Watch the World Burn

It’s the contrarian in me, but I must admit, I love a recipe that’s meant to go wrong. Flawed by design, it tells you right in the title that it won’t turn out according to standard procedure. Burnt Basque Cheesecake has been high on my list for just that reason. Baking to golden brown perfection is not the goal here: You want to push it further, right over the edge of the cliff into dark, smoldering, ashes.

Okay, the results aren’t that dire, but the top is definitely edging into “blackened” territory, which I usually take as a euphemism for being exceedingly overcooked. It’s a good thing, in this case, to stand back and watch the world burn- Or at least, the contents of your springform pan. That darkly lacquered surface contains volumes of flavor, intense and arresting, like the slightly bitter edge to properly caramelized sugar. It takes the bite out of strong sweetness, creating harmonious balance throughout the dessert.

Inside lies soft, tender custard, gently tangy like any proper cheesecake filling. If anything, the extreme external heat keeps the center even more pillow-like, cooking it to the bare minimum necessary to set and slice. It’s not a classic beauty, but quite possibly the best kind of cheesecake, for those who care more about flavor than shallow aesthetics.

Don’t be afraid to turn up the heat and immolate your hard work in that fiery oven. This particular baptism by fire isn’t a painful lesson to learn.

Yield: Makes 4 - 6 Servings

Burnt Basque Cheesecake

Burnt Basque Cheesecake

Darkly lacquered, intense and arresting like properly caramelized sugar, this cheesecake is perhaps the best example of the art form. The custard is almost pillow-like, cooked to the bare minimum necessary to set and slice.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 45 minutes


  • 1 (8-Ounce) Package Vegan Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Aquafaba
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper (Optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to the 450 degrees and line a 6-inch springform pan with at least 2.5-inch sides with parchment paper or foil. Lightly grease and set aside.
  2. Place all of the ingredients into your blender or food processor and puree until completely smooth. Pause to scrape down the sides of the canister as needed, making sure that everything is fully incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and gently tap it on the counter to release any large air bubbles.
  4. Place the pan in the oven on the top rack and bake until the top is dark, just shy of turning black; 28 - 30 minutes. It should still be very loose and jiggly in the center at this point. Turn on the broiler to high, and broil for an additional 10 minutes to push it over the edge of fully blackened darkness all across the surface.
  5. Cool completely before transferring to the fridge. Chill overnight, or for at least 8 hours before slicing and serving.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 1g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

9 thoughts on “Watch the World Burn

  1. This cheesecake recipe is very interesting. Now, if one forgets about the cheesecake in the oven, we can just mention its a burnt basque cheesecake and no one will be the wiser. Happy April fools… Stay well and take care

  2. I love making this, quite an easy dessert to make and like what Chef Mimi said, you made it vegan and it turned out exactly how a Burnt Basque Cheesecake would look like

  3. Love this recipe! One question about the aquafaba – do you use it as it comes from the can or do you reduce it first? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Susan! The aquafaba is used as-is, straight out of the can in this recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

  4. Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly. I will post a comment once I make it.

  5. This looks lovely. However your advertiser (Best Buy) made it impossible to save to pdf or print without several lines of the text being blotted out by the ad. I persisted and copied then pasted, but it was infuriating. I only persisted because this was the best vegan option I found.

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