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King Arthur’s Basque-Style Cheesecake (Tarta de Queso) Recipe Review

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Although I’ve always enjoyed the occasional slice of cheesecake, it’s never been a favorite dessert. So when Basque cheesecake started trending a handful of years ago, I sort of just skipped over it. How could it really be that much different from New York-style cheesecake? 

It took a trip to Spain to realize how wrong I truly was. Every morning in Barcelona, we walked across the street from our rented apartment to Funky Bakery, where we fueled ourselves with cortados and their rotating treats. I couldn’t resist trying their Basque-style cheesecake one afternoon and I became a convert with a single bite. The crustless, burnt-on-the-outside, ridiculously creamy-on-the-inside slice was a revelation. Once home, I searched far and wide for a recipe that would live up to what I tasted. It was King Arthur Baking Company’s version that assured me I wouldn’t have to fly back to Spain to satisfy my sweet tooth. I’ve been making their perfect recipe ever since.

Why I Love King Arthur Baking Company’s Basque-Style Cheesecake

This Basque-style cheesecake is a four-ingredient (five-ingredient, if you count salt) wonder. Unlike New York-style cheesecake, there’s no need for a water bath when baking it. You simply bake it at a fiery 500°F, which causes the cheesecake to rise and fall almost like a soufflé while the exterior caramelizes and becomes crust-like. The original Basque cheesecake is credited to ​​Santiago Rivera, chef and owner of La Viña in San Sebastian, Spain. His recipe is in metrics and calls for a 10-inch springform pan, which doesn’t compute with standard U.S. pan sizes, so King Arthur Baking Company spent months fiddling with the recipe to perfect it in a standard 9-inch pan and ensure success for the home baker. 

While I am not gluten-free myself, I particularly love that while Rivera’s original recipe includes a little bit of all-purpose flour, King Arthur Baking Company figured out a way to leave it out completely. To me, that means there’s nothing standing in the way of sweet, custard-like cream cheese.  

How to Make King Arthur Baking Company’s Basque-Style Cheesecake

The most brilliant part about this recipe is you don’t need to wait for cream cheese to come to room temperature. Simply toss three 8-ounce packages of cream cheese straight from the fridge into a food processor and blend with 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 5 large eggs, and 3/4 cup heavy cream until a lusciously smooth batter forms.

After lining a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, pour the batter into the pan and bake at 500°F until the top is deep golden-brown and caramelized, the edges are just set, and the center is still a bit jiggly, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the cheesecake completely in the pan before unmolding it and serve it at room temperature or chilled.

If You’re Making King Arthur Baking Company’s Basque-Style Cheesecake, a Few Tips 

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