Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake Recipe

Last updated on May 14, 2024

Easy Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake Recipe
Yields: 8 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 50 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 20 Mins

Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake is a delightful dessert that combines the tangy sweetness of rhubarb with the creamy richness of cheesecake. Perfect for any occasion, this dessert is sure to impress with its vibrant layers and exquisite flavor.

This recipe serves 8-10 people and can be prepared in about 1.5 to 2 hours, including both preparation and cooking times.

In this article, I’ll guide you through each step of making Nigella’s Rhubarb Cheesecake, complete with expert tips and variations to make this dish uniquely yours.

What is Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake?

Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake is a luxurious dessert that layers velvety cheesecake with a fresh rhubarb compote. The tartness of rhubarb perfectly balances the sweetness of the cheesecake, making it a standout dish.

Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake Recipe

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Unique Flavor Combination: The tartness of rhubarb paired with the creamy cheesecake base offers a refreshing twist on the classic cheesecake.
  • Visually Impressive: With its striking layers and vibrant color, this cheesecake makes a beautiful centerpiece for any dining table.
  • Perfect for All Occasions: Whether it’s a festive celebration or a cozy family dinner, this cheesecake fits perfectly.
  • Make-Ahead Friendly: Prepare this cheesecake a day in advance to let the flavors meld beautifully, making it a convenient option for busy schedules.
  • Customizable: Easily adapt this recipe with different toppings or swirls to suit your taste or seasonal availability.

Ingredients Needed to Make Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake

Rhubarb Compote:

  • 500g (about 1.1 lbs) fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 100g (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange

Cheesecake Base:

  • 200g (7 oz) digestive biscuits, crushed into fine crumbs
  • 100g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 500g (1.1 lbs) cream cheese, softened
  • 150g (5.3 oz) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) sour cream


  • 200ml (7 fl oz) double cream, whipped
  • Optional: additional rhubarb for garnish, thinly sliced


  • 23cm (9 inch) springform cake tin
  • Baking parchment
  • Medium saucepan for the compote
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer or hand whisk
  • Rubber spatula
  • Sharp knife for chopping rhubarb

Instructions to Make Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake

Step 1: Prepare the Rhubarb Compote:

  • Combine Ingredients: In a medium saucepan, mix the rhubarb pieces with granulated sugar and orange juice.
  • Cook the Compote: Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is tender and the compote has thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Allow it to cool completely.

Step 2: Prepare the Cheesecake Base:

  • Mix Crumbs and Butter: In a bowl, combine the crushed digestive biscuits with melted butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Form the Base: Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a lined 23cm springform cake tin. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set.

Step 3: Make the Cheesecake Filling:

  • Mix Cream Cheese and Sugar: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and caster sugar until smooth. Add vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Add Eggs: Incorporate the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
  • Fold in Sour Cream: Gently fold in the sour cream until the mixture is smooth and uniform.

Step 4: Assemble the Cheesecake:

  • Layer the Compote: Spread half of the rhubarb compote over the chilled biscuit base.
  • Add Filling: Pour the cheesecake filling over the compote layer and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Add More Compote: Dollop the remaining compote on top and use a knife or skewer to create a marble effect.

Step 5: Bake the Cheesecake:

  • Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F).
  • Bake: Place the cheesecake in the oven and bake for about 50-60 minutes or until the center is just set but still slightly wobbly.
  • Cool in Oven: Turn off the oven and leave the door slightly open, allowing the cheesecake to cool slowly for an hour to prevent cracking.

Step 6: Chill and Serve:

  • Refrigerate: Once cooled, refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours, or overnight, which is ideal.
  • Serve: Before serving, garnish with whipped cream and optional fresh rhubarb slices.

Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake

What Do I Serve With Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake?

  • Ginger Tea: Offer a warm cup of ginger tea, which pairs beautifully with the spicy-sweet notes of the rhubarb.
  • Sparkling Dessert Wine: A glass of sparkling dessert wine can enhance the dessert’s flavors, making it perfect for special occasions.
  • Crunchy Almond Biscotti: Provide some crunchy almond biscotti for a delightful texture contrast that complements the smooth cheesecake.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake

  • Ensure Ingredients Are at Room Temperature: To achieve a smooth and creamy filling, make sure all your ingredients, especially the cream cheese and eggs, are at room temperature before mixing.
  • Avoid Overmixing: When adding the eggs, mix just enough to incorporate them. Overmixing can introduce too much air and cause the cheesecake to rise and fall, leading to cracks.
  • Water Bath: For an even more luxurious texture, bake the cheesecake in a water bath. This helps to evenly distribute heat and moisture, preventing cracks and ensuring a perfectly smooth top.
  • Cool Gradually: Let the cheesecake cool gradually in the turned-off oven with the door slightly open to avoid sudden temperature changes that can lead to cracks.

Variations of Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake: Add fresh or frozen strawberries to the rhubarb compote for a classic flavor combination.
  • Chocolate Crust Rhubarb Cheesecake: Use chocolate biscuits for the base to add a rich depth of flavor that contrasts beautifully with the tangy rhubarb.
  • Vegan Rhubarb Cheesecake: Substitute the cream cheese and sour cream with vegan alternatives and use a plant-based butter for the crust.
  • Spiced Rhubarb Cheesecake: Incorporate a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or cardamom into the rhubarb compote for a warm, spicy note.

How Do I Store Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake Leftovers?

  • Refrigerate: Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.
  • Air-Tight Container: Use an air-tight container to keep the cheesecake fresh and prevent it from absorbing other flavors from the fridge.

How Do I Reheat Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake Leftovers?

  • Room Temperature: Ideally, serve the cheesecake leftovers chilled or let them come to room temperature for the best flavor and texture.
  • Avoid Microwave: It’s not recommended to reheat cheesecake as it can alter the texture and moisture content.

Nutrition Value (per serving):

  • Calories: Approximately 400-450 kcal
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 28 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 36 grams
  • Sugar: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Cholesterol: 115 mg


What Makes Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake Unique?

Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake stands out due to its incorporation of rhubarb, which adds a delightful tanginess that contrasts with the creamy sweetness of the cheesecake base. This flavor combination creates a refreshing twist on traditional cheesecakes, making it a memorable and unique dessert option.

How Long Does It Take to Prepare and Cook Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake?

The total preparation and cooking time for Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. This includes about 30 minutes of preparation time and 1 to 1.5 hours of cooking and setting time. Additional chilling time, ideally overnight, is recommended for the best texture and flavor melding.

Can Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake Be Made Gluten-Free?

Yes, Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake can easily be adapted to be gluten-free by substituting the digestive biscuits in the base with a gluten-free alternative. Ensure all other ingredients, such as cream cheese and sour cream, are certified gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination.

What Are the Best Toppings for Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake?

Some of the best toppings for enhancing Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake include whipped cream, fresh rhubarb slices, and a drizzle of rhubarb syrup. For a textural contrast, sprinkle chopped nuts or toasted almond flakes on top. These toppings add both visual appeal and textural diversity to the dish.

Final Words

Enjoy crafting this exquisite Nigella Rhubarb Cheesecake, a dessert that promises to delight and impress. Whether for a special occasion or a cozy gathering, this cheesecake is sure to be a hit. Happy baking!

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