This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Pay de Queso is Mexico’s version of cheesecake. Literally translated it means “cheese pie.”
However, don’t be fooled. There’s a big difference between the American version and the Mexican version.
Mainly, American cheesecake is a lot sweeter. The Mexican version is rich and creamy but not as sweet.
I’ve seen different variations of this recipe from really dry to really soft and runny. This is my version of this yummy Mexican dessert.
- Ground cookies – Galletas María is what is traditionally used but you can also use animal crackers.
- Walnuts – Swap out for pecans, peanuts, or cashews.
- Butter – Soften up the butter by taking it out of the fridge and zapping for 10 seconds in the microwave until it’s ready.
- Dark Brown Sugar – Dark brown sugar is preferred, but you can also use gold brown sugar.
- Ground Cinnamon adds a warmth and earthiness to the dessert.
- Cream Cheese – substitute this ingredient for Neufchatel cheese which has less fat.
- White sugar will add sweetness to the filling.
- Vanilla adds a delicate depth of spice and warmth.
- Room temperature eggs are what bind the cheesecake together.
- All Purpose Flour is what helps the texture
- Salt is to enhance the flavor.
- Heavy whipping Cream is found in the dairy section next to the milk.
How to Make the Pie Crust
- Add the pie crust ingredients to a food processor or a blender.
- Blend until smooth then add to springform pan.
- Press down all around the pan to create the crust.
- Set this aside until ready to use.
Or, skip this step altogether, and buy one that is already made.
Note: You might also hear this dessert referred to as “pastel de queso.”
How to Make the Filling
- Add the filling ingredients to a food processor or a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a springform pan and on top of the already prepared crust.
Bake at high temperature for 5 minutes. Then reduce the heat and continue baking for 30 minutes.
Turn off the oven for 15 minutes with the Mexican cheesecake pie still inside.
Don’t open the oven door. We are gradually reducing the heat so it won’t sink in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there no water bath?
This is not your traditional American cheesecake. Water baths help cheesecakes from over baking and from cracking. The Mexican version has a creamier texture, but it can still crack and sink in. That’s why the heat is gradually reduced before cooling in the fridge.
Why can’t I open the oven door?
If you open the door, cold air will rush in, causing it to crack and sink in. Don’t touch that door!
Why do I have to use room temperature ingredients?
Room temperature ingredients blend easily and will make your dessert smooth and not lumpy.
What to Serve it With?
Pay de Queso is a decadent and rich Mexican dessert that will make you beg for more. Top with your favorite fruit, whipped cream, or just as is. For a faster way to satisfy that dessert craving, try this Berry Delicious Cheesecake Fluff.
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
Did you make this recipe? Please rate the recipe below!
Pay de Queso
For the Pie Crust:
For the Crust:
- Blend all the crust ingredients.
- Add to a springform pan.
- Press down to create the crust all around the pan.
- Set aside until ready to use.
For the Filling:
- Add all the filling ingredients to a food processor or a blender.
- Pour into the crust pan.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the pan in the center of the oven.
- Bake for 5 minutes.
- Then immediately reduce the heat to 325 degrees F.
- Continue cooking for 30 minutes.
- Turn the heat off without opening the oven door.
- Leave the pan inside the oven for 15 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven.
- Let cool for 20 minutes on the counter.
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour minimum before slicing.
- Slice and serve.