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Sean's Smoked Bourbon Blueberry Vanilla Cheesecake

This recipe was submitted to us by one of our Facebook followers named Sean, who took second place in our April 2020 recipe contest! It’s not hard to see why this was one of the winners of the upwards of 30+ recipes we parsed through for the contest.  With a graham cracker crust flavored with savory bacon, fantastic smoky cheesecake flavor and a blueberry topping that is simply to die for this recipe is going to make you wonder how you ever survived without it.


  • 1 1/2 C. graham cracker 
  • 1/4 C. brown sugar 
  • Good pinch salt
  • 1/4 C. strainer bacon fat 


  • 2 tsp smoked vanilla
  • 1 tbsp AP flour
  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp bourbon

Blueberry Topping

  • 3/4 c frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • Splash of bourbon
  • 1 tsp smoked vanilla
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup


For the crust 
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix by hand until able to be pressed into a pie pan as a crust or shell. Pack into shells.

For the cheesecake
Smoke vanilla in your favorite Grilla Grills for 30 minutes at 235. Using a hand mixer, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.

Divide mixture into tart shells.

Once in tart shells, bake on favorite Grilla Grills smoker at 235 for 90 minutes or until you can touch the surface of the cheesecake and your finger doesn’t stick.

For the blueberry topping
First, defrost blueberries and strain out the liquid. Reserve that liquid for later. In a pot combine all ingredients EXCEPT for cornstarch.

Simmer for 5-10 minutes on medium-low. Once your mixture has started to reduce combine cornstarch and reserved liquid.

Add blueberry liquid with cornstarch to the pot and simmer for 2-3 minutes more. Let compote cool, then top your cheesecakes.

Why Grilled Cheesecake?

Sure, you can make cheesecake in the oven, but there are lots of reasons why grilled cheesecake ought to become your new favorite:

  • If you’re already eating and cooking outside, you don’t have to worry about keeping an eye on the oven inside.
  • Grilling gives this cheesecake an incredible smoky taste.
  • You won’t heat up the house on a summer day if you are cooking outside.
  • Most people haven’t tried smoky desserts, so this is a fun way to try something new.
  • The cleanup can be simpler than cooking in your oven.
  • The flavor of grilled cheesecake is the perfect topper to a cookout meal of chicken, pork, beef and vegetables.
  • You get to use your Grilla Grill even more.
  • If you’re already outside and you’ve made a grilled main, preparing ahead and tossing on the cheesecake is easy.
  • It’s nice to expand your repertoire and try something new, just to maintain your chops as a master griller.

Serving Sean’s Smoked Bourbon Blueberry Vanilla Cheesecake

This incredible grilled cheesecake can be served up hot, or you can cool it down. Serve it with bourbon, coffee or sweet tea. When serving this dessert, you can also experiment. Try topping it with whipped cream or ice cream for an extra decadent treat. You can also top it with fresh blueberries or even a few shavings of lemon zest.

Be sure to pile on the blueberry topping. You can even get fancy and use the topping to create fancy swirls on the plate. Just place cooled topping in a frosting piping bag or a clean squeeze bottle and create thin lines on the plate or even over the cheesecake for the elegant look you get in upscale restaurants.

Feel free to get creative! You might even want to double the blueberry topping and use it later on toast, pancakes or as a topping for your other favorite desserts.

This recipe is so good it hurts!

Take your time with this one, it’s going to be well worth the wait. Making sure that each part of the recipe is prepared perfectly will make a massive difference in the final result. If you want to speed things up a bit, you can always purchase premade crusts, and use a canned topping, however, it will definitely make a difference in the final result. If you ask us, this recipe is great for a family to work on together on a Saturday or Sunday so everyone gets to enjoy being a part of the process.

Feel free to shoot us an email at and let us know how you would modify the recipe, leave a review if you’ve tried it and let us know what you think! We also have all of the grilling accessories you need, and if you need to upgrade your Grilla Grill, we have you covered there, too.

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Holland, Michigan 49423