This Minnesota Honey Cheesecake Recipe won first place for best cheesecake at the Minnesota State Fair, two years in a row (2018 and 2019). One taste and it will be love at first bite. The thick graham cracker crust pairs perfectly with the rich, creamy and dreamy cheesecake itself. Learn how to make this blue ribbon winning dessert with the step by step recipe below. Recipe credit goes to Med Nodzon of St. Paul.
What You’ll Need
Meg’s recipe comes out so moist and delicious. Round up these items to get started.
- 8 1/2 inch springform pan
- Minnesota honey
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
With a pound and a half of cream cheese, you know this cheesecake is going to be divine. There’s a memorable tang to it also, thanks to the sour cream. For honey, we used our local The Beez Kneez brand in our test run and loved its flavor. You can use a different size pan also. Just be sure to adjust the baking time.
We had Meg make her award-winning recipe so we could photograph it. It arrived looking perfect.
We took Meg’s suggestion of adding pecans on top. Chop, chop!
We all went nuts for how great this all tasted together.
Just look at how dense yet creamy this slice is! You will delight in every bite.
Bake Like a Blue Ribbon Winner
Want to make a state-fair-winning Minnesota Honey Cheesecake on your own? Here are a few tips from Meg to re-create her cheesecake like a champ. The advice is especially helpful if you want a smooth top and texture to the cheesecake.
- Don’t overmix the batter.
- The water bath is key if you want to avoid cracks in the top. The added moisture ensures every forkful is creamy and dreamy. You pour boiling hot water into an outer, larger pan with the cheesecake in its own springform pan ‘floating” inside. It’s more sitting than floating, but you get the idea. Wrap the bottom twice with aluminum foil to seal it.
- Turn the oven off as soon as the edges have firmed up. The cheesecake will have a jiggly center and look like only about an inch and a half around the parameter is cooked. Leave it set in the oven to finish setting up. Leave the oven open a crack, using a small spatula to hold the door partially ajar. Allow it to cool to almost room temperature before chilling it in the fridge 6 or more hours, for best results.
By the way, if you love cheesecake like we do, make this epic raspberry pie at some point also.
Meet the Maker
Meg entered her first baking competition at the fair in 2013. Her granola bar won 3rd place and she was hooked. She entered every year after (except 2020), making anywhere from 4 to 13 entries. The most ribbons she won in a single year was nine. Her best ribbon was 1st place for gluten-free chocolate mint sandwich cookies, which also won the sweepstakes (best overall in its category).
While winning ribbons is a thrill (the more the better =), Meg says she also simply loves the process of it all, including the baking trial runs. Sharing “failures” with co-workers is a highlight too. She appreciates how they are always honest about which items they like best. Because that’s a win on its own.
Make Meg’s cheesecake today for a tasty blue ribbon baking experience.
Minnesota Honey Cheesecake Recipe
State Fair Best – Blue Ribbon Winner
1 3/4 cup honey graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Minnesota honey, such as Beez Kneez
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, and salt. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of 8 1/2 inch springform pan. Bake crust 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool, double wrap bottom of springform pan with foil. Set aside.
In large bowl, cream together cream cheese, honey, and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, until just mixed. Do not over mix. Pour filling over crust and spread evenly. Place springform pan into metal 9×13-inch pan. Carefully, to avoid splashing, pour very hot water into outer pan to create a water bath, 3/4-inch deep. Bake 60-70 minutes, until the edges have set but not the center. Turn off oven and cool cheesecake in oven with the door slightly ajar. Run knife around the rim of pan to loosen cake. Release the sides of the springform pan and transfer to fridge for at least six hours. Cut to serve, preferred size. Makes up to 16 slices.