The Ultimate Maple Cheesecake




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Taking the first bite of a maple cheesecake

The Ultimate Maple Cheesecake is supremely creamy and so delicious it will outshine any pie on your Thanksgiving dessert table!

Maple Cheesecake drizzled with maple caramel sauce

My husband says this maple cheesecake is the best dessert I’ve ever made. Who am I to argue?

Cheesecake lovers, you know there is nothing better than a great cheesecake. And I know that anything called the ultimate cheesecake has got to be pretty special. Fear not, I wouldn’t bring you anything less. This Maple cheesecake is the new standard by which I judge all cheesecakes going forward 🙂

Taking the first bite of maple cheesecake

There’s nothing like that first bite of a great cheesecake. You can appreciate its beauty, and take in that maple-y aroma, but you can’t fully appreciate this dessert until you sink your fork down into it.

How do I get my cheesecake so creamy?

A supremely creamy cheesecake is no small feat, trust me. How do I do it?

Most of us mix up cheesecakes in a stand mixer, or with hand held electric beaters. That does a good job, buuuuuut, it’s sometimes hard to get out all the lumps, especially if your ingredients aren’t at room temperature.

I’ve found a different method that really works for me. It’s quicker, neater, and results in an uber smooth creamy cheesecake: I mix the batter, from start to finish, in my food processor.

The processor eliminates any lumps, and blends the cheesecake batter together without beating in air, like mixers can do.  That helps prevent bubbles, and results in a super creamy texture.

Note: you need a full sized processor to do this, a smaller one will not be large enough to hold the batter. My 14 cup processor did the job perfectly, so keep that in mind.

A maple cheesecake on a glass platter

How to insure a smooth flat top on your cheesecake

Cracks, craters, and volcano-like bubbles…here’s how to avoid all these issues:

  • The secret to getting a smooth crack free top to your cheesecake is to take the extra time to bake it in a water bath. It’s not complicated: just find a baking vessel large enough to fit your cake pan, insert your pan, and fill with a few inches of boiling water. Make sure you’ve wrapped and double wrapped your cheesecake pan with foil to avoid any leakage.
  • The water bath helps the cake cook evenly, so you’ll be more likely to get that lovely flat top.
  • As for air bubbles, I find it helpful to pour the batter through a mesh strainer before filling your pan. It will actually catch bubbles and leave you with a silky batter.
  • Rap the bowl of batter sharply on a firm surface several times to bring any bubbles to the surface.
  • In the very early stages of cooking, peek through the oven window and if you spot any bothersome bubbles forming, you can pop them with a toothpick.

maple cheesecake with plates and maple caramel sauce

How to prevent condensation on the surface of your cheesecake

It’s heartbreaking: you make a perfect cheesecake, chill it overnight, and when you pull it out the next day there’s all kinds of watery condensation ruining the surface.

Solution:

  • Allow your cheesecake to cool completely, and by that I mean completely, on the counter before refrigerating. If there is any warmth left in the pan, leave it out longer.
  • Then wrap the top with a clean dish towel. Do not use plastic or foil. Refrigerate until chilled, or according to your recipe directions.
  • The cloth will absorb moisture and prevent the formation of water droplets; the surface of your cheesecake will remain smooth and dry.

a slice of maple cheesecake topped with maple caramel sauce

How to garnish a maple cheesecake

I like to top mine with a maple caramel sauce, but plain whipped cream with a dusting of nutmeg is also fine.  You can flavor the whipped cream with the spirit of your choice, too. Maple and amaretto or bourbon go well together, just saying.

As with most garnishes, I would wait until just before serving to add any toppings.

Taking the first bite of a maple cheesecake

Maple desserts from the archives

Taking the first bite of a maple cheesecake
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5 from 5 votes

Maple Cheesecake

The Ultimate Maple Cheesecake is supremely creamy and so delicious it will outshine any pie on your Thanksgiving dessert table!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 16 -20 servings

Equipment

  • 9 inch spring form pan

Ingredients

for the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

for the filling

  • 32 ounces (four 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark maple syrup I used this dark and robust syrup

for the topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F Wrap the bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring form cheesecake pan with a double layer of foil. Do this carefully because it will provide the barrier between your cake and the water bath for baking.

for the crust

  • Put the crumbs, nuts, sugar, and melted butter into a food processor and pulse/process until everything is evenly combined and there are no lumps of nuts left.
    Mixing together graham cracker walnut crust
  • Press the crust evenly into your pan, using the flat bottom of a measuring cup to help firmly press it into the bottom and an inch or so up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes.
    Graham cracker crust pressed into cheesecake pan

for the filling

  • Process the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, salt, and flour in a large food processor until perfectly creamy. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
  • While the machine is running drop in the eggs, one at a time, allowing each to get incorporated before adding the next. Add the maple syrup and process everything until well combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary for a completely creamy consistency.
    cheesecake filling in a food processor
  • I like to pour the filling through a strainer at this point to remove air bubbles. You can strain it right into the crust (you'll need a helper for this) or you can strain it into a bowl and then pour into your crust. Rap the pan sharply on the counter to release any remaining air bubbles.
  • Put the pan into a larger pan and fill with a couple of inches of boiling water to form a water bath. This will help the cake cook evenly. Carefully move the pan to the oven and bake for 70-75 minutes. The cake should look done around the edges and will be jiggly in the center.
  • Turn the oven off and leave the cake inside for another hour, with the oven door ajar. The cake will finish cooking during this time.
  • Remove cake from oven and water bath. Set on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • When the cake is completely cooled, cover with a clean dish cloth and refrigerate until chilled or overnight. I leave mine overnight.
    A maple cheesecake on a glass platter
  • When ready to serve, slice the cake. I like to dip my knife into very hot or boiling water and wipe dry between each cut for the sharpest slices.
    maple cheesecake with plates and maple caramel sauce
  • Serve the cake with a drizzle of maple caramel sauce, or simply a dollop of whipped cream topped with a dusting of fresh grated nutmeg. Yum.
    salted Maple Caramel Sauce in a jar with a spoon

Notes

 
To get the best maple flavor in your cheesecake look for a dark flavorful syrup. The darker the syrup the stronger the flavor, so let your eyes be your guide. Mine comes from Roxbury Mountain Maple, an organic farm in Upstate New York that makes the whole range of syrups so I can customize them to my recipes.

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11 Comments

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  • Reply
    low and slow
    November 27, 2020 at 11:03 am

    5 stars
    We finally got to indulge in this last night and I must say it was delicious,made a simple whipped cream topping B/C had H. Cream in the fridge. Now I`m gonna make that maple caramel sauce.The cake had no cracks and did not taste overly maplely or sweet and was super creamy.The crust was just the right thickness,although I`m not a big walnut fan they blended in nicely with the graham cracker. BTW your husband is correct.Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    Bonnie
    November 21, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Could I leave the nuts out of the crust?
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 21, 2020 at 7:26 pm

      Yes, just add more crumbs in place of the nuts.

      • Reply
        Bonnie
        November 22, 2020 at 7:10 pm

        Thank you!

  • Reply
    low and slow
    November 21, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    I made boo boo and got whole graham crackers and not crumbs,now what?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 21, 2020 at 7:24 pm

      Just crush your crackers, you can do it in a food processor, or put them in a baggie and roll over them with a rolling pin.

  • Reply
    Roberta Robinson
    November 13, 2020 at 7:32 am

    5 stars
    Looks fabulous! I love maple flavor.
    How far ahead of Thanksgiving can I make this? I am wanting to make it but can’t do it the day before. How long does it keep?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 13, 2020 at 8:37 am

      Well, it will keep, wrapped in plastic, for a few days. You could theoretically freeze it, but fresh is preferable. The issue you might have is condensation over the few days in the fridge. Be sure to follow my tip about letting it cool really well before refrigeration, and then do the towel first while it chills. Then you can wrap in plastic.

      • Reply
        Roberta Robinson
        November 13, 2020 at 10:00 am

        Thank you!

  • Reply
    Candace
    November 13, 2020 at 6:03 am

    5 stars
    Looks fabulous! Re: cooking technique-my grandmother always poured the hot water into the pan when the pan was on the oven rack. Thanks for the food processor concept, I will try it.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 13, 2020 at 6:11 am

      Grandmas always know best 😉 I think you’ll love the food processor for cheesecake ~ you won’t believe how silky it comes out.