Orange-Anise Basque Cheesecake


This cheesecake is all custard, no filler. An iconic crustless cheesecake from the Basque region of Spain, the Basque cheesecake has a starkly scorched top with a creamy, just-set interior thanks to a high-temperature bake. We infused our custard with orange zest and star anise, aromatics that often make their way into mulled wine, for a holiday twist.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Orange-Anise Basque Cheesecake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1 large orange (184 grams)
  • 2¼ cups (540 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 3 whole star anise (3 grams), lightly crushed
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages (680 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1⅓ cups (267 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs (250 gram), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) tightly packed orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ cup (31 grams) all-purpose flour
  1. Using a peeler, remove zest from orange in 1-inch strips.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat zest strips, cream, and star anise over medium-low heat just until steaming and a film forms on top. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, and measure 1⅔ cups (400 grams) infused cream; discard zest strips, star anise, and any remaining liquid.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a 9-inch springform pan with 2 (16¼×12¼-inch) sheets of parchment paper placed perpendicular to each another; spray parchment with cooking spray. Place prepared pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add sugar and salt; beat at low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Beat in orange zest and vanilla bean paste. With mixer on low speed, add infused cream in a slow, steady stream; increase mixer speed to medium-low, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Sift flour over batter; beat at low speed until combined and smooth. Pour batter into prepared springform pan. Gently tap sides of pan 2 to 3 times to release any large air bubbles.
  5. Bake until deep golden brown, center is very jiggly, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 170°F (77°C) to 175°F (79°C), 50 minutes to 1 hour. Place baking sheet on a wire rack, and let cheesecake cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in pan on wire rack until chilled, 4 to 5 hours or up to overnight. (If refrigerating overnight, cover loosely with foil once cooled to room temperature.) Carefully remove from pan, and transfer to a serving plate. If chilled, let stand until room temperature, at least 30 minutes, before serving.


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