Honey in History: National Cheesecake Day

Vanilla bean cheesecake pie with home style honey crust

Established in 1985, National Cheesecake Day is July 30th, so this week we are exploring the history of one of America’s favorite desserts and sharing some of our best baking-with-honey tips and favorite cheesecake recipes.

While its origins remain unknown, cheesecake has roots dating back to ancient Greece, as evidenced by Greek physician Aegimus’ book about "the art of making cheesecakes.” In those days the recipe was a simple mix of cheese, flour, and honey, and was fed to athletes participating in the Olympics in 776 B.C.1 It is believed that the conquering Romans introduced eggs and proper baking methods that allowed the recipe to evolve into what we are familiar with today.2

Fun Fact: Did you know that the ever-popular New York-style cheesecake was created by German immigrant Arnold Reuben in the 1900s? Rumor has it that Reuben created the staple dessert after being served a cheese pie at an event; he was so inspired that he played with the recipe until he crafted what we now know as New York cheesecake.2 Today there are over nine styles of cheesecake - some made with fruit, coffee, and even savory ingredients - offering consumers a variety of ways to enjoy the creamy treat.

In addition to adding the perfect touch of sweetness, honey offers a number of benefits to your favorite cheesecake recipe, including binding dry ingredients and even extending the shelf life of your crust. Honey varietals also give you the opportunity to play with flavor combinations, and with over 3,000 varietals found around the world, you can try something new with each cake. 

Now, when baking with honey, it is best to start with recipes developed for honey, like our Crustless Lemon-Honey Cheesecake or Honey & Blackberry Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust, but if you would like to swap honey for granulated sugar in your favorite cheesecake crust recipe, please take heed and follow these steps:

  • Reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used.
  • Add about 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey used.
  • Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over-browning.

With more sweet tips on how to store, rejuvenate, and use honey in his very own Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Pie with Home-style Honey Crust, here is our good friend celebrity chef, cookbook author, and fellow honey enthusiast, Chef David Guas:

We want to hear from you! How are you celebrating National Cheesecake Day? Tell us in the comments below!


"The History of Cheesecake: Who Made It First?" Jonathan Lord Cheesecakes & Desserts, 25 Mar. 2021, https://www.jonathanlordcheesecake.com/the-history-of-cheesecake-who-made-it-first

"The Rich History of a Favorite Dessert." Cheesecake.com, © 2023, https://www.cheesecake.com/History-Of-Cheesecake