Cherry Cheesecake

By: The Local Palate
Slice of cherry cheesecake topped with saltine crumble and cherry compote

Created by Joy Razo, the pastry chef of Dauphine’s in Washington D.C., this dessert is a sweet yet salty ode to cherries. The decadently creamy vanilla cheesecake fills a buttery saltine cracker crust, inspired by Bill Smith’s iconic Atlantic Beach Pie crust. This cherry cheesecake recipe is completed with a rich compote, made with fresh or frozen cherries, red wine, and cinnamon. Dauphine’s cherry cheesecake recipe is easy to prepare, making it a perfect desert to add to any dinner party.

recipe heading-plus-icon


Serves 8 to 10

  • 1 sleeve Saltines
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Cherry compote for serving (recipe follows)
  1. Make the saltine crust: In a mixing bowl, whisk together butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, and a pinch of salt. With clean hands, crumble Saltines into bowl, working them into the butter mixture to form a thick paste.
  2. Press saltine mixture into a 9-x-9-inch square pan. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. 
  3. Start the cheesecake filling: Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, blend cream cheese until completely smooth. Add sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and salt to bowl, and blend again until completely combined. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and yolk. Continue mixing cheesecake batter on low speed and slowly stream eggs into batter. Mix until the mixture is smooth and homogenous. 
  5. Transfer mixture into pre-baked crust. Place square cake pan into a larger roasting pan, and bake at 300 degrees. After 30 minutes, fill roasting pan with boiling water until the fill line is about halfway up the square pan. Continue to bake until the cheesecake is firm in the center, about 30 more minutes.
  6. Remove cake from oven and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to refrigerator to cool overnight. 
  7. To serve, slice cake and serve with cherry compote (recipe follows).

Cherry Compote heading-plus-icon

  • ¼ red wine
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound cherries, pitted (frozen or fresh both work)

In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, bring sugar, ginger, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce reduces by half and thickens. Add butter and frozen cherries and continue cooking until cherries soften. Cool before serving.

  • Recipe By
    Joy Razo, Dauphine's, Washington DC
  • Contributing City
    Washington DC

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