This vanilla bean cheesecake is the creamiest cheesecake! A crunchy graham cracker crust forms the base for this ultra-smooth and creamy cheesecake studded with sweet vanilla bean seeds. The cheesecake is topped with a light and airy white chocolate mousse. This is cheesecake perfection!
Tips for a perfect cheesecake
- Room Temperature Ingredients: This is so important! Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature before mixing it. If it is still cold, you will likely have little lumps of cream cheese throughout your cheesecake filling and will incorporate too much air trying to beat it. You also want your eggs to be room temperature before adding them as well.
- Water Bath!! This is one of the most important parts of making a cheesecake and can seem intimidating but it's really easy. To see how to set up a water bath to cook your cheesecake in, check out my bourbon eggnog cheesecake post. A water bath will provide a moist environment for the oven and allow the cheesecake to cook more evenly. Cooking without a water bath will almost ensure you end up with a cracked cheesecake. I've tried the trick of placing a pan of hot water on the rack underneath the cheesecake and it just doesn't do the trick like a true water bath does.
- Slow Cooling: To cool your cheesecake properly, when it is done cooking, turn the oven off and crack the door open. Let it cool for 1 hour in the water bath in the turned-off oven. Then, remove it and let it cool for another hour on the counter before placing it into the fridge to finish chilling for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. This will prevent it from cooling too quickly and cracking.
- Redeeming Cracks: If worse comes to worst and your cheesecake still cracks, remember that the taste should be the same, and in the case of this vanilla bean cheesecake, you will cover it all up with the white chocolate mousse so no one will know any better.
How to get seeds from a vanilla bean
You can find vanilla beans in the spice aisle of the grocery store. Take a bean out of the container and lay it flat on a counter.
Use a sharp knife and split open the vanilla bean lengthwise into two long halves. Using the back of the knife, run it over the two long halves scraping up the seeds.
Scrape the seeds into the bowl with the rest of the cheesecake ingredients.
How to tell when a cheesecake is done
Knowing when to take a cheesecake out of the oven can be intimidating. You just spent all of that time and money on this glorious cheesecake only to cut into a soupy mess or saw through an overbaked cheesecake. No one wants that!
All ovens are different so one of the most important things is to check the cheesecake early to make sure it doesn't get overbaked. Begin checking the cheesecake for doneness around 55-60 minutes.
When you give the cheesecake pan a slight jiggle, you should see the edges (about 1-2 inches) of the cheesecake are set and don't move. The middle part of the cheesecake should slightly jiggle but should not move like it is still liquid.
If you still can't tell by the jiggle test, you can also test it with an instant read thermometer. Check in the middle of the cheesecake for a temperature of 150 degrees to 155 degrees F. Again, it's covered with the white chocolate mousse so it won't matter if there is a small hole from the thermometer.
The cheesecake will keep firming up while left in the oven to cool down after baking. It will firm up completely after being refrigerated for at least 4 hours or for best results overnight.
How to remove the cheesecake from the bottom of the springform pan
If you would like to serve the vanilla bean cheesecake on a cake platter or other serving dish without the base of the springform pan, the trick is to line the bottom of the springform pan with a layer of parchment paper.
Unlock the springform pan ring from the base and lay a piece of parchment paper on top of the base. Place the ring over the paper and the base and then lock it into place with the excess parchment paper hanging out the sides of the pan.
After the cheesecake cools completely, run a knife around the inside edge of the ring to loosen the crust. Undo the ring and slide the cheesecake out on the base.
Carefully remove the base from the parchment paper while sliding your hand under the cheesecake. Use a sharp knife to loosen the cheesecake from the parchment paper and little by little slide it off the parchment paper onto whatever you will serve it on.
If this is too fussy for you, then just simply skip the parchment paper trick and serve it on top of the springform base!
How long does the cheesecake last?
The cheesecake can be placed in the refrigerator for 4-5 days tightly covered.
Can the cheesecake be frozen?
You can make the entire cheesecake and then freeze it if you need to plan ahead. Cool the cheesecake completely and then remove it from the springform pan. Place it on a round cardboard circle or a heavy-duty plastic plate.
Freeze the cheesecake for about an hour uncovered. It needs to be cold enough to wrap tightly without squishing it. After an hour or so, remove the cheesecake and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. It should last for about 1 to 2 months like this.
To thaw it out, place the cheesecake into the refrigerator the night before you will need to serve it. You can also slice the cake prior to freezing it and freeze individual slices of cheesecake, wrapped in the same way as a whole one.
For more cheesecake recipes, check out:
- Red Velvet No-Bake Cheesecake
- Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
- Mango Cheesecake with Coconut Graham Crust
- Raspberry Cheesecake with a Brownie Crust
Tag me on Instagram @themarblekitchenblog if you make this and leave a star rating and comment below! Thanks and enjoy!
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with White Chocolate Mousse
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs about 12 full graham cracker sheets
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 24 oz cream cheese full fat and softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 vanilla bean cut in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
White Chocolate Mousse
- 6 oz white chocolate chopped
- 6 oz cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 vanilla bean cut in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Crush the graham crackers using a food processor or place in a zip top bag and crush them using a rolling pin.
- Combine the crushed graham crackers, brown sugar and melted butter and stir well.
- Pour the crumbs into a 9 in springform pan and press into the bottom using fingers or the bottom of a glass to press it down tightly.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Turn the oven down to 325.
- Prepare the springform pan for a water bath. Once the crust has cooled, wrap the springform pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil wrapping and folding the edges at least ¾ up the sides of the pan. For an extra barrier, if desired, place an oven bag around the foil and tie it around the foil to secure it.
- Combine the softened cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer) and mix on medium until smooth, about 2-3 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
- Add the vanilla, vanilla bean seeds and salt and mix well.
- Add the heavy cream mix until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan over the crust.
- Place the springform pan into a roasting pan and place in the oven. Carefully pour very hot water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the springform pan being careful not to get any water between the pan and the foil.
- Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees F for 60 to 65 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, the temperature should be 150-155 degrees F. The cheesecake is done when the middle is still slightly jiggly but the edges are fully set.
- Turn the oven off and slightly prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon if it won’t stay open on its own. Allow to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
- Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove the cheesecake from the water. Remove the foil. Cool for another hour on a wire rack.
- Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator, covering the top with foil or plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Mousse
- Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, melted white chocolate, sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Mix until creamy and fully combined.
- Add the heavy cream into the cream cheese mixture and beat until it’s light and fluffy and thickened.
- Once the cheesecake has fully cooled, spread the white chocolate mousse over the cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or longer if the cheesecake has not chilled for the full time yet).