San Sebastian Cheesecake: The Burnt Taste of Basque Cuisine


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San Sebastian Cheesecake is a popular dessert from Spain, especially the Basque cuisine. It is also known as “Basque Cheesecake” or “Burnt Basque Cheesecake” by many people. The name of this cheesecake comes from San Sebastian, a famous tourist destination in the Basque country.

The origin and popularity of San Sebastian Cheesecake dates back to the 1990s at a restaurant called La Viña. Juan Mari Arzak, the chef of the restaurant, and his brother Pedro Subijana are well-known chefs of San Sebastian and important names of Basque cuisine. After it started being served at La Viña restaurant, San Sebastian Cheesecake gained great fame and became popular around the world.

The difference between San Sebastian Cheesecake and other cheesecake types is that it has a burnt and caramelized top surface rather than the classic smooth and creamy textured cheesecakes. Because this cheesecake is baked quickly at high temperatures, the top will burn slightly and caramelization will occur. For this reason, it has a slightly brown and even slightly cracked appearance on the outside. The interior is creamy and dense.

Cream cheese, eggs, sugar and cream are basically used in the making of San Sebastian Cheesecake. The amount of flour is less and therefore a denser consistency is obtained compared to traditional cheesecakes. Flavoring ingredients such as vanilla extract, lemon zest or lemon juice are often added to the dough. After it is quickly cooked in the oven, it is served by resting in the refrigerator.

San Sebastian Cheesecake gained worldwide popularity in a short time and found its place on the menus of many restaurants and patisseries. With its caramelized outer surface and creamy inner consistency, it has become an attractive option for dessert lovers. San Sebastian Cheesecake, an original flavor of Basque cuisine, has made an important contribution to Spain's dessert heritage.

San Sebastian Cheesecake Recipe


  • 250 grams of cream cheese
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 250 ml cream
  • 60 grams of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • Grated peel of half a lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F) and grease a 22cm cake tin or line it with baking paper.
  2. Beat cream cheese and sugar thoroughly in a deep mixing bowl. Continue whisking until you achieve a smooth consistency.
  3. Add the eggs one by one and mix each thoroughly. Beat the mixture well after adding each egg.
  4. Add cream, flour, vanilla extract, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. You should get a smooth dough.
  5. Pour the dough you prepared into the cake mold that is greased or covered with wax paper.
  6. Bake in the oven at 220°C (430°F) for 45-50 minutes. San Sebastian Cheesecake should bake with the top slightly brown and the center still slightly wobbly.
  7. After removing it from the oven, let it cool completely to room temperature. Then put it in the refrigerator and let it rest for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
  8. Serve the cheesecake by slicing it. Optionally, you can sprinkle powdered sugar on it or decorate it with fresh fruits.

San Sebastian Cheesecake is ready! Now you can enjoy this delicious Spanish dessert. Enjoy your meal!

San Sebastian Cheesecake: The Burnt Taste of Basque Cuisine

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