Mascarpone Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries
Topped with exquisite, glazed strawberries, this creamy Mascarpone Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries is one of my top 10 desserts. It’s one of the most luscious cheesecakes you’ll ever make and it’s perfect for company!
If you love homemade cheesecake, this Italian Cheesecake is a MUST try! I recommend planning an Italian-themed dinner just as an excuse to make this dreamy dessert!
Why You Must Make
- The addition of mascarpone cheese works its magic in this Italian-influenced cheesecake. Italian desserts like tiramisu are enticing, but this cheesecake has stolen my heart! The filling is lush and dreamy. And the berries?? Incredible.
- Have you ever added balsamic vinegar and sugar to your strawberries??? They’re phenomenal. Just don’t use cheap grocery store vinegar. An aged, syrupy balsamic is key.
- Between having my brother-in-law over for dinner and hosting my book club, this dessert had plenty of taste testers. Dan immediately asked if this mascarpone cheesecake with balsamic strawberries recipe was on my blog plus I heard plenty of swoons from my book club friends, even one who swears she’s not a cheesecake fan. How’s that for an endorsement??
- Kitchen Staples – Butter, Sugar, Eggs
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – Available in the baking aisle of most grocery stores or make your own by putting graham cracker squares in a food processor.
- Cream Cheese – Philadelphia brand is better than generic. Have it, the mascarpone, and the eggs at room temperature for easier incorporation and a smoother batter.
- Mascarpone Cheese – Often found near the cream cheese.
- Vanilla Extract – Use real vanilla extract, never artificial.
- Strawberries – Look for red, fragrant berries without white, yellow or green near the stem ends. The leaves should look fresh, too.
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar – I recommend 18-year aged balsamic. It is sweet and syrupy.
- PRO-Tip: One of the keys to a creamy cheesecake is to have all your ingredients at room temperature—the eggs, the cream cheese, and the mascarpone. This ensures the batter will be smooth and creamy.
- PRO-Tip: If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment instead of the whisk. This allows the batter to mix well without adding excess air which can alter the texture.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix just until each is incorporated.
- PRO-Tip: Do not overmix the batter. Stopping to scrape down the bottom of the bowl a few times will help make sure you don’t need to run the mixer any longer than necessary.
- PRO-Tip: Bake your cheesecake in a bain-marie or water bath.
- The bain-marie helps prevent cracking and the steam created may also help make a creamier cheesecake.
- Make sure to wrap your springform pan in a couple of layers of heavy-duty foil so that no water seeps into the pan when it’s baked.
- Check out all my tips on How to Make the Perfect Cheesecake.
Frequently Asked Questions
Authentic Italian cheesecakes are drier and less sweet than American-style cheesecakes. They also use ricotta instead of cream cheese. Though this cheesecake does not use ricotta, it has an Italian twist by using Italian mascarpone cheese instead of sour cream.
If it’s hard for you to find this soft cheese near you, it’s super easy to make mascarpone at home.
Both are considered fresh cheeses. Mascarpone is made with cream and cream cheese is made with milk. Cream cheese has at least 33% milk fat and Mascarpone cheese can contain up to 75%. Mascarpone tastes similar to cream cheese but it’s slightly sweeter with more acidity.
This combination may sound unusual, but it works! It’s important to add the well-aged, sweet, and syrupy balsamic vinegar. You’ll know it’s a good balsamic vinegar by the price; a balsamic vinegar that’s aged 18 years is expensive. But a little goes a long way.
The acid in the vinegar balances the sweetness plus accentuates the flavor of the berries, and is truly an exquisite, memorable pairing. Since balsamic vinegar can be traced back to the Modena region of Italy as far back as the late 16th century, it’s another Italian influence in this cheesecake recipe.
These incredible berries can be used to top ice cream, pavlova, angel food cake, shortcakes, or anything else you’d top with fresh, sweetened berries.
You May Also Like:
- Mini Mascarpone Cheesecakes
- Mascarpone Filled Strawberries
- Raspberry Mascarpone French Toast
- Berry Mascarpone Roulade
- How to Make Mascarpone Cheese
- Mini Mascarpone Cheesecakes
- Plus, check out all my Best Dessert Recipes
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted
- 2 pounds cream cheese (4 eight-ounce packages), at room temperature
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For balsamic strawberries:
- 3 cups sliced strawberries (stems and hulls removed before slicing)
- 1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Wrap the exterior of a 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil.
- Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter in a bowl. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom only of the springform pan. Place in the freezer while preparing the cheesecake mixture.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, mascarpone, and 1¼ cups sugar in a large bowl until smooth.
- Add eggs one at a time; beat just until blended. Spread cheesecake batter evenly over the prepared crust.
- Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves just slightly when the pan is shaken, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
- Transfer cake to rack; cool for 1 hour. Then chill for at least 8 hours.
- Mix strawberries, sugar, and vinegar in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature until juices form, about 30 minutes.
- Serve slices of cheesecake with strawberries.
If you don't have a stand mixer, this can be made using a hand mixer.
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Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 644Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 458mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 1gSugar: 46gProtein: 9g