Wedding (Cheese)cake!

My sister got married a few weeks ago in a beautiful intimate wedding on the beach. No shoes, a setting sun, close family and friends – it was truly special. I walked away firmly believing big weddings are overrated. My sister did everything her way – right down to the dessert. She wanted cupcakes and as she is a cheesecake lover, a cheese cake for the “wedding cake.” Everyone was having so much fun at the reception that for the traditional “cake cutting,” no one noticed! A sign of a good wedding, indeed.

This is a thick and creamy traditional New York-style cheesecake – make the cake the day before, chill overnight, and finish off with the berries and berry topping just prior to serving. This serves 18-20 people, sliced thinly.

Wedding (Cheese)cake (click here for printable version)


For crust

  • 20 whole graham crackers (10 ounces total), broken
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

For filling

  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 5 large eggs

For topping

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 16-ounce baskets strawberries, whole
  • 2 cups mixed berries of your choice (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Make crust:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Wrap foil around outside of 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine graham crackers, butter and sugars in processor. Using on/off turns, blend until crumbs begin to stick together. Press crumbs onto bottom and 2 3/4 inches up sides of springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

Make filling:

Beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt in large bowl until very smooth. Beat in flour. Add eggs and beat just until blended, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Pour batter into crust.

Bake cheesecake until outer 2-inch edge of cake is puffed and slightly cracked, center is set but slightly jiggly and top is brown in spots, about 70 minutes. Transfer cake to rack. Cool 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Make topping:

Whisk sour cream, sugar and vanilla in medium bowl to blend.

Spoon topping over cake, spreading to edge of pan. Bake until topping is just set, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Run knife between crust and pan.

Cool hot cake in pan on rack, Chill overnight.

Mix 2 cups of mixed berries with the sugar and set aside for 10-30 minutes. Release pan sides from cheesecake and transfer to platter. Arrange whole strawberries, stems facing out, around perimeter of cake. Mound mixed berries on top of cake, covering completely. Serve.

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