This ube basque cheesecake combines the flavors of the Philippines and Spain. Ube halaya and ube extract give this cheesecake its unique flavor and color. Combine those flavors with traditional Spanish cooking technique and you have the perfect creamy dessert that you can bring to any dinner party.
Over the past couple years, basque cheesecake has grown in popularity. It even has its own hashtag on Instagram. I have always wanted to learn how to make this popular cheesecake, so I thought I would add to my collection of ube desserts with this ube basque cheesecake. Like my ube cookies and ube mochi pancakes, it is flavored with natural ube flavor via ube halaya and artificial flavor via ube extract. Honestly, this is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. It’s easy to make and is so so good.
What is basque cheesecake?
Basque cheesecake is a dessert that originates from San Sebastian, Spain. It is said that the origins of this dessert can be traced back to a restaurant called La Vina. They served the first basque cheesecake 30 years ago. This cheesecake is different from American cheesecakes mostly due to its burnt exterior. The dark exterior gives the cheesecake a caramel/brown butter type flavor while the center is creamy and soft. That contrast gives the cheesecake a flavor unlike any other.
Nowadays, people from all over the world enjoy basque cheesecake. I can tell you people in the Asian community love this kind of cheesecake. I’ve seen basque cheesecakes pop up in every cafe and restaurant with a variety of flavors from Vietnamese coffee basque cheesecakes to this one.
How I made my version of basque cheesecake
I personally really wanted to pay homage to the original basque cheesecake from Spain but also add my own flair, so I adapted this basque cheesecake recipe from Spanish Sabores. I added ube extract and ube halaya for the ube flavor, and I also reduced the sugar because I thought the cheesecake was too sweet when I tested it.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Cream cheese – This is the main ingredient in this cheesecake. Any type of cream cheese should work for this recipe including mascarpone.
- Granulated sugar – Adds sweetness to this cheesecake. Like I mentioned above, I reduced the sugar from 2 cups to 1 3/4 cups because I felt the cheesecake was too sweet. However, if you like a really sweet cheesecake, feel free to use 2 cups. It doesn’t affect the texture of the cheesecake to increase the sugar.
- Eggs – Adds richness and creaminess to the cheesecake.
- Ube halaya – Adds the ube flavor and purple color to the cheesecake. Feel free to another 1/4 cup if you would like more ube flavor. If you can’t find ube halaya, use 1 teaspoon more of ube extract. If you are only using ube extract, the cheesecake will not have a rich, complex ube flavor. It will taste a bit more artificial.
- Ube extract – Adds ube flavor and purple color to the ube basque cheesecake.
- Vanilla extract – Adds more flavor to the cheesecake. Substitute with a vanilla bean or an equal amount of vanilla paste. I personally prefer vanilla paste, because it has more flavor.
- Salt – Brings out the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Heavy cream – Adds creaminess to the cheesecake.
- All purpose flour – Gives the cheesecake a little structure
How to make ube basque cheesecake
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Line a 9 inch springform pan by covering it with 2 pieces of parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper extends 1-2 inches out of the pan. This will help you remove the cheesecake.
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whisk cream cheese and sugar together until well combined. Add the eggs and mix until smooth. Add the ube halaya, ube extract, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix until combined.
Finally, add the heavy cream and all purpose flour. Mix until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes until the cake is cooked through. To check if it’s done, shake the cheesecake and if it jiggles like jello, it is done.
Let the cheesecake cool down at room temperature for 1 hour and then place in the fridge to set for at least 3 more hours. This cheesecake tastes best if it sets in the fridge overnight.
Tips on how to make the perfect ube basque cheesecake
I highly recommend a stand mixer
Traditionally, basque cheesecake is made with a metal spoon. Even though that is true, I personally prefer a stand mixer because it is so much easier to get the cream cheese and sugar to combine.
Easy ways to bring cream cheese to room temperature
Below are a few easy ways to bring cream cheese to room temperature
- The most hands off way to do it is to let it sit at room temperature for a few hours (2-3 hours).
- Remove the outer packaging from the cream cheese until you’re just left with the foil wrapped cream cheese block. Place them in a bowl of warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Remove the cream cheese from the packaging and put it in a bowl. Heat in 10 second increments until the right temperature, stirring in between each increment to allow even heating. This should take 30-40 seconds. This is the method I used.
Alternative bake times
There are versions of basque cheesecake where the center is a little more runny than mine. To get a runnier center, bake the cheesecake for less time (~50-60 minutes). The drawback of baking the cheesecake for less time is the top doesn’t get as brown or “burnt”.
How do you store ube basque cheesecake?
Store ube basque cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Did you make this dish?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
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Ube Basque Cheesecake (with natural ube flavor)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
- Line a 9 inch springform pan by covering it with 2 pieces of parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper extends 1-2 inches out of the pan. This will help you remove the cheesecake.
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whisk cream cheese and sugar together until well combined.
- Add the eggs and mix until smooth.
- Add the ube halaya, ube extract, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix until combined.
- Finally, add the heavy cream and all purpose flour. Mix until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.
- Bake for 60-65 minutes until the cake is cooked through. To check if it's done, shake the cheesecake and if it jiggles like jello, it is done.
- Let the cheesecake cool down at room temperature for 1 hour and then place in the fridge to set for at least 3 more hours. This cheesecake tastes best if it sets in the fridge overnight.
- Cream cheese note. Any kind of cream cheese can be used for this recipe including mascarpone.
- Granulated sugar note. I tested this recipe with 2 cups of sugar, and it was very good. However, I felt it was too sweet, so I reduced the sugar in my final recipe. If you prefer a very sweet cheesecake, feel free to add more sugar.