ER Bakes – Dafina’s Strawberry Cheesecake

Hey there, good people.

I hope this post finds you healthy, optimistic and ready for some cheesecake 🙂

Out of the many things that I am capable of making, my family loves the basics.

After all of the “9 layers” this and “twice baked” that, I pull out my basic but trusty Ninja Master Prep and the crowd goes wild.

I had a 3-year stretch where I tried to make all of my favorite desserts into cheesecakes. I’ve tried Red Velvet, Pecan Pie, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin (of course), Baklava, Banana Pudding, Oreo, golden Oreo, Pumpkin Joe-Joe, Caramel, Brownie and Triple Chocolate. Then on a visit to the Cheesecake Factory for my son’s birthday, he orders – wait for it… PLAIN CHEESECAKE!

The waitress named all of the wonderful flavors to choose from. My son says “my mom can make all of those, she’s a sugar chef, but I just want plain with a few strawberries if you have some.

My son issued me a challenge and he didn’t even know it.

You see, I have a slight problem with making something plain, basic, and regular. I start out following all of the rules and then I suddenly remember that I have candied turmeric or broken pecan shortbread cookies that I can “use up”. The plain recipe goes out the window and suddenly my kitchen becomes the Chopped filming studio and the basket of secret ingredients has just been revealed.

But for the sake of my child witnessing my success outside of my comfort zone, I give you…

Regular Cheesecake with a few strawberries (because I had some)

Bake Happy,

Food processor / Ninja Cheesecake

Line bottom piece of a spring form pan with foil, overlapping about 3+ inches on all sides. Attach ring over the foil and lock the side of the pan.
Take the foil that is hanging out of the bottom and pull it up arounds the sides of the pan. You can wrap another piece of foil around the outside of the pan to keep any water out during the water bath. Place a parchment circle on top of the foil.


1½ cups cookie crumbs (I used 50/50 Vanilla wafers/graham crackers)
1/3 cup walnuts
3 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
Pulse/Process cookies and nuts into crumbs.
Add sugar and butter, pulse until incorporated.
Press into bottom of a prepped spring form pan
Bake at 350°F for about 11 minutes until slightly browned. Do not overbake.
Let cool.

Cheese cake:

2 LBS cream cheese (room temp)
1 ½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons rum
¾ cups sour cream
Put in the processor in order, mix eggs 1 at a time, pulse a few times then run 30 seconds after each ingredient.
Pour into prepped spring form pan of baked crust.
Bake in a water bath (2-3 inches high) at 325°F
Turn oven off and leave cheesecake in the oven for an additional 2 hours
Cool on a wire rack
Refrigerate 6 hours to overnight.
Apply topping, if using.