When you think of cheesecake, I’m sure you think of a standard cream cheese cheesecake. They are delicious and the usual variety. I myself have several cream cheese cheesecake recipes on my site. This cheesecake though.. well it’s special. This is a mascarpone cheesecake with a cherry topping. A Rainier cherry topping at that.
Mascarpone cheese is an Italian cheese that’s similar to American cream cheese but has a much higher fat content which makes it much creamier and smooth. If you’ve ever had Tiramisu, it is used in the filling of that dessert. Even though it is a richer cheese than cream cheese, I personally find it less heavy when eating it. Using it in this cheesecake lends itself to an almost melt in your mouth texture that is perfect.
When making this, you still want some of the tang that cheesecake has so we do use a brick of regular cream cheese. This also helps firm up the texture of the cake as well.
If you’re looking for some traditional cheesecake recipes I’d recommend:
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
- Vanilla Cheesecake with Lemon Raspberry Curd
- Piña Colada No Bake Cheesecake
When making the crust, I recommend buying Nabisco brand. Normally, I often buy store brand ingredients when cooking or baking. However, with these the store brand crackers were not quite as crisp, which made the crust seem a little softer. I personally like my cheesecake crust to have a bit more crunch. Personally I used a cinnamon graham cracker but you could use any flavor, or even substitute something like Biscoff cookies or Nilla wafers.
This mascarpone cheesecake is also very delicious on it’s own. You could easily forgo the fruit topping and add chocolate or caramel drizzle on top and it would be equally fantastic. You could also sub cherries for another fruit like your favorite berry or stone fruit. ‘
I baked this in a water bath, but that is an additional step that isn’t required. A water bath is when you surround your cake pan with water lending to a more even bake temperature. This often will help prevent your cheesecake from cracking on top. Now, a cracked cheesecake is JUST as tasty as a non-cracked one. But if you are serving this cheesecake and want it to be equally as beautiful as it is delicious, I’d recommend it. If you bake your cheesecake in an 8 inch springform pan, you could put your pan inside a 9 inch cake pan before placing it in the roasting pan. If you don’t have a slightly larger pan, many people just wrap the cake pan in a few layers of aluminum foil. I have also used oven roasting bags, but instead of sealing the whole cheesecake inside, you wrap it around the bottom and sides of the pan and leave the top open.
Mascarpone Cheesecake with Cherry Topping Key Ingredients
- Mascarpone Cheese – Mascarpone cheese can often be a substitute for cream cheese, but they don’t taste exactly the same. Mascarpone is creamier, a little more mild and a little more sweet. I personally feel like it has a lighter feeling to it.
- Cream Cheese – The cream cheese is still necessary for this recipe both for texture and to add that classic tang a cheesecake has.
- Cherries – While this cheesecake is delightful on it’s own, the cherry topping is also a classic. You can use fresh Bing or Sour cherries, I opted for my FAVORITE cherry which is Rainier.
- 150-160 g Graham crackers 10 graham crackers
- 50 g Granulated sugar ¼ cup
- 4 tbsp Salted butter melted
- 16 oz Mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 8 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 150 g Granulated sugar ¾ cup
- 3 large Eggs room temperature
- ¼ tsp Sea salt
- ½ tbsp Vanilla
- 350 g Cherries, pitted
- 100 g Granulated sugar ½ cup
- pinch Sea salt
- 2 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 tbsp Water
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 or 9" springform or cake pan with parchment if nonstick. Set aside.
- Place your graham crackers in your food processor and pulse until crumbs.
- Add sugar and melted butter and mix until you have a sandy texture.
- Dump your crust into your pan and press into the sides and bottom.
- Bake your crust for 10 minutes at 350°F, then set aside to cool. Reduce your oven temperature to 325°F.
- In a large bowl with hand mixer or the bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attached, add mascarpone and cream cheese and blend until combined and smooth.
- Add granulated sugar and mix until sugar is incorporated.
- Add eggs, one at time, beating for about 45-60 seconds after each egg on low. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl if using a stand mixer to make sure all the cheese is being mixed in with the egg.
- Add in salt and vanilla and mix into batter.
- When the crust has cooled to the touch, pour your filling into the crust. Gently tap on the stove to release any air bubbles.
- Optional – Prepare a water bath, and place your cheesecake pan into either a slightly larger cake pan, or wrapping the sides and bottom with tin foil to prevent any water from seeping into the pan. Place your cheesecake – with the sides and bottom wrapped, or in additional pan – into a roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with about an inch of warm water.A water bath is not required, but often will prevent your cheesecake from cracking.
- Place your cheesecake in the oven on the center rack at 325° for about 60-70 minutes. Your cheesecake is done when the edges are set but the center is still jiggly if you tap the side of the pan with a rubber spatula.
- Turn the oven off and leave the door closed. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for about 60 minutes before removing.
- Place the cheesecake into the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 8 hours to set.
Cherry Topping (optional)
- To make the filling, place your pitted cherries (either using a cherry pitter or halved with pits removed) in a bowl and add the sugar and salt. Stir, coating the cherries.
- In a medium size sauce pan, add your cornstarch and water. Stir into a slurry, then add your cherry mixture.
- Cook your cherries over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. The cherries will soften and the liquid they release will have started to thicken.
- Remove from heat and place into a bowl to cool. Place in the fridge.
- When your cheesecake has sufficiently chilled, remove from refrigerator along with cherry topping.
- Spoon your topping onto the top of the cheesecake. Slice and enjoy!