Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake

Our raspberries just started to ripen over the past weekend, almost two weeks later than normal. But that comes as no surprise after it took so achingly long for our Midwestern winter, followed by a cold and extra rainy spring, to finally depart.

Which makes these vibrant and tasty garden delights seem all the more well deserved!

Picking and enjoying fresh raspberries from the yard feels very natural to me. Growing up on the farm, we had a large raspberry patch, and spent a great deal of time tending to it. I can still envision Mom gently washing the buckets of berries at the sink and the late night bowls of vanilla ice cream toppled with ruby heavenlyness.

When Blake and I were considering buying our current home, the already established raspberry patch was a definite plus in my book. And, since moving in, our family has enjoyed every last bite!

When our berries hit their peak week of producing, we can pick almost a gallon bucket of berries every day. It’s impossible for us to consume them all before they spoil. While we eat plenty of fresh berries every day, and give them away to grateful friends and neighbors, there still needs to be a plan to make sure none of them goes to waste.

We freeze some for future use. And we make a couple batches of our favorite quick and easy Raspberry Blackberry Freezer Jam. It’s so fabulous smeared on a piece of buttery toast, a warm popover, or a fresh steaming yeasted waffle.

And when I’m feeling really indulgent…

I make this Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake!

Do you want to know my criteria for cheesecake recipes?

  • First of all, the cheesecake can’t be wimpy in stature. I pass by any recipe that doesn’t use at least 24 ounces of cream cheese. If you’re going to make a cheesecake, it might as well be eye catchingly tall and indulgent!
  • It needs to incorporate a hot water bath during baking. I find this method just works better, by eliminating (most) cracking.

And a plus would be that the recipe includes sour cream, as I like its texture and tang. Although this Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake does not have any sour cream in it, it does fit my main bullet points, and I think it’s one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever made (or ate anywhere!). It’s super creamy and luscious, delicately tangy, and swirled with the softly sweet taste and scent of fresh raspberries.  The beautiful berry marbling always elicits oohs and ahhs. Every time I make it, I’m reminded of the expression on my mother-in-law’s face when I made this for the first time on her birthday many years ago. I thought she was going to cry.

This cheesecake really is special enough for tears of joy. And I do hope you’ll find that out for yourself by giving this tried and true recipe a go.

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
(print recipe)

for the crust:
1 c. finely ground graham crackers
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
2 T.  sugar

for the raspberry puree:
6 oz. raspberries
2 T. sugar

for the cream cheese filling:
32 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1-1/2 c. sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs, at room temperature

also needed:
boiling water for the hot water bath

Preheat oven to 350°. Wrap the exterior of a 9″ springform pan, including the base, with a double layer of foil. Set aside.

For the crust, stir together cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Heat water for the hot water bath (to prevent cracking). Set a medium pot of water on the stove to boil.

Prepare the raspberry puree by processing raspberries in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pass puree through a fine sieve into a small bowl, to remove most of the seeds. Discard the solids. Whisk in the 2 tablespoons sugar and set aside.

Time for the cream cheese filling! Put cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes. Then, with the mixer on low speed, add 1-1/2 cups sugar in a slow, steady stream. Add salt and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each until just combined. Do not overmix! Pour cream cheese filling over your baked crust.

Drop raspberry puree by the teaspoon on top.

With a wooden skewer or toothpick, swirl sauce into filling. You should have some raspberry puree left over. Save it to serve with your slices of cheesecake. (Or it makes for an awesome raspberry lemonade!)

Now for the hot water bath. Set cake pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan. Carefully ladle boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of cake pan. Carefully transfer roasting pan to oven. Alternatively, you can set the cake pan inside the roasting pan, place it in the oven and then ladle the boiling water into the roasting pan. Whatever you feel more comfortable with is fine by me. Bake until cake is mostly set, with just a slight bit of jiggle in the center, 60 to 70 minutes. Don’t wait until the cake is completely set, as you run a higher risk of cracking.

Transfer cake pan to rack to cool completely. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 6 hours. Letting it set overnight is even better. It firms up and gets completely chilled. Before unmolding the springform pan, run a  knife around the edge of the cake. Serve slices with some freshly whipped and slightly sweetened cream, a drizzle of left over raspberry puree, and a sprinkling of fresh raspberries, if desired.

Yield: 12 servings

Source: I have been making this for a number of years, adapted from a page torn out of Martha Stewart Living. You can also find the original recipe online at marthastewart.com.


I’m linking up with the following:

Cheryl at TidyMom for I’m Lovin’ It (Grilled Italian Pizza)
Allison at Alli ‘n Son for  Sweet Tooth Friday (Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Swirl Ice Cream)
Kim at  A Well-Seasoned Life for Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Robyn at Add a Pinch for Mingle Monday
Rachel at A Southern Fairytale for Mouthwatering Monday (Citrus Pound Cake)


65 Responses to “Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake”

  1. #
    Carolyn — July 15, 2011 at 8:51 am

    WOW, this just looks amazing. I love a good cheesecake and this one is calling my name.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  2. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — July 15, 2011 at 10:20 am

    This is the most gorgeous cheesecake I’ve ever seen! I’d bet it tastes amazing too.

    • farmgirl replied on July 16th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks, Miss! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  3. #
    Martha — July 15, 2011 at 11:14 am


  4. #
    Amy — July 15, 2011 at 11:55 am


  5. #
    Lisa — July 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Wow! I’ve never seen a more beautiful cheesecake! I would love to try this if I could find fresh raspberries.

  6. #
    Liz — July 15, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I was just thinking… “I wonder if Farm Girl has some ideas for raspberries”.
    I am going picking next week. Thank you!
    Every time I am looking for ideas I go to your site first and you always have something I love!!

    • farmgirl replied on July 16th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      What a lovely note – thank you so much, Liz! Hope you like the cheesecake!

  7. #
    Mom — July 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Even your Dad thought the cheesecake looked irresistible!

  8. #
    Katie — July 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    This cheesecake looks just beautiful! I walked through the farmers’ market today and was just overwhelmed by the beautiful raspberries. What a perfect use for them!

    • farmgirl replied on July 16th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      So nice to hear from you, Katie! Raspberries are such a treat, and this is a lovely way to treat your family and friends.

  9. #
    Emily@SoDomesticated — July 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Very pretty… I’m sure it’s just delicious!

    • farmgirl replied on July 16th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Thank you, Emily – lovely to hear from you!

  10. #
    kasiaaaa24 — July 17, 2011 at 12:00 am

    It’s so beautiful :)

  11. #
    Sasha @ The Procrastobaker — July 17, 2011 at 3:55 am

    What a GORGEOUSLY perfect cheesecake! You must have been so chuffed when it turned out so beautifully, well i know i would have been anyway! :) I can only imagine how wonderful it tastes too, cant resist anything raspberry :) Such a lovely post

  12. #
    Melissa Loh — July 17, 2011 at 6:10 am

    That cheesecake looks absolutely amazing and is such a sight to behold. I doubt I’ll be able to get my grubby little hands on fresh raspberries, but I’m hoping frozen might do for this recipe?

    • farmgirl replied on July 17th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Melissa – I definitely think frozen raspberries would work for this, since it’s a puree. It might not have that brightness to the red, but I think you would get mostly the same effect and flavor.

  13. #
    Kim McCallie — July 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Wow! This cake is gorgeous. You have a gift for cheesecakes. Love the vivid colors. I’d like to invite you to share your recipe on A Well-Seasoned Life’s Sweet Indulgences Sunday.


    • farmgirl replied on July 17th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks, Kim – and nice to meet you!

  14. #
    Rooted in Atascocita — July 17, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Oh my gosh, this looks amazing and how blessed you are to have that supply of raspberries!

  15. #
    BreAna {Sugar and Spice and All Things Iced} — July 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    This looks absolutely heavenly! We had a large raspberry patch growing up. I have lots of fond memories of the hours I spent in the berry patch with my family. I am definitely saving this recipe to try in a couple of weeks when I get fresh berries from my parents. :)

  16. #
    angie — July 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    looks great i bet it is delicious

  17. #
    Amanda — July 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    What a sweet looking cake! Your photos are lovely! Glad to find your blog! Now following RSS..

    • farmgirl replied on July 24th, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Thank you – for your lovely comment, your following along via RSS, and for just plain introducing yourself! :)

  18. #
    Tickled Red — July 21, 2011 at 7:32 am

    OH MY GOODNESS!! I am such a cheesecake fanatic and this is simply gorgeous!! I can’t wait to make this one weekend.

    • farmgirl replied on July 24th, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      So nice to hear from you! I’d love to know what you think of this!

  19. #
    Linda — July 22, 2011 at 7:14 am

    I love the comment from “Mom” – sounds like something I would post on my daughter’s blog. :)

    The cheesecake is gorgeous, and the raspberries make such a beautiful presentation. That is my favorite kind of cheesecake – one without flour – because it is so creamy. The raspberries would provide such a nice flavor combo.

    A raspberry bush (or any kind of established berry bush) would be a BIG draw to me if I was looking for a house. ;)

    • farmgirl replied on July 24th, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      So nice to hear from you, Linda – thanks!! And, yes, I love comments from Mom. :)

  20. #
    Yang — July 26, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I’m making this cake today for a friend’s birthday..fingers crossed it looks and tastes as good as your one..In the oven now…the long wait begins…..

    • farmgirl replied on July 27th, 2011 at 10:39 am

      Hello! Do let me know how this turns out for you. I can smell it baking from here!

      • yang replied on August 2nd, 2011 at 9:48 pm

        Hi turned out really good…have put up a picture on my flickr page…thanks a ton..everyone loved it. & looking forward to more cooking from your awesome blog….cheers…

        • farmgirl replied on August 3rd, 2011 at 9:19 pm

          It looks great – YAY! Thanks so much for returning to let me know!

  21. #
    Louise — March 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Oh, I can’t wait for summer! I followed a trail from this sweet collection to your blog, and I’m glad I did! Raspberries and cheesecake…can’t go wrong! Thanks for sharing! Oh…and congratulations on being included in the Sweet Sixteen Collection this week!

    • Brenda replied on March 6th, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      So nice to hear from you, Louise – thanks for letting me know about the feature!

  22. #
    Eileen — March 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Just made the cheesecake and its perfect! I have to charge the camera batteries, so I don’t have a picture. but sure enough I’ll Facebook the cake. No good raspberries in Puerto Rico so I didn’t make the swirl but I’m thinking about mangoes and guavas for the swirl next time. Thank you.

    • Brenda replied on March 31st, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      It’s a lovely recipe…so happy you liked it, too!

  23. #
    SwissMissMama — July 7, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I made this with strawberry puree and it turned out amazing! Thanks so much for your step-by-step instructions. Only thing I added was after the cook time was over I let the cheesecake stay in the water bath in the oven with the oven turned off for an additional 60 minutes. No cracking and perfect as could be!

    • Brenda replied on July 7th, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      That’s wonderful to know, as I’ve often considered making it with strawberries. Thank you so much for letting me know!

  24. #
    abby — July 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    that looks gorgeous! i wish mine turned out as nice as your cheesecakes. mine always gets slightly brown on the top (i use an electric oven, not convection) and never stays the sort of color yours is in the picture. any tips on how to prevent that happening?

  25. #
    Emily — August 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Wow. I’ve been wanting to make this for a few months now. I was wondering, would this work with a square pan?

  26. #
    Stephanie — December 25, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Made this for Christmas. Used frozen raspberries and chocolate graham crackers. Best cheesecake I’ve ever had!!! Yummy. Perfect creamy texture and not overly sweet!

    • Brenda replied on December 27th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      I bet the chocolate crust was fabulous with this!! Thanks for coming back to let me know! :)

  27. #
    Diana Geiger — October 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Best cheesecake I have ever made or have eaten. It taste great and is beautiful. Making another one today. Almost the end of raspberry season. My daughter also loved it and is requesting I make it for Christmas! Thank you!

  28. #
    James Cherico — November 22, 2013 at 2:10 am

    With this recipe can you just add 1 big tablespoon of sour cream to it ? What would this do to this recipe ?

    • Brenda replied on November 22nd, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      I’m sure that a bit of sour cream would be just fine. I actually love sour cream in cheese cake!

  29. #
    James Cherico — November 22, 2013 at 2:15 am

    One more question Brenda, If using frozen raspberries can you add a couple drops of red food dye to brighten up the color ?

    • Brenda replied on November 22nd, 2013 at 3:47 pm


  30. #
    James Cherico — November 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Hello Brenda, Bo Frieberg was my pastry teacher at the Ca. culinary academy, I’m making these cheesecakes for people here in Japan, I just hope they turn out as beautiful as the one you made in the picture ! I’m also going to chop up just a bit of white chocolate and add to the cake to make it a Raspberry white chocolate swirl Christmas cheesecake, Wish me luck, So far I have 6 orders.

    • Brenda replied on December 1st, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      The addition of white chocolate sounds wonderful!

  31. #
    Laura — February 13, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    I’m making this for my moms birthday this weekend:) I’m scared though I’ve never made cheese cake. I don’t have the a springform pan or a roasting pan so I’m using a disposable round cake pan and a large casserole dish. Wish me luck! :) I hope it turns out as good as yours looks :)

  32. #
    Daniel Siksay — May 20, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Hey there! I just have to say, this is an awesome recipe. I’ve made it four times now (tried a few flavour modifications on it, too) and it’s impressed my family and friends without fail. Thanks for posting it!

    • Brenda replied on May 21st, 2014 at 7:01 am

      Wow. 4 times? That’s awesome! Thanks for coming back to let me know. :)

  33. #
    Obaid — June 18, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Hey hi, can I use cherry instead of raspberry for this recipe

  34. #
    Obaid — June 19, 2014 at 12:04 am

    And also can I use digestive biscuit instead of graham crackers plz reply soon

  35. #
    Tiarra — June 15, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks so much for posting the recipe and directions. I’m not a familiar face in the kitchen but I think I’m gonna try this out since my boyfriend’s birthday is next week and this is his favorite. I’m so excited!

  36. #
    Wendy — July 21, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I use 1/2 cream cheese, and 1/2 ricotta for a taller, cakier cheesecake. Also, my daughter used my recipe whenever she had to do a dish for job ( chef , for 10 yrs) ,… but made the crust from either ground macadamia or pinion nuts with the butter & sugar. Amazing ! I was VERY fond of Drambuie liqueur, and very often flavored the cheese with that instead of vanilla,…well, ok, a little MORE !


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