?

    1. Hey Megan,
      You can use an equal amount of Gf flour. I hope the recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  17. 5 stars
    Mine curdled, so I’ll try again at a lower temp, but it still tastes so good! I can imagine if it were creamy that it would be amazing!
    I’m not sure how to get it to brown so well while cooking on a lower temp, but the flavor is amazing, so I think it’s worth a shot!

    1. Hey Kate,
      I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! So sorry to hear about the curdling. Have a great week! xTieghan

  18. Very delicious and worth the time spent. Made it today for a gathering and am making it for Thanksgiving dessert. Thank you.

  19. Hi Tiegan! Haven’t made this yet but I was wondering do you think a graham cracker crust would work to add this recipe?!

    1. Hey Jesse,
      Sure, I bet that would also be delicious! I hope you love the recipe, let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

  20. Do you think subbing bourbon for the hazelnut liquor would be good? Or ruin the flavor profile? I have a whole bottle I bought for another recipe and would love to put it to use.

    1. Hey Audrey,
      That should be fine to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  21. I’m pretty new to your blog. I love it. Making the cheesecake to take to a friend’s for dinner tonight I can’t rate it yet. I do have one comment though. I have baked all my life (I’m 65,) but haven’t used vanilla beans. I had no idea how to use it. Do I chop the bean or what??? That seemed weird to me. I looked it up online and discovered that you use the scrapings from the bean. That may seem obvious to most but it wasn’t to me. Maybe you should include that info in your recipe. I put the leftover bean in some vodka to infuse for something yummy to drink in the near future!

      1. Thanks for replying Susana. Step 2 says to cut the beans and scrape out the seeds. Step 3 says to beat together the cheese, sugar and vanilla beans. It doesn’t specify to use the scrapings. That’s why I was confused.
        I have a caution to bakers using the small upper oven in a GE Profile. I moved the rack to the center as directed but after about 35 minutes the cake rose so well that it actually touched the burners of the oven and REALLY burned the top. I was able to peel off the burned part and stick it back in the oven to brown again. It turned out delicious but I’ll keep it on the lower rack if I use that oven again!

    1. Hey Susan,
      You will split the bean down the middle with a knife and scoop out the beans inside. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  22. Would this be okay to make a couple days ahead of Thanksgiving and refrigerate?? Super excited to give it a try! 🙂

    1. Hey Annsley,
      Yes, that will work well for you. I hope this recipe turns out amazing, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Kim,
      Sure, vanilla bean paste should also work well for you! Please let me know if you give the recipe a try! xTieghan

    1. I just googled what the ratio of vanilla extract to a whole vanilla bean is and the recommendation is to use 1 TBS of vanilla extract in place of 1 whole vanilla bean.

      1. Made this and was pretty disappointed. I couldn’t find vanilla bean powder so I used double the amount of vanilla extract. The cheesecake was practically flavorless, although the consistency was nice. The chocolate sauce on top tasted like bland warmed up chocolate chips. Glad I tested this recipe before making for thanksgiving!

    2. Hey there,
      I would use about 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. I haven’t made this yet, but Amaretto (almond liqueur) might be a decent substitute, and is a more common liqueur for people to have.

      You might also be able to use almond extract (or hazlenut extract if you can find it). The rule of thumb for that is 1/2 teaspoon extract per 2 tablespoons of liqueur.

      Another option would be hazelnut syrup, which is often sold as something to add to coffee.

      I should add the warning that I haven’t tried any of these yet. I am planning on doing this recipe and will probably use the Amaretto substitute, because I have some around the place.

      1. Hey Glen – Amaretto sounds like a great substitute! I’m not a fan of hazelnut so I’d definitely try the Amaretto – which I always have in the house!

      1. Hey Lynn,
        That would obviously change the flavor profile, but it would work. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    2. Hey Tonia,
      You can just skip the hazelnut liquor. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  23. 4 stars
    Unfortunately, I grew up in the mid-west, where the typical home cook was taught, “Cook it for as long as the recipe says, then cook it until it looks done, then give it a little more time, just to be sure.” However, since I started using a really good (i.e., near professional) instant-read thermometer, my cooking has improved and I have far fewer failures. Can you please, Please, PLEASE occasionally provide temperature readings for key steps in your recipes? In this recipe, if I knew EXACTLY the temperature that indicates when the cheesecake is done, I am much more likely to have a good outcome.

    1. Hey Jim,
      Did you try the recipe? Sorry this is not something I plan to do at this time, but thanks for the feedback. xTieghan

    2. I’ve found that around 155 F is good for cheesecake, although “very jiggly” might be more around 150. Interested to see what others have to say. I’m 100% with you on temperatures as a no-guess measure of when something is ready.

  24. This looks amazing for Thanksgiving dessert. Can I use a 10 inch springform pan?
    And what can I substitute for the hazelnut liquor?

    1. Hey Susana,
      Yes, a 10 inch springform pan will be just fine, I would just slightly reduce your baking time. You can omit the hazelnut liquor. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Question my son is allergic to tree nuts Do you have an alternative to hazel nuts?

      Please disregard I saw same question below.

    2. Hey Susie,
      You can just omit the hazelnut liquor. I hope you enjoy this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  25. Could this be made with the puff pastry crust like the blueberry basque cheesecake? Or is there a reason you didn’t use it with this one? Can’t wait to make it either way!

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Sure, you could totally do the puff pastry crust for this recipe too! Please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  26. Hi, we have a tree nut allergy. Is there something I can substitute the hazelnut for? Also can I just omit the espresso or is there a sub for that?
    This looks delish!

    1. Hey Courtney,
      You can omit both the hazelnut liquor and espresso powder. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

    1. Hey Alex!
      To make this gluten free you just have to use gluten free flour! I have celiacs and was just looking at the recipe to see how to make it – that looks like the only change!

    2. Hey Alex,
      I would use an equal amount of GF flour. I hope the recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan