Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake


Experience the epitome of decadence with Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake – a luxurious dessert that tantalizes the taste buds with its rich flavors and creamy texture. This exquisite creation marries the warmth of brown butter with the delicate sweetness of vanilla bean, resulting in a cheesecake that’s truly unforgettable. In this article, we’ll delve into the art of making this divine dessert, serving suggestions, and why it deserves a prime spot on your dessert menu.


For the Brown Butter:

  • 1 cup butter

For the Brown Butter Crust:

  • 2 cups graham digestive or golden oreo cookie crumbs, 240g (if oreo, cream should be removed)
  • 1 cup ground pecans, 115g
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon browned butter, 120g
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the Brown Butter Cheesecake Filling:

  • 2 packages cream cheese, 452g (at room temperature, soft)
  • ¼ cup brown butter, 57g (try to get mostly the bottom brown bits, less of the yellow liquid)
  • ½ cup labne or sour cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar, 210g
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Two large eggs

For the Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (can use vanilla bean scrapings too)


  1. Brown the butter: Set butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Once melted, increase to medium-high until it stops foaming, showing brown bits at the bottom. Pour into a bowl, including the brown bits. Cool slightly.
  2. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9” cake pan with parchment. Mix pecans, crumbs, powdered sugar, and browned butter liquid (keep most brown bits for filling). Press into pan bottom and sides. Bake for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 325°F.
  3. Make the filling: Beat cream cheese, sugar, salt, reserved brown butter bits, and vanilla until smooth. Add sour cream, then eggs, beating just to combine. If lumpy, strain into crust.
  4. Bake: Place in a water bath in the oven for around 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool in the oven with the door ajar, then on the counter before chilling for 8 hours.
  5. Whipped cream topping: Process cream, vanilla, salt, and sugar until thick. Top cheesecake before serving.
  6. Prep Time: 45 minutes | Cooking Time: 1 hour | Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes | Servings: 10

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish with Style: Before serving Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake, garnish each slice with a sprinkle of freshly scraped vanilla bean seeds or a dusting of powdered sugar. This adds a touch of elegance and enhances the visual appeal of the dessert.
  2. Add a Dollop of Whipped Cream: Serve each slice of cheesecake with a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream on top. The lightness of the whipped cream balances the richness of the cheesecake and adds a creamy, indulgent finish.
  3. Pair with Fresh Berries: For a burst of freshness and color, accompany Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake with a side of fresh berries such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. The tartness of the berries complements the sweetness of the cheesecake and adds a delightful contrast of flavors.
  4. Serve at Room Temperature: Allow Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake to come to room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to fully develop and the texture to soften, resulting in a more enjoyable eating experience.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate: Store any leftover Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake in an airtight container or cover the baking dish with plastic wrap. Properly stored, it can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Be sure to consume it within this timeframe to ensure optimal freshness and flavor.
  2. Avoid Freezing: Due to its creamy texture, Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake is not suitable for freezing. Freezing can cause the texture to become grainy or the filling to separate, resulting in a less desirable dessert.
  3. Store in the Original Dish: If possible, store the cheesecake in the original baking dish with a tight-fitting lid. This helps preserve its shape and prevents it from absorbing any odors from other foods in the refrigerator.
  4. Slice Before Storing: If storing individual slices of cheesecake, place a piece of parchment paper between each slice to prevent them from sticking together. This makes it easier to retrieve and serve individual portions without damaging their appearance.


1. Can I substitute vanilla extract for vanilla bean in the cheesecake? Yes, you can substitute vanilla extract for vanilla bean in the cheesecake filling. Use about 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, depending on your preference for vanilla flavor.

2. Can I make Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake without a springform pan? While a springform pan is ideal for cheesecake, you can still make Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake in a regular cake pan. Ensure to line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper for easy removal.

3. Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter for the brown butter? Yes, you can use salted butter for the brown butter. However, adjust the amount of additional salt added to the recipe to balance the flavor accordingly.

4. How can I prevent cracks from forming on top of the cheesecake? To prevent cracks from forming on top of the cheesecake, ensure not to overbeat the cheesecake batter and avoid overbaking. Additionally, baking the cheesecake in a water bath can help regulate the temperature and minimize cracks.

5. Can I make Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake ahead of time? Yes, Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. In fact, allowing it to chill overnight can enhance the flavors. Just be sure to cover it tightly to prevent it from absorbing any odors.


In conclusion, Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake is a dessert worthy of celebration. Its rich flavors, creamy texture, and elegant presentation make it a standout addition to any dessert menu. Whether served at a special occasion or enjoyed as a decadent treat for yourself, this cheesecake is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you craving another slice. So why wait? Treat yourself to the ultimate indulgence with Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cheesecake today!

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