Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Are you in the mood for another cheesecake? This is unlike your usual one with crust and it’s far from looking perfect. But it’s famous for its unique taste and simplicity. A cheesecake that won many hearts in San Sebastian, Spain – the Basque cheesecake.

Click here for the instructional video.

Who doesn’t like amazing desserts that are easy to make? These are two things on top of mind whenever I share a recipe with you. Delicious and doable.

How is this cheesecake delicious and unique?

It has a creamy centre and caramelised top and edges. Try to visualize the taste of a Cotton or Japanese cheesecake and flan. It’s the best of both.

The Basque cheesecake is baked at high temperature creating that burnt exterior; the top and edges are browned giving it a caramelised look and feel. (Updated with more recent photos).

Is it hard to make?

Not at all. It’s one of the easiest baked desserts you can make. You can have success without worrying about too many rules. It doesn’t need to bake in a water bath, and it doesn’t matter if it cracks

Basque Burnt Cheesecake
Baked in an 8-inch round cake tin.

What’s the best cake pan to use?

It depends on what you’re going for. 

If you want something like the ones above, go ahead and use a 9-inch or an 8×3-inch round cake tin with removable bottom. These sizes will give you a wider and thinner cake.

However, if you want your cheesecake tall, thick, and creamier, I suggest using a 3-inch deep 6-inch round cake tin with removable bottom. Let cake cool at room temperature then serve.

Whichever pan you use, ensure that the baking paper extends 2-3 inches above the cake tin as the cake rapidly rises during baking. 

I wonder where this has been all my life. It’s surprisingly easy to make and tastes so good. 

Five-Ingredient Recipe

The original recipe has only five ingredients: cream cheese, sugar, eggs, heavy cream, and flour. 

I used Philadelphia cream cheese to make it. In Spain, San Millan cream cheese is a more popular brand, so I’m guessing it’s the one used by chef Santiago Rivera, creator of Basque cheesecake at the La Vina restaurant. 

I also added  ¼ tsp salt to enhance flavour and a bit of vanilla and lemon juice. I love them in cheesecakes.

Cake flour is used here because of its lower gluten content compared to flour. 

Hope you give it a go!

For other cheesecake recipes, check out:

* Cheesecake Bars
* Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

How To Make Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Caramelised cheesecake with creamy centre.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 8 slices


  • 500 g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tsp granulated sugar*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup / 240 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp / 16 g cake flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • Line an 8 x 3-inch round cake pan with removable bottom with two sheets of parchment/baking paper, let paper extend up to 2-inches above the cake pan.
  • Preheat oven to 230 C/ 450 F.
  • Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add sugar to cream cheese and beat until mixture is smooth. Scrape sides of the bowl.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beat until well incorporated before adding the next one. Scrape sides of bowl.
  • Add cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and beat until combined.
  • Using a sieve, add cake flour and ¼ tsp salt and beat until smooth.
  • Pour cake mixture into prepared pan and tap to release air bubbles.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 mins until top is caramelised or browned and centre is still jiggly. Remove from oven and let cool in pan. Serve at room temperature or chill in the fridge for a few hours.


*I added 2 tsp of sugar to suit my liking. I tasted the raw batter (don’t do this!) with only ¾ cup sugar in it and it didn’t have the sweetness I was looking for. Feel free to use ¾ cup of sugar only.