This Passionfruit Cheesecake is out of this world delicious. It's a silky smooth creamy New York Cheesecake base with a topping made of raw passion fruit (lilikoi) puree without gelatin. Dig into a slice and find yourself in creamy, tangy heaven!
Passion fruit is delicious year round and is more popular in the warmer months. We love eat it anytime it's warm outside or we wish that it was warm outside.
This was inspired by our white chocolate cranberry cheesecake, and is the perfect dessert after a light flavorful meal like jerk chicken tacos, cilantro lime chicken enchiladas, or chicken suiza sandwiches (my personal favorite).
For a traditional cheesecake, try our Philadelphia Cheesecake.
Why I Love This Recipe
I absolutely love passionfruit. I lived on a little island called Saipan with my family from 2015- end of 2018. We absolutely loved island life and I fell in love with passionfruit there and we had a small passionfruit garden that we absolutely loved. I love how sweet and tart it is and this cheesecake takes me straight back to Saipan and island life and all that I loved there. It's silky smooth and creamy and perfectly accented by the tartness of passionfruit. It's perfection to me and one of my all time favorite desserts.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy to follow directions - I have tested cheesecake recipes over and over again to get the smoothest, creamiest cheesecake. If you patiently follow my directions, you will eat one of the best cheesecakes of your life.
- Great for Entertaining - cheesecakes are stunning, and when you can pull one off, people are impressed. This one is always a hit with others and makes a great dessert to take to any gathering from a potluck to nice dinner with close friends.
- Simple and Delicious - the ingredients are actually fairly simple and this recipe is very approachable. It takes awhile and some patience to make sure you do everything to ensure the best possible cheesecake, but it's also very simple and straightforward.
Graham Cracker Crust
- graham crackers
- salted butter
- PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, only full fat- I've tested many other brands and Philadelphia has superior texture and results! Reduced fat cream cheese does not work. You want the cream cheese at room temperature! This will help prevent lumps
- granulated sugar
- corn starch
- Pure vanilla- imitation is acceptable, but wow does using pure make a difference!
- heavy whipping cream
Passion fruit topping:
- passion fruit puree or fresh pulp** also called lilikoi and maracuya
- granulated sugar
See recipe card for quantities.
**You can use fresh passionfruit pulp if you're lucky enough to have access to it. I find mine in the frozen section of our Latin grocery store. In Spanish it is called "maracuya". If the puree you pick up is sweetened, skip the sugar in the topping!
1.Preheat the oven to 350* F. Place graham crackers in a food processor (or crush with a rolling pin) and process until the biggest pieces are the size of large crumbs. Mix in melted butter and stir to combine. Press into the bottom and up the sides a little bit of a springform pan. Bake for 4 minutes to set crust.
2.Place one brick of cream cheese, ½ cup of sugar, and the cream of tartar in a large bowl. Mix on medium low speed for 2-3 minutes, scraping down every minute. Add the remaining cream cheese, one brick at a time. Mixing for 1 minute and scraping down after each one (see above picture).
3. Add the remaining sugar, ½ cup at a time on medium/ medium high speed. Next add the vanilla and beat. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down after each one. Add the cream and mix juuuust until combined. Do not over mix. The mixture should be light and cloud-like (see picture above.)
4. Pour batter onto crust. Place cheesecake in a water bath: I use a large turkey roasting pan. Place springform pan in the large roasting pan and fill with water until it reaches halfway up the cake. Make sure you are water tight! I recommend this pan or this pan liner or this method, done twice.
5. Bake at 350*F for 70-80 minutes. The top will be golden tan, the edges might be darker than mine, which is okay (see picture w/ step 4). It will still be a little wobbly when nudged. Remove and let cool for 2 hours on the counter (just walk away, don't touch it or mess with it) then refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
6. After cheesecake has cooled at least 2 hours: Mix corn starch and water together. Place passion fruit puree, sugar and water/ corn starch mixture together in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir. It will be a light opaque color. Bring to a boil, stirring to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom.
7. Stir and let boil a few minutes until the mixture starts to darken and become more translucent and less milky. Remove from heat then allow to cool for about 5-8 minutes. Pour over the cheesecake and smooth if necessary. Chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Hint: ******One of the most important steps in making a cheesecake is not cooling it too quickly. Do Not stick your cheesecake immediately in the fridge. Allow it to cool on the counter (walk away, don't touch it) at LEAST 2 hours, preferably 3. Then refrigerate another 4 hours or longer before serving.
- Gluten Free - use gluten free graham crackers instead of regular -we've made it this way for my brother in law and it's great!
- Extra Tart- for the topping use ¼ cup sugar instead of ⅓ cup and add 1 teaspoon lemon juice in the water.
- Passionfruit swirl - double the passion fruit topping. Take out half and drop spoonfuls of it on top of the cheesecake batter. Use a knife to swirl it in. Pour the remaining half over the cheesecake once cheesecake has baked and cooled.
- Less Tart- add 1 extra Tablespoon sugar in the topping mixture.
- Spicy- Sprinkle Tajin over the top of a slice when serving. The tajin is used as a flavor enhancer with tropical citrus fruits. We recommend trying one bite of this first before adding to an entire slice!
- handheld mixer -or-
- stand mixer
- springform pan -or-
- watertight spring form pan*
* If you love cheesecake and make them on occasion, I highly recommend a leakproof cheesecake pan that has a gasket. It's sooo nice not to worry about water leaking in, and it truly creates the perfect texture.
Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. The crust starts to separate and get soggy at about 3 days.
To freeze: Slice first then store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw by the slice for one hour at room temperature before serving or 3 hours in the refrigerator.
Use Philadelphia cream cheese. If you're going to spend the time and money to make cheesecake, do it right so the texture is perfect. Use one of our ideas listed in step 4 for a leakproof cheesecake bath as a bonus tip.
Passion Fruit Cheesecake
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 sleeve graham crackers plus 2 full strips about 10 strips
- 4 Tablespoons butter
For the Cheesecake:
- 4- 8 ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature - only full fat PHILADELPHIA highly recommended. I've tested other brands and they are not as smooth.
- 1 ½ cups granulated white sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract- pure is highly recommended
- 3 large eggs
- ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
For the passion fruit topping:
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 14 ounce passion fruit puree or passion fruit pulp** please see note below
- ⅓ cup sugar for more tart, use ¼ cup
Graham Cracker Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350* F.
- Put graham crackers in a food processor and process until crumbly. Ideally you'll have a variety of sizes, from a powdery texture to large crumbs. Be careful not to over process, or the crust will be dense. This can also be done with a rolling pin or glass.
- Melt the butter then add to the crushed graham crackers and mix well. Press into a 9" springform pan. Bake for 4 minutes to set crust.
- Place one brick of cream cheese, ½ cup of the sugar and the cornstarch in a mixing bowl with hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat together on medium low for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute.
- Add the rest of the cream cheese one package at a time, for about one minute each, scraping down the sides after adding each one.
- Next add the sugar, ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium high and add the eggs one at a time, mixing about 30 seconds with each added egg. Scrape the bowl after each additional egg. The mixture should be smooth and beautiful and creamy.
- Finally, add the whipping cream. Mix on medium speed only until just combined, being careful not to over mix. See process photos above for pictures of consistency.
- Pour the cheesecake filling onto the crust.
- Bake in a preheated oven in a water bath. Place the springform pan in a large pan and fill with water until water goes halfway up the pan.
- Bake for 70-85 minutes until it just starts to turn golden and jiggles slightly but has some stability when gently jiggled.
- ******One of the most important steps in making a cheesecake is not cooling it too quickly. Do Not stick your cheesecake immediately in the fridge. Allow it to cool on the counter at LEAST 2 hours, preferably 3-4. Then refrigerate another 4 hours or longer before serving.
For the Topping:
- After cheesecake has cooled at least 2 hours: Mix together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Combine with puree and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil and stirring constantly, let boil until sauce starts to thicken and becomes less milky looking. It'll become more translucent, darken a little and loose the whiteish hue. See photos above for a visual on what this looks like.
- Allow to cool 5-8 minutes then pour over your already cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours.
- store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
- store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
- It is not recommended by the USDA to consume raw eggs.