15 Types of Cheesecake That Really Hit the Spot
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
We know for a fact that you're reading this because you love cheesecake. And that's good — we all love it. But have you ever wondered how many different types of cheesecake there are for you to try out?
Cheesecake comes in a variety of flavors, consistencies, and textures. Some are creamy, while others are airy and can be dressed up with fruit toppings or kept plain. But some of them are better than others, and it can be tough to know the ones that are worth our time and calories.
15 Types of Cheesecake
In order to help you navigate your way through the vast cheesecake landscape, we've put together a list of the most popular types of cheesecake so you can find your new favorite flavor without wasting too much time.
This type of cake is made in the oven by the chefs using the water bath technique at moderate temperature. This technique gives the edges of classic cake a deeply browned finish along with a denser and puffier texture.
Besides, most regular traditional cheesecakes have one thing in common, which is the graham cracker crust.
It is important to mention that classic and New York-style cheesecake are similar as they both include cream cheese, sugar, and eggs. But the ratio of these ingredients makes them different from each other.
While New York-style cheesecake types have a denser texture, classic cheesecakes are less dense due to the use of less cream cheese. Chefs frequently add additional heavy or sour cream to compensate for the lack of cream cheese.
New York-Style Cheesecake
As we mentioned, it's the amount of each ingredients used that make the New York-style cheesecake different from the classic style. What you get here is a creamier result that has a smoother texture while being more densely packed.
You can attribute this to more cream cheese and heavy cream being used. Sour cream may be used to compensate (or not). The pie crust is your typical graham cracker base made with sugar and butter. Many NY chefs will add a dash of lemon juice to the mix for an extra flair of flavor and then top it with strawberries, blueberries, and other types of garnish.
It's said that one of the secrets to the NY cheesecake styles is in how it's baked. It's first baked at a much higher temperature than normal in order to brown the crust, then the temperature is reduced to allow the job to be finished at expected temperatures.
This is the perfect dessert when you want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your delicious dessert. It doesn't require any baking or cooking.
These cheesecakes lack eggs for apparent reasons but are flavor-packed and bundled with taste. Plus, the key to creating a delicate and soft texture is to use cream cheese with gelatin, which keeps it soft and fluffy.
When it comes to no-bake cheesecake, it's recommended to use full-fat cream cheese since no eggs are involved in these types of cheesecake recipes. Full-fat cream holds the shape of the cake, providing smoother and creamier consistency.
But there is another variation of no-bake cheesecake! You can make it with condensed milk, sour cream, or even whipped cream resulting in a cheesecake with a creamy, rich consistency almost like very dense types of frosting.
The only catch is that they lose shape at room temperature, and that's why they need to be refrigerated for several hours until they're solid and smooth.
The Chicago-style cheesecake varieties are a cake that is firm on the outside but soft and creamy on the inside. It has a fluffy texture, softer than other versions of cheesecake.
As far as the base goes, this is a pretty basic cheesecake. The filling for this dessert is made with cream cheese, vanilla extract, sour cream, eggs, and sugar. But, the crust of this cheesecake tastes a bit different as it's produced from crushed shortbread. Besides, Chicago-style cheesecakes are also found in frozen forms in stores.
This type of cheesecake is often called ‘so-called cheesecake’ as it doesn't contain the most common ingredients, eggs and creamy cheese. Well, that's why it's so popular amongst vegans. But no worries, the brilliant chefs out there have replaced these core ingredients.
It’s creamy and has this rich filling made from a mixture of softened cashew nuts and coconut milk. Not to forget the silken tofu which creates a fluffy consistency if blended accurately.
There are several different ways to make a vegan cheesecake crust. The most popular option is to use digestive biscuits, although other possibilities include graham crackers and even several cookie varieties. The choice is yours!
Swedish Style Cheesecake
These kinds of cheesecake are also locally called "Ostkaka." This dessert originated in Sweden and has a distinct and delicious taste that is unlike any other cheesecake.
The Swedish make this cheesecake without adding cream cheese. Instead, they add rennet to a mixture of flour and warm milk. Again, they add cream, almonds, eggs, bitter almonds, and sugar after the casein becomes solid. This creates the same texture and consistency as cream cheese does but with less fat.
The mixture must be baked in an oven till it seems perfect. That said, some find this method a bit complicated for making this Swedish dessert, and in that case, cottage cheese is the shortcut.
The name is derived from where this style of cheesecake was invented, in the Basque area in Spain. It is said to have come from a cafe named La Viña, ran by a chef named Santiago Rivera.
The most interesting aspect of these types of cheesecake is that there's no crust. The outer portion is allowed to look rough rather than smoothed over, and the top, bottom, and sides are charred into a dark brown like a crème brulée. This torching process helps keep the cake firm, which happens while it's baking at almost 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour.
You may be wondering how, since they use the same ingredients, this basque cheescake is so airy and light. The texture seems so much different, more like a mousse, from the thickly dense and creamy cheesecakes we've grown accustomed to.
Japanese "Cotton" Cheesecake (Souffle)
Japanese Cotton Cheesecake is a soft and fluffy dessert you'll want to eat daily. It's so airy and light, you'll think it's a cloud! Well, in Japan, it's often called "Souffle Cheesecake" (Sufurechīzukēki) because of its wobbly souffle look.
The key to its excellent texture is to use glossy, thick egg whites blended into the cheesecake batter. Unlike North American cheesecakes, these cotton ones offer less sweet flavor and fewer calories because of using less sugar and cheese. They're often steamed rather than baked, which helps them stay moist and fluffy.
A bain-marie, also called the double boiler, is mainly used for baking Japanese "cotton" cheesecake. Interestingly, the Japanese have borrowed this technique from Germany, where it's also used in some recipes for German cheesecake.
Called "Käsekuchen," this German rendition of our favorite treat is an anomaly. They manage to make a very dense and heavy cake that still remains airy and fluffy. The trick is to substitute most of the cream cheese with either sour cream or quark (or quarg, it's a dairy product similar to cottage cheese).
You can expect a much less sweet flavor here due to the reduced amount of sugar and increased dairy. Rather than using graham cracker crusts, pastry shortcrust is used instead.
If you're looking for an alternative to cream cheese in your cheesecake, look no further than this Italian Ricotta Cheesecake recipe. This cheesecake is a lighter and more cake-like version of American cheesecake.
As the name implies, it replaces cream cheese with Italian Ricotta cheese. The result is a drier, less creamy cake that's perfect for those who prefer a lighter texture.
If you want the texture and taste to be out of the world, try using fresh ricotta while making this cake. You can make your own ricotta cheese, which is simple to prepare and tastes far better than any store-bought version. You can also use it in many other recipes!
The Ricotta cheesecake is not only delicious, but it's also a part of Italian tradition. That's why this delicacy is commonly referred to as "Ricotta pie".
Furthermore, ricotta cheese is a versatile and delectable component. It can be used in various ways, but one of the most common is combining it with a bit of milk to create a lovely, rich, creamy texture.
Savory cheesecakes are a great way to add a little something special to your next meal. The wonderful thing about savory types of cheesecake is that they can be cooked in various ways, including baked or no-bake, with or without a crust.
Generally, panko crumbs or breadcrumbs are used to make the base or crust of this yummy cheesecake. Along with that, cracker crumbs like butter or herbed wafers are also used for making the base. Some chefs make a base of crushed crackers mixed with chopped pecans or grated parmesan cheese to enhance the taste.
Meanwhile, the filling is made with cream cheese, a gouda or blue cheese blend, caramelized onions, garlic, and any types of eggs. Seasonings like paprika, cumin, and others might be used as an optional addition.
If you're a coffee lover, this tiramisu-style cheesecake is a treat for you. It combines the best flavors of coffee, mascarpone cream, wine, ladyfingers, and chocolate. They go great with coffee, too, much like many types of donuts.
What makes this combination so great is that it's not too sweet or creamy despite having so many ingredients. Some prefer to add espresso in its New York-style base to enhance the rich coffee flavor.
Known as 'Vatrushka' in Russia, this cheesecake may not resemble a slice of pie as you've come to expect. It's more like a shallow, circular bowl of bread (like a donut shape), where the cheesecake filling is placed in the hole and then topped with fruit like raisins or raspberries.
The traditional way of making vatrushka is to use a sweet bread dough, though a more savory version has gained popularity which uses unsweetened dough and has chopped onions mixed in. To get a frame of reference, you can expect each of these cheesecake types to measure in between 2 and 4 inches across.
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Extra creamy base topped with sweet pecan crust, pecan pie cheesecakes are one of the most delicious holiday desserts. However, this deliciousness doesn't come very easily as you need to refrigerate the cake, crust, and pecan topping for two days.
To prepare the crust, you'll need regular ingredients like graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. As for the pecan topping, you'll need melted butter and brown sugar for the caramel. Then, heavy cream, cinnamon, and pecans can be added to prepare the coating.
Filipino Ube Cheesecake
Often called "Purple Yam Cheesecake" due to it's literal purple color, this ube cheesecake is considered a delicacy in the Philippines. It has a fairly typical cream cheese base which is then covered with ube halaya, which is made primarily from mashed up purple yam and mixed with butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and milk.
You can hasten the progress by using eggs in the cake mix and then baking the entire cake, and then refrigerating it to cool it before serving, which is how people like to eat it. You can skip the baking process and leave out the eggs, though, if you refrigerate it and let it solidify there first. Cuts out a whole step!
More Cheesecake Varieties
We can't possibly discuss all the different kinds of cheesecake out there, nor would you want us to. But we can list off a few more interesting options that you may enjoy looking up in your spare time.
- Austrian Cheesecake (Topfentorte)
- Keto Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Strawberry Cheesecake
- Key Lime Cheesecake
- Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake
- Chocolate Cheesecake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
- Banana Cream Cheesecake
- Blueberry Cheesecake
- Red Velvet Cheesecake
- Blackberry Cheesecake
- Sopapilla Cheesecake
I'll stop there. Basically any flavor you can think of has been made into one of the styles of cheesecake. There's endless varieties of cheesecake out there, and when you're done here you'd probably enjoy taking the adventure through the many types of brownies as well, as they contain similar ingredients and can have the same textures.
Types of Cheesecake to Satiate Your Taste
A subset of the world's most enjoyable cakes, cheesecakes are typically sweet treats that are filled with creamy cheese. The taste can be somewhat divisive; it is a decadent dessert. However, so many people have a soft spot for cheesecake that it seems like everyone has their own personal favorite style of this particular cake.
There are actually plenty of cheesecake recipes out there that are just as luscious and rich as their dairy-laden counterparts. We hope our list of the different types of cheesecake inspired you to make your own indulgent cheesecake today!