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Is Cheesecake A Pastry, Pie, Cake, or Tart

Norah Clark
Raspberry gel cheesecake

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

A cheesecake can be classified as pastry because of its crust base and filling. However, due to its name and creamy texture, it’s often grouped with cakes. Despite the confusion, it doesn’t quite fit the traditional definition of a pastry, cake, or pie.

Settling a debate with a friend or researching and finding yourself faced with a flood of varying, often contradictory, answers?

As a pastry chef for over 15 years, even I find myself wondering if cheesecake is a pastry, pie, cake, or tart!

Read on to find the definition, and characteristics of this delicious dessert and why so many people classify a cheesecake differently.

What Pastry Is Made With

Flour is used to make dough.
Flour is used to make dough.

The pastry is made from a dough of flour, shortening, and water, used as a base and covering in baked dishes such as pies and tarts.

I’ve worked with many different types of pastries, from flaky croissants to buttery puff pastries, and they all have a dough-like consistency that cheesecake simply doesn’t have.

When I create my own cheesecake recipes, I focus on the creamy filling and perfect crust, using graham crackers or even cookies for a unique twist.

It’s important to distinguish between different types of desserts so that we can better appreciate and enjoy them for what they are.

What Cheesecake Is Made With

Mini blueberry cheesecakes.
Mini blueberry cheesecakes.

Cheesecake has a crust, which is often made from graham crackers or crushed biscuits in a food processor, but it’s not made from dough.

The filling of cheesecake is a mixture of cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and other ingredients—often flavored with fruit or chocolate.

Why Pastry and Cheesecakes Are Totally Different

Based on how you make pastry and cheesecake, it’s clear that cheesecake is not a pastry.

While a cheesecake may have a crust, it’s not made from pastry dough!

But some people argue that cheesecake is like a pie and therefore should be considered a pastry.

While it’s true that cheesecake has a filling like a pie, the physical characteristics of the crust and filling differentiate it from a pastry.

You should read more about why cheesecake is called cheesecake.

So, is cheesecake a pastry, pie, cake, or tart? No, it’s not.

While it has a crust and filling, it doesn’t meet the definition of a pastry.

Cheesecake is its own unique dessert, loved and adored by many including me!


Is cheesecake healthy?

While cheesecake is not the healthiest dessert option even though it’s undeniably delicious. It’s high in calories, sugar, and fat. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Can cheesecake be made without eggs?

Yes, cheesecake can be made with eggs or without. Some recipes use substitutes like tofu or avocado, while others simply leave out the eggs altogether. However, be aware that the texture and taste may be different.

Can cheesecake be made without cream cheese?

Cheesecake is traditionally made with cream cheese, but there are ways to make it without this ingredient. Substitutes for cream cheese in cheesecakes are ricotta cheese or even yogurt. However, the taste and texture will be somewhat different.

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