I considered calling this cheesecake Love Potion No. 9.

Or some other witty title that would relay its profound ability to get you laid. Or at least proposed to.

That is, if you actually have the self control needed to serve it to other people. And not sit with it in a corner of your room. Alone. With a fork. Not that I know anything about that…

My proposal came from my friend Amma. Who is, unfortunately, both happily engaged and a female.

Although, after reading an article in the New York Times about how happily married individuals are less likely to develop chronic disease (i.e. cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia) than both unmarried or unhappily married individuals are. (The researchers involved in the study did this REALLY cool experiment where they gave blisters to a series of married couples, videotaped them talking about controversial issues in their marriage, and then tracked how long it took the blisters to heal. In those couples who fought more viciously. The blisters took two. Days. Longer. Impaired immune function? Um. Yes.) I was ready to throw caution and my heterosexuality to the wind. And accept.

Yup. Potential homewrecker. Right here. And probably the only one who can say, “The New York Times made me do it.”
Seriously, though. I don’t usually like to serve up my food with disclaimers. But beware.

Maybe you want to get engaged.

Or maybe you have a textbook case of commitment phobia. (If so, on behalf of females everywhere. Go see a psychiatrist. And get that taken care of. We don’t have time for this! Our clocks are ticking!)

Either way. As a future doctor. I feel compelled (actually, legally bound by…you know…the Hippocratic oath for bakers) to warn you of the potential side effects. So just. Bake with caution.
I baked this, per request, for Sophie’s birthday. She wanted a cheesecake. With fruit.

There were many internal debates over which fruit I should use (mango was on the top of the list for a while). But when I saw the first rhubarb of the season at the Farmer’s Market. I knew it was fate.

The cheesecake itself was delicious. And how could it not be with five blocks of cream cheese. (It’s not called a New York Cheesecake for nothing. It’s bold. Unapologetically so. Love that.)

But, honestly, from the feedback I got. It was the strawberry rhubarb topping that really stole the show. I had people requesting spoons so that they could eat the extra from the jar. So even if you don’t end up making the cake. I think the compote would be really delicious on a peanut butter sandwich. Or grilled cheese. Or a topping for pancakes. (Can you tell I’ve thought a lot about this?)

Rhubarb is only in season for a few months. Do it while there’s still time. I know I will.

New York Cheesecake
Serves 16, adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Gourmet

Crumb Crust
15 sheets of graham crackers, finely ground
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Cheesecake Filling
5 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened (you should use Philadelphia brand, the 1/3 less fat is fine – that’s what I used)
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
5 eggs + 2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. To make the crust – stir together all of the ingredients and press onto the bottom and up the sides of either a 9 or 10-inch buttered springform pan. Pop it into the freezer while you prepare the filling. I used a 10-inch pan, Deb uses a 9-inch. Either will work.

2. Preheat the oven to 550. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon zest, and orange zest. Add vanilla. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Don’t cut corners here. Scrape. It also gives you an excuse to lick the spatula after each time. Do it.

3. Put the springform pan in a shallow baking pan (or on a pizza pan, like I did) and bake in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes. Deb’s puffed up and browned, mine didn’t. I’m not sure my oven is capable of getting that hot. But if yours is, then watch it because you don’t want it to burn! If it starts to look like it’s burning, proceed immediately to the next step.

4. Reduce the temperature to 200 degrees and continue baking until the cake is mostly firm (it will still be wobbly in the middle). This took Deb an hour and me an hour and a half.

5. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it. Cool completely, in the springform pan, on a rack. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 2 weeks.

Strawberry Rhubarb Topping
(Note – Deb made a cherry topping for hers that looks delicious so feel free to just substitute fresh or frozen cherries for the fruit here)

1 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 lb rhubarb, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
4 tbsp (or more) lemon juice
1/4 cup (or more) sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Boil. Cook for an additional four or five minutes or until it looks like it’s starting to thicken. Taste for lemon juice and sugar (how much of this you need will depend on how sweet your strawberries are and how tangy your rhubarb is) Remove from heat. Cool completely.

Spread over the cheesecake.

This is my submission to Weekend Herb Blogging which is being hosted this week by Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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68 Responses to New York Cheesecake with Strawberry-Rhubarb Topping

  1. Woooow,,Joanne cheesecake looks perfect with rhubarb colour makes mesmerising me dear…super cake perfectly turned out…

  2. This looks lovely!…yummy! And thanks for the baking caution from a future doc 🙂

  3. doggybloggy says:

    now this is one fat cheesecake with one sweet strawberry, rhubarby topping!

  4. Such a vibrant topping and my eyes popped one looking at the color. More than the cheesecake, I am all for the Topping. And It certainly looks like a love potion! I am so going to look for Rhubarb and make this so I use it with Pancakes, drizzle on top of Icecream etc etc

  5. Kristen says:

    I keep wishing that computer screens worked like old fashioned auto-mats; that I could open up a door and take out a plate full of the deliciousness that I see. Cheesecake is one of my all time favorite desserts. Strawberry-Rhubarb is one of my all time favorite pies…the combination sounds cosmic!

  6. Angie says:

    This cheesecake looks so good. I love the topping. Its funny what stress does to you. Just being a hygienist for so long, I can look in some one’s mouth and easily access their stress level, especially if I’ve seen them before. I got to see trench mouth several times and saw and experienced, unfortunately, black line stain, another condition caused from extreme stress. I thought it was fascinating how calculus buildup and healing times are correlated with stress, and calculus in the mouth is in turn related to calculus in arteries, pretty interesting in panoramic (of the head) x-rays. Thick calculus all over the teeth and in the carotid arteries, amazing. (and gross) LOL

  7. Pam says:

    Wish I had a piece of this…right NOW!…lol!!


  8. I have never had rhubarb before but I think I might give this recipe a try.

  9. I’ve never even thought about trying to cook rhubarb. You’re so adventurous in the kitchen. I love it! My friend’s been eyeing the same smitten kitchen recipe. I hope she finally caves in so I can have a piece. I know that if I made it myself I’d eat it myself.. which better mean I ran a marathon the day before or my hips will be in major trouble.

  10. I never thought to top cheesecake with rhubarb. So creative! Your photos are mouthwatering!

  11. tracy says:

    so what are you going to do for my birthday! =D i do adore cinnamon and carrot cake.

    anyways, DOCTOR, i don’t believe it’s the extensor hallucis longus buecuase i can extend my big toe without pain. it’s the other little toes that bother me. i can’t circle and roll my foot around without some pain. when i stretch the extensors it hurts. =(

    TWAS a good day. a ton of almond butter (hahha killed in 1 day! BWHAHAHAH. my abs are not cool with that. lol)

    sadly i am not a fan of cheesecake- too rich for my tummy! =(

  12. Pam says:

    I’ve never drooled this early in the morning but, this just made me do it! Love that rhubarb and your cheesecake looks delicious and colorful! Slide a slice to my blog when you get a chance! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Debbi Smith says:

    I’ll be the one in the corner with a fork and strawberry rhubarb sauce all over my face. Cheesecake is my favorite. Chicken salad and cheesecake are my 2 most favorite things in the world. Well, then there are my kids…

  14. Wow, the strawberry rhubarb topping on a cheesecake sounds amazing!

  15. Sophie says:

    A marvellous & tasty & superb cheesecake this is!! I so love the fruity pink topping,…mmmmmmmm,..;all the way!

  16. Lea Ann says:

    Oh Joanne!!! Beautiful!

  17. wow so beautiful cheese cake..

  18. katerina says:

    Holy Crap what a brilliant idea for Rhubarb. I can hear my boyfriends swooning now.

  19. elra says:

    Of course I will listen to you Jo, I’ll bake cautiously! Wait, how could I? Look at this dessert, must I?

  20. Debbie says:

    I love everything about that cheesecake! Over the top delicious! I saw this on Deb’s site too and seeing it again makes me want to bake it right now!!!

  21. Kim says:

    The strawberry-rhubarb combination is like crack, isn’t it? I mean it’s not only gorgeous, but it’s addictive and you can fool yourself that it’s good for you:D
    This looks like a fabulous cheesecake Joanne!

  22. sophia says:


    Sorry, the cheesecake is mighty fine, of course…but YOU WON!

  23. Cristie says:

    I love rubarb and have a plant just waiting for a lovely recipe. Your cheesecake looks like it has a perfect crumb. Congratulations on the big WIN!!

  24. katiez says:

    Wouldn’t making a serious committment to the cheesecake count? You know, me, my favorite fork and the cheesecake, having a menage a trois somewhere quiet… Bed would work. (I could kick the hubs out – oh wait, that’s your point, isn’t it)

  25. Heh heh, may this cake bring you a whole passel of worthy proposals, m’dear! 🙂 That compote sounds perfectly heavenly on so many things!!!

  26. Faith says:

    Stunning cheesecake, Joanne! If I were still single, I’d make it and distribute it…can’t go wrong with love potion #9, right? 😉

  27. Astra Libris says:

    Wow, Joanne… This cheesecake is definitely, definitely proposal-inducing… but then again, everything you fix is proposal-inducing! 🙂 The guy who’s lucky enough to sweep you off your feet is going to be a very, very fortunate man indeed!! I think if I show Zach this cheesecake he might leave me for you… 😉 As always, girl, YOU ROCK!! 🙂

  28. I haven’t had a cheesecake in soooo long that I feel denied and may break out in blisters! What a great idea to top it with strawberries and rhubarb.

  29. Pam says:

    You truly just made me drool. I think I’ll make this for my husband ;).

  30. Bob says:

    Oh man, that looks wicked good. NY cheesecake is my desert island dessert, it’s the frigging bomb.

    Heh, it wouldn’t get my girlfriend to propose though, it’s “too rich” for her. Whatever the hell that means. 😀

  31. Caronae says:

    Wonderful! My father’s family loves strawberry rhubarb pie. This sounds like a fun update to a classic! I’ll have to look for some at the farmer’s market, mmmm 🙂
    happy weekend my dear!

  32. Debinhawaii says:

    Such a brightly-colored topping and a delicious-looking cheesecake. Can’t wait to see your ring!

  33. Joanne

    I think these so-called studies are so flawed! I for one, LOVE being single! Of course, I know what marriage is, I did it for 15 years and I think marriage mostly benefits men;
    your cheesecake is beautiful and so tasty and I bet your friend was elated.

  34. wow what an amazing cheesecake and love the soup below okra rocks have a fab weekend Joanne Rebecca

  35. Amy says:

    Man, woman, hetero, lesbian, married, single, dog, cat…cheesecake does not discriminate. I want this so desperately right now. Gimme gimme.

  36. Lynn says:

    Man does this cheesecake look good. I think with the 5 blocks of cream cheese, I’d have to take a veeeery skinny slice. But then I’d eat the compote out of the jar, I believe. Good suggestion 😉

  37. Cynthia says:

    That looks heavenly!! Now I have the strongest desire for cheesecake…forget about being engaged. It’s not worth it if you have to share this beauty of a cheesecake 😉

  38. Katerina says:

    I make cheesecakes a lot but I have never tried the NY one. I must definitely do so. This looks so good.

  39. How I love rhubarb… it just screams spring!!! Great idea to put it on cheesecake!

  40. love this post…..yes thank you for the caution. the cake must be amazing if you are using 5 blocks of cream cheese. and how do you not eat like a glutton all of your amazing creations?
    hope you have a wonderful weekend Joanne!
    is it really true about the blisters?

  41. teresa says:

    you’re so funny, and rather informative! oh my goodness, how amazing, i want to eat the whole thing!

  42. Marcia says:

    oh my goodness that looks so good. I love cheesecake.

    That’s a funny tidbit of information about the blisters. I’ll keep that in mind!!

  43. ruchikacooks says:

    Say cheese huh! Such a lovely color, I love cheesecake..with any topping! This looks delicious.

  44. PJ says:

    oh my, the picture does indeed look potent enough! i am surely going to take your advise and make the strawberry-rhubarb compote atleast (trying to stay low on cakes for a while — but well, you never know, this cheescake might just tempt me enough to bread my rules :D)

  45. polwig.com says:

    This looks so good… and I see you found Rhubarb, Yeah… so delish.. I love strawberries with rhubarb and with cheesecake… ohhhhhh…. yummy…

  46. Stella says:

    This is beautiful, Joanne. I love the top photo-rustic and enchanting it is.
    The middle photo really shows how rich the cake is too, so I’m bookmarking this. Thank you, Dearie…

  47. Karen says:

    First, I love the new look of your blog – very nice! I love this recipe. We have rhubarb just coming up in the garden – I think a summer cheesecake would be just the thing to make in a month or two!

  48. Whether u call it love potion 9 or 7[:-)], i love ur NY cheese cake,and smitten kitchen rocks, and so is another NY kitchen rocking,ie our dear JOAnne’s kitchen…
    i love ur varied deliciousness,that u offer without fail.
    and bdw,if we can chose,we all would happily married right:-)))
    BDW,ur memories associated with LITTLE ELOISE, are so so cute jus like her dear….and U…love that!!!!

  49. Martha says:

    Oh sure, I was all set for brownies and now I don’t want them I want cheesecake! You are so mean to me 😉

    Have a great weekend Joanne!

  50. Chef Aimee says:

    The strawberry rhubarb just takes a cheesecake to the next level! Fantastic!

  51. This is positively heavenly! Great idea for the topping too. This healing thing is disturbing! I think they should do another study comparing happily married couples with happily single women.

  52. Jessie says:

    I read that article, too. Considering the immune-boosting powers of happy marriages, I think you should prescribe marriage when you are a doctor (like literally, write it on the script), and then also prescribe some Valium. THAT would make for a happy marriage 🙂

    Rhubarb is sew goooood – I need to get my hands on some before I leave for China and make your mouth-watering cheesecake. mmm-MMM!

  53. I love non traditional cheesecake toppings. It’s such a perfect dessert for any seasonal fruit.

  54. That color is unbelievable. Maybe it is the color that is so potent that people …… I will leave that to the imagination.

  55. tigerfish says:

    I hardly have any topping or other variety of cheesecake cos I really like my cheesecake, plain.

  56. I’m a cheesecake addict, so I’m going to fight to keep myself from making this.

  57. Winnie says:

    This looks truly fantastic! I just love cheesecake and this one really is gorgeous. Thanks for submitting the recipe to WHB this week!

  58. Strawberry Rhubarb is hubby’s favorite combo – guess I have to make a cheesecake now! LOL Your roommates must love you and even if they don’t I bet they keep you around to cook!

  59. sweetlife says:

    Oh mama…how utterly freaking fantastic…my hubby is needing this- I need to be proposed to again..we would love on this baby all night long..haha


  60. Katy ~ says:

    I don’t think there is enough cheesecake in the world to get me over my commitment phobia. Ole Sweetie-Pi hints at least 6x a year that we should be married. I’m getting deafer each time he says it, smiles.

  61. Graziana says:

    It looks amazing! I’m growing rhubarb this year because I can’t find it in Italy, I hope I can try your recipe soon

  62. knk says:

    i like this
    making is bit difficult i think , but i wanna taste it once

  63. Elizabeth says:

    Oh yum. That looks amazing! I’m sad I moved and don’t have my rhubarb plants in the backyard anymore.

  64. Zibi says:

    Strawberry and rhubarb taste so good together… great idea for cheese cake topping. One of those those things that seems so obvious once you see it!

    You have a great blog Joanne, just some love to keep you going! http://freshslowcooking.com/48/spreading_the_love

  65. Sophie says:

    I got to eat this for my special day!! Thank you Joanne 🙂

  66. Vera says:

    Mmmm…looks sexy. Can’t wait to make this for my husband’s birthday 😉

  67. Austin says:

    Do you have an electric or gas oven? I’ve tried this twice, and 550 was a little too hot for my oven. It worked better at 500 for me. (I happen to have a gas oven for reference).

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