Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Recipe

Are you looking for a new signature dessert that combines overwhelming flavor and satisfaction with elegant simplicity? Look no further! This vanilla bean cheesecake is exactly that.

The crust is simple: just crushed graham crackers and melted butter. Nothing crazy. Where the real magic happens, though, is the cheesecake itself, starring the beautiful, Grade A Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla.

That fragrance is important to heighten the flavor experience. As gentle as vanilla is, inherently, Java Sister’s Bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans are creamy, floral, and robust in their vanilla-ness. That’s why they work so well with a dairy forward dessert like cheesecake.

Our friend Laura has whipped up this exceptional dessert recipe and, like everything she does, it is beautiful and delicious. We can't wait to share it with you! Read Laura's wonderful but simple recipe below--and be sure to check her page for more culinary tips and inspiration!

Use the Best Vanilla in your Cheesecake

Vanilla bean cheesecake recipe

This Java Sisters Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is uncluttered, elegant, and pure.

You start by creaming good quality, room temperature, full-fat cream cheese. Come on! If you’re making this cheesecake, prepare for decadence in its simplest form. We’re not on a diet today, okay?

Then, we’ll use pure cane sugar, farm fresh eggs, and sweetened condensed milk. Seriously, continue on your ethical sourcing kick and get really good ingredients across the board. You’ll be able to taste the difference. It goes from “hey, that’s pretty good” to “OMG that’s incredible!”

How to Cut and Seed a Vanilla Bean

Now, for the piece de resistance. We need to incorporate our vanilla bean seeds. To do this, take a sharp paring knife and draw it down the center from stem to tip. Then, using the back of your knife’s blade scrape the interiors to extract all the “vanilla caviar.”

1 whole vanilla bean is the equivalent of 1 Tablespoon of pure vanilla extract. It’s quite potent in its raw form. We don’t want to overdo it, or it will taste like very expensive artisanal soap… which is nice, but not in a cheesecake.

And whatever you do, do NOT throw away the seed pod. Instead, put it into a jar with 8 oz of good vodka or bourbon. As you use your vanilla beans, continue to store your “used” vanilla bean pods here.

Once you’ve got at least 5 in there, wait about a week, and you have a high-quality vanilla extract to use for your baking. It’s the best way to really get the most out of your beans.

The Rules of Making a Perfect Cheesecake

Perfect vanilla bean cheesecake

We have our good quality ingredients and we’re raring to go, but first there are some rules to follow.

  1. If you keep it in the fridge, it must be brought to room temperature. The only exception is the heavy whipping cream, which will only whip properly if chilled. The rest of the ingredients must be roughly 72ºF to form a smooth, non-lumpy filling.
  2. Remove the air bubbles. It’s very important that you tap the pan very firmly on the counter to bring the bubbles to the top. If your filling looks very frothy after mixing, place it in the fridge for an hour before putting it in the pan.
  3. Do not open the oven. I mean it. Once the cake is in and your water is in the steaming pan, close the oven and do not open it until the timer goes off. You’ll bake it for 75 minutes, but then there is a 2 hour “steam period” where it will continue to bake and set. It’s crucial the oven stays closed.
  4. Chill your vanilla bean cheesecake before serving. Have you ever tried warm cheesecake? It’s not good eats. You definitely want to chill your cake for up to 8 hours (overnight) before serving it for the best result.
  5. Run a knife around the pan before removing it. This will ensure that the cake is free from the springform before you take it out. Nothing’s sadder than ripping a perfect cheesecake.

 

 Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Recipe

Using sustainable, ethical, cruelty-free vanilla beans, create the ultimate in luxurious, elegant desserts with this vanilla bean cheesecake.

Vanilla bean cheesecake recipe
PREP TIME  -30 mins
COOK TIME - 3 hrs 15 mins
CHILL TIME - 8 hrs
COURSE: Dessert
CUISINE: American
SERVINGS 16 slices

EQUIPMENT

  • 9 inch springform pan
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Stand mixer with a paddle attachment

INGREDIENTS

  •  packages graham crackers pulverized
  • 1 stick unsalted butter melted
  • 4 8-oz blocks of cream cheese room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract for topping
  • 1 high-quality vanilla bean
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of your oven, and preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Mix together the melted butter and crushed graham crackers. Then, press them into the bottom and lower sides of a springform pan.
  • Cream 3 blocks of cream cheese with 1/4 cup of sugar. Stream in the condensed milk, mixing until smooth. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. With the mixer running, add eggs slowly into the cream cheese mixture. Add in the lemon juice and vanilla bean, mixing slowly until incorporated.
  • Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust. Firmly tap* the pan against the counter (like you're dropping it on the counter at a height of one or two inches) to bring the air bubbles to the surface. You might use a toothpick to pop stubborn bubbles.
  • Place the cheesecake on the top rack of the oven. Pour a cup of room temperature water into the rimmed baking sheet on the lower rack. Promptly shut the oven.
  • Bake for 75 minutes at 300°F. Turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 2 hours. Remove and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whip the remaining block of cream cheese with 1 tsp vanilla extract until a little smoother. Stream in the whipping cream, until thinned out and smooth. Then, whip until voluminous and fluffy. Spread mixture over the top of the cheesecake. Cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • To serve, run a paring knife under hot water and carefully trace the knife between the crust and the springform pan. Gently unlatch the pan and remove the base from the sides. Clean the knife, and run under hot water again to cut cake into slices.

NOTES

*By “firmly tap,” I mean it should make a good loud bang. You really want to force those air bubbles to the surface. Do this repeatedly, a good 10 to 15 times to makes sure the majority of the bubbles rise and pop.

 

Recipe Creator:

Many thanks to Laura who developed this perfect Vanilla Bean Cheesecake recipe for her little sister’s bridal shower in January of 2018 and shared it with us for special occasion, her husband's birthday. 

Laura lives in Nashville, TN with her handy husband, adorable daughter, and smarty-pants cattle dog. She loves baking and can’t keep her kitchen clean. Oh well. Check out the full article the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake recipe on her blog.

4 comments

Stacy Boswell

This cheesecake looks delicious! I also love your suggestion of putting the bean pod in vodka or bourbon, sounds yummy too! Such a good way to use the whole vanilla bean without wasting any.

Gorana

Wow, it looks yummy 😋 must try it

Gabriela

This cheesecake looks delicious

Jessica Torres

Looks delicious I am going to have to try to make it!

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