A header shot of a slice of apple butter burnt basque cheesecake.

Apple Butter Burnt Basque Cheesecake

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This post is sponsored by Cakebread Cellars, however, all opinions are my own.

November is here, which means Thanksgiving planning is officially on the table! This year, I’m starting with a special treat: dessert and a wine pairing sponsored by my friends at Cakebread Cellars. For this dessert, I decided to buck tradition and make an apple butter burnt basque cheesecake. This seasonal cheesecake is delightfully low maintenance and pairs perfectly with Cakebread’s 2020 Chardonnay.

What’s a burnt basque cheesecake?

A burnt basque cheesecake is a creamy, crustless cheesecake that hails from Spain. It’s baked at a high temperature for an intentionally burnt top. I’m not talking absolutely scorched to oblivion, but rather a shiny golden brown. It’s also fairly easy to make, which is always a win in my book. Unlike other cheesecakes, this is meant to look a bit rustic. That means that you don’t have to worry about things like cracks or a water bath. Any cracks that appear on the surface of your cake will simply add to its charm. And since you don’t need to make a crust and can prepare it in advance, a burnt basque cheesecake is ideal for an intense cooking day like Thanksgiving. (Though it’s obviously a great idea for ordinary days, too.)

Tell me more about this wine pairing.

Cakebread Cellars is a renowned Napa Valley vineyard that’s been crafting wine for nearly 50 years, starting with their 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay. They’re situated in a region with cool, windswept conditions. These conditions yield wine that’s a perfect balance of acidic and fruity. Cakebread’s 2020 Chardonnay is just that – balanced and clean with aromas of apple, peach, and oak. As you can imagine, it makes a wonderful companion for an apple butter cheesecake with a caramelized top.

How do I make this burnt basque cheesecake?

Now I know I mentioned that this style of cheesecake is easier to make than your average cheesecake. You’re probably curious as to what the process looks like, though.

Well, first you combine your cream cheese, flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Then you add some vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract if you don’t have it) and an egg and process until incorporated. Add the four remaining eggs one at a time, mixing between each one. Next, add your apple butter and heavy cream and mix until fully incorporated, then bake in a parchment paper lined springform pan for 55 minutes at 400° Fahrenheit. Increase the temperature to 425° Fahrenheit and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the top is nice and browned. Then remove from the oven (the middle will still be pretty wiggly) and let cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Transfer to the fridge for a few hours until it’s chilled, then remove from your springform pan. Peel the parchment paper off and serve!

See? Easy, peasy. And you can do it all in a food processor (though a mixer will do the trick, too).

Note: You can use any apple butter you’d like for this recipe. Store bought is totally fine. If you’d like to make your own and have a pressure cooker, however, I highly recommend my cinnamon and cardamom apple butter!


Apple Butter Burnt Basque Cheesecake

Servings 8


  • Food processor or mixer


  • 32 oz Cream cheese (At room temperature)
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste (Vanilla extract works as a substitute)
  • 5 Large eggs (At room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup Apple butter
  • 1 cup Heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Line a 9" spring form pan with parchment paper. You'll want it to line both the bottom and sides of the pan.
  • Combine cream cheese, flour, sugar, and salt in food processor and blitz until smooth.
  • Add vanilla bean paste and one egg, and mix until incorporated. Repeat with remaining 4 eggs, one at a time. Then add the apple butter and heavy cream and process until combined.
  • Pour into your springform pan and bake for 55 minutes, at which point you'll increase the oven's temperature to 425° Fahrenheit and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top has browned (the center will still be wiggly).
  • Remove from oven and let cool on the counter for about 20 minutes before transferring it to the fridge until thoroughly chilled. This should take a few hours.
  • Once the cheesecake is nice and cold, remove it from the springform pan. Peel off the parchment paper, slice, and enjoy!

And there you have it! An apple butter burnt basque cheesecake fit for the holidays, and an excellent wine to serve it with. Whether you make this for Thanksgiving dinner or a frigid Tuesday night, I hope you absolutely love it. Make sure to let me know what you think in the comments or on Instagram.

Oh, and if you’re looking for more Thanksgiving dishes, check out my hasselback sweet potatoes with a garlicky herb sauce, my favorite chopped kale salad, or my pistachio stuffins (which are a riff on my grandma’s famous pistachio and Ritz cracker stuffing).

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