This light textured cheesecake has a refreshing sweet tart swirl of rhubarb sauce baked in, cutting through the delicious creaminess.

It is mouthwatering and delicious with a thinner crumb crust, because that is the way I like it.

Rhubarb is stringy, like celery, so if you slice it thinly it will all cook down in the sauce and be pretty smooth, as fruit sauces go.  Or you can purée it after cooking.

You can keep it a bit chunky if you would like too. It will still spread through the cheesecake.

You could also just serve the sauce on the side of the cheesecake, baked plain, if you prefer.

Any leftover sauce can be spread on toast, with soft goat or cream cheese or butter.

The rhubarb swirl sauce is explained briefly here.  It is pretty straightforward to make for a less long blog, the detailed recipe is here- Versatile Rhubarb Sauce

Rhubarb Swirl cheesecake

You can use your favourite crumb crust or use the graham cracker crust recipe below.

I don’t like a thick crumb crust with cheesecake, and I don’t take it up the sides, but you can use any crumb crust that you prefer, remembering that this is a 10” (26cm) cheesecake.

Rhubarb Swirl cheesecake

Use good cream cheese, it really makes a difference. Some cream cheese have more moisture than others.

I have used full fat cream and sour cream because I like the light, tartness of the sour cream, but I felt the tart rhubarb needed a bit more balance on the smooth and creamy side.

Rhubarb for Rhubarb swirl cheesecake

I slice the rhubarb on the thinner side so it is less stringy. 

You could purée it after if you want it smoother, but it breaks down quite well, especially when cut thinly.

How to Make a Rhubarb Swirl Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

Printable Recipe below

makes 1-10” (26cm) Cheesecake, serves about 12 people

Prep time: 35 minutes

Baking time: 50 minutes, plus one hour with the oven off.

Crumb Crust

  • 1 cup (120g) graham cracker crumbs, about 8 sheets of crackers (32 crackers)

  • ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake

  • 3 cups (3- 250g blocks) cream cheese, cool room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1½ cups (375mL) sour cream
  • ½ cup (125mL) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (240mL) rhubarb sauce, or to taste
Rhubarb Swirl Cheesecake Ingredients

For the Crust

1. If you are using whole biscuits, pulse them in a food processor until fine, or crush in a sturdy bag with a rolling pin.

2. Combine the crumbs and melted butter and mix very well, or combine in the food processor.

3. Press firmly into the bottom of a 10” (26cm) springform, or cheesecake pan. I just press it on the bottom.

4. Bake in preheated 325°F (165°C) oven for 10 minutes.  Let cool completely before filling.

Graham crackers for Rhubarb cheesecake
Adding butter
Pulse in a food processor
Press into pan

For the Rhubarb Swirl

Make sure it is cold before you put it on the cheesecake or it will sink.

You can purée it if you would like it smoother, but not necessary.

Rhubarb Purée

For the Cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C)

1. Put the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium. 

2. Gradually add the sugar until smooth.  Don’t whip it on high. 

Do scrape the bowl often though, up from the bottom.  After each new addition is a good idea.

3. Beat in the cornstarch.

4. As soon as it is smooth, add the eggs one at a time as each is fully incorporated.

Sugar and cream cheese for Rhubarb cheesecake

Granulated sugar and cream cheese

Press into pan

Scrape the bowl, from the bottom often

Pulse in a food processor

Cornstarch to add stability

Rhubarb Cheesecake adding eggs

Make sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next

5. Mix in the vanilla.

6. Beat in the sour cream, then

7. I stir in the whipping cream to start reducing the amount of air in the batter.

Once the batter is smooth, stir it by hand, or just stop mixing once it is all well combined.

Overbeating can cause cracking or too much shrinking because if it is over whipped, it may rise too much, then sink too quickly.

If the cheesecake is affected visually, it will still taste fantastic.

Pulse in a food processor
Scrape down the bowl often
Pulse in a food processor

Mix in the sour cream

Rhubarb Cheesecake adding eggs

Add the cream and beat on low or stir in by hand

8. Boil some water for a water bath to put the cheesecake in.

9. *Note!

Grease the sides of the pan. This will let the cheesecake go away from the sides as it bakes instead of clinging and cracking.

10. Place the cheesecake pan on a large piece of foil and make sure the foil comes all the way up and a bit over the edge.  Fold the foil over and make sure it is tight around the pan, not open anywhere, or water, or at least steam may seep into the openings of the pan, into the crust.

It is ok if it touches the cheesecake, but may leave marks on it, that’s all, but you might want to fold the foil a bit so it’s not touching.

Rhubarb cheesecake pan on foil
Rhubarb cheesecake pan wrapped in foil

11. Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan.

12. Spoon, or pipe the rhubarb purée over the cheesecake in lines going from the outside towards the middle, like an asterisk.

Try not to put too much of the rhubarb in the middle.  It seems to make its way there anyway.  Also it makes the cheesecake a bit less sturdy to cut when serving.

13. Run a skewer or chopstick or thin knife in a spiral starting from the inside, working out, adding a few lines where needed.

Rhubarb cheesecake batter in crust
Rhubarb Cheesecake purée
Rhubarb Cheesecake swirl

14. Place a large roasting pan, or similar in the oven on the middle rack. 

15. Place the foil covered pan into the roasting pan and pour boiling water into the roasting pan on the outside of the cheesecake pan.

This helps the cheesecake to bake evenly and bake smooth, like a custard, which it is. Evenly means the middle of the cheesecake will be cooked about the same amount as the outside is.

Bake at 450°F (230°C) for 10 minutes.  This allows it to rise.

Lower the temperature to 325°F (165°C) and bake for about 40 minutes.

Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there for one hour.

Remove from the oven and let cool before refrigerating for at least 5 hours before cutting.

Rhubarb cheesecake in water bath

Rhubarb Swirl Cheesecake

A sweet-tart swirl of rhubarb sauce baked into a delicious creamy cheesecake

  Prep Time: 35 minutes

  Bake Time: 50 minutes, plus one hour with the oven off

  Makes 1- 10″ (26cm) Cheesecake Serves 12

INGREDIENTS

Crumb Crust

  • 1 cup (120g) graham cracker crumbs, about 8 sheets of crackers (32 crackers)
  • ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake

  • 3 cups (3- 250g blocks) cream cheese, cool room temperature

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 1½ cups (375mL) sour cream

  • ½ cup (125mL) heavy whipping cream

  • 1 cup (230g) rhubarb sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

Crumb Crust

  1. If you are using whole biscuits, pulse them in a food processor until fine, or crush in a bag with a rolling pin.
  2. Combine the crumbs and melted butter and mix very well or process in the food processor.
  3. Press firmly into the bottom of a 10” (26cm) springform, or cheesecake pan. 
  4. Bake in preheated 325°F (165°C) oven for 10 minutes.   Let cool completely before filling.

Cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C)

  1. Put the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium.  
  2. Gradually add the sugar until smooth.  Don’t whip it on high.    Scrape the bowl often.  
  3. Beat in the cornstarch.
  4. As soon as it is smooth, add the eggs one at a time as each is fully incorporated.
  5. Mix in the vanilla.
  6. Beat in the sour cream.
  7. Stir in the whipping cream to start reducing the amount of air in the batter.  Once the batter is smooth, stir it by hand, or just stop mixing once it is all well combined.  Overbeating can cause cracking or too much shrinking because if it is over whipped, it may rise too much, then sink too quickly.
  8. Boil some water for a water bath to put the cheesecake in.
  9. Grease the sides of the pan. This will let the cheesecake go away from the sides as it bakes instead of clinging and cracking.
  10. Place the cheesecake pan on a large piece of foil and make sure the foil comes all the way up and a bit over the edge.  Fold the foil over and make sure it is tight around the pan, not open anywhere, or water, or at least steam may seep into the openings of the pan, into the crust.   You could use cake wraps instead of foil and water bath.
  11. Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan.
  12. For the Rhubarb Swirl  Make sure it is cold before you put it on the cheesecake or it will sink. You can purée it if you would like it smoother.
  13. Spoon, or pipe the rhubarb purée over the cheesecake in lines going from the outside towards the middle.  
  14. Run a skewer in a spiral starting from the inside, working out, adding a few lines where needed.
  15. Place a large roasting pan, or similar in the oven on the middle rack. 
  16. Place the foil covered pan into the roasting pan and pour boiling water into the roasting pan on the outside of the cheesecake pan.  This helps the cheesecake to bake evenly.
  17. Bake at 450°F (230°C) for 10 minutes.  This allows it to rise.

Lower the temperature to 325°F (165°C) and bake for about 40 minutes.

Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there for one hour.

Remove from the oven and let cool before refrigerating for at least 5 hours before cutting.