I was in the store a few days ago and came across lychee. I never ate it before, so I bought some to see if I liked the taste. And I LOVED it! Lychee became my favorite fruit on the first bite! It is unbelievably flavorful, juicy, and tropical. Of course, I came back for more, and naturally, I immediately started thinking about desserts I could prepare. My first combination is lychee cheesecake and I will make it forever!
This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever had; I’m not even exaggerating! I really don’t like cheesy cheesecakes, if that makes any sense, so this one is mega creamy, aromatic, and doesn’t taste like cheese. Lychee is the most prominent flavor here, and all the other ingredients are there to help its fruity notes bloom.
What Is Lychee?
Lychee comes from South China, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and has a pretty specific flavor profile. First things first, let’s talk about its appearance. The fruit is pearl white, glossy, slippery, and super juicy. It is placed inside a soft shell, whose texture resembles pineapple, but it’s pinkish. Lychee is tiny, no bigger than the acron, plus it has a similar shape.
Also, it has a pit inside, I didn’t know that, so imagine the surprise. The taste is out of this world, sweet, floral, tropical, and kind of citrusy. It is like a perfect combination of strawberry, pear, rose, grape, and traces of lemon. It sounds overwhelming, but it’s actually incredibly refreshing! On the other note, it’s packed with vitamins and minerals, and it’s a fantastic antioxidant. Worth trying, right?
What Makes Lychee Cheesecake Special?
Before making this dessert, I did a lot of research, like I’m writing an essay. 😀 I got an idea for the cake from cocktails and Persian Love Cake, which was an inspiration for the crust. With this in mind, I added almond extract, lemon juice, and cardamom into my regular graham crackers crust. Also, I baked it quickly for the flavors to burst and to add a bit of crunch.
As I said above, I hate to taste too much cheese in the cheesecake, so I paired it with condensed milk. It is rich enough to neutralize the cheese and delicate enough to create a silky texture. I love this filling the most! Also, I added some lemon and blueberries, as well, because they both pair wonderfully with lychee.
For the lychee topping, I arranged it like flowers and covered it with a rose lemonade-based glaze. All those flavors help the floral lychee to bloom, creating one special taste experience that feels très luxurious!
How to Make Lychee Cheesecake?
The cake is simple to make and there are probably 0 chances for it to fail. It has three layers and you’re just making one by one and there is no mistake. Besides, I decided to bake the crust quickly so it would be crunchy later and it was so good! Here are the ingredients!
- Graham crackers – Use any brand of plain, vanilla, or ideally almond-flavored crackers. You can substitute it with digestive biscuits.
- Sugar – I used granulated sugar for both the crust and glaze. When you bake the crust, the sugar will melt nicely and bind the ingredients together even more.
- Butter – Butter is the main binding ingredient for the crust.
- Almond extract – Splashing some almond extract will elevate the whole cake. It will come out super aromatic and sweetly flavored.
- Lemon – I poured some freshly squeezed lemon juice into both the crust and the filling. It smashes the flavors and brings freshness to the table. Plus, it is responsible for the thickening of the filling and silky-smooth texture.
- Cardamom – Cardamom is my secret ingredient! It fits perfectly with all the other ingredients, making the bite truly special. It has floral and citrusy notes, along with a peppery taste. It blends perfectly with rose, lemon, and lychee.
- Cheese – Use any cream cheese you prefer, I like Philadelphia.
- Condensed milk – I adore cheesecakes with condensed milk, that way the filling is milky, creamy, and not cheese-y at all. Also, there is no need to add additional sugar, as the milk is sweet on its own.
- Blueberries – Blueberries in the filling were my last-minute decision and they married with everything impeccably, boosting the sweet and tangy flavors. Plus, they added a much-needed pop of color. You can skip them or substitute them with any other berries.
- Lychee – Of course, lychee is the star of the cake. Every other ingredient works in its favor, to bring out all the special flavor notes. Fruity, floral, and tangy notes are at the maximum here.
- Clear glaze – I used Dr. Oetker’s clear glaze pack, but you can make it at home, as well, with sugar, corn starch, and corn syrup.
- Rose lemonade – I like to dissolve clear glaze in rose lemonade for a nice, pale, pinkish shade, but most importantly for the flavor. Sweet rose is perfect to pair with lychee!
Let’s make this tropical haven!
Step 1: Making the Crust
Start with crushing graham crackers. I did mine in the food processor, but you can use a rolling pin and zip-lock bag for this, too. So, in a bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, granulated sugar, cardamom, almond extract, melted butter, and lemon juice.
The mixture will be crumbly, but that is okay, it just has to stick together when you press it. Transfer it to the 8-inch (20 cm) springform pan and press it to shape. I like to do the sides, as well, so it looks like a basket. Use a cup measurement or a spoon to smooth it all out. Now when you have the crust, toss it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 °F (180 °C).
The crust will come out soft and gooey but harden as it gets cold. You can fix the shape if needed with a spoon by smoothing it out carefully. It has to be room temperature before you pour the filling in.
Step 2: Making the Filling
I like to mix the cheese before adding anything else, so the texture is super creamy. Then, set the mixer on medium and gradually pour condensed milk. The blend will be a bit runny, but add lemon juice and keep mixing. After a minute you will see the consistency becoming thicker.
Note: The filling will splash everywhere while mixing, so remember to cover the bowl in time. If something goes wrong and your cream doesn’t set, Whip It powder from Dr. Oetker comes in handy. It will help to thicken it up.
Now add a handful of fresh blueberries and combine it lightly with a spatula. Pour the filling into the crust and keep it in the fridge while you prepare the topping.
Step 3: Making the Topping
Take 6-10 lychees, peel them, and remove the seed. I like to cut the husk in the middle and squeeze the lychee out. The same works for the seed.
I wanted to make flowers on top so I quartered each fruit, to get the petals. You can do anything you fancy, though. Before adding the glaze, I arranged the flowers on top of the cake.
In a heavy-bottomed skillet, combine sugar, clear glaze powder, and rose lemonade. Make the glaze as noted on the packaging, by bringing it to a simmer slowly. Let it set for a minute and carefully, with a spoon, pour it over the fruit. Even it and store in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to set.
That’s it! Enjoy your tropical experience!
How to Store Lychee Cheesecake?
This is a no-bake cheesecake so you should store it in the fridge immediately. It will stay fresh for about 5 days. It is best if you keep it swathed in plastic wrap or an airtight container. If I have too many leftovers, I like to cut them and store each slice separately in tiny containers. It stays fresh and it’s super convenient.
- 1 Hand mixer
- 1 springform pan (8 inch)
- 7 oz graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp butter (unsalted)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp cardamom
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk (that's one can)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup blueberries
- 10 lychees
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 packaging clear glaze
- 1 cup rose lemonade
Making the Crust
- Combine crushed graham crackers, granulated sugar, cardamom, almond extract, melted butter, and lemon juice.
- The mixture will be crumbly, it just has to stick together when you press it. Transfer it to the 8-inch (20 cm) springform pan and press it to shape. Do the sides, as well. Bake it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 °F (180 °C).
- The crust will come out soft and gooey but harden as it gets cold. You can fix the shape if needed with a spoon by smoothing it out carefully. It has to be room temperature before you pour the filling in.
Making the Filling
- Mix the cheese before adding anything else. Set the mixer on medium and gradually pour condensed milk. The blend will be a bit runny. Add lemon juice and keep mixing. After a minute you will see the consistency becoming thicker.
- Add fresh blueberries and combine them lightly with a spatula. Pour the filling into the crust and keep it in the fridge while you prepare the topping.
- Note: If something goes wrong and your cream doesn’t set, Whip It powder from Dr. Oetker comes in handy. It will help to thicken it up.
Making the Topping
- Peel lychees, and remove the seed. Quarter each fruit and arrange them on top of the cake as flowers.
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet, combine sugar, clear glaze powder, and rose lemonade. Make the glaze as noted on the packaging, by bringing it to a simmer slowly. Let it set for a minute and carefully, with a spoon, pour it over the fruit.
- Store it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to set.
Before diving into the nutritional details, please review our Nutritional Disclaimer page for important context and clarifications.