Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with a Walnut Crust

This is a Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with a Walnut Crust. It’s quite addicting, especially if your weakness includes walnuts and butter. And that’s just the crust. Vanilla extract and almond extract team up to add depth to the vanilla bean filling. And last, the vanilla sour cream topping rounds out all that goodness with a bit of tang. Don’t take it from me, try it out yourself and see how addicting this cheesecake can be!

vanilla bean cheesecake walnut crust bite

I am a big fan of cheesecake. 

And I’ve eaten a good amount of cheesecakes, ranging from the cheap stuff, the touristy places, to those that are sold at Artisan bakery’s and nice restaurants.

This cheesecake is the epitome of what cheesecake should be.

It’s rich, creamy, and sweet.

What makes it special is the unique filling and the graham cracker crust.

While I like the simplicity of no-bake cheesecake, there’s really no substitute for the real thing.

The one that you have to bake.

Yes that one!

I like graham cracker crust as do many others, but occasionally I like to switch things up and use a nut-based crust instead.

The walnuts used in this recipe are not overly strong in flavor, but do add a nice firm texture to each bite.

That’s on top of their naturally nutty flavor.

And to make that magical crust, all you need to do is add some butter and sugar.

Already off to a good start!

Next is the filling, my second most favorite part. (After the crust of course!)


vanilla bean cheesecake walnut crust slice


Cheesecake filling

For this particular filling, I used 3 full fat bars of cream cheese and one low fat bar.

If you wanted to be really healthy you could use all low-fat, but it wouldn’t be as rich.

I did that the first time I made it and definitely like the richer version.

One bar was a weak attempt at decreasing the fat, but also makes for a good excuse to eat more cheesecake. ha!

It’s up to you.

One of the things that makes this cheesecake unique is the use of the vanilla bean, a lot of extract, plus a bit of almond extract.

It makes the flavor more complex with the almond component in there.

You can definitely taste it with each bite in the final product.

You also get that vanilla bean texture, tiny grains of vanilla seeds that ‘pop’ like they intrinsically do.

Lastly, there is a bit of whipping cream added too. I think this is what really adds to the richness of the filling.

It’s sooo good!!

Now now now let’s not get carried away just yet.

We can’t forget the topping!


vanilla bean cheesecake walnut crust kaki-3

You have to have a sour cream topping!!

The sour cream topping completes the cheesecake.

It’s just not the same without it.

It also has vanilla extract in it, so if you like vanilla as much as me, I’m sure this will not disappoint.

Maybe another way to add more vanilla to this cake and to each bite would be vanilla ice cream or vanilla whipped cream.

But I fear that may just very well be overkill, since this cake is already as rich and decadent as any cheesecake will ever get.

If you watch my video, the pomegranate glaze I used was the same one I made last year, for my no-bake cheesecake.

But any fruit will do, I like berries and even tried it with kaki (Persimmon)!

Let me know what you think!




In case you’ve missed them, here are some of my other dessert recipes!


Print Recipe
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with a Walnut Crust BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with a Walnut Crust-3
Course dessert
Cuisine New American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Course dessert
Cuisine New American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with a Walnut Crust-3
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts with 1/4 cup of the sugar until finely ground. Add the butter; pulse until the mixture resembles gritty sand.
  3. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and bake about 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
  4. While the crust is baking, using a stand mixer beat the cream cheese at low speed with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla seeds just until combined.
  5. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Add the 1 Tablespoon of vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Slowly beat in the cream until smooth.
  6. Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan with the crust and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until lightly golden.
  7. When the cake is almost done baking, make the topping in a small bowl. Mix the sour cream with 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
  8. Immediately pour the sour cream topping over the cheesecake and smooth the surface. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for 5 minutes longer.
  9. Transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature. Run a sharp, thin-bladed knife around the cake and remove the ring. Refrigerate the cake for 3 hours, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving.
Recipe Notes

The baked filling goes to the top of my 9 inch pan, when done. I let it cool a few minutes and it lowers enough to add the topping. The first time this happened I thought the filling wouldn't work, but it may be okay if your pan rim is tall enough. Otherwise, it may be better to use a 10 inch pan if you have one.

Also, my springform pan was not sealed all the way on the bottom and butter dripped out causing smoke. Place a rimmed cookie sheet underneath to catch any drippings just in case...


Yo! I'm Pat, a self-taught cook, indoor gardener, and world traveler. Here I share my knowledge of Japanese cooking, indoor gardening, and points travel.

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8 thoughts on “Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with a Walnut Crust

  • December 6, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    As someone who has to eat gluten-free, this crust is exactly what I am looking for. I have seen other ones made from walnuts and dates, but they sounded too sweet for me and it meant the cheesecake has to be frozen. I don’t know when I will be making your recipe, but it is bookmarked for the future. Thank you!

    • December 7, 2017 at 10:51 am

      ahhh yes!! i love nut crusts, maybe even more than graham crackers especially since they make the flavor more complex, more rich and more healthy at the same time!


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