Orange and Clove Basque Cheesecake

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There's no need to baby this beauty. Skip the water bath, blast it on high, and be prepared to wow your dinner guests.

Slices of Orange and Cloves Basque Cheesecake served on plates.
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Cool Time:
5 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs
Servings:
12

If the captivating look of the Basque cheesecake isn't enough to make you do a double take, the whiffs of fragrant orange and clove definitely will. This crustless cheesecake originates from the Basque region of Spain and is lighter in texture than the classic version you might be more familiar with.

It's no mistake that this style of cheesecake is dark and caramelized on the outside; rest assured, its center is soft and creamy. A consistent oven temperature is key here to avoid over-baking, which could lead to a grainy texture. So no peeking while the cheesecake bakes! For a gluten-free cheesecake, simply swap in an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 ¾ cups heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier (optional)

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Spray a 10-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Line pan with two sheets of parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches of overhang all around.

  2. Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until completely smooth and sugar has dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat on low just until incorporated. Add cream, orange zest and juice, salt, vanilla, cloves, and, if desired, liqueur. Beat on low until smooth, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle on flour and beat just until incorporated. Transfer to prepared pan and place on middle rack in oven.

  3. Bake until edges have puffed, the top is evenly dark brown, and the center is still slightly jiggly, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for about 1 hour. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

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