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"Three Cities of Spain" Cheesecake

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It is amazing what we food bloggers have to do sometimes to track down a top-notch recipe for our readers.  As you may have guessed from the title of this post, this one took a lot of travel and research to pull together for you guys.  I'll have you know that I just landed back from a trip to....can you guess?  Yeah, three cities in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid and Seville to be exact), where I traveled to uncover the secret recipe for this deliciously light and creamy cheesecake.

What.....you don't believe me?  You doubt my spare-no-expense commitment to scouring the world for only the very best recipes to share with you all?  Boo....you make sad.

Truth be told, a whirlwind trip to Spain for recipe research was not in this year's travel budget, so when Peyton came to me a week ago and asked that I make her a cheesecake for her 13th birthday party, I put on my cyber-sleuthing cap to come up with this one.  My running deal with each of the kids is that we'll cook their favorite meal and make a cake of their choice for their birthday each year.  Last year, Peyton requested a key lime cheesecake which was FABULOUS (we'll have to post it one day), but this year decided to opt for a plain cheesecake served with a few different sauces in order to make her favorite cake a little easier to swallow for non key lime lovers.  What a good kid, huh?  If it were me, I think I may have chosen a flavor that I REALLY loved, and that no one else cared for, so that I could have my birthday cake all to my PIGGY LITTLE SELF.

I ended up finding this recipe on Epicurious, and it comes from a now defunct Sante Fe coffeehouse named....can you guess...."Three Cities of Spain".  It is light, creamy and decadent, and finishes with a glossy sour cream glazing that renders the top pearly white and flawless with no cracks, bubbles or brown patches.  We made ours using Trader Joe's ginger snap cookies in the crust (YUM!), and served it with three sauces, dark chocolate, key lime, and a Cranberry-Raspberry Compote (shown in the photo and included at the end of this post). 

The birthday girl was quite pleased.


"Three Cities of Spain" Cheesecake

Adapted from: Gourmet Magazine November 1999

(Print Friendly Version)


  • 1 crumb-crust recipe made with finely ground ginger snaps or graham crackers *
  • 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
For topping:
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Make crumb crust as directed *. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make filling and bake cake:
  1. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.
  2. Put a 9" springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken. Remove from the oven and let stand in baking pan on a rack 5 minutes. Leave oven on.

Make topping:
  1. Stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Drop spoonfuls of topping around edge of cake and spread gently over center, smoothing evenly. Bake cake with topping an additional 10 minutes.
  2. Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in springform pan on rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side from pan and transfer cake to a plate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

*Crumb Crust Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups (5 oz) finely ground graham crackers or ginger snap cookies
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


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"Oui, Chef" exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my kids a few things about cooking, and how their food choices over time effect not only their own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, passing on established familial food traditions, and starting some new ones. Read more...
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