Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors and this passion fruit cheesecake hits the spot with its exotic flavor, smooth creamy cake and sweet, textured crust.
I had a version of this cake in an Italian restaurant in Tobago years ago and I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since. This recipe definitely compares to that cake!
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Ingredients for passion fruit cheesecake
For this recipe, I used:
- sweet biscuits: I used guillon morning coffee biscuits as the base for this cheesecake but you can use just about any type of biscuits or cookies. Golden oreos are a great option too.
- sugar: I used Demerara brown sugar for the base of the cake and white sugar for both the batter and the topping. Feel free to use white sugar in the crust too.
- butter: unsalted butter works well for keeping the biscuit crumbs together.
- cream cheese: Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese is always my preference when making cheesecakes. It has great texture and creaminess.
- Greek yogurt: the tanginess of the yogurt work great with the passion fruit flavor.
- vanilla extract
- eggs: these bind the batter together.
- passion fruits: it is the season for passion fruits so I had lots of yellow fruits to make this recipe. The purple variety can also be used here and if you can’t find the fresh fruit, then passion fruit pulp (with or without the seeds) can be used as a substitute.
Equipment needed for this recipe
To make this cheesecake, you will need a strainer to extract the passion fruit juice from the pulp, though a cheesecloth can also help with this. A food processor and cake mixer makes things easier when making the crust and the batter. Here, I am using my Ninja food processor and my KitchenAid stand mixer.
Springform pans are also preferred for making cheesecake, but I prefer just coating the base of a regular 9-inch cake pan with baking paper and buttering the sides. By using a regular cake pan, I don’t have to worry about leaks or moisture getting in or out of the base.
How to make passion fruit cheesecake
Step 1: Bring the ingredients to room temperature. Usually, cream cheese is frozen so be sure it is soft before starting the cake.
Prep the passion fruits and pan
Step 2: Wash and cut the passion fruits in half. Check for mold and give the halves a sniff test. If there are no green moldy spots and the pulp smells great, then use a small spoon to remove the seeds. I used 7 large passion fruits in total for this recipe (4 for the cake and 3 for the topping).
Step 3: Add to a strainer or cheesecloth and squeeze to separate the pulp (juice) from the seeds. Keep a tablespoon or two of un-squeezed seeds for the topping. Set aside.
Step 4: If you are using a regular cake pan, cut the baking paper to fit the base of the pan. Rub the sides and the paper with butter to make it easier to remove the cake after baking. Or wrap your springform pan with aluminum foil.
Make the base
Step 5: Preheat the oven at 325°F.
Step 6: Melt the butter in the microwave (try heating in 15 second batches until fully melted).
Step 7: Add the biscuits, sugar and melted butter to the food processor. Blend for 2 minutes until fine crumbs form.
Step 8: Add the crumbs to the prepped cake pan. Press down along the base and sides of the pan to form a thin, compact crust.
Step 9: Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Step 10: Once done, remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes or so. You can make the batter in the meantime.
Prep for baking
Step 11: Keep preheating the oven at 325°F. You can choose one of two ways for baking the cheesecake – (1) with a water bath or (2) without a water bath. With a water bath, you will want to have a large roasting pan filled with water that the cheesecake pan will fit into and float in the water. This method ensures the cake stays moist, cooks evenly and the top of the cake remains flat and smooth. Without a water bath, you can add a large roasting pan filled with water to the lower shelf or the base of your oven underneath where the cake will go. Although the steam helps, the cake may be drier, crack slightly and the sides will likely be higher than the center. This is great since the passion fruit topping is very runny. So, for this recipe, I’m doing the 2nd method (without a water bath).
Make the batter
Step 12: Add the cream cheese to the cake mixer. Cream for about 5 minutes until the cream cheese becomes light, fluffy, and has smooth peaks. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.
Step 13: Add white sugar, yogurt and vanilla. Combine to incorporate fully for about 2 minutes.
Step 14: Pour in the passion fruit pulp (juice). Mix thoroughly. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and base of the mixing bowl.
Step 15: Add the eggs altogether and beat into the batter for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides again, ensuring the batter is smooth and well-mixed.
Step 16: Pour the cheesecake batter onto the cooled crust. Give the cake pan a couple gentle taps to remove any air bubbles.
Step 17: Bake in the oven on a shelf above the pan filled with water for 60 to 75 minutes. If you prefer, you can add the cakepan to the water bath, but it really isn’t necessary.
Step 18: Turn off the heat after the baking time. The cake should be firmer at the edges and jiggly in the center. That’s perfect!
Step 19: Remove the cake from the oven and run a wet knife along the sides of the cakepan. This separates the crust from the pan so as the cheesecake cools and shrinks, it won’t crack (as much). Quickly, return the cake back to the warm oven.
Step 20: Leave the cake to cool down slowly for about 3 hours. Refrigerate once the cake is sufficiently cool.
Make the topping
Step 21: Place a small saucepan on low heat.
Step 22: Add water and sugar to the pan. Stir to dissolve.
Step 23: Cook for 3 to 5 minutes stirring often.
Step 24: Pour in the remaining passion fruit pulp or juice (from about 3 large passion fruits). Simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 25: Add the passion fruit seeds and simmer for 3 more minutes.
Step 26: Turn off the heat and allow to cool completely for at least 30 minutes. It may thicken slightly, though it will still be very runny.
Step 27: I removed the cake from the cake pan by placing parchment paper on the top and flipping the cake over. The cake came right out and I added it to my cake stand before continuing. You’ll want to do this too before adding the topping since it can spill if the cake is moved about too much.
Step 28: Spoon the topping over the cake and the crust. If the sides are higher, the runny topping should stay in the center of the cake and will take a day or two to soak into the cheesecake. If it is flat, then add less of the passion fruit syrup to the top.
Step 29: Place the cake in the fridge to chill and serve cold. When cutting the cake, the topping will likely leak down the side, so be mindful of that when serving and storing the cake.
It’s so good!!!
Passion fruit cheesecake recipe
Passion fruit cheesecake
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Springfoam pan or parchment lined pan
- food processor
- Cake mixer
- 200 grams biscuit like morning coffee biscuits
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 5 tbsp butter (70 grams)
- 680 grams cream cheese (3 bricks)
- 100 grams white sugar (½ cup)
- 100 grams Greek yogurt (½ cup)
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 125 grams passion fruit juice (from approx. 4 large passion fruits or ½ cup plus 1½ tbsp)
- 3 eggs
- 70 grams sugar (⅓ cup)
- 2 tbsp water
- 100 grams passion fruit juice (from approx. 3 large passion fruits or ⅓ cup)
- 1 tbsp passion fruit seeds and pulp
- Take the ingredients out of the fridge to bring them to room temperature (especially the cream cheese).
- Wash and cut the 7 (approx.) passion fruits. Check for mold and spoon out the seeds.
- Add the seeds to a strainer or cheesecloth.
- Extract the pulp/juice and set aside.
- Retain some passion fruit seeds and pulp for the topping.
- Cut parchment paper to fit the base of a 9-inch cake pan. Or wrap the base of a springform pan with foil.
- Butter the sides of the cake pan and the paper.
- Preheat oven at 325°F.
- Melt the butter in the microwave in 15 second intervals until melted.
- Add the biscuits, brown sugar and melted butter to food processor.
- Grind for 2 minutes to form a crumbly mixture.
- Turn the mixture over into the buttered cake pan.
- Press the crumbs into the sides and base of the pan until firm.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool (at least 15 minutes).
- Place a large roasting pan filled with water on the lower shelf or base of the oven underneath where the cake will go (or prep a water bath).
- Add cream cheese to the cake mixer.
- Cream for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Scrape the sides.
- Add in the white sugar, yogurt and vanilla.
- Combine fully for 2 minutes.
- Mix in the passion fruit juice/pulp.
- Scrape the sides and base of the bowl.
- Add in eggs.
- Combine fully for another 2 minutes.
- Pour the batter onto the baked crust in the cake pan.
- Gently tap the sides of the pan to remove air bubbles.
- Place the cake pan in the oven on a higher shelf above the water pan.
- Bake for 60 to 75 minutes at 325°F.
- Turn off the heat. The edges should be slightly firm and the center should jiggle.
- Remove from the oven.
- Run a wet knife around the edges of the cakepan.
- Place the cake back into the warm oven (it should be off).
- Allow to cool slowly for about 3 hours.
- Place a small saucepan on low heat.
- Add water and sugar.
- Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour in the passion fruit juice.
- Simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the seeds.
- Heat for another 3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat.
- Leave to cool for 30 minutes (it will still be very runny).
- Spoon onto the cake and crust.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill.
- Serve cold.
- 225 grams of pure passion fruit juice or 7 large passion fruits are required for this entire recipe.
- 170 grams of white sugar is also needed (100g for the cake and 70g for the topping).
- Choose either adding a roasting pan with water to a lower shelf underneath the cake or using the pan as a water bath. I did the former.
- You can thicken the topping by adding a little cornstarch to the passion fruit juice while simmering.
- Place the cake on a cake stand or plate before adding the runny topping. The liquid can spill if moved about too much.