Mary Berry’s vanilla cheesecake is a classic crowd-pleaser and surprisingly easy to make at home. This recipe produces the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavours, with a hint of vanilla and a crisp biscuit crust. Though cheesecakes seem decadent, this version uses simple supermarket ingredients for a dessert that looks impressive but comes together without fuss. With just a little time and effort, you can present your family or guests with an elegant bakery-quality cheesecake.
Take your entertaining up a notch by baking Mary Berry’s famous vanilla cheesecake yourself. Follow the clear instructions below for foolproof results.
What is Mary Berry’s Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe?
Mary Berry’s vanilla cheesecake recipe is simple and easy to follow, but it produces a delicious and impressive result. The cheesecake has a rich and smooth texture, a subtle vanilla flavour, and a golden brown top. The crust is made from digestive biscuits and butter, and the filling is made from cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. The cheesecake is baked in a water bath, which helps to prevent cracking and drying out. The cheesecake is then chilled in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to set and firm up.
Why You Love this Recipe
You will love this recipe because:
- Simple, foolproof recipe with clear, easy-to-follow instructions
- Uses basic, easily accessible ingredients from any supermarket
- Delivers a rich, smooth texture and subtle vanilla flavour
- Has an elegant golden brown baked finish
- Easily customizable with different toppings like whipped cream, berries, fruit coulis
- A crowd-pleasing dessert that satisfies all cheesecake cravings
- Suitable for any occasion from casual gatherings to special events
- A classic cheesecake that everyone will enjoy and compliment
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Vanilla Cheesecake
To make this Vanilla cheesecake, you will need the following ingredients:
- For the crust:
- 225g (8oz) digestive biscuits
- 100g (4oz) butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 900g (2lb) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 225g (8oz) caster sugar
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 150ml (5fl oz) sour cream, at room temperature
You will also need the following equipment:
- A 23cm (9in) springform cake tin
- A large roasting tin
- A food processor or a rolling pin and a plastic bag
- A large mixing bowl
- An electric mixer or a wooden spoon
- A spatula
- A kettle
- A wire rack
- A knife
- A palette knife or a metal spatula
- A serving plate
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Vanilla Cheesecake
Follow these steps to make the Vanilla cheesecake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4). Grease the base and sides of the springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
- To make the crust, crush the digestive biscuits in a food processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, until they resemble fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and stir in the melted butter, until well combined. Press the mixture evenly over the base of the prepared tin, using the back of a spoon or your fingers. Bake the crust in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool slightly on a wire rack.
- To make the filling, beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla extract, beating well after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the sour cream, until well combined. Pour the filling over the crust and spread it evenly with a spatula.
- Place the cake tin in the roasting tin and boil some water in a kettle. Pour the hot water into the roasting tin, until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake tin. This creates a water bath, which helps the cheesecake bake evenly and prevents cracking. Carefully place the roasting tin with the cake tin in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set but still slightly wobbly in the centre.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door slightly ajar for 1 hour. This allows the cheesecake to cool gradually and avoid shrinking. Then, remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
- Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the tin. Cover the cheesecake with cling film and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to set and firm up.
- To serve, remove the cheesecake from the fridge and carefully release it from the tin. Transfer it to a serving plate and smooth the sides with a palette knife or a metal spatula. You can serve it plain, or decorate it with some whipped cream, fresh berries, or fruit coulis on top. Enjoy!
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Vanilla Cheesecake?
You can serve Mary Berry vanilla cheesecake plain, or with some of the following toppings:
- Whipped cream: A dollop of whipped cream adds some lightness and sweetness to the cheesecake.
- Berries: Fresh or frozen berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries, add some colour and freshness to the cheesecake. You can also make a berry sauce by simmering some berries with sugar and water and drizzling it over the cheesecake.
- Fruit coulis: A fruit coulis is a thin sauce made from pureed and strained fruit, such as mango, passion fruit, or raspberry. It adds some tanginess and contrast to the cheesecake.
- Chocolate: Chocolate lovers can drizzle some melted chocolate, chocolate sauce, or chocolate shavings over the cheesecake.
- Caramel: Caramel lovers can drizzle some caramel sauce, dulce de leche, or salted caramel over the cheesecake.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Vanilla Cheesecake
To make the perfect Mary Berry vanilla cheesecake, follow these pro tips:
- Use full-fat cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs at room temperature. This will ensure a smooth and creamy filling, without any lumps or curdling.
- Don’t overmix the filling. Beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, but don’t overbeat it, as this can introduce air bubbles that can cause cracking and sinking.
- Bake the cheesecake in a water bath. A water bath is a large roasting tin filled with hot water, in which the cake tin is placed. This creates a moist and even heat, which prevents the cheesecake from drying out, cracking, or browning too much.
- Don’t open the oven door while baking. Opening the oven door can cause sudden temperature changes, which can affect the cheesecake’s texture and appearance. Check the cheesecake only at the end of the baking time, and look for a slight wobble in the centre, which indicates that it is done.
- Let the cheesecake cool gradually. After baking, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for an hour, with the oven door slightly ajar. This will help the cheesecake to cool slowly and evenly, without cracking or collapsing. Then, transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack and let it cool completely, before refrigerating it for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to set and firm up.
- Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before releasing the springform tin. This will help to loosen the cheesecake from the tin and prevent it from sticking or breaking.
- Use a palette knife or a metal spatula to transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Slide the palette knife or the metal spatula under the cheesecake and gently lift it off the base of the tin. Then, slide it onto a serving plate and remove the baking parchment.
Variations of Mary Berry Vanilla Cheesecake
You can vary the Mary Berry vanilla cheesecake recipe by changing the crust, the filling, or the topping.
Here are some ideas:
- For the crust, you can use different types of biscuits, such as graham crackers, shortbread, oreos, or ginger snaps. You can also add some nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans, to the crust for some extra crunch and flavour.
- For the filling, you can add some lemon juice and zest, orange juice and zest, or lime juice and zest, to the cream cheese mixture, for some citrus flavour. You can also add some chocolate chips, peanut butter, Nutella, or jam, to the cream cheese mixture, for some extra sweetness and richness.
- For the topping, you can use different types of fruits, such as bananas, kiwis, pineapples, or peaches, to decorate the cheesecake. You can also use different types of nuts, such as pistachios, hazelnuts, or macadamias, to sprinkle over the cheesecake. You can also use different types of syrups, such as maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar, to drizzle over the cheesecake.
How do I store Mary Berry Vanilla Cheesecake Leftovers?
To store Mary Berry vanilla cheesecake leftovers, follow these steps:
- Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap or aluminium foil, or place it in an airtight container.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for up to 5 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
- To thaw the frozen cheesecake, transfer it to the fridge and let it defrost overnight, or at room temperature for a few hours, before serving.
How do I reheat Mary Berry Vanilla Cheesecake Leftovers?
You don’t need to reheat Mary Berry vanilla cheesecake leftovers, as they are best served cold or at room temperature.
However, if you prefer a warm cheesecake, you can reheat it in the microwave or in the oven, following these steps:
- To reheat the cheesecake in the microwave, cut a slice of cheesecake and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds, or until slightly warm, but not hot. Be careful not to overheat the cheesecake, as this can affect its texture and taste.
- To reheat the cheesecake in the oven, preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan, gas mark 2). Cut a slice of cheesecake and place it on a baking sheet. Cover it loosely with aluminium foil, and bake it for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly warm, but not hot. Be careful not to overbake the cheesecake, as this can dry it out and cause it to crack.
Nutrition value per serving:
- Calories: 436 kcal
- Fat: 36 g
- Saturated fat: 22 g
- Carbohydrates: 23 g
- Sugars: 14 g
- Fibre: 1 g
- Protein: 4 g
- Salt: 0.8 g
Other Mary Berry Cakes Recipe
- Mary Berry Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake
- Mary Berry Lemon and Lime Cheesecake
- Mary Berry Strawberry Cheesecake
- Mary Berry No Bake Baileys Cheesecake
- Salted Caramel Cheesecake Mary Berry
How do I prevent my cheesecake from cracking?
One of the most common problems with cheesecakes is cracking, which can ruin the appearance and texture of the dessert. There are several ways to prevent cracking, such as:
- Using room temperature ingredients. This will help the filling to mix smoothly and evenly, without any lumps or air bubbles.
- Baking the cheesecake in a water bath. This will create a moist and gentle heat, which will prevent the cheesecake from drying out, browning too much, or shrinking.
- Not overbaking the cheesecake. The cheesecake is done when it is slightly wobbly in the centre, but not runny. Overbaking can cause the cheesecake to become dry and tough, and crack as it cools.
- Letting the cheesecake cool gradually. After baking, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for an hour, with the oven door slightly ajar. This will help the cheesecake to cool slowly and evenly, without sudden temperature changes that can cause cracking.
- Running a knife around the edge of the cheesecake. This will help to loosen the cheesecake from the tin and prevent it from sticking or breaking.
Can I make this cheesecake gluten-free?
Yes, you can make a gluten-free crust by substituting the digestive biscuits with your choice of gluten-free cookies or cornbread crumbs. The filling is naturally gluten-free.
How long does Mary Berry’s vanilla cheesecake last in the fridge?
Properly stored in an airtight container, the cheesecake will be kept for 3-4 days refrigerated. Make sure to cover any leftover slices with plastic wrap.
What kind of cream cheese works best for this recipe?
Use full-fat brick cream cheese, not spreadable kinds. Full-fat provides the richest, creamiest texture and flavour.
Mary Berry’s vanilla cheesecake is the perfect dessert for any gathering. The rich filling pairs nicely with fresh berries, chocolate, caramel and more. Make this classic cheesecake for your next event and wait for all the compliments! From the buttery crust to the silky interior, this recipe delivers on both taste and presentation. Thank you for choosing my vanilla cheesecake – enjoy!