This dessert is proof that cheesecake can be as unexpected as it is delicious. Thanks to intense oven-roasted strawberries, folded into a blend of tangy mascarpone and cream cheese, this treat will please on every level.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place strawberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with corn syrup, and toss gently to coat. Bake until syrup thickens and strawberries turn deep red and shrink slightly, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer strawberries and syrup to a medium bowl, and mash with a potato masher. Let cool completely.

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  • Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the melted butter in a small bowl. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to make an even layer. Bake until crust is firm to the touch and has just darkened, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let crust cool completely.

  • Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Put cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, then gradually add remaining cup sugar and the salt. Scrape down sides of bowl; add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl, and mix in vanilla bean seeds and mascarpone until very creamy and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes. (Reserve vanilla bean for another use.)

  • Transfer 5 cups cream cheese mixture to bowl with mashed strawberries; stir to combine. Pour strawberry-cream cheese mixture on top of crust; smooth with an offset spatula. Carefully spoon dollops of plain cream cheese mixture on top, smoothing with an offset spatula.

  • Wrap the exterior of the springform pan in 2 layers of foil; set in a large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with boiling water until water reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake cheesecake until set, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours (up to overnight).

Cook's Notes

Roasted strawberries can be mashed and folded into all of the mascarpone-cream cheese mixture, but two contrasting layers make for a prettier presentation. For best results, use an offset spatula to spread small dollops of the plain cheese mixture gently and evenly over the berry base.

Reviews (33)

244 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 61
  • 4 star values: 81
  • 3 star values: 65
  • 2 star values: 27
  • 1 star values: 10
Rating: 1.0 stars
05/11/2020
What a mess! Made it twice - The first time I followed the recipe exactly and it was a goopy mess! Second time I cooked strawberries 45 minutes, and added an additional 8 oz. cream cheese and 1/4 cup whipping cream in place of the mascarpone and it was MUCH better!
Rating: 5 stars
07/03/2019
The best cheesecake EVER! I've made this recipe nearly every 4th of July since I first saw it in the July 2006 Living magazine. In fact, I make 2, on the 3rd. It's kept out of sight until all the guys and kids go outside for the fireworks, then all the gals and girls sit around the kitchen island and drool over the yumminess. Thank you Martha for knowing what a recipe needs to be over the top!
Rating: Unrated
05/25/2016
Really, 8 and 1/4 oz. mascarpone? What is up with that? Why the extra 1/4 oz.?
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Rating: 1 stars
02/28/2016
Unfortunately this recipe did not work for me. The top layer (cream) came out pretty good, but the bottom layer (strawberries) was soggy, lumpy, and crumbly - just a mess... Won't be trying this one again.
Rating: Unrated
01/14/2015
You have got nice recipes. how do you do it so perfect? please tell me! i am going to try making your macaroons and french cheese cake
Rating: Unrated
12/03/2014
Has anyone tried using frozen strawberries instead of fresh?
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Rating: 5 stars
08/29/2013
I've been making this since it came out in Martha's magazine many years ago. Friends coming to dinner request it in advance! Over the years I've tweaked the recipe a good bit: I use 16 ounces of mascarpone cheese instead of 8, use 3 eggs, use only 3/4 lb. strawberries, use only 4 c. of the cream cheese mixture for the strawberry layer, then you'll have a more substantial cream layer. Use oversized heavy-duty foil to keep water from leaking in. It will wrap all the way around your pan.
Rating: Unrated
05/22/2013
@ Carol Brannigan ------Martha has a recipe for home made graham crackers. Perhaps you can get the recipe from her site and make your own since they do not sell them in Italy.
Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2013
I made this cheesecake and it turned out perfect! Released from thre pan perfectly, and tasted perfectly! Can't wait to make it again!
Rating: Unrated
04/03/2013
What are graham crackers, what equivalent ingredient could be used (I live in Italy)?
Rating: Unrated
08/30/2012
Can someone help me convert this recipe over to metric? thanks
Rating: 5 stars
06/03/2012
the most delicious cheesecake Ive ever made. and for sure I will make again.
Rating: Unrated
05/26/2012
I have made this recipe many times, and it always turned out fantastic! A real keeper.
Rating: Unrated
02/04/2012
This recipe is a regular in my house. Delicious. To ensure it doesnt fall apart make sure to bake it for the full time and chill it OVERNIGHT no exceptions- it'll turn our perfect everytime. Also the strawberriy section is very overpowering and the top layer is so great that I use about 4-6 large strawberries and mix them with 1/4-1/3 of the cheesecake mixture. Perfect everytime.
Rating: Unrated
07/03/2011
Lots to love here, and lots of small frustrations. First, this was way too long to roast the berries. I used the method described in Martha's recipe for Strawberry Napoleon - much better! Second, brush the crust w/ whisked egg white halfway through baking - this will ensure a crisp crust. Third, reserve 2 c of the cheese mixture and mix the remainder with the berries - much easier than measuring 5 c, which didn't leave enough for the top, anyway. I wound up marbling the top - also pretty.
Rating: Unrated
05/03/2011
Excellent cheesecake! I used Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese, and honey instead of corn syrup, and it worked great. Delicious, creamy and beautiful. I will make this again, and would make this for a special event!
Rating: Unrated
08/15/2010
Make sure the cheesecake chills thoroughly before you take it out from the spring form pan otherwise it will fall apart. It was very good, and the roasted strawberries gave it a distinct, tart flavor.
Rating: Unrated
06/11/2010
Made this cheesecake for my husband, it is wonderful in flavor, but he likes a little more dense cheesecake. The white layer is perfect consistency, the strawberry layer is pretty soft, but still wonderful. Also I agree don't use 5 cups of the mix to mix with strawberries, I will cut back on the strawberries as well next time. YUM.
Rating: Unrated
05/10/2010
I made the cheesecake 36 hours ago and it has improved in taste (it definitely tastes better than yesterday) and it even tastes slightly sweeter (to my liking). So I recommend making this at least a day in advance (and not just 4 hours as the recipe says) and let it sit in the fridge to "mature" - which means this is a great make-ahead recipe for special occasions!
Rating: Unrated
05/09/2010
With just two eggs in the recipe, the cake stays amazingly flat (my cheesecakes always have a crack no matter how carefully I beat the eggs and watch of the temps). I did not have much of a cream layer when I put it on, but after keeping the cheesecake uncovered in the fridge for 12 hours, the cream layer got firmer and showed up well (like the photo here). The cheesecake is very creamy, on the soft side, but if you get a gooey one that does not even hold up, something must've gone wrong.
Rating: Unrated
05/09/2010
When I saw the picture of this cake, I could not resist making it. The first attempt turned out quite well, although it's not as fantastic as I thought it would. I think my strawberries were on the tart side so it's quite sour - almost as if there's some ruhbarb in it. I think I could've used a little more sugar (when I tasted the roasted strawberries they were quite tart). I'll definitely make it again. This is a great celebration recipe, beautiful and tasty!
Rating: Unrated
05/09/2010
Same thing. Gooey mess. This cheesecake would not bake. I also followed the directions, and the top of it was close to burnt it was so brown (quite contrary to the picture), and it was liquid soup in the middle. It baked for a lot of extra time, and still would not firm up. 7 hours later and $50 later, i'm in the same boat as starlight. Dissapointed.
Rating: Unrated
05/08/2010
$14 and 3 hours later and I have a big gooey mess! I followed the directions exactly and when I took the ring of the springform pan off the entire cheesecake collapsed! So much for Mothers Day dessert.
Rating: Unrated
03/28/2010
This was a fantastic cheesecake. It does take a bit more time, but worth it's weight!!!! The strawberry flavor really comes out with the roasting of the strawberries. If you love cheesecake
Rating: Unrated
03/28/2010
This was a fantastic cheesecake. It does take a bit more time, but worth it's weight!!!! The strawberry flavor really comes out with the roasting of the strawberries. If you love cheesecake
Rating: Unrated
12/10/2009
Can't say enough wonderful things about this cheesecake! I made it last year for my birthday and now that I'm approaching another birthday, I'm having a hard time coming up with a cheesecake to top this one. I still dream about it from time to time.
Rating: Unrated
05/07/2009
Absolutely worth the time and effort! I made it with a shortbread crust and it's great! I'm making this for my mother for mother's day. They only sell the mascarpone cheese in 8 oz. containers where I live, so I make up the 3/4 oz difference with cream cheese. Unless you are going to use the extra mascarpone for something else, it's not worth the extra money. I highly recommend this recipe!
Rating: Unrated
05/07/2009
Absolutely worth the time and effort! I made it with a shortbread crust and it's great! I'm making this for my mother for mother's day. They only sell the mascarpone cheese in 8 oz. containers where I live, so I make up the 3/4 oz difference with cream cheese. Unless you are going to use the extra mascarpone for something else, it's not worth the extra money. I highly recommend this recipe!
Rating: Unrated
03/22/2009
DELICIOUS!!! Definitely worth staying up past 2 am cooking this. Next time I will just use 2 pounds of strawberries. Also the recipe says to separate 5 cups of cream cheese mixture
Rating: Unrated
03/06/2009
Recipe said to add (5) dups of batter to strawberry but I did not have enough left to make a nice white top layer. I will try 4 cups instead next time and will also use 8" pan to get a taller cheesecake. Great taste though and fairly easy.
Rating: Unrated
03/03/2009
what does 8 3/4 ounces mascarpone cheese mean? Do i need to buy another container of mascarpone just for less than 1 ounce?
Rating: Unrated
11/24/2008
Very delicious! Time consuming but very worth the effort.
Rating: Unrated
07/28/2008
NEVER HAD CHEESECAKE BUT KNOW MY HUSBAND LOVES IT, THIS IS THE FIRST ONE THAT I'VE SEEN THAT I WILL TRY THE RECIPE. MAKE HIM HAPPY!! PLUS I LOVE STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM.
Rating: Unrated
12/26/2007
Delicious! I've made it twice. It freezes well too, just be sure to wrap it tightly after it has completely cooled.