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Slice of blackberry cheesecake with forks in background.
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5 from 3 votes

Blackberry Cheesecake

This Blackberry Cheesecake is ultra creamy, swirled with blackberry sauce, and baked on a lemon Oreo crust for an extra burst of flavor. We use a fool-proof and easy water bath method to make a perfectly flat cheesecake with no cracks and no burnt sides… ever! It’s a 5-star cheesecake that’s great for entertaining and making ahead.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Cooling Time7 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 364kcal

Equipment

  • 9" springform pan
  • Slow cooker liners

Ingredients

Blackberry Sauce

  • 10 oz frozen blackberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Lemon Crust

  • 35 lemon Oreos
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 5 tbsp butter melted

Cheesecake

  • 4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese softened
  • cups sugar
  • cups sour cream room temperature
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 eggs room temperature

Instructions

Prepare Pan for Water Bath

  • Preheat the oven to 325°.
  • Take one large piece of parchment and lay it over the circular bottom of a 9" springform pan. Then set the outside rim on top, press it firmly down over the circular bottom, and clamp it shut. You can easily fold the extra parchment underneath the pan or trim it off. Spray lightly with baking spray.
  • Lay two pieces of foil on the counter to form a + sign. Set the pan in the center and wrap the foil tightly up the sides of the pan.
  • Set the pan inside a slow cooker liner. Pull all the excess liner to one side, making sure the liner goes all the way to the top of the pan (or even slightly over the edges). Twist the liner tightly, then secure with a binder clip (yes, these are oven safe).

Blackberry Sauce

  • Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until it is pretty thick (5-6 minutes). Use the back of a spoon to crush the blackberries until the sauce is evenly chunky.
  • Pour sauce through a mesh strainer to remove any lumps and seeds. The resulting sauce should be smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool.

Lemon Crust

  • Combine: Add the lemon Oreos, sugar, melted butter, and zest to a food processor. Pulse it until the cookies are mostly fine crumbs (they may be some slightly chunky pieces still. It should look like wet sand).
    Press into pan: Using your hands or a tamper, press the crust into the prepared pan. I press the sides up first, about 1-1.5 inches tall. Then I press the bottom in firmly.
  • Add the lemon Oreos, sugar, melted butter, and zest to a food processor. Pulse it until the cookies are mostly fine crumbs (There may be some slightly chunky pieces still. It should look like wet sand).
  • Using your hands or a tamper, press the crust into the prepared pan. Press the sides up first, about 1-1.5 inches tall. Then press the bottom in firmly.

Cheesecake

  • Start a large pot of water on the stove to boil. The total amount depends on the pan you use for the water bath. I boil a large pot to ensure I have enough.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with hand beaters, beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed until very smooth. Scrape well with a rubber spatula.
  • Add the sugar, then beat again on medium-low until very smooth. Scrape well.
  • Add the sour cream and lemon zest, mixing on low until just combined.
  • One at a time, add the eggs and combine on LOW speed until just combined. Scrape well between each addition and do not overmix.

Assembly

  • Pour half of the cheesecake batter onto the prepared crust. Using a spoon, drizzle 3 tablespoons of blackberry sauce onto the batter. Add remaining cheesecake batter and drizzle another 3 tablespoons of sauce on top, being sure to bring the sauce to the edges. Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, swirl the top ½ inch of the batter with small circular motions until desired swirl is reached.

Bake

  • Place the cheesecake into a large baking tray. Place the tray into the hot oven, then pour the boiling water into the large tray until it reaches about half way up the side of the springform pan.
  • Bake for 80-95 minutes, or until the top is dry, edges are set, and the center is somewhat jiggly like jello. If you want to test with a thermometer, the center should register 150°.
  • Turn off the oven and crack the door about an inch, leaving a wooden spoon or oven mitt to hold it open if needed. Allow to cool for 1 hour.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and take the cheesecake out of the water bath. Gently remove the slow cooker liner and foil. Dab up any moisture or yellow oils from the Oreos (some moisture and oil is normal inside the liner). Set the cheesecake on a cooling rack and allow to come to room temperature for 2-4 hours.
  • Leave the cheesecake in the pan and refrigerate until cold, 4-5 hours. Once cold, remove from the springform pan and serve with remaining blackberry sauce.

Notes

Tips & Tricks
  • Start with truly softened cream cheese to avoid lumps in the batter. The best way to soften it is to leave it on the counter until it is room temperature and very easily dents when pressed with a spoon or finger. If it feels slightly firm or cold it’s not ready yet. 
  • Make sure the cream cheese is beaten until very smooth before adding the eggs. If there are lumps before adding the eggs it will be difficult to remove them. 
  • Don’t over mix the batter - this is key! Keep the mixer on medium-low before adding the eggs, and only on low after the eggs have been added. If you mix on a higher speed or for too long, it will add air to the batter and cause cracks during the baking. 
  • Avoid over baking the cheesecake. Over baked cheesecake is dry, cracked, and very brown. Your cheesecake is done when the edges are set and firm, the top is dry, and the middle is still jiggly like jello. 
  •  To avoid cracks, cool your cheesecake progressively as described in the recipe card. Fast changes in temperature cause cracks.
 
Freezing Instructions
Freeze the whole cheesecake or individual slices. Completely cool and refrigerate your cheesecake as directed. Then place it on a cookie sheet and freeze unwrapped for 2-3 hours. This ensures that the cheesecake won’t be dented or otherwise ruined when you wrap it. Then wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of tin foil. Freeze for 1-2 months.
 
To thaw, remove the cheesecake from the foil and plastic wrappings and thaw uncovered for several hours, or until completely thaw. Then add whipped cream and fresh berries if desired. 

Nutrition

Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 362IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg