Cherry Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe

Learn to bake one of Eli's originals! Creamy cheesecake full of juicy cherries, on our signature all-butter shortbread cookie crust. Recipe is from The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook: Remarkable Recipes From A Chicago Legend.

By Diana Moles
September 29, 2021
A lice of Eli's Cherry Vanilla Cheesecake
Diana Moles
September 29, 2021


1. Prepare the Shortbread Crust in a greased 9-inch springform pan. Follow the recipe as directed.
2. Prepare the Cherry Vanilla batter (below). Follow the recipe as directed, including reserving ½ cup of the Tart Cherry Topping for topping the cake.
3. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously grease and flour the springform pan. Fill the springform pan with the Cherry Vanilla batter. Using an offset spatula, smooth down the batter until it is level.
4. In the bowl of a small food processor, chop the reserved ½ cup Tart Cherry Topping until the cherries have partially broken up. Gently place the reserved Tart Cherry Topping on top of the batter and spread it evenly across the top.
5. Place the filled springform pan in the center of the oven, directly on the middle shelf. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Give the cake a gentle shake. The baking time is complete if the center of the cake jiggles slightly and is firm to the touch. Once the cake is done, turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for 10 minutes more with the door open. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
6. Loosen the cheesecake from the springform pan by sliding an offset spatula around the inside ring. Remove the springform pan from the cake and transfer to a serving plate. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
7. Transfer to the freezer for 2 to 3 hours before slicing.
8. Slice the cake with a thin, nonserrated knife that is dipped in hot water and wiped dry.

Cherry Vanilla Batter
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large whole eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 vanilla beans
1 recipe Tart Cherry Topping (less 1/2 cup reserved for topping the cake), room temperature

1. Prepare the Tart Cherry Topping.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl to prevent lumps from forming. Beat for 1 minute on high speed.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, cake flour, cornstarch, and salt.
4. Add the contents of the medium bowl to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on low for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed.
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Slowly add the eggs one at a time. After adding each, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds.
6. Add the sour cream to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat on low speed for 30 seconds more.
7. Split each vanilla bean in half lengthwise and gently scrape out the seeds using the tip of your knife. Add the seeds to the batter and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, until fully incorporated.
8. Scrape the batter off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the Tart Cherry Topping and gently fold the batter by hand until the cherries are evenly dispersed (be careful not to over mix).

More Culinary Inspiration

The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook

100 recipes, including more than 20 variations on Eli’s iconic cheesecake as well as a dozen of Eli’s most requested savory dishes. The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook not only provides delicious recipes and tips that empower the home cook with the knowledge and science behind baking the perfect cheesecake, it also takes the reader on a historical ride through Chicago from 1940 to the present through the lens of Schulman’s colorful career and ultimate rise to baker extraordinaire.
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A slice of Cherry Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
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